We all love drinking tea, as do millions of people around the world. It’s an increasingly popular part of staying healthy. It’s so amazing, that we want to find as many ways as possible to enjoy its flavors and goodness!
I’m going to take you through some of my favorite green tea products and ways to use it in your life.
First, let’s look at why you might want to get creative with green tea.
Health benefits of green tea
Green tea is a refreshing favorite, and much has been made of its potential health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those now.
As one of the ‘true teas’, green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Over the thousands of years of tea’s history, more and more has been discovered about these wonderful leaves.
The special ingredient is tea’s natural plant substances, polyphenols and their catechin components. They have been found to contain antioxidants, the potential heroes of good health.
Antioxidants fight against the effects of free radicals. These are waste products produced in the cell aging and decay associated with health conditions and diseases such as:
- Heart disease
- Immune deficiency
Many foods and consumable products contain antioxidants, including tea of course! While it can’t be said to fight these issues on its own, drinking green tea can be part of a healthy and balanced diet.
But what about the health benefits of green tea when using it other than in our favorite drink? Since the goodness of green tea is based on its chemical makeup, it doesn’t matter how we access it.
Used directly on the skin, one type of polyphenol, ECGC, has been found to lower lipid levels. This could decrease the amount of oil the skin produces – one of the aggravating factors in acne. As well as this, it’s a natural way to treat the lesions and irritation associated with the condition.
Green tea extracts such as these available to buy are another way to take in green tea. Do remember to check that these are right for you and seek medical advice before taking any supplements.
Green tea as a fat burner
One of the major things people look for from green tea products is the ability to aid weight loss. Studies have shown that the ECGC compound may help to inhibit an enzyme which blocks the metabolism of fat and helping to break it down.
Another element in fat-fighting is green tea’s caffeine. There has been research into this stimulant’s effects in increasing metabolic rate.
Take a look at supplements like this, designed to be taken as part of a healthy weight loss dietary regime. As always, they won’t do the job alone, but if they’re right for you, they could help.
We’ve found out the potential health benefits of green tea available in tea and otherwise. Now let’s discover some of the awesome green tea products which allow you to get this goodness!
1. Green tea face masks
Like tea itself, a face mask is a soothing way to treat yourself. And it can also do great things for your skin.
A sheet mask is a wonderful way to cool sunburned or irritated skin. They’re simple and easy to use because all you need to do is apply the sheet or piece and remove.
Even better, you don’t need to buy them ready-made. We’ve found a cool (literally) recipe we for making a green tea sheet mask.
- Place two tea bags or two spoonfuls of green tea (use a strainer if you like) in a large bowl.
- Boil 16oz of water and pour it over the tea.
- Leave the infusion to steep and cool completely – at least 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the bags or strain the tea (into another bowl if you haven’t used an infuser or strainer).
- Put a soft, clean cloth – large enough to cover your face – in the liquid and allow it to soak up as much as possible.
- Wring out to reduce too much dripping or loss of water, but it should still be completely saturated.
- Gently place the cloth over your face, and leave it for five to ten minutes before removing.
It’s safe to do this several times a day and as often as you like. Basically, whenever you need a cool and soothing pick-me-up for your skin. Always make sure that you’re able to breathe properly when the cloth is covering your face.
Here are a couple of methods to try if you want to get creative with a traditional face mask.
Remove the leaves from the bag or use fresh ones. Use water to moisten the slightly – there’s no need to soak or infuse them. Mix the leaves with honey or aloe vera gel and spread on your skin. Leave the mask on for 10-20 minutes.
For a different, thicker paste, add 1-2 tsp of baking soda and blend with the leaves in a food processor.
It’s safe to do these mask treatments a couple of times a week.
There are also tons of ready-made green sheet masks out there. They’re really useful to pack for traveling or when you need a quick fix! We love these individual, perfectly sized collagen eye masks. Just apply one under each eye to let the tannins act as an astringent and reduce puffiness.
Tip: you can do a really quick version of this just by refrigerating infused tea bags and placing one on each eye. Leave for 5-10 minutes.
2. Green tea face scrub
Facial scrubs and pastes are popular green tea products. Along with the potential health benefits, we’re all looking for natural ways to maintain a healthy glow and clean skin.
Exfoliation is so important as it removes dead skin cells to reveal the smooth, new ones underneath. This process will also cut through the oil and dirt that builds up on our faces throughout the day.
To make your own, using all-organic ingredients and no chemicals, check out this green tea scrub recipe:
- Make green tea as you normally would using a tea bag or leaves. Bear in mind you’ll need enough to use on your whole face so perhaps 3-4 bags or spoonfuls.
- Once cooled, remove the leaves from the bag, strainer or infuser and put them in a bowl on their own.
- Add a pinch of granulated sugar and a drop of water and mix.
- Keep adding water and stirring until the scrub is thick and pulp-like.
- Rub onto your face in a circular motion, taking care to be gentle.
- Rinse off completely with lukewarm water and pat dry.
Use this scrub once or twice per week on your face or body – even incorporate it into your shower routine. Even though exfoliation should be slightly abrasive, make sure you don’t break the skin by being too rough when applying or drying.
You may also consider these ready-made green tea face scrubs:
3. Green tea for extra flavor
Having taken care of your skin, let’s move onto your taste buds! We all love the rich flavor of green tea, and there are so many ways to enjoy it.
As with all our recipes and green tea products, these versatile leaves can be used in bags or loose – however you prefer to buy it. Here are some of our favorite ideas.
Matcha green tea packs a punch. It’s made from the entire leaf, ground up and consumed so you get all the flavor and goodness. Swirl with grapeseed oil and apple cider vinegar, or your favorite, to add deeper notes to your salad dressing.
For an extra kick to your oatmeal, steep a green tea bag as normal and then cook using the cooled water. You can even pour green tea over cooked rice to make a rich broth soup. Add savory seaweed for a really authentic flavor.
One really fun way to use green tea is in baking. Adding some matcha powder to your cookies, cakes and frosting adds an earthy flavor and a vibrant, natural, green color! Or just dust the powder on top of chocolate cake for a sophisticated finish.
4. Green tea shots
Green tea shots are a super-popular way to get all the goodness and green tea caffeine energy in one quick pick-me-up!
Whisk matcha to a froth as normal, adding more or less water according to preference and cool.
Pour into a shot glass or small cup and serve.
Why not refrigerate a batch so they’re always on hand?
5. Green tea ice cream
We might have saved the best for last, wouldn’t you agree? We all scream for ice cream and green tea adds that subtle, grassy flavor to this sweet treat. You can buy it or make your own. Here’s a green tea ice cream recipe which uses just sugar, egg yolk, milk, double cream – and of course, glorious green tea!
There’s so much more to green tea!
We all love to drink it and reap the potential health benefits of green tea. As we’ve seen, this ancient, magical leaf has made it into every kind of green tea product and recipe.
Today you can get almost anything infused with wonderful green tea.
What are your favorite green tea products?
Tell us yours in the comments below!