The days are getting longer. The purple crocus and yellow daffodils are finally poking their heads up out of the ground. Spring is in the air, and everything feels fresh and new.
Well, everything except us that is. Because winter takes quite a toll on your body. From heat-damaged thinning hair to cramped fragrant feet, most of us sure could use a spring makeover too.
So let’s make that happen. Head to the pantry and grab the tea bags, because it’s time for a spring TEA-tox. These science-backed “detox” solutions will soon have you feeling refreshed from head to toe, and ready for spring.
Wash away your winter hair:
Between the forced dry heat and those tight winter hats your hair takes a lot of abuse during the long cold winter months. With spring arriving it’s time to wake up those limp thinning locks with a refreshing jolt. And it turns out the peppermint tea in your pantry can help you do just that.
Experts say the menthol in the tea stimulates your scalp, increasing blood flow to help you sprout a fresh crop of new, strong, healthy strands just in time for spring. In fact, a peppermint extract was shown to regrow hair better than the drug minoxidil, in a study published in the journal Toxicological Research.1 Volunteers who received the peppermint treatment had more new hair growth, and the strands came in thicker and stronger than those who got the drug.
To TEA-tox your own hair steep four peppermint tea bags in three cups of boiling water. Allow the tea to cool down and then pour it over your already damp hair. Massage into your scalp and allow to sit for five minutes, then wash out. Try twice a week rinses to help your hair bounce back from all the winter abuse.
Put your best face forward:
Winter can really do a number on your skin. Cold dry air, whipping wind, and artificial heat can leave your face red, blotchy and irritated.
But soothing and smoothing that irritable skin, so you can put your best face forward, just got a whole lot easier. Because believe it or not the same chamomile tea you drink to soothe your nerves is a terrific way to soothe your skin too.
Chamomile is a natural anti-inflammatory. The plant’s daisy-like flowers contain calming oils such as bisabolol, which experts say can erase skin inflammation and redness.2,3
To TEA-tox your face steep three chamomile tea bags in two cups of boiling water and then allow to cool. Soak a washcloth in the tea and gently lay across your face. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Beat couch-potato belly bloat:
In the cool months we tend to eat more—gobbling down all our favorite comfort foods—and we move less. The combination can cause chaos with your digestive system. So it’s really no wonder that when we shed all those winter layers and reemerge for spring, we often are faced with a bloated belly.
No problem, head to your tea rack and grab some fennel tea. Fennel teas have been a staple in herbal medicine bags for centuries. The tea is a natural inflammation fighter, and has long been used by traditional healers to relieve gas and bloating. In fact, the German Commission E—a German agency similar to our FDA—officially recognizes fennel as a bloat buster. And The British Herbal Pharmacopeia agrees, confirming fennel helps relieve gas.
Fennel contains the anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anesthetic compounds anethole, estragol, and fenchoe, which expert say help relax tense intestinal muscles, releasing the pent up gas that’s causing your uncomfortable bloating.4,5,6,7,8,9
Steep a bag of fennel tea in a cup of boiling water. Sip two to three cups a day until the bloat disappears. As a bonus, you may end up shedding a pound or two of that winter weight.
Defeat gnarly cold weather feet:
It’s nearly time to break out the sandals for the season. But having spent months cooped up and sweating in closed shoes, your feet might need a good TEA-tox to truly be sandal ready.
You can drive away winter foot odor with common black tea. The tannic acid in the tea acts as a natural anti-bacterial, attacking foot-odor causing bacteria and creating an unfriendly acidic environment for any new bugs that might want to take up residence.10 Plus, since tannic acid is an astringent the pores in your feet react by shrinking, which could mean less foot sweating in the future.11,12
Steep three black teas bags in three cups of boiling water for 15 minutes. Dump into a large pot or soaking tub. Pour in four cups of cool water. Carefully check to make sure the tea mixture isn’t too hot, then slip your feet in and soak for 15 minutes to a half an hour. You’ll be left with flip-flop ready, sweet smelling tootsies.
Give yourself a spring makeover with these easy, and effective, TEA-tox tricks.