We all know that tea leaves make a great brew for drinking both hot and cold, with or without milk or sugar. Some prefer lemon in their tea, or a chai massala. Here are a few uses for tea:
1. The first tip is one I often used with my children when they lost a tooth. If you have had a tooth pulled or a child has lost a tooth to stop bleeding, place i a dry clean tea-bag. Bite down gently. It will stop the bleeding and form a clot.
2. An astringent/skin toner: The tannin in tea makes an excellent astringent. Simply wipe a wet tea bag over your face.
3. Razor Burn: Tea bag will relieve the pain!
4. Cure canker sores: Place a wet tea-bag directly over the canker sore for several minutes. The tannin in the tea will draw out the moisture and dry it so that it will heal.
5. Infected cut: Soak a tea bag in cool water and place it over the site of injection to relieve the pain
6. Foot deodorizer: Boil a quart of water and add 6 tea-bags. Let it steep for about 15 minutes, and then let it cool completely. Pour it into a bucket and soak your feet in it for about 20-30 minutes. After this dry your feet completely and don’t wash or rinse them. The tannin in tea will close your pores, which will prevent further perspiration and it kills the bacteria which causes the odor. Also soak your tennis shoes in this tea mixture to help remove and stop the odor.
Tea is a great natural remedy for soothing sore throats, helping to loosen coughs, and terrific for upset stomachs.
7. Puffy eyes: Dip two tea bags in hot boiling water, quickly remove, allow them to cool completely then squeeze out excess water them out and apply them to your eyes for about 20 minutes. This also works if you use a used tea bag.
8. Hair rinse: Wash your hair with a cup of herbal tea after shampooing to make the hair silky and shiny
9. Ease the pain of minor burns: Allow boiled tea to cool completely and then apply it straight onto a minor burn including sunburns. The tea will act as an analgesic and relieve the pain. Do not use tea that contains honey, lemon, or milk, sugar or cream, as these may aggravate the burn.
10. Plant Fertilizer: Sprinkle tea leaves in your garden or around your plants. They work as an excellent fertilizer, and roses seem to thrive with them.
11. Tea in composting: I use used tea and also leftover tea in my compost bin as it accelerates the decomposition and creates an acid rich compost.
12. Dye fabric: Muslin fabric, or most natural fibers can be tea stained to appear aged. Brew tea same as you would to drink, or stronger for more colour, soak fabric in liquid until it appears a bit darker than you would like the fabric to be. Even soaking overnight will give a stronger colour. Black tea gives the darkest hue. Keep in mind that it will lighten as it dries. Finished items can also be tea stained in the same manner. An old blouse, or a piece of embroidery, or just about anything you can think of, can be aged in this way.
13. Make the wood shine: Clean wood furniture or wood floors with a soft cloth dipped in a freshly prepared tea to add shine to them. I alternate moppings of my teakwood kitchen floor with strong tea and white vinegar.
14. Cleaning mirrors: Dip a soft cloth into a tea solution and clean the mirrors for extra shine.
15. Potpourri: Dry tea leaves out of a teabag make a wonderful potpourri. Just dump in small dishes and place all around the home. Makes for a light, natural scent. You can add oils to the leaves if you desire.
16. Dish Detergent: Have a caked on grease cooking pan? Drop a tea bag into it and allow to soak over night. The acid in the tea helps to break down the caked on grease.
17. Tea Marbled Eggs: Infuse boiling water with tea leaves to give eggs a marbled appearance on the whites when hard boiled. Prior to the final minutes of cooking, the eggshells are slightly cracked, thus allowing the teas to seep through and create this magical “marbled” effect; either green or black teas are great for this. Spices are often added to this mixture for “Son-In-Law Eggs.”
18. Rubs: Dried leaves can add crunch and flavor for rubs to coat fish, meat or poultry or to be used as a garnish, particularly young green or white tea leaves. Smoked teas lend a deep, dark smokiness to poultry and seafood. I like using Russian Caravan or Lapsang Souchong for an extra special taste to infuse foods with a smoky quality.
19. Braising liquid: Brewed tea can be used as a braising liquid, or as a seasoning for marinades. As the base for a sauce, fruit juices gain depth of flavor with the addition of tea. A small handful of tea leaves adds an herbaceous flavor and a golden glow to cream sauces.
20. Tea in baking: Add tea to a cake or shortbread for a special taste. Melt butter with tea leaves in it, allow to stand for a few minutes and then sieve out the leaves. Chill the butter to firm and proceed with your favorite recipe for icings or cakes.