Try Tea for First Aid, Beauty

By Diana Rosen


Tea for a more radiant glow

Many of you may already know that a chilled spent tea bag may be used as a balm over an insect bite or to refresh eyes for a big party. But did you know there are many other reasons to use tea in your skin health and first aid?

It's easy to be at the ready. Anytime you use unflavored tea bags, don't toss them when you're done. Instead, keep them covered and chilled in the fridge, up to three days. Use as necessary. One bag, several uses, now that's recycling. (True tea is more helpful than flavored ones or tisanes which might irritate those folks with plant or flower allergies.)

Tan without Sunning

Want to enhance your skin a little without the risk of sunburn? Take a bath in tea. Add two or three cups of brewed black tea to your bath water to give you a very nice, even (and temporary) tan or "glow". Using a rooibos tea can add a little tint of color, too. After you have soaked in the tub for about 15 minutes, step out of the tub and allow your skin to air dry then, carefully, blot off the moisture. Drying your skin with too rough gestures may rub off the temporary tan. Don't forget your face, either. Soak a wash cloth and cover your face while you bathe. Air dry or lightly blot off the moisture. This is a very light coloring technique but does indeed add a little oomph.

Shaving

Whether you're a guy who's nicked his chin shaving or a gal who's done the same thing to her knee, tea can help heal the cut and soothe the sting. Rinse off the soap or shaving cream, blot the cut with a clean cloth then hold a used tea bag over the cut for a few minutes. Blot the skin again and, as necessary, put on a bandage or use a styptic pen to speed the healing. It is thought that the astringent quality of the tea helps the healing.

Other Cuts & Abrasions

Kitchen mishaps happen; you are slicing that cucumber when, oops, you nick your finger or, worse, you scald yourself with the steam from the tea kettle or touching a too-hot pot. These injuries can be becalmed with a chilled tea bag. The bag will reduce the swelling that comes from a burn or an abrasion. If your injury is more like sunburn, you can treat the injured skin with chilled liquid tea. Saturate a washcloth or gauze with the brewed, cooled tea then place it over the sunburned area for at least 15 minutes, repeat. By this time, the burn will abate and you can pursue the rest of the day. NOTE: If any burn or cut results in excessive bleeding or massive blistering, get to an emergency room immediately.

Foot Blisters or Boils

This is a little messy, but works overnight. Before retiring, place a chilled spent tea bag over the boil or small blister, cover with tape to keep it on, and go to sleep. In the morning, remove the tape gently and throw it and the tea bag away. Your boil or blister should be history.

Fantastic Footsies

Whether it's hiking the hills or dancing all night, your feet can take a beating. Comfort them with a cool footbath infused with a cup or more of freshly brewed green or black tea. This solution will refresh your feet and reduce foot odor considerably. Great for an après urban shopping sprees, too.

Oral Surgery Aftercare


Gum soreness from oral surgery or tooth loss can be painful, but the solution is easy and accessible. Take a fresh tea bag of black or green tea and saturate it with cold water. Press the bag over the inflamed gums or where the tooth has been removed or, in the case of children, where they have naturally lost a tooth. Keep the teabag on the area for at least five minutes. Repeat as necessary. For tooth pain from an injury or cavity, nothing works better than chewing on a clove. However, this does not heal a cavity, so call the dentist for an appointment as soon as possible.

Flu Shot Soother


Whether it's your baby or toddler, or you, left with a stinging feeling after a flu or any other medical shot, grab that tea bag again. Blot the prick mark gently then hold it against the mark for a few minutes. No more sting, and no more tears (from the baby or you.) This is also wonderful for those diabetics who need to give themselves insulin via shots. Very soothing.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall


Now that you're rested and shaved and the eyes are sparkling, and all injuries are a distant memory, make sure by looking in the mirror. What? It's streaky and messy? Tea to the rescue. Saturate a dry clean cotton cloth with tea and wipe the mirror clean. Let dry then take another dry clean cloth and buff to a remarkable shine. You're ready for your close-up now.