8. Green Tea
Green tea is often referred to as ‘the healthiest beverage on the planet’. Made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tree, it originated in China and quickly became popular across the world. There are several different varieties of green tea thanks to the different growing conditions, methods, processes and harvest times of the leaves, however, all varieties are full of health benefits.
Green tea contains bioactive compounds like flavonoids and catechins, which are polyphenols that act as powerful antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals and protect cells from damage. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is a particularly powerful compound found in green tea which is purported to be the main source of green tea’s medicinal benefits. EGCG is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and even prevent cancerous cells from forming.
Drinking green tea can lower the risk of diabetes, fight against bacterial infections, prevent inflammation, improve liver health, prevent baldness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Green tea contains tannins, which act as an astringent to shrink pores, reduce sebum production and eliminate acne and blackheads. It also protects the skin from damaging UV rays, and neutralizes any pre-existing skin damage. The anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective remedy for sunburn when applied topically.
To use green tea on your skin, brew two tablespoons of tea leaves and allow it to cool, then add half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply it to your face like a toner, leave for at least 15 minutes, then rinse off. You can also mix two teaspoons of honey with two tablespoons of green tea and massage the paste onto your skin. Leave until it dries, then rinse off with warm water. The green tea will act as an exfoliant, rejuvenating your face and leaving your skin soft and glowing.