Tea has been used for centuries as a way to treat everything from insomnia to sinus trouble. If you’ve been drinking the tea and tossing out the tea bag, though, you’ve been missing out on many of the potential benefits tea can offer.

Using tea externally can soothe burned skin, help get rid of warts, and even help your feet smell better. These are just a few natural and cost effective uses for tea bags that can make your life a little more comfortable.

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Unusual Uses for Tea Bags

1.) Reduce Acne

Tea bags alone can help reduce acne, but the most effective way to see acne outbreaks reduced is to mix the tea treatment with citrus fruits or honey. The tea contains antioxidants, which counteract the oily toxins that cause pimples to form. Citrus fruits naturally dry out the pores, which helps the tea do its work. Livestrong reports that drinking the tea can also be effective because there are flavonoids in tea that can also work to support medical acne treatments by helping to keep the immune system stronger and increase blood circulation.

2.) Heal Black Eyes

Tannins in both black and green tea can help reduce the swelling and discoloration of bruises. According to Annie’s Remedy, you should apply a cold, wet tea bag to the bruised area for twenty minutes twice a day until the bruise begins to diminish. The tea helps shrink inflammation and reduce capillary action so the bruise goes away more quickly. As the blood vessels shrink, the coloring will fade.

3.) Reduce Pink Eye

Tea’s antibacterial properties are packed into little bags that are the perfect size for treating this common childhood ailment. Pink eye is highly contagious and can last up to a week. Place the cool tea bag over the closed eye for at least ten minutes as often as necessary, according to Annie’s Remedy. The tea will ease discomfort as well as fight the infection.

4.) Get Rid of Warts

Treating warts with green tea takes a little time, but over a matter of weeks the warts will begin to shrink noticeably. Divine Caroline recommends using a warm tea bag for the best results. Steep your tea bags normally, then while they are still warm and damp, apply the bags to your wart. Leave the bag on the wart for ten minutes three times a day. The same antioxidants that fight acne will attack the wart, which will shrink and eventually fall off.

5.) Ease Razor Burn

Much like easing the pain of a sunburn, a tea bag can reduce the pain of razor burn. Reader’s Digest recommends applying a cool tea bag to any cuts or nicks from your razor, too. And remember to change those razor blades more often!

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6.) Cool Burned Skin

If you find yourself with a bad sunburn, your afternoon tea can help ease the pain. Steep your tea, let the tea bags cool, then apply the wet tea bags to the burned skin. You can also use tea bags to infuse bathwater and soak your whole body in a soothing tea bath. Tea bags are effective for any first-degree burn. Reader’s Digest recommends using black tea for the best results. If your burn begins to form blisters, you should consult your doctor.

7.) Heal Canker Sores

Canker sores are painful ulcers that can form on the inside of your mouth. They aren’t contagious, but they can make eating miserable. According to The Oz Blog, it can take weeks for a canker sore to completely heal. You can help the healing process by placing a cold, wet tea bag against the cold sore for a few minutes several times a day.

8.) Improve Foot Odor

Most foot odor problems are caused by excessive bacteria that produces a rotten odor. Tea bags are an easy, inexpensive way to kill off the bacteria quickly. Tea’s powerful tannins are deadly to the bacteria on your feet. This remedy works best when you use the bags to create a soak for your feet instead of applying the bags directly. Divine Caroline suggests a daily twenty-minute foot bath in black tea for the best results.

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