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Tea Health Benefits

Black Tea May Fight Flu

September 7, 2017

As the fall approaches, so does flu season. But this year, you may have an extra defense against the flu: black tea.

Black Tea

Black Tea | A Girl With Tea at Flickr CC BY 2.0

According to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, the flavonoids in black tea (and red wine and blueberries) may work with a microbe in your intestines to better fight the flu and other infections.

Vocab refresher: a flavonoid is a group of plant-derived compounds that are also antioxidants. Tea has many.

The researchers at Washington University found that certain microbes in the gut can work with flavonoids to unleash a strong immune response to the flu—in mice at least.

“We were able to identify at least one type of bacteria that uses [flavonoids] to boost interferon, a signaling molecule that aids the immune response,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, a Conan Professor of Pathology & Immunology. “This prevented influenza-related lung damage in the mice,” he added, which can result in life-threatening complications like pneumonia.

While the researchers focused on mice, they did find a gut microbe in humans that they think will help people in the same way that it helps mice:

The microbe, Clostridium orbiscindens, interacts with flavonoids to create a metabolite that signals the immune system to beef things up. The metabolite is called desaminotyrosine, aka DAT.
The researchers found that mice who had both DAT and the flu experienced much less lung damage than mice with the flu who did not have DAT.

As the researchers put it, “Without DAT, influenza virus causes inflammation and severe disease.”

Conclusion: DAT helps fight the flu. And since humans can get DAT from things like black tea, they can experience the same flu-fighting properties as mice.

While the flavonoids in black tea are not going to prevent the flu, they can help your immune system fight off a serious complication. So this fall, in addition to getting a flu shot, stock your pantry with black tea!

 

Tea Health Benefits

Teas That Will Make Going Back to School a Breeze

August 24, 2017

It’s that time of the year again. The days have started to get shorter, the kids are driving Mom and Dad crazy, and half-day Fridays are almost up. That’s right, summer is coming to an end. Which means it’s time to go back to school. Whether you’re a law student ready to take on 2 or 3L or a parent tackling night school this fall, tea can help you make the transition from summer to school. For all your back to school libation needs, we’ve got you covered:

Can’t Focus?

Need a little help in the concentration department? If your brain is still in Summerland and you need to spend more time focused on global politics or 19th century poets than beach volleyball or summer crushes, try consuming green tea and chocolate.

green tea and chocolate

According to a study sponsored by the Hershey Company and conducted by Northern Arizona University, ingesting a combination of dark chocolate and green tea has an “attention-enhancing” effect. The study found that when participants ate dark chocolate, they were more alert, but experienced a spike in blood pressure. However, when participants coupled cacao with green tea, blood pressure dropped, thanks to the amino acid L-theanine present in green tea.   It seems that green tea and chocolate balance each other out, working in concert to keep you focused.

Takeaway: Make your mid-day snack a green tea-chocolate combo and you’ll take better notes in class.

Need to Memorize?

School requires a lot of memorization, some of it infuriating (can’t you just look at the periodic table in real life?) some of it necessary (CPR comes to mind). Whether you’re memorizing all the world’s capitals or taking a test on the political ramifications of invading Iraq, your memory could use a little boost, and peppermint tea can help.

peppermint tea

According to a study from Northumbria University, researchers found that drinking peppermint tea “significantly improved long term memory, working memory and alertness” in comparison to chamomile tea and hot water.

Takeaway: Pair late-night cramming with peppermint tea to ace that upcoming test.

Need to Fight Germs?

Going back to school means going back to being surrounded by a million people’s germs. Boost your body’s ability to fight disease with black tea or green tea.

black tea or green tea

According to a study led by Harvard Medical School immunologist Jack F. Bukowski, the alkylamine chemicals found in black and green tea cause the body to build up a defense against these same alkylamines found in bacteria, tumor cells, parasites, and fungi. Some participants drank five cups of black tea per day, while others drank coffee. After two weeks, participants who drank tea could produce disease-fighting chemicals better than participants who drank coffee.

Takeaway: Protect yourself against your deskmate’s sneezes and coughs with a few cuppas per day.

Bottom line, it’s hard to let summer go, but tea can certainly help you get back in the school groove!

 

 

Tea Health Benefits

Drink Herbal Tea to Help Your Liver

August 22, 2017

Drinking herbal tea may protect you against liver disease, according to a recent study.

Journal of Hepatology tea and coffee issueResearchers at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre at Rotterdam in the Netherlands have concluded that frequent consumption of herbal tea or coffee is inversely related with liver stiffness. Liver stiffness develops in livers that have been scarred extensively, resulting in liver fibrosis. Publishing their findings in the August issue of the Journal of Hepatology, researchers said that herbal tea gives people who drink it often a protective effect on their livers.

Researchers at Erasmus collected data from 2,424 participants who did not have liver disease, looking at their medical records, examining their liver scans, and collecting questionnaires on their consumption of green tea, black tea, herbal tea, and coffee. Even in small amounts, the researchers concluded that drinking herbal tea was significantly associated with lower liver stiffness values.

We’re all for herbal tea, but take these results with a grain of salt, as the study had several key limitations:

First, the participants were not a very varied group. All were over 45, Caucasian, and lived in Rotterdam.

Second, the control groups were rather small.

And third, the researchers relied on questionnaires to analyze participants’  drinking habits, not on hard data they’d compiled from drinks that participants had consumed regularly under observation.  That introduces human error.  And with the vast array of herbal teas on the market, two participants drinking herbal tea could be consuming beverages with very different compounds.

Still, the findings are exciting and may encourage more consumers to seek out herbal teas for their health benefits.  With so many delicious options on the market, doing so will a smart investment for both liver health and taste bud satisfaction.

The journal’s Lay Summary of the study’s findings is as follows:

Lay summary

The Rotterdam Study is a large ongoing population study of suburban inhabitants of Rotterdam in whom data on liver stiffness, as proxy for liver fibrosis, presence of fatty liver on ultrasound and detailed information on coffee and tea consumption were obtained in 2,424 participants. The consumption of herbal tea and daily consumption of three or more cups of coffee was related to the presence of lower liver stiffness, independent of a great number of other lifestyle and environmental factors. Previous studies have found a protective effect of coffee on established liver disease and we now show for the first time that this effect is already measurable in the general population.

For more information on liver health, check out the European Association for the Study of the Liver or the American Liver Foundation.

For more information on other ways that herbal tea can help your (love) life out, check out our post on these aphrodisiac herbal teas!

Tea Health Benefits

Heal Your Skin With Tea

June 8, 2017

Skin problems aren’t just physical. They’re highly emotional. There’s nothing like a big zit or patch of eczema to steal your confidence right when you have a big speech to give or a date to impress. A trip to the dermatologist can be expensive, and perusing the skin care aisle at your local pharmacy can feel overwhelming. But what if the answer to your skinpocalypse was in your teabag? Lucky for us, what’s inside tea—notably, antioxidants—gives your favorite drink a ton of dermatological benefits. Same goes for tea-infused topicals like facemasks and pastes. The skincare boost you’ve been looking for may already be in your cabinet!

Tea Health Wellness

 

Here’s why, briefly:

Tea contains antioxidants. That’s one of those words everybody uses, but what does it really mean? Your body contains something called “free radicals.” These are toxic atoms or molecules that damage cells by oxidizing them, which impedes their ability to function properly and ultimately causes annoying problems like acne and other fun skin problems. But antioxidants work against free radicals by making them to non-toxic. Basically, they cancel out the bad stuff free radicals do, getting rid of your zits and reducing your risk for skin cancer along the way.

Since tea contains antioxidants, it’s an ideal beverage to boost your skin’s health and appearance. Here’s how a few of our favorite teas can improve your skin:

1) Green Tea

Green tea decreases age-related skin inflammation and protects against sunburns. Plus, it reduces dark under-eye patches. When used as a topical in mask form, green tea exfoliates skin and reduces excess oil. Buh-bye shine, hello beautiful, radiant skin. For another trick, try splashing cold green tea directly on your face and watching your large pores shrink right before your eyes. Green tea’s also known to fight acne. Look for products containing at least 1% ECGG (an antioxidant in green tea) and your zits won’t know what hit ‘em. And did we mention consuming green tea fights cancer? What a showoff.

2) Chamomile

People have been using chamomile tea to treat skin problems since the days of the ancient Egyptian and Roman empires. Chamomile tea’s great for fighting dry, patchy skin and inflammatory conditions like rashes and acne. It can also be used to diminish the appearance of pesky acne scars. You can even use a cold chamomile tea bag as a compress to soothe and minimize bug bites. Who knew?

3) Oolong Tea

Feeling younger than you look? An oolong-infused paste can reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and age spots.

4) Kombucha

As we age, our skin naturally gets less elastic. But kombucha improves your skin’s elasticity, giving you a more youthful appearance by reducing lines and wrinkles.

5) Ginger Tea

Patchy, uneven skin got you down? Try drinking ginger tea, known to reduce uneven skin tone. And you thought you needed makeup for that!

7) Oregon Grape Tea

Your gut and your skin are pretty well connected. Oftentimes, a problem in your intestines shows up on your face. Oregon Grape tea contains herbs that detoxify the liver and kidneys, helping clear up the root causes of problems like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other inflammatory issues.

8) Burdock Root Tea

Burdock removes waste from cells inside the liver, kidney, gall bladder, and lymph system, eradicating the toxins that would otherwise build up and cause perspiration, which in turn causes a bevy of skin problems like acne and eczema. Burdock tea starts acts at the cellular level and works from the inside out to keep your body from becoming overridden with bad stuff that eventually shows itself as a rash, pimple, boil, or carbuncle.

 

 

Tea Health Benefits

Why You Should Start Drinking Tea Now

May 22, 2017

The ceremony of tea evokes a grey-haired British grandmother with Victorian fine silver teapots; porcelain cups hand-painted with violets; Emily Post place settings on rustic William and Mary style antique chestnut dining tables; doilies on every available surface; dusty heirlooms and curio cabinets – you get the picture. And, certainly, the British have owned the domain of tea—originally discovered by China—since the 1600s and the advent of the East India Company.

And yet tea is not just for elderly grandmothers or the British. The beverage appeals to all generations and cultures. What’s more, the beverage provides certain health benefits as we age. These can only be fully taken advantage of by creating your tea drinking habit sooner rather than later. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your tea. The fountain of youth may very well be flowing with tea.

Detoxification

In the article, “Anti-Aging Research Brief” published by the Academy of Anti-Aging, tea is brimming with antioxidant polyphenols called catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins. Antioxidants ultimately help prevent cancerous cells from forming, repair damage to cells and to protect blood vessel walls from free radicals. The article cites a study from King’s College in London that compared a group of black tea drinkers with a group of coffee drinkers. Scientists studied the health of both groups after one year, and found “that the tea drinkers’ risk of a heart attack approached half of the non-tea drinkers.” The scientists speculated “that tea’s beneficial cardio effects are due to the beverage’s large amounts of flavonoids.”

So what teas contain the highest levels of antioxidants? Many brands you can purchase at large chain grocery stores contain high levels of antioxidants, including Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, with 217 milligrams (mg) of antioxidants, Lipton Green Tea (201 mg), Bigelow Darjeeling Blend (164 mg). Surprisingly, a few brands of popular teas have absolutely no antioxidant content, including Lipton Lemon Iced Tea and Snapple Peach Iced Tea.

Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that caffeine and consuming two cups of coffee can “harden a person’s arteries for several hours afterwards. This puts extra pressure on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.” Further, “it is evident today that many of our cancers are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen-like compounds, it is important for our bodies to have as low of an estrogen load as possible.” So drinking more than two cups of coffee can increase estrogen and lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Reducing caffeine is integral to cancer prevention, and replacing coffee with tea can easily half caffeine consumption and decrease the risk of cancer.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Teas, especially the variety of green tea known as matcha, can help regulate blood sugar. Matcha is actually powdered green tea leaves prepared with boiled water and a bamboo whisk, and is known to stabilize metabolism for those with hypo- or hyperglycemic maladies. Taking an active role in regulating blood sugar at a younger age can help prevent complications down the road.

Weight Loss

An ingredient in matcha tea, EGCG, boosts metabolism. While matcha has a high level of caffeine and may contribute to higher estrogen levels, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

Tea Health Benefits

Aphrodisiac Herbal Teas For Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017

If you and your Valentine are looking for ways to add even more spice to the romantic holiday, consider sipping on an herbal tea that doubles as an aphrodisiac. According to a study from Ontario, Canada’s University of Guelph Department of Food Science, the following herbs will improve human sexual function: panax ginseng, saffron, and yohimbe. The study also found that consuming the following herbs increased sexual desire in humans: the Brazilian plant muira puama, the mustard plant maca root, and cacao aka chocolate. Armed with this information, we set out to find herbal teas made from these plants in order to increase you and your loved one’s sexual appetite or enhance your performance in the boudoir. Enjoy!

1) Panax Ginseng Tea

Panax Ginseng Tea

Ginseng in a market in South Korea by Richardfabi via Creative Commons 3.0 

Ginseng is a root that has two main varieties: American ginseng (panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean ginseng (panax ginseng). According to WebMD, American ginseng is “less stimulating” than Korean ginseng. And on Valentine’s Day, we’re going for stimulating. You can apply panax ginseng directly to the penis as a homeopathic way to curb premature ejaculation, but if you’d prefer to drink something, look no further than a panax ginseng tea. Get your panax ginseng tea shipped directly from South Korea with Korean Red Ginseng Root Tea from kkumsa, or opt for looseleaf ginseng tea from Bulgaria or panax ginseng tea bags from Terra Vita.

2) Saffron Tea

Saffron Tea

By Safa Daneshvar via Creative Commons 3.0

Saffron is a purple flower whose red stigmas are used to make medicines and, in our case, tea. While saffron is used to increase sexual desire, WebMd cautions that it may also cause sweating, so be prepared. Terra Vita produces loose leaf saffron tea, Buddha Teas offers a saffron and green tea, and GourmetFood.com carries a number of saffron tea fusions that pair saffron with flavors like peach, mango, cinnamon, citrus, and hibiscus.

3) Yohimbe Tea

Yohimbe TeaYohimbe is an evergreen tree native to central and western Africa. Its bark contains the chemical yohimbine, which increases blood flow to and activates nerves in the penis and vagina. If you’re looking for a tea that will make you tingle, reach for a yohimbe blend. Tea Haven sells Yohimbe Bark Tea in a variety of blends, as does Terra Vita.

4) Muira Puama Tea

Muira Puama Tea

By Luigiman2007 via Creative Commons 3.0

Muira Puama is a tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest that also goes by the name “potency wood.” That sounds promising… This tree’s bark and root have been used medicinally for centuries, and today, the herb is used to curb erectile dysfunction and boost sexual desire. Terra Vita sells muira puama tea, as do Tea Haven and Gift From Nature.

5) Maca Root TeaMaca Root Tea

Maca is a Peruvian plant in the mustard/cabbage family that grows in the Andes Mountains. Its root has been used to treat erectile dysfunction and boost libido. Moringa Source sells maca tea bags, and Buddha Teas whips up Organic Maca Tea as well. Bonus: it smells like butterscotch!

6) Chocolate Tea

Chocolate Tea

We’ve saved the best (known) for last: chocolate! Chocolate not only tastes great, it may increase your desire to get it on. Slight downer: the study from the University of Guelph found that while eating chocolate increased sexual desire, it did not yield actual arousal or satisfaction. So you’ll have to rely on your own skills in that department. There are a bevy of chocolate teas on the market, including: Tazo’s Cocoa Mint Maté, Bigelow’s Chocoalte Chai Tea, and Arbor Teas’ Organic Chocolate Pu Erh Tea.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tea Health Benefits

Will Green Tea Make Trump Smarter?

January 25, 2017

Green tea has many health benefits. Is a better brain one of them? One Indian company certainly thinks so. This summer, Te-A-Me Tea delivered 6,000 green tea bags to Trump Tower for then-Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump to “cleanse” him.

In an accompanying video, titled “Trumping Donald: A Te-A-Me Intervention,” the company further outlined their reasons for the gift:

“Dear Mr. Trump, namaste from India. We are sending you lots and lots of natural green tea. It fights against harmful free radicals. It helps purify mind and body and regain a healthy balance. It has also proven to make people smarter. Please, Mr. Trump, drink the tea. For your sake, for America’s sake, for the world’s sake. Drink the tea, because it’s never too late to cleanse yourself.”

Since the delivery, Trump went on the win the Presidential Election and will be sworn in as the 45th President on Friday, January 20th. Trump’s team didn’t comment on the green tea delivery, so we’re not sure if all those tea bags helped him clinch 304 electoral votes, but as we look ahead to the next four years, would drinking green tea make Trump “smarter,” as Te-A-Me claims?

Science says yes:

Green tea contains both caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which when working together, have been proven to improve brain function particularly well.

A 2014 study published in Psychopharmacology also concluded that green tea helps different parts of the brain work together:

“Green tea extract increased the working memory induced modulation of connectivity from the right superior parietal lobule to the middle frontal gyrus. Notably, the magnitude of green tea induced increase in parieto-frontal connectivity positively correlated with improvement in task performance.”

As President, Trump’s agenda will include a lot of “task performance,” so green tea can only help.

Moreover, at 70, Trump will be the oldest person to occupy the Oval Office, so it would be prudent for him to do whatever he can to ward off neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Lucky for him, green tea may help prevent Alzheimer’s by protecting neurons.

One 2004 study said:

“Green tea polyphenols are now being considered as therapeutic agents in well controlled epidemiological studies, aimed to alter brain aging processes and to serve as possible neuroprotective agents in progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”

Another study from 2008 agreed:

“Human epidemiological and new animal data suggest that tea drinking may decrease the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. In particular, its main catechin polyphenol constituent (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to exert neuroprotective/neurorescue activities in a wide array of cellular and animal models of neurological disorders.”

In a time when 1 in 9 people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, green tea is an easy way to combat neurological degeneration.

Bottom line: If you think Trump is a genius, green tea will make him even smarter, and if you think he could use some cognitive assistance, green tea would be a great choice.

So we agree with Te-A-Me: Donald, drink the tea!

And if you want to try Te-A-Me’s green tea yourself, check it out here.

Tea Health Benefits

Drink These Teas to Be Happy in 2017

December 29, 2016

Do you want 2017 to be your best year yet? Are you ready to start feeling great and getting what you want? Turns out, certain smells can make you happy, so we’re here with the right-smelling teas to make the good times roll all year long. The key to wellness in 2017 could be right under your nose.

1) For Less Stress: PINE NEEDLE TEA

pine needle tea

Ever notice how at peace you feel when walking through a forest? You’re not the only one: researchers at Kyoto University conducted a study to measure the health effects of walking through pine forests, colloquioly referred to as “forest bathing” in Japan. They concluded that “forest environments are advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress.” If you can’t teleport to a pine-filled forest when you’re feeling stressed this year, trying drinking pine needle tea. Smelling pine in your cup may be enough to transport you away from your stress into a more relaxed state.

2) For More Rest: LAVENDER TEAlavender tea

If your New Year’s resolution is to stop watching Netflix until 2 am and get some decent shut eye, try drinking lavender tea before bed this year. According to WebMd, inhaling lavender is used to treat insomnia, pain, and even dementia-related agitation. This calming scent is just what the doctor ordered, so stock up on lavender tea this year: Teavana has a citrus lavender sage herbal tea and a Lavender Dreams White Tea for your sipping pleasure, while Yogi Tea serves up Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea and Celestial Seasonings whips up its own Organic Herbal Chamomile and Lavender Tea. Lucky for you, the advantageous properties of lavender have been talked up for a long time, so finding lavender tea is relatively easy.

3) For a Better Memory: ROSEMARY TEA

rosemary tea

Smelling rosemary may help you remember important things this year. A study conducted by psychologists at Northumbria University in Newcastle found that people who smelled rosemary could perform memory tasks much better than those who did not. If you’ve got a lot on your plate this year, try sipping rosemary tea and see if it becomes easier to remember all the things on your list.  From remembering your four kids’ different pick-up schedules to remembering to take your medicine at the right time, rosemary tea may be the key to keeping it all straight. For your consideration: Tea Forte’s Organic Tangerine Rosemary White Tea and Buddha Teas’ Organic Rosemary Tea.

4) For Athletic Performance: PEPPERMINT TEA

Mint Leaf Stock Photo

One of the most common goals for the New Year is getting in shape. Whether you’re working toward your first half marathon or a new weightlifting goal, adding peppermint tea to your regimen may help you get there. A study from the University of Mohaghegh’s Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences concluded that athletes who drank water infused with peppermint oil enjoyed better athletic performance and respiratory function. Smelling peppermint and drinking mint tea may keep you from getting out of breath on the treadmill or in the pool, so invest in some peppermint tea for you or the athlete in your life this year. Try Bigelow’s Mint Medley Herbal Tea or Twinings’ Pure Peppermint Tea and then hit the ground running.

 

Tea Health Benefits

8 Ways Tea is Better Than Coffee

March 31, 2016

Okay tea lovers, spread the word. I know it’s true, you know it’s true. But it’s time to show the world why tea should always be everyone’s beverage of choice. While coffee might have a cult following in many parts of the country (if not world), tea ultimately comes out on top in countless ways. From its proven health benefits to its hypnotizing aroma, it’s time to prove to those coffee hounds why tea beats coffee once and for all.

It’s hydrating.

Think about it: tea is just pure water with added flavor from all-natural herbs and plants. Sipping on some tea (hot or cold) will replenish your body’s fluids, leading to additional benefits like smoother skin and weight loss. And whereas you should limit your consumption of coffee to one or two cups a day, experts say you can drink up to FIVE cups of tea a day before you should think of cutting yourself off.

It won’t make you crash.

Although tea typically has less caffeine than coffee (which can be seen as a benefit in and of itself), it can actually help you sustain your energy longer because it won’t lead to any peaks or crashes. While both drinks will give you the boost you need to get your day started, coffee has a much larger effect as a depressant, meaning the high will last shorter and drop quicker. So if you want to sustain your energy throughout the day, tea is definitely the way to go.

It has tons of antioxidants.

All teas contain an abundance of natural antioxidants (way more than coffee), leaving you feeling and looking your best at all times. These antioxidants have been proven do things like boost the immune system, slow down the aging process, make your bones stronger and even prevent cancer.

It can reduce stress.

While the physical cause behind this remains unknown, it’s a well-known fact that tea has been known to have calming effects on the body. Studies have even shown decreased heart rates in participants simply from smelling the aromas from lavender and jasmine variations. This can explain why it is so often used cross-culturally as a bonding tool, also reflecting why some cultures have tea so deeply ingrained as part of their customs. Tea has also been found to work as an anti-depressant, meaning brewing a cup the next time you’re feeling a little low might just help boost your mood.

It’s less likely to stain your clothes (and teeth).

At least, in comparison to coffee. Tea is a naturally lighter shade than the dark brew of coffee, so there’s a reduced risk of staining your button down on the way to the office. And as long as you’re not drinking gallons of tea a day (but let’s face it, I wouldn’t blame you), your teeth are safe from the unwarranted side effects of discoloration that occur after a cup of joe. Tea even contains fluoride, which actually protects your teeth.

The flavor options are endless.

Because tea can be made out of so many different materials, there’s a substantive range in flavors that just doesn’t exist in a simple coffee bean. You have the option to go more subtle, with floral undertones or opt for a bolder brew that’s full of herbs and spices: the variations are honestly endless. And if you’re missing that creamy quality, it’s easy to turn your favorite teas in tea lattes as well.

It’s easier to make and less expensive.

Coffee requires all the grinding, filtering, brewing, etc. Who has that kind of time? With tea, all you need is some hot water and you’re good to go. And because coffee requires this extra labor, it usually costs way more. Look at the menu at any restaurant or cafe and the coffee can be almost double the cost of a simple, yet delicious cup of tea.

It’s better for the environment.

As if we don’t already have enough personal reasons to choose tea over coffee, there’s also environmental benefits to it too. Producing coffee puts more of a strain on our Earth’s resources than tea. For large-scale coffee-roasting operation, harmful compounds are emitted into the atmosphere, whereas tea processing requires little more than the manual labor to pick the leaves. Tea also weighs much less than coffee, so it requires less fuel for transport and export around the world. So technically, tea also has a lower carbon footprint than coffee.

Let us know what other ways tea ultimately wins in the battle between leaves and beans.

Tea Health Benefits

5 Mindful Uses for Tea Bags

March 13, 2016

In this modern era of consumption, it’s common to squander resources without thinking of the future implications of our waste or the carbon footprints of our behavior. Many eat take-out meals and toss their plastic, Styrofoam and soiled paper in the trash. The more resourceful recycle their packaging, while the most resourceful consider the drain recycling places on the environment and bring their own packaging for take-out, their own cups to Starbucks, grow organic fruits and vegetables and create compost bins to replenish their gardens.

While tossing tea bags after their use probably doesn’t have a massively detrimental effect on the environment—most teas and their paper teabags are biodegradable, save for the little metal staple common in many tea products—it’s a mindful practice to consider using tea bags after you’ve steeped your cup of tea. Mindful living is the concept of considering the implications of all of your behaviors, actions, habits and consumptions. As the ecosystem sustains us, it’s a whole-system approach to mindful and thoughtful behaviors that will benefit the planet, and ultimately benefit sustainable living and human life on planet earth. So if being mindful about tea bags seems like an irrelevant practice, consider it as one step toward a healthier planet and positive, holistic mentality. Tea bags… Healthy planet… World peace! Well, not quite… but here are a few constructive and resourceful ideas for the use of teabags.

Feed Your Garden

Tea grounds actually have several positive benefits for the garden. Save all of your tea bags, brew them together, and water your plants because tea can inhibit the growth of fungus. Another use for grounds (removed from the tea bag packaging) are to fertilize soil and repel mice, gophers and other pests.

Treat Eye Infections, Reduce Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

The tannic acid in tea bags can help treat infections such as pink eye or reduce swelling after a night of sleeplessness. To treat, place warm tea bags on each eye and rest for up to 20 minutes.

Treat Rashes and Insect Bites

Tea has a soothing effect on itchy rashes and insect bites. Place warm tea bags on the afflicted area and allow absorption for up to 20 minutes.

Facial Toner

If you’re a jet-setting traveler and forgot your facial toner, tea bags are a great substitute. Grab a bag from the hotel kitchenette, or request one from a restaurant, brew it up, and wipe over your face. The astringent and tannic properties in tea will work to tone your skin.

Drawer Sachets

Tea leaves have numerous odor-absorbing properties. Create drawer sachets by placing a few drops of essential oils on the bags. Try combining geranium, clove and orange together for a bright scent, or ylang ylang and rose for a muskier, floral scent. The same essential oil combination can be used to create potpourri: empty tea leaves together into a glass bowl and add a few dried flowers and orange peels for color, and voilà: a home fragrance that’s sustainable, biodegradable and attractive.

Did we miss any additional uses for tea bags? Let us know in the comments below!