I have heard of using tea bags under your eyes to reduce puffiness, but to combat odors in the ED?

In my growing list of “Tricks of the Trade” tips for protecting your olfactory nerves (Antacid booties for toxic sock syndrome, aerosolized orange juice, abscess drainage using suction), I got a clinical gem from Dr. James Juarez (Rogue Valley Medical Center in Ashland, OR) after my recent Tricks of the Trade talk at High Risk EM in San Francisco.

Trick of the Trade:

TeabagWear 2 face masks and insert a fresh, dry tea bag in between.

In close proximity to your nose, the tea bag’s pleasant aroma can help fight the variety of noxious odors which you might encounter in the ED.

Now the questions that I have are:

  • Which flavor is best? Is green tea better than Egyptian Chamomile?
  • How MANY bags will I need for various malodorous conditions? I foresee an odor scale, similar to the pain scale: “How smelly is it, on a scale of 1 to 10 tea bags?”

I suppose I’ll have to try and discover for myself. Anyone else use this trick? Thanks, James!



Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD