Prepackaged tea bags make it so easy to enjoy a cup of tasty tea. Whether it is green tea, black tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea or any other herbal tea, drinking a few cups daily provides many health benefits.
Herbal teas have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, astringent and antibiotic properties.
But did you know you can get many additional benefits from those little tea bags after you’ve had your tea? Instead of just throwing them away, you can use the damp, small tea bags in your beauty regimen and even gardening.
1. Treat Mild Acne
Used green tea bags can help protect and beautify your skin in a number of ways. In fact, they are one of the best home remedies for mild acne. The catechins in green tea have antibacterial properties that help fight acne-causing bacteria.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology suggests that green tea lotion can be an effective and safe treatment for mild acne.
Another study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2012, concluded that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea helps modulate intracellular molecular targets and inhibit p. acnes bacteria that causes acne.
- Brew a cup of green tea and set the tea bag aside for 30 minutes.
- Place the used tea bag directly on the affected skin for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse off your skin with cool water.
- Do this twice daily until you have acne-free skin.
2. Fight Aging Signs
Green tea has anti-aging and antioxidant properties that help improve skin complexion and elasticity. It even delays signs of skin aging, such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
A 2003 study by the Medical College of Georgia notes that green tea aids skin rejuvenation. It can be used to treat skin diseases and wounds.
- Transfer the contents of 2 used green tea bags into a bowl.
- Mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw honey and a little lemon juice.
- Apply it on your face and neck area.
- Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Use this face mask once or twice a week.
Note: This face mask may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin.
3. Eliminate Bad Breath
You can enjoy fresh, minty breath using a soothing and mild mouthwash made with peppermint and green tea bags. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties in these teas help fight bad bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.
Also, a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery noted that a green tea mouth rinse could be an appropriate and effective choice for controlling pain associated with acute pericoronitis.
- Steep 2 or 3 used tea bags in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to brew a weak tea.
- Let the tea cool down.
- Mix in a few drops of tea tree oil.
- Use it as a mouthwash 2 times a day to fight bad breath.
4. Make Your Hair Shiny
Used black or green tea bags can add shine to dry and dull hair. The antioxidants in the tea promote hair growth as well as prevent common problems like dry scalp and dandruff.
- Rebrew 2 or 3 used tea bags in 2 cups of water and allow it to cool.
- After shampooing your hair, use the weak tea as a final hair rinse.
- Massage your scalp for 5 minutes, then rinse your hair with plain water.
- Allow your hair to air dry to enjoy smooth and shiny hair.
- Use this hair treatment 2 times a week.
5. Soothe Puffy and Irritated Eyes
Any kind of tea bags can help soothe puffy and irritated eyes. Tea has anti-irritant and antioxidant properties that help reduce swelling around your eyes and relieve tiredness and inflammation.
Furthermore, it helps restore the natural glow and spark of your eyes.
- Put 2 used tea bags in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Lie down and put the chilled tea bags over your closed eyelids.
- Leave them in place for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat a few times a day.
6. Soothe Sunburns and Razor Burns
Moist green teabags can soothe sunburns as well as razor burns. Green tea contains tannins with astringent and mild anesthetic properties that can help combat itching and pain.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology notes that the polyphenolic extracts of green tea help reduce the number of sunburn cells and protect epidermal Langerhans cells from damage caused by ultraviolet sunrays.
- Put 10 to 12 used green tea bags in your bathwater.
- Soak in this healing water for about 20 minutes.
- Do this once daily for a few days.
You can also try used chamomile tea bags for their anti-inflammatory qualities.
7. Fight Toenail Fungus
Instead of discarding used tea bags, you can use them to treat toenail fungus. The tannins in tea help kill the fungi responsible for fungal infections, while its antibiotic and astringent properties relieve symptoms like burning sensations, swelling and skin irritation.
- Chill some used tea bags in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Put the cold tea bags on the affected toenails for 15 minutes.
- Use this remedy 2 or 3 times daily until the infection clears up completely.
8. Exfoliate Your Skin
The slight rough texture of the contents of used tea bags is great for exfoliating your skin. This helps get rid of dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities.
Plus, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help soothe your skin and give your skin an incredible glow.
- Transfer the contents of 1 or 2 used green tea bags into a bowl.
- Add a little olive oil and honey to make a paste.
- Apply it on your face and neck and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Gently rub off the paste using circular motions.
- Rinse off your skin with warm water.
- Use this facial scrub once or twice a week.
9. Protect Plants from Pests and Infections
Whether you grow plants in pots or lush green gardens, used tea bags can help keep pests and fungal infections at bay.
- Make a mild brew from your used tea bags. Allow it to cool and transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray it on the leaves of your indoor or garden plants.
- Also, place a few used teabags in the bottom of a pot. They help the soil retain water in addition to adding valuable nutrients to it.
10. Add to Organic Compost
As long as the bags are made of paper or muslin, rather than polypropylene, used tea bags can be composted to speed up the decomposition process in plant material. They also encourage friendly bacteria to grow, which helps prevent fungal and pest problems.
Collect your used bags in a jar and add them to your compost at your convenience.