Jo Webber, medical herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner and head of herbal education for Pukka Herbs shares the unique health & beauty benefits of a herbal tea bag.
Having a cup of tea is one way of getting the most out of a herbal tea bag, but did you ever think of making a bath soak or face mask with it? No neither did we, that’s why we had a chat with Jo Webber, herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner and head of herbal education at Pukka Herbs, what big beauty and wellness benefits you can get from a simple tea bag.
Turmeric face mask
For centuries, turmeric beauty masks have been used across Asia, such as in the Ayurvedic tradition. Using turmeric this way can help to brighten the skin and make it look and feel fresh and clean. As a strong antibacterial, this wonder spice can help soothe acne and eczema. It’s antioxidant properties also help support skin rejuvenation, helping to soften lines and wrinkles and give your face a more youthful appearance.
This DIY face mask recipe also includes avocado which contains natural oils that penetrate deep into the skin, helping to soften and hydrate. Yoghurt contains lactic acid, that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as moisturising your skin.
Ayurveda has a saying that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t be happy to put into your mouth. This makes sense as the skin is such a receptive organ and is very good at absorbing what we put on it. Many cosmetics contain hidden chemicals that can be absorbed through our skin surface, so it’s important to really pay attention to ingredients and manufacturing processes. Why not make some of your own beauty products at home?
What you need:
1 Pukka Turmeric Gold tea bag contents
2 tablespoons organic avocado
2 tablespoons organic plain yoghurt
To make this simple recipe, simply mix the ingredients together to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. It’s best to use straight away or the avocado will oxidise and go brown.
Soothing Herbal Foot Bath
A herbal foot bath is a feel-good remedy that supports circulation, supports immunity, relaxes the nervous system and supports good sleep. Pukka Three Ginger tea bags are especially good for this as ginger both warms and energizes. It’s great when it gets chilly but also if you’re not moving around as much as normal- such as working from home at the moment.
First prepare a ginger infusion – like a strong ginger tea, with a litre of water and 4 Three Ginger Teabags. It’s great if you can add some freshly grated ginger too. Then simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil as you will lose the essential oils. Pour this infusion into a large bowl or saucepan that will comfortably accommodate both feet and add enough hot water to cover your ankles. Once it’s cooled down to a comfortable level (around 40 degrees) place your feet in and relax for 15 minutes to allow the ginger to warm and energise you.
If you think of your feet as like the roots of a tree, a regular foot bath with herbs helps keep your roots strong. You can do this daily to help unwind before bed but avoid doing this an hour before or after eating or consuming alcohol.
Customised Bath Tea Bags
A hot bath with health-giving herbs is one of the greatest gifts you can give oneself. These are simple to make but will do wonders for your body and mind and make great presents.
What you need:
½-1 cup of Epsom salts (rich in magnesium helping with muscles aches and pain, swelling and exercise performance and recovery) or Himalayan pink salt (also rich in trace minerals with many health benefits)
3 tea bags of your choice
5 drops of lavender essential oil (or oil of your choice)
1 muslin bag and string or use a bit of muslin tied up with a ribbon
To make, add your salts into a bowl and mix in the contents of the tea bags. You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oils that are safe to use in the bath like lavender or rose. Transfer into the muslin bag and tie. Place in a hot running bath and enjoy. To reuse, empty the herbs out, wash and refill
Soothing eye compress
Teabags are an affordable, natural option that you can easily try at home. Best of all you get to drink the delicious tea first as you can use the bag after it has been used. You can do this whenever your eyes feel in need of some TLC.
Steep two bags of tea as you would normally if you were going to drink the tea. Then squeeze out the excess liquid from the bags. Allow them to cool down so they’re warm, or chill them in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes. For reducing dark circles, bags under the eyes, puffiness, soothing red eyes I would recommend cool tea bags. Holding a cold tea bag over the area may make the vessels constrict. For general relaxation, I would recommend using them warm. Apply the tea bags to closed eyes and relax for 15 to 30 minutes. It’s a great time to listen to some calming music, meditation or audiobook. A restorative yoga pose could help you relax from the stresses of your day while you’re doing your teabag treatment.
Safety tips: Never use hot tea bags, remove contacts and eye makeup before doing the treatment and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
What types of tea can I use? There are several types of tea that can be used to treat eye concerns. It’s best to use organic tea when possible to avoid any chemicals.
Pukka Three Chamomile or Pukka Supreme Matcha Green tea can be effective in treating and refreshing sore or red eyes. Their anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce any swelling or inflammation that accompanies irritated eyes. But don’t worry if you haven’t got either of these as you can use any teabag for this.
Make a Pukka Mocktail – Pukka Iced Tea
During hot weather you may not feel like a cup of herbal tea but if you still want to enjoy some herbal refreshment, why not try and make a delicious herbal iced tea?
Cover 3 Pukka herbal tea bags with 750ml of boiling water (Mint Refresh, Three Mint, Three Ginger, Lemongrass and Ginger, Turmeric Active or Feel New will be the best). Leave to infuse for 30 minutes in a covered container. Strain, and add honey to flavour, along with lemon or lime slices if desired. Chill in the fridge, and serve chilled, either with or without ice.
When you’ve finished with these ideas… remember you can recycle our teabags in your food recycling bins/caddies. And you can home compost our teabags too.
words by Jo Webber