How I ended up writing about tea bags highlights one of life’s greatest ‘wisdoms.’ It is something like this: ‘You never know how an Odyssey will end, the starting point is the only thing you are sure of.’ I know comparing online research to an odyssey is stretching it a bit, but it felt that way to me.
I started out thinking about kidney stones, 17 open tabs later on my browser, I ended up reading about tea bags. Okay, lets talk tea bags. I have seen researches before where the conclusion is that tea is bad for you. Others say tea is good. But I know I love tea and no amount of research can stop me from taking my morning tea. The thing is, I have never heard of synthetic tea. They are all grown naturally in farms mostly in East Africa. So why in the name of all that is good under Africa’s healthy sunshine would something like tea be ever considered bad.
Here is the thing about Tea bags and tea that makes me sad: apparently, I have failed to derive the maximum benefits a man can get from a tea bag. It is a shame really since getting these benefits are not exactly rocket science. Primary school arithmetic more like. I’d really be happy if reading this ensures your tea bag improves the quality of your life.
Chemical Composition of Tea
Hang in there. This isn’t going to be a boring chemistry lesson. It is going to be, hopefully, short and painless. The chemicals that make up tea are complex. Just like anything important in life is. So when you hear or read of all the wonderful things tea does to your health, simply blame it on the polyphenols present in tea. They make of about 40% of the useful chemicals found in tea. And the most important polyphenol is flavanol, also known as tanin. All the health claims around tea is down to the actions of tanin.
Other chemicals found in tea include amino acids (to help you relax), enzymes, carbohydrates (gives tea that sweetish taste), methylxanthines ( responsible for the bitter taste), and about 28 minerals (including fluorine, which is good for the teeth).
That wasn’t too long and boring was it? Now lets get to the important stuff. Tea bags.
Health Benefits of Tea bags
When you look at that humble used tea bag lying forlornly on your saucer, don’t for one moment think it is now useless, only fit for the garbage bin. Nope. These are some of the awesome things you can do with tea bags
- Canker Sores– you know those sores that appear in the mouth and can be very painful? The tanin in tea can help relive the pain. Just place a wet tea bag on the sore and wait for it to do its magic.
- Sunburn– this is vital information for my fair skinned friends. If you’ve stayed out too long in the sun, you can relive any part of the skin suffering from sunburn using tea bags. Placing wet bags on the affected part on the skin can help sooth the skin. Thirty minutes is okay. Though I guess this might pose a problem if a large area of the skin is affected. Imagine the number of tbags you have to use. The point is you can make this one of your skin-beauty regime.
- Oral hygiene– you accidentally knocked a tooth loose? Or your baby just dropped one of those milk teeth? Or you are thinking of a simple way to improve you kids’ and the family’s oral hygiene? Placing a wet tea bag over the spot can greatly relive pains, cleanse the mouth, and stop bleeding.
- For Razor cuts– if you still use razors to shave your chin, this might come in handy. That you would one day cut yourself using razors is as sure as the sun rising from the east. Instead applying some cream or lotion which may be harmful in the long run, just place a wet tea bag over the cut.
- Drain Boils– this is one of the most painless ways to make a boil disappear. As usual, place a wet tea bag over the boil, hold it in place with a strip of polythene. Then leave it overnight. By the time you want up in the morning, the boil should have disappeared.
- Good for the eyes- I knew about this a long time ago. Just place wet tea bags under those puffy eyes. It helps reduce the size of your eyes bags if you have one. You can give your doctor a break and just place wet tea bags over your eyes to also relives tired or achy eyes.
If I have to make a case for only one health benefit of tea bags, I would just say, place one in a cup of hot water, allow it to brew for a few minutes, add sugar (optional). Then sip it slowly. Very refreshing I must confess.