Teabagging Research Review

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff

Teabagging has recently become a subject of intense interest in the United States. The term applies to many activities. Here are some of them.

Teabagging and Brown Dog Ticks
“Testing Acaricide Susceptibility of the Brown Dog Tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806): II Teabag Method,” M.K. Kigaye and J.G. Matthysse, Bulletin of Epizootic Diseases of Africa, vol. 22, no. 3, September 1974, pp. 279–85.

Teabagging and Maggots
“The Treatment of Suppurative Chronic Wounds With Maggot Debridement Therapy” [article in Turkish], Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu and Aysegul Taylan Ozkan, Turkiye Parazitoloji Dergisi, vol. 33, no. 4, 2009, pp. 307–15. The authors, at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, report:

Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is the intentional treatment of suppurative skin infections with the larvae of the fly, Lucilia sericata. Today, this treatment modality is being used in over 30 countries and during the last 20 years, more than 60,000 patients have been treated in 2,000 medical institutions. Sterile maggots, produced in university laboratories and by private industry, are usually applied to the wound either by using a cage-like dressing or a tea bag–like cage.

Teabagging with Painkiller
“The Fentanyl Tea Bag,” Fermin Barrueto, Mary Ann Howland, Robert S. Hoffman, and Lewis S. Nelson, Veterinary and Human Toxicology, vol. 46, no. 1, February 2004, pp. 30–1. The authors, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, report:

Fentanyl patches create unique opportunities for use and abuse. Each patch contains 100-fold more drug than is stated on the label in order to create the gradient required to deliver the stated amount (ie 25–100 microg/h). Several methods of abuse of this analgesic have been reported, ranging from ingestion to inhalation to application of multiple patches to the skin. We report the unique case of a 21-y-old woman who steeped a fentanyl patch in a cup of hot water and then drank the mixture. Coma and hypoventilation resulted. The woman was resuscitated with naloxone i.v. and recovered without sequelae.

Teabagging to Prevent Smell Of Contractured Hands
“Four-Finger Grip Bag with Tea to Prevent Smell of Contractured Hands and Axilla in Bedridden Patients,” Yumiko Fukuoka, Hisashi Kudo, Aiko Hatakeyama, Naomi Takahashi, Kayoko Satoh, Naoko Ohsawa, Mayumi Mutoh, Masahiko Fujii, and Hidetada Sasaki, Geriatrica and Gerontology International, vol. 9, no. 1, March 2009, pp. 97–9. The authors are variously at Akita Nursing and Welfare University, Nisi-Oodate Hospital, Odate, Akita, and Sendai Tomizawa Hospital, Sendai, Japan.

Teabagging and Coining
“The Tea Bag Experiment: More Evidence on Incentives in Mail Surveys,” Mike Brennan, Janet Hoek, and Philip Gendall, International Journal of Market Research, vol. 40, no. 4, 1998, pp. 347–52. The authors report:

This paper reports the results of a study which compared the effectiveness of a tea bag and a $1 coin as prepaid incentives in a mail survey of the general public. The tea bag had no effect on response rate.

The Hydrodynamics of Teabagging
“Computer Simulation of the Hydrodynamics of Teabag Infusion,” G. Lian and C. Astilla, Food and Bioproducts Processing, vol. 80, no. 3, September 2002, pp. 155–62, DOI 10.1205/096030802760309179. The authors, at Unilever Research, Colworth Laboratory, Sharnbrook, U.K., report:

In Western Countries the most popular method of preparing a tea drink is to infuse a quantity of black tea, contained in a teabag, in freshly boiled water.... In this paper, the hydrodynamics of teabag infusion is described and the effects on infusion performance under different brewing conditions are explored.... The results show that for static infusion, natural convection is developed around the teabag due to the build-up of high solute concentrations in the porous fluid of the packed bed of tea leaves.... For dynamic infusion, the external agitation results in a forced fluid flow through the teabag that is much greater than the buoyancy driven natural convection.

Teabagging To Improve the Breastfeeding Experience
“Does Application of Tea Bags to Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding Provide Effective Relief?”, Noelie A. Lavergne, Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, vol. 26, no. 1, January–February 1997, pp. 53–8. The author, at St. Boniface General Hospital School of Nursing, Winnipeg, Canada, explains:

Tea bag and water compresses were more effective than no treatment, with no statistically significant difference between the two types of compresses.

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This article is republished with permission from the March-April 2010 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

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