IT’S NOT JUST A CUP OF TEA ….
Did you know that white, green and black tea all come from the leaves of Camellia sinensis?
It’s the length of the fermentation process that makes tea different, but they all contain caffeine, tannins and antioxidants. green tea is the least fermented, so has the highest level of anti-oxidents.
Herbal ‘teas’ aren’t really teas, they’re infusions!
They come from different herbs, so have very different and unique uses. Infusions are a very gentle form of Herbal Medicine, containing healing phytochemicals and medicinal properties. They can be anti-inflammatory, restorative, stimulating or relaxing. They don’t contain any caffeine which makes them ideal for those who want to avoid stimulants, especially in the evening.
Not only do teas and infusions offer warmth, hydration and comfort,
they’re also a beauty boost for inside and out!
My favourites are:
This calming tea is often used as a bedtime tonic as it encourages restful sleep, but it can also help to protect your skin from sun damage due to a high concentration of the phytochemical quercetin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties – chill some steeped chamomile tea in the fridge and use it as an eye compress to reduce puffy eyes.
When applied to your skin, green tea reduces inflammation, removing bacteria and excess oil. High levels of antioxidants and polyphenols help to protect skin from free radical damage, slow wrinkles and restore and revive sun damaged skin.
Try this simple toner – add a green tea bag to 1 cup of boiling water, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add 250mls of witch hazel for oily skin or aloe vera for dry skin and store in a sealed jar or spray bottle. Use daily with a cotton pad after cleansing.
Rich in tannins that help to tone the skin, accelerate skin cell regeneration and protect from free radicals that cause premature ageing, black tea can also be used as a soothing bath soak or exfoliant!
Steep a pot of black tea and add to your bathwater, or open up a tea bag and mix with 2 tablespoons of honey. Gently exfoliate your face and then leave it on for 10 minutes. Remove with a hot face cloth and apply your skin care products.
Peppermint tea is often used for soothing the digestive system, but it also helps to cool the body internally and externally. It’s naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, making it a perfect herbal remedy to beat the summer heat.
Peppermint Tea is known to boost blood circulation giving your skin a vibrant glow as well as clearing your mind. It’s also a proven appetite suppressant, the naturally sweet flavour of peppermint makes it a perfect after meal drink to help control those sweet cravings.
Cooling face spritz – great for those who ‘flush up’ in hot weather.
Steep a peppermint tea bag in 1 cup of water for 8 to 10 minutes, covered, discard the bag and and pour the infusion into a spray bottle. Spritz your face when you need a cool down or are suffering from a headache – keep refrigerated for extra cooling benefits.
Ginger tea or an infusion of fresh grated ginger root chases away colds, helps you digest heavy meals,and is a powerful anti-inflammatory for your body and skin.
Your digestive tract plays a big role in how your skin looks. Because ginger aids digestion, it helps speed up the removal of toxins as well as promotes our circulation. Ginger is also high in Vitamin C – one of the antioxidants used for fighting wrinkles (ever noticed how many anti-aging products promote the fact they have Vitamin C?).
Try this ginger detox tea:
Peel and finely slice 1 cm of ginger root, place in a cup and add boiling water. Infuse for a few minutes and add a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of honey, if desired.
Herbal teas are a wonderful addition to your daily skin care regimen. Teas such as green, black, and peppermint are aromatically uplifting and can help to tighten pores. Chamomile and ginger are calming and can help to reduce inflammation.
The next time you steep some herbal tea, keep the used tea bags, open them up and use them in face masks and scrubs.
Are you a tea drinker?
Share your favourite in the comments below – I’ll confess that I’m a green tea addict!