Not only can brew a great cup of tea, but you also stop bleeding with a tea bag; heal wounds, soothe sunburns and much more

Bleeding tea

Steeping tea

As it turns out, tea doesn’t just have internal healing properties, it has some external ones too. Besides keeping tea bags on hand when you would like to have a healthy drink, you may want to start keeping some in your first aid kit.

A quick internet search reveals that many people stop bleeding with a tea bag, as a natural remedy and some hospitals even recommend it on their discharge instructions for dental patients…interesting.

So how does it work and why stop bleeding with a tea bag?

Black tea is full of tannin’s, bitter plant polyphenols that either bind and precipitate or shrink proteins

  1. Tannins are homeostatic (i.e. they cause blood to coagulate, which in turn makes the bleeding stop)
  2. Tannins are also astringent. An astringent is something that causes body tissues, including blood vessels, to shrink or constrict. It’s because of tannin’s that your month might feel puckered after drinking black tea, red wine or eating an un-ripened fruit.
  3. In addition, tannin’s are mildly antiseptic, which means that they kill bacteria and might help prevent the site from becoming infected while continuing to heal the wound internally.
  4. Finally, the tea bag itself acts as a wound dressing, forming a protective layer over the exposed tissue absorbing blood while protecting the affected area and stopping any infection that may occur from spreading

What ailments can the tea bag be used for?

People across the world have indicated on the internet that they have used the tea bag to treat:

  • Bleeding wounds
  • Sores or ulcers
  • Injured Teddy

    Injured Teddy

  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Razor burn
  • Sunburns
  • Blepharitis (eye infection)
  • Tooth Extractions

Sounds great! How do I do this at home?

To use a tea bag do the following:

For wounds, cuts, sores, burns, blepharitis and ulcers:

  1. Clean the wound area
  2. Place cool moistened tea bags directly over the bleeding wounds (or burns)
  3. Keep in place for at least an hour using tape, gauze or plaster to secure)
  4. For very wet wounds, change the dressing regularly


  1. Make some tea and allow to cool completely
  2. Pour some of the tea onto a clean gauze and place it over sores and wounds
  3. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes but remove within an hour (or the gauze may stick to the affected area)
  4. The tea may also be used for wound cleaning and
  5. When cooled in the fridge before use has a cooling effect

As severe wounds heal and infection is controlled, any offensive odours will gradually go away. The exuding of fluids will also diminish. The healing time will differ depending on the severity and whether there is any disease (such as cancer) complicating recovery.

To stop bleeding using a tea bag for tooth extractions:

  1. Steep the tea bag in boiling water for two to three minutes
  2. Remove the tea bag and allow it to cool
  3. Place the cooled the bag on the affected area
  4. Keep it there for about five minutes


  1. Start by placing gauze pads on the open wound for 20 minutes at a time. If the bleeding is still heavy after one hour;
  2. Moisten tea bags should be inserted into the wound and pressure applied for 20-minute intervals for another hour

Other mouth injuries can also be treated with tea bags – cheeks, lips and tongue all respond well to the tea bag treatment. Stop bleeding using a tea bag.

Treating eye infections, an alternative:

Brew some tea and cool it. Then wash the eye.

This can also be used to treat your pet’s eye infections. This will be a messy affair. Pour the tea over the pets eye over a few days and the infection will clear within a few days

Ok, What’s the downside?

The same tannin’s that help stop bleeding can also stain teeth. Drink plenty of water and where possible rinse your mouth and brush and floss afterwards to keep those pearly whites, white and pearly.

Which tea works the best?

Tea from the plant, Camellia sinensis or black tea is what should be used, not herbal teas. Black tea is the strongest tea around and as a result, has the most tannin’s – the key to stopping the bleed when using the tea bag.

If you are a loose leaf tea user, fill blank tea bags with the tea leaves and use that or use a coffee filter and create a mock tea bag.

Have a cut or skin irritation –  make a cup of tea.


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