I am a total tea enthusiast. My typical day includes around 5 cups of tea, primarily green tea with the occasional herbal tea. When I first started to drink tea I only used tea bags. But as my consumption and knowledge grew, I started to play with loose leaf tea, and even created my own blends. It recently dawned on me that tea could be used in other ways than drinking. If you love tea and have more than you know what to do with, here is a list of interesting ways you can use tea.
1. Tired Eyes Remedy
I am a night owl and more often than not I wake up with puffy eye circles. A glass of water usually does the trick. But on days where my puffy eye circles linger I have found that soaking two tea bags in warm water and placing them over my eyes for 20 minutes does the trick. I like to use black tea bags because the caffeine tightens up the loose skin. However, any type of tea can be used, including herbal tea.
2. Gray Hair Remedy
A friend of mine swears by this tea remedy, though I can’t say that I’ve tried it myself. This works for dark hair. If you have gray strands and aren’t ready to embrace them, you can turn your hair dark again with this natural tea dye. You will need to steep 3 tea bags in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before straining. To use, shampoo your hair as usual, and then pour or spray the mixture on your hair, making sure to saturate it thoroughly. Be careful not to stain your clothes. Blot your hair with a towel and do not rinse. It may take several treatments to achieve desired results.
3. Create “Antique” Fashion
My aunt taught me this trick last week when we attended a Jane Austen Tea & Dance Social. She wanted to dye her gloves in a way that would make them look “antique” and was able to do this by dipping them in black tea. The way you can attain this look is simple. Use 3 tea bags for every 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Allow the tea to cool for a few minutes before soaking the material for 10 minutes or more. The longer you let the material soak, the darker the shade you will get.
4. Antioxidant Bath
I love to drink tea daily because of its powerful antioxidant properties. Naturally, I like to bathe in loose leaf tea for the same reason. I normally like to scoop herbal tea into my bath with rose petals, but occasionally I will hang tea bags over the faucet and let the warm water run through them into the bath. If you need to relax, use Chamomile tea.
5. Cat Litter Deodorizer
I love cats, but I can’t stand smelly cat litter. One natural way to eliminate cat odor is to scoop a tablespoon of dry green tea leaves into the litter box. The tea leaves can help deodorize litter boxes when mixed in with the litter. Your cat should get used to it in no time.
6. Natural Potpourri
Sometimes I find that potpourri from the store is too strong and has an artificial smell to it. The herbs and flowers found in natural loose tea make an excellent potpourri. You can also dry out your used herbal tea bags before adding them to scented sachets or your potpourri mix.
7. Make Beautiful Soap
Several years ago I made my own soap as a hobby. One of my favorite ways to add texture, color and natural scent was to use tea leaves. Tea leaves are a great addition to glycerin soap and can make the soap not only smell better but cleanse better as well.
Can you think of any other creative ways to use tea leaves? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section.