In ancient China, tea was considered an elixir and initially consumed for its perceived medicinal properties. Today, more and more scientific evidence contributes to the belief that tea, indeed, is a healthy beverage. The following provides a summary of the health benefits associated with tea:
Cancer Prevention: All tea contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants that help protect the cells of the body against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals form naturally as a result of chemical reactions during normal cellular activity and contribute to tissue damage over time. Laboratory and animal studies have demonstrated that tea flavonoids can block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth and can deactivate substances that promote the growth of cancers. Some, but not all, studies in people have shown a connection between drinking tea (especially green tea) and lower rates of cancer.
Heart Health: A number of recent studies suggest that tea may help to decrease the incidence of heart attack by reducing cholesterol in the blood, improving the function of blood vessels and inhibiting inflammation that can contribute to atherosclerosis.
Oral Health: Several studies have suggested that regular tea drinking may reduce the number of dental cavities, partly as a result of its high fluoride content. Tea has also been shown to increase the acid resistance of tooth enamel and to help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
Bone Health: A study conducted in Taiwan showed that habitual tea consumption for more than a decade increased total bone mineral density in both men and women. Additionally, a study among older women has linked tea to greater bone density and a lower risk of hip fractures.
Gastrointestinal Health: Long-term tea drinking may flush out bacteria that aren’t so good for the digestive system and could allow more helpful ones to flourish.
Use this brew to soothe minor cuts and scrapes, treat sunburns, refresh puffy and fatigued eyes, and soak tired feet: Brew 1/2 cup of unscented black or green tea leaves in 1 quart of boiling bottled water for at least 10 minutes. Strain the leaves and set aside. Cool the liquid and refrigerate. This solution will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 10 days.
For Minor Cuts & Scrapes: Apply the cold tea brew with a pure cotton pad onto minor cuts or abrasion. Leave the cotton pad on the affected area for at least 5 minutes. Repeat, and do not wash off. This procedure can be repeated up to four times a day.
Sunburns: Apply a piece of cotton cloth that’s been soaked in the cold tea brew to the sunburned area. Leave on for about 15 minutes, or until the burned areas begins to cool. You can repeat this treatment up to four times a day.
For Puffy & Fatigued Eyes: Soak cotton pads in the cold tea brew and lay them on your eyes. Keep the pads on your lids for about 10 minutes. You can also refrigerate your used tea bags and lay them on your eyes.
For Tired Feet: Soak your feet in the cold tea brew for about 15 minutes. This is a great way to treat your feet after a long day of standing, walking, or running. You can also try soaking your feet in a concentrated Chamomile Tea brew for an aromatic soak.
Facial Beauty: Mix one teaspoon of fine cornmeal with cooled chamomile tea to form a gentle scrub. Let dry, then gently rub off. Not for sensitive skin. Make an exfoliating paste using chamomile tea and powdered milk. Rub on skin, let dry, and then rub off before washing.
- Use black tea as a hair rinse to darken hair and add shine.
- Use Chamomile herbal tea to bring out highlights in hair.
- Get a temporary tea tan by soaking in unflavored black tea leaves for about 20 minutes.
- Ease toothaches by applying spent tea leaves on the affected tooth until your dentist visit.
- Rinse your face with tea. Tea acts as an astringent, so it works well on pimples. Do not wash off.