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Today, a great deal of importance is being paid to natural antioxidants. They not only have health benefits but actually help to delay the visible signs of ageing on the skin and hair. They are called antioxidants because they prevent and retard the degeneration caused by oxidation damage. One way of taking antioxidants is by having green tea. Recently, we have heard so much about the benefits of green tea for both health and beauty. It contains polyphenols, which are powerful natural antioxidants. 

Aids digestion

Apart from drinking actual tea, we can also make teas with herbs and spices. Some of these are an integral part of Ayurveda, for their many benefits, like aiding digestion, warming the body, calming the nerves, helping weight loss and so on. Some of them also help to restore normal balances to the skin, adding a healthy radiance. Ayurvedic teas are made from cinnamon, clove, cumin seeds, black pepper, cardamom, fennel (saunf), nutmeg (jaiphal) and so on. Cardamom has always been known for aiding digestion and is popularly chewed after meals. Nutmeg is said to calm the nerves. Many other plant products can be added, like lemongrass, mint, sweet basil, rose petals, or honey. Nowadays, different teas are available in tea bags, like Chamomile tea, Lemon Tea and even Blueberry Tea. Chamomile Tea helps to induce relaxation and calms the nerves. Take two teaspoons mint leaves, half teaspoon fennel (saunf) and very little dried ginger. Steep in a cup of boiling water. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Strain and have the tea.

The normal tea that we drink every morning can also be prepared with spices and herbs, like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, basil and mint. In winter, ginger, cardamom or cloves can be added to keep the body warm. On the other hand, mint has a cooling effect. Mint and Tulsi (Basil) can be used together.

Tea as a toner

Tea itself has several beauty benefits. Tea can be used for skin and hair care. Tea leaves are said to have an anti-inflammatory action. They also help to reduce oiliness. Tea bags can be steeped in water and applied over the eyelids, like eye pads. They help to reduce puffiness and add brightness to the eyes. 

Green Tea is also a powerful skin toner, especially for oily skins, as it works as an astringent toner. Soak green tea leaves in hot water for half an hour. Cool and strain and use the liquid to tone the skin.  In fact, green tea suits all skin types. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to control acne. It is also said to soothe sunburn. Modern research has also revealed that green tea actually has sunscreen properties. In fact, it hydrates and nourishes the skin. Since it contains powerful antioxidants, it also keeps the skin healthy and adds radiance. 

Tea infused water recipe

Take half cup of water and bring it to a boil. Put tea leaves in a ceramic bowl. Pour the hot water over it and keep for 2 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid. Apply on face with cotton wool to tone the skin. Leave on. Or, you can dip a tea bag in a cup of hot water. Cool and use it to tone the skin. Or make the tea-water and keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Use the lotion to tone and refresh the skin. You can even mix the liquid with face packs. Green tea liquid may also be mixed with a little honey and applied on the face. Wash off with plain water after 20 minutes.

(Read more: Everyday habits that ruin your skin

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