When you steam a vegetable, some of its vital nutrients infuse into the boiling water. If you’re like me, you hate to waste vital nutrients and, even if it is mostly chlorophyll-tinted green water, and use that water towards a soup stock or to cook rice. Most people throw away many nutrients in the trash. It turns out that something similar is happening with our morning cup o’ Joe; only, we’ve been throwing out the most nutrient-rich portion: the grounds.
Scientists have found that used coffee grounds are packed with antioxidants.
With an estimated 20 million tons of discarded coffee grounds worldwide per year, this could be a fantastic demonstration of the old adage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Scientists are now developing a device that will harness the antioxidants from spent grounds in order to extract and add them to dietary supplements. In the coming days, keep an eye out for coffee-derived nutriments in your multi-vitamin.
As an interesting note, grounds in filter and espresso coffee-makers maintained the highest antioxidant levels, with the plunger (e.g. French press) following close behind. Mocha machines – not so much, which could possibly mean that more antioxidants are making it into your java pot, thus leaving the grounds less endowed. To add to the good news, researchers say that after antioxidant extraction, all is not lost. You can still use the grounds effectively in your soil as fertilizer.
DIY Home Remedies With Coffee Grounds
Being that I’m a nut for home remedies, I’ve taken it upon myself to share with you some uber-fun and funky money-saving uses of your left over coffee grounds. Just remember that they can clog drains, so if you’re rinsing in the sink or shower use a mesh strainer. And make sure it’s caffeinated, since caffeine is often an active agent.
1. Stretch Marks
To diminish the appearance of stretch marks, mix your used coffee grounds with enough aloe vera to make a paste. You might also add some olive and vitamin E oil. If you enjoy aromatherapy, add a drop of your favorite fragrance to the carrier oil and mix well, making sure it remains a thick paste. Gently (lovingly) rub into clean skin where the marks appear. Relax for 20 minutes, then remove gently (lovingly) with a warm, damp wash cloth. Finish with organic cocoa body butter or organic coconut oil to nourish and moisturize. Do this consistently every day for at least two weeks, continuing until you see the desired results.
2. Exfoliation for Feet & Hands
Take used grounds into your hand. You just need enough to spread it evenly. Massage into the front and back of your hands, using the light abrasive to push back cuticles. Do the same with feet, paying extra attention to dry areas especially the heels. Think loving thoughts. Enjoy this for a minute or so. You can always let it linger longer if you like. Then rinse and pat dry. Voilà! Hands and feet are softer and refreshed in minutes.
3. Yummy Body Butter
From time to time my skin gets temperamental and loses its baby-butt quality, so I love to play with different scrub recipes. Here’s my favorite find so far. Take about ¾ cup spent coffee grounds. Mix with brown or white sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons. (To make your own brown sugar, add a little molasses to white and mix well.) Add a dose of vitamin E oil and enough coconut oil to fully permeate the grounds while leaving some extra on top. Apply copiously to skin and rinse.
4. Remove Odors
After handling garlic, onion, vinegar or any such smelly substance, rub the coffee grounds between hands for up to a minute and rinse. The grounds are super absorbent and will remove the odor. You can also place the used grounds in your fridge or freezer for the same effect.
5. Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
Supermodels reportedly use this trick before fashion shows to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Mix warm coffee grounds with olive oil and brown sugar. Massage firmly onto the affected areas to stimulate circulation. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse. Do this a couple of times per week.
6. Stop Bleeding from an Open Wound
Next time you or someone nearby gets cut, quickly grab your leftover coffee grounds and immerse or at least cover the area with them. Bleeding should halt immediately. If it slows but don’t stop, repeat, making sure you fully cover the area with grounds.
Which one of these recipes you liked the most? Share in the comments your favorite home remedies as well.