Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Odd Uses for Tea Bags

I've used tea to season food, steam my face and to soothe aching muscles. What's more, I've heard of using brewed-out tea bags (or coffee grinds) for plant fertilizer. There are a number of unusual uses for tea bags, both used and new. I've collected a few with some of my own experiences tossed in.

  • Anti-rust. When you have finished washing and wiping down a cast-iron pot, swipe it out with a brewed-out tea bag. Why? "The tannins [chemical compounds] in the tea create a rust-preventing layer" in the pot, according to a past past edition of Woman's World magazine.
  • Dry skin treatment: Green tea is great in the bath. Here's the recipe: Place a couple of tea bags under the faucet as you run hot water for a bath. Green tea has a lot of antioxidants. "The antioxidants will rehydrate your skin." --WW
  • Anti-odor kitty litter. Place the contents of used, but dried out tea bags into your cat's kitty litter. The antibacterial features of the tea "neutralize odor."--WW
  • DIY facial. The editors of WW recommend the application of warm, but wet tea bags on the face. "The tannins will tighten pores and reduce puffiness."

I have my own version of the DIY day spa. In Manhattan, I once spent about $65 for a yummy facial. But get this: about 40 percent of the facial consisted of a pot of herbal tea, one large towel and my sweaty face. As I bent over the steaming tea with my head covered by the fluffy towel, a little voice in my head said: You can do this at home for far less money.

So with my own hot water, mint tea and towels, I've steamed my pores. This treatment works best if 1) you let the water cool a bit. I don't recommend hot-hot-hot steam; 2) put on New Age music and; 3) burn a scented candle. Finally, close your eyes. Under those conditions, you'll feel as if you are in one of the most expensive spas in South Beach or Manhattan.

I also recommend tea for cooking. By opening unused bags of tea, I have spiced up soups, stir-fried veggies and meats with unusual tea flavors. Celestial Seasonings, with its wide and random selection of tea flavors and spices, makes great teas for cooking.

Here's a link to cooking with teas, with great recipes for: chocolate mint bread pudding, meatballs, Thai dumplings and chamomile cauliflfower soup.

Here is a link to other uses for teas and teabags. I recommend the puffy eye treatment.

And Happy Skye has 101 uses for tea, a list that is also entertaining and informative.


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3 comments:

cindy@staged4more said...

You can also use the tea leafs for fertilizing your plants. Cool stuff, eh?

Cheers,

Cindy

Anonymous said...

Thanks

christyhulsey said...

interesting uses - thanks for sharing