Oh hail, the power of tea

This old-fashioned drink fights cavities, eases anxiety and soothes irritated skin
Feb 19, 2013

Who knew tea could be so much more than a drink on a cold winter night?

Face brightener

Try this skin saver from Skinsational Skin and Body Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. Soak a washcloth in warm chamomile tea with three drops of lavender oil; wring dry, and press onto face. Chamomile tea contains azulene, an anti-inflammatory that calms skin.

Cavity fighter

Want healthy teeth? Sip some antioxidant-rich white tea. “Polyphenol antioxidants in tea inhibit the growth of oral bacteria, like those that cause tooth decay,” says Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD, a microbiologist New York City’s Pace University, who has led research on the subject.

First-aid fix

Treat minor scrapes, bug bites, and sunburn with green tea, which contains tannins that act as a natural antiseptic and relieve itching and swelling. Just apply cooled tea with a cotton ball, says Leah Sherman, a naturopathic physician in Portland, Ore.

Tension buster

In a British study, people who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks calmed down more quickly in stressful situations than those who didn’t drink tea. Black, green, and oolong teas all contain theanine, an amino acid that helps the brain and body relax.