A friend of mine sent me an e-mail. It seems (at the risk of over-sharing) he had developed a stye in his eye, and it hurt. So he went online to hunt for home remedies, and several websites recommended placing a wet teabag (it had to be black tea, not herbal) on the eye. He tried it and the next day his eye was 90 percent better. Would it have gotten better by the next day anyway, he asked? Probably. But he didn't care — he was just happy it got better.
I got curious. There have to be some other home remedies that involve tea, right?
I shouldn't have asked. This steps into the not-for-the-squeamish realm.
Did you see "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," where the main character's dad is convinced that a squirt of Windex will cure anything? With that in mind, I submit to you an abbreviated list of things the Internet says you can fix with tea (and we all know that everything you read on the Internet is true. Including this blog.).
[One last note: Although most sites talk about tea bags, I'm phrasing this as tea sachets, because as you know, our sachets are much higher quality than that chopped up stuff you'll find in a tea bag.]
- Puffy eyes and dark under-eye circles? Put a wet green or black tea sachet on 'em. Poof! No more puffiness.
- Cold sores? Soak a tea sachet, squeeze it out, put it on the cold sore for up to 30 minutes. Bam. No more cold sore.
- Did you just have a tooth extracted? Stop the bleeding by chomping down on a wet green or black tea sachet. Shazam. No more bleeding.
- Razor burn? Reduce the ouch with a wet tea sachet.
- Stinky feet? Stick 'em in water with plenty of tea sachets. The strong brew zaps odor.
- Brushed up against poison ivy? Dab the rash with a wet tea sachet to relieve the pain.
I admit, I'm a skeptic. I'm also a lazy blogger who is not going to brush up against poison ivy, seek out a cold sore or have a tooth extracted in order to test these theories.
But I did ask some people I trust about their tea sachet uses, and it turns out the father-in-law of our customer service manager, Jen Okeson, is a dentist who tells his patients that if they loose a tooth, stick a tea sachet on it to stop the bleeding and come in for an appointment. A quick Google and I learn that the tannic acid in tea can help with blood clotting. Jen also says when her dog cuts his paw, she uses a tea sachet to stop the bleeding.
And then our owner and founder, Richard Rosenfeld, tells me he sometimes keeps tea in his fridge to absorb odors, just like baking soda. (After all, Earl Grey tea came into being when some black tea being shipped with some oranges absorbed the citrus odor.)
Here's what I've used tea for: making paper look old. When your kids need to create a pirate's buried treasure map for school, soak the paper in some black tea for a weathered look. And don't forget to singe some of the edges with your electric stove top. We all know how those pirates accidentally set documents on fire all the time. Yarg!
Does anybody else out there have some good uses for tea we should know about? Post 'em here!
Tess RoschJune 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm
Naomi, interesting post. Are the sachets to be used wet or dry? Your photo shows dry, but I believe many of your great uses are for wetted sachets.
I am certain that you know Earl Gray is flavored with bergamot.
We DO love making paper look old with tea for our Early America photos, and we stain fabric as well. As far as those pirates go, many early newspapers WERE burned because at night the candles (before bright-burning stearin or paraffin was discovered) needed to be darn close to the readables.