By Valentina Kimberley Pfeiffer
Legend has it that tea was a gift from dragons, where the leaves are actually the dragon’s eyelashes and that’s how it has healing properties etc. When you think of tea what comes to mind? Is it the thought of having tea and cookies in the evening, spilling tea a.k.a gossiping with your friends, Japanese women in kimono pouring teas, of just plain China comes to mind?
Tea has been known in China ever since the 2,700 BCE and is known for its medicinal and healing properties. It has many stories of how it came to be, from the Chinese emperor Shen Nung who rested beneath the trees and wind blew leaves into his cup, to the prince of Dharma who cut off his eyelashes due to frustration that later grew a bush which is an almost similar story about the dragon’s eyelashes.
Okay, before we drift off into the myths and legends of it all let’s get back on track about tea and its beauty benefits. Teas has many beneficial properties not only for health but also treats conditions for skin and hair too.
So, what are the beautiful wonders of tea?
- Green Tea
Green tea known as the mother of teas for all its health properties and because it is one of the most natural as the leaves are the least processed. A few key benefits that green tea possesses are that it helps keep you fit, reduces LDL also known as bad cholesterol, enhances brain cognitive functions, in particular the working memory which helps with dementia.
Applied as a face mask it works as an exfoliator, reduces excess sebum production and treats dark circles beneath the eyes. Brew green tea and let it cool then fill it into a spritzer bottle and spray all over your cleaned face or you can opt to soak cotton pad and leave it on your skin as a mask. Leave it for 20 minutes then rinse off with cold water.
The same method works well as a hair rinse. Same steps follow – brew, leave to cool, rinse hair with tea, wash off with cold water. This alone adds luster to hair but when mixed with lemon juice would help reduce dandruff.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is known as the healer because it is known for its healing properties. It is a stress reliever, promotes skin health, boost immune system, promotes healthy hair, helps with insomnia and treats cold.
When used topically the tea helps prevent free radicals, relieve skin irritations such as eczema and rosacea, fade spots, eliminate acne scars and fight breakouts due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which helps achieve flawless look. What you’ll need to do is mix 1 teaspoon of chamomile tea with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, apply the mixture on skin, leave it for 15 to 20 minutes then wash off with cold water.
As for our hair, chamomile helps reduce dandruff, promote hair growth and prevent split ends. Steep 2 tea bags in hot water, let it cool (warm is good), leave in hair for 30 mins then rinse out once done. If you’d like to lighten hair, you may add lemon juice and honey and bask under the sun for better results.
3. Black Tea
Black tea also known as the detoxifier helps maintain healthy gut, lowers LDL also known as bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, improves focus, and detoxes the body by removing unwanted toxins.
Black tea prevents early aging such as wrinkles when applied on skin. How? By applying tea bags on face. As for pigmentation direct application of tea on
the affected area helps. However, to remove blemishes, boil tea, let it cool, then use a cotton ball or pad and dab on face.
This tea also keeps hair roots strong, good for those who struggle with hair fall as it nourishes and strengthens hair strands. You’ll need to soak about 5 bags overnight. Do this after hair is washed while still damp. Pour it from roots to ends, soak it and massage scalp, leave on for 30 mins and cover with a shower hair cap or plastic cap then wash off with cold water.
4. Lemongrass Tea
The benefits of this tea is that it treats oral infections and cavities, relieves pms symptoms, helps fight against some cancer cell lines and help control diabetes.
Lemongrass tea helps minimize pores, gets rid of blemishes and acne, and keeps oil level balanced. Brew tea, leave it to cool then apply cool mixture on skin. Leave for about 20 mins and rinse off with cold water.
The tea also contains an abundance of vitamins that help nourish the skin and scalp as it strengthens hair follicles, promotes hair growth, conditions scalp, adds shine, and reduces production of excess oil which is good for those with oily scalp. What you’ll need to do is boil a few lemongrass tea bags (if your hair is longer you may opt to add more bags), leave it to cool then fill it into a spray bottle for easier application. Works best when applied onto dried hair. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse off and dry hair with an old shirt.
Ensure the tea bags are 100% pure lemongrass. Any artificial sweeteners or ingredients could cause irritation.
Look out for a part two for more insights on more beau-tea benefits.