Do you kick-start your day with a cup of hot black tea? If yes then you are unknowingly doing a favor to your skin and hair too. Surprised? Well, you may have never thought of it but your favorite cup of black tea can actually do more wonders than just refreshing and rejuvenating you in the morning. It has been revealed as a great source of the natural beauty factor called ‘antioxidants’ that add nourishment and glow to your skin and health naturally. In this article, we have listed the best beauty benefits of black tea along with its health benefits and side effects.
What is Black Tea?
Originated in China over 4000 years ago and later grown in Darjeeling and Assam in India, this invigorating and aromatic tea was named by the British and Dutch traders after its reddish-orange or dark amber-colored liquor. The preparation process of black tea includes four steps – wilting, bruising, rolling, and oxidation (1). The harvested leaves are withered thoroughly to allow them to release the maximum amount of moisture. Then, they are exposed to high temperature and rolled with the help of machines or by hand for complete oxidation. During this step, the chemicals in the leaves are broken down by the enzymes, thereby producing the signature color and smell. Finally, the oxidized leaves are arranged as per their size to make the best of black tea. Being rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, black tea helps in healing the body by flushing toxins out of it (2). Its caffeine content is less than coffee but more than other types of teas (3).
Tea is a highly popular and the second most consumed beverage in the world. It can be of different types based on the methods of harvesting and processing but all of them are derived from different species of the plant Camellia sinensis. However, black tea is often mixed with other plants for added flavors.
Different Types of Black Tea
All types of black tea produced in China are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant while the kinds of black tea produced in India are prepared from different varieties of Camellia assamica. The second variety of the tea plant always comes with larger leaves for a stronger flavor. However, all other types of tea available in the market (green tea, yellow tea, white tea, and oolong tea) can also be made into black tea. It is all about deeper processing of the leaves that involves thorough oxidation and complete browning.
If you want to make the most of your black tea, avoid boiling the leaves during its preparation and skip milk and sugar during serving.
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Nutrients in Black Tea
The process of complete oxidation forms two compounds called theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea. They not only contribute to its distinctive taste and color but also give it immense nutritional and health benefits. It has been found that black tea has an abundance of antioxidants (known as polyphenols), mainly theaflavin-3 3′-digallate or TFDG, and tannins. Besides, it contains minimal amounts of minerals (sodium, potassium, and fluoride) and essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids). However, black tea does not offer carbohydrates, sugar, dietary fibers, proteins, vitamins, or cholesterol. It also has a very low-calorie count. (4), (5)
10 Amazing Beauty Benefits of Black Tea
Being loaded with diverse skin and hair-friendly nutrients, black tea can make you look more gorgeous and striking without any endeavor. The polyphenols and tannins in it may help you in achieving healthy skin and hair. Given below are the prominent beauty benefits of black tea for you to enjoy:
1. Moisturizes the Skin
If you are suffering from the problem of dry skin, black tea can add intense moisture to it and give it a nice glow. You can also turn your dehydrated skin soft, smooth, and supple with black tea by removing all sorts of impurities from it.
How to Use:
Dip some black tea in warm water and wash your face with the infusion regularly.
2. Reduces Puffy Eyes
When the swollen under-eye area reflects your stress and sleeplessness, a simple black tea bag can be your savior. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties (6), which reduce puffy eyes in a jiffy by contracting blood vessels and tightening the skin. It also reduces black patches and prevents premature wrinkles around the eyes.
How to Use:
Place a couple of black tea bags in the refrigerator for some time and then, place those chilled tea bags on the swollen area under your eyes to get quick relief. You can also dip cotton balls in cold black tea and place them under your eyes for 20 minutes.
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3. Heals Skin Infections
The catechins and flavonoids in black tea hold great antibacterial properties that prevent microbial colonization in the skin and keep infections at bay. When combined with anti-infection medications, it may speed up the processes of soothing and healing significantly (7).
How to Use:
Whenever you experience rashes, itchiness, or redness in the skin, just press a chilled black tea bag on the troubled area. It will provide quick relief and reduce the chances of developing infections simultaneously.
4. Treats Acne and Blemishes
As black tea flushes toxins out of the body with its antioxidant content, you may get blemish-free clear skin in a safe and natural way with it. Use the tea for eliminating spots, marks, scars, acne, pimples, uneven skin tone, etc. It may also help in healing insect bites and whitening the pigmented areas of the skin (8).
How to Use:
Soak a clean cotton ball in cold black tea and dab it all over your face thoroughly. Let it dry completely and then, wash it off with plain water.
5. Delays Premature Aging
Compared to all other types of tea, black tea is known to have more effective anti-aging properties (9). As it comes packed with antioxidants, you may expect a reduction in the expression of the gene creating a collagen-degrading enzyme, thereby preventing wrinkle formation and slowing down aging.
How to Use:
Both consumption and topical application of black tea are helpful in delaying the appearance of the signs of aging. Apply it directly to your skin with the help of a cotton ball or simply add it to your regular face packs and/or masks to enjoy the benefits.
6. Provides Sun Protection
If your skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun for a longer period of time, black tea may give you adequate protection. It has been found to reduce the risks of a number of skin issues associated with excessive UV exposure, which mostly include skin pigmentation, skin cancer, etc. (10), (11)
How to Use:
Infuse freshly brewed black tea in your regular skincare routine for daily sun protection. You may also apply it directly to your skin with the help of a cotton ball and rinse it off once it dries completely.
7. Stops Excessive Hair Fall
If you suffer from frequent hair fall, black tea may work as an effective solution. It helps in combating both free radicals and stress with its strong antioxidant content, which are considered as two leading factors responsible for hair loss (12). Black tea may also help in treating hair fall by averting hair damage and split ends.
How to Use:
Instead of throwing away the used black tea bags, soak them in water for an hour. Now, use this infusion to rinse your hair thoroughly every day.
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8. Promotes Hair Growth
Studies have revealed that black has the potential to stimulate the growth of hair to a large extent (13).
How to Use:
Take some freshly brewed black tea and apply it all over your scalp as well as the length of your hair. Make sure that you use it consistently for a couple of months to see noticeable results.
9. Adds Shine and Luster
Regular use of black tea may add a beautiful shine and vibrance to the hair naturally.
How to Use:
Prepare black tea liquor and cool it down to room temperature. Now, cleanse your hair with a mild shampoo and give it a final rinse with the black tea liquor.
10. Averts Untimely Greying
The color of black tea makes it a brilliant natural hair dying agent. The best thing about this dye is that you can see the results instantly.
How to Use:
Add (1/2) cup of freshly brewed black tea to your henna powder and apply it all over your scalp. Let it sit for a couple of hours and then, wash it off with a mild shampoo.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
As mentioned previously, black tea contains lesser caffeine than that present in a cup of coffee. This makes it highly beneficial for our overall health as well as a favored choice among health-conscious people. Here are the health benefits a cup of black tea can offer to you:
- The consumption of 3 or more cups of black tea a day may keep the heart healthy by reducing the risks of a number of issues including coronary heart diseases, myocardial infarction, ischemia, and cardiovascular mortality. (14)
- Black tea has certain compounds called catechins and theaflavins in it, which may help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making the body more insulin sensitive and preventing beta-cell dysfunction. (15)
- Regular consumption of black tea may help in keeping hypertension away by regulating the levels of both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. (16)
- Black tea may also help in lowering the level of low-density lipoprotein or LDL ( bad cholesterol) in the bloodstream with its anti-hypercholesterolemic effects. (17)
- While flushing toxic materials out of the body, black tea helps in restoring the normal cell functions by boosting the natural immunity of the body. (18)
- You may improve your digestive health by increasing the count and variety of good gut microbes with the prebiotic properties of black tea. (19)
- When it comes to losing weight, black tea may help a lot. It mostly promotes weight loss by reducing the inflammation-inducing genes in the body.
- The tea contains theaflavins, which has been found to inhibit the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells up to 30 percent. (20)
- Black tea may also enhance mental alertness by modulating brain functions as well as the human attention process with its caffeine and l-theanine. (21)
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Side Effects of Black Tea
Black tea is a natural herbal tea, which is considered absolutely safe for both oral consumption and topical application. But it is important to use black tea in moderation as too much of anything is not good for us. If you consume black tea in excess or too often, you may end up experiencing side effects like diarrhea, constipation, anxiety, frequent urination, glaucoma, and even seizures.
Black tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the entire world. It is a reddish-orange or dark amber-colored liquor with strong flavor and invigorating aroma. Its caffeine content is less than coffee but more than other types of teas. Black tea is prepared through wilting, bruising, rolling, and oxidation. The process of oxidation and complete browning of leaves contributes to the signature characteristics of the tea. Being rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, black tea possesses immense nutritional and health benefits. It can also make you look more gorgeous and striking by moisturizing the skin, reducing puffy eyes, healing skin infections, treating acne and blemishes, delaying premature aging, providing sun protection, stopping excessive hair fall, promoting hair growth, adding shine and luster to hair, and averting untimely greying of hair. However, you should not consume too much black tea as it may cause certain mild to moderate side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Black Tea with Milk Good for you?
Black tea is rich in health-friendly ingredients like antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc. When combined with milk, the activity of these compounds may get inhibited, thus restricting the benefits to be enjoyed by you.
Can We Drink Black Tea on Empty Stomach?
Yes, you can certainly have black tea on an empty stomach. However, it may lead to acidity in some people. Hence, it is recommended to have after snacks or meals only.
Can We Drink Black Tea at Night?
Yes, you can drink black tea at night. In fact, drinking black tea at night is known to have soothing and calming effects on our mind and body.
How Many Times Should I Drink Black Tea a Day?
You should never drink black tea more than twice or thrice a day.
Does Black Tea Cause Gas?
The tannins in black tea may cause issues like acid reflux and abdominal gas. Sometimes, this gas may even lead to bloating.
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