I’ve recently delved into herbal medicine, a vastly broad topic that is both overwhelming and gloriously exciting. I’ve yet to find an herbal medicine program/class that fits my schedule and field of interest, but there are many options which I’m exploring.
In the meantime, I’ve been gleaning herbal tips and tricks from my friends in this holistic field of study. Additionally, my sister recently completed an herbal wildcrafting apprenticeship and has been sharing a wealth of knowledge and herbal recipes with me. I look forward to sharing more herbal healing recipes with you!
CCF Digestion Tea Recipe
Herbal medicine takes many forms, ranging from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Ayurvedic medicine to Native American remedies and more. This recipe is inspired by my recent visit to an Ayurvedic clinic, for an herbal consultation and detoxification (Panchakarma) treatment.
Upon entering the clinic, I was greeted with a steaming cup of fragrant tea. With one sip, I felt my nervous system relax and my taste buds perk up. I quizzed my practitioner about the tea, who discussed this ancient formula with me.
Coriander-Cumin-Fennel Tea, or CCF Tea as it is lovingly called, is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy. The three herbs are boiled to create a deliciously nurturing and digestively-balancing tea.
Coriander seeds – According to Ayurveda, coriander seeds support digestion, combat allergies and reduce bloating. It also supports the liver, one of the primary organs involved in detox and blood sugar balance.
Cumin – Ayurveda theory says that there are three doshas – primary energies that govern our physiology. When our doshas are in balance, we experience health. Cumin is thought to have a balancing effect on all three doshas. Ayurveda teaches that cumin supports digestion by kindling the digestive fire (“agni”). Western research has shown the cumin may stimulate digestive enzymes, which would improve nutrient assimilation.
Fennel seeds – In India, fennel seeds are often chewed after meals to support digestion. This herb has been traditionally used to stimulate digestive juices, reduce indigestion, prevent gas, and address constipation.
Sourcing Ayurvedic herbs
I’ve discussed sourcing herbs with two Ayurvedic practitioners and both recommended Banyan Botanicals to me. I’ve ordered these herbs, along with triphala (a broad-spectrum herbal digestion support), from Banyan Botanicals.
If you prefer not to order these herbs from Banyan, the next best option would be sourcing them from an Indian market, where the herbs are usually much fresher than in your supermarket. The third best option is organic herbs from your supermarket or health food store.
Non-organic herbs you find in your supermarket are likely irradiated (a form of microwave radiation) to preserve them. However, I believe this diminishes the nutrient integrity of the plant, so I avoid irradiated foods. Organic herbs cannot be irradiated.
- ¼ tsp. coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp. fennel seeds
- 2 cups of water
- 1 part coriander seeds
- 1 part cumin seeds
- 1 part fennel seeds
- You can make a jarful of the tea at a time, or just measure out the individual herbs for a single serving.
- I prefer to use slightly less cumin seeds. I think the flavor can be a bit overpowering. For example, if I'm filling a jar with the tea blend, I'll use ¼ cup coriander, ¼ cup fennel, and ¼ cup minus 1 Tbs. cumin seeds.
- Place ¾ - 1 tsp. of the blended herbs in 2 cups of water in a pot or kettle. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Is this tea meant to be consumed before, with, or after a meal?
Great question, I should update the post to answer that. It can be used before, after and/or during. I like it before bed, as well. However, I don’t recommend gulping a lot of liquids during a meal because it can dilute digestive juices. Here’s a post on that: http://empoweredsustenance.com/heal-low-stomach-acid-naturally/ A cup of hot tea with a meal is fine, though.
Great! We use this in our food and tea 🙂 It can be used after a meal. Love ayurvedic recipes, would love to hear more.
Do I have to use the seeds or can I used the one already ground?
I’ll definitely make this. I’d like to see more about Ayurveda.
Is it possible to use turmeric powder instead of curcumin seeds?
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. Cumin seeds are an entirely different spice.
This is really helpful, Lauren! Looking forward to trying this tea out for my tummy 🙂
Your article is timely for me because, similarly to you, I have been following a Paleo-esque diet to heal my insides for just a couple of years (also, the article you shared about starting with a strict paleo base and then adding in foods that make you feel good was awesomely reassuring that it’s not about all the rules and regulations and more about feel). Following a recent yoga class I was inspired to learn more about Ayurvedic dosha balancing practices and how I could incorporate them into my lifestyle. I wasn’t sure, though, how the Ayurvedic diet would compliment the paleo diet if at all. I know traditional Indian cooking emphasizes legumes and dairy, and many Hindus practice ahimsa and avoid meat altogether.
Would you be able to share (now or after you take some more classes) your impressions of how to balance the two health paradigms (Paleo and Ayurveda)?
Thank you for your time and knowledge!
Carole from Carole's Chatter
I’m going to try this but maybe with slightly less fennel because I don’t really like its flavour Thanks
I used to drink copious amounts of a similar tea (cumin, fennel and anise) as er recommendation for preventing infant gas and as a milk booster (for breastfeeding). Will give this one a try! Also wondering if it’s likely that the herbs from the Indian market would be irradiated too?
Lovely looking recipe! Is it best to grind the seeds before brewing or leave them whole?
This is pushing my knowledge of AIP: I’d love to try this, however, I’m not sure if whole seeds in teas are good for leaky gut. As far as I understand, the reason to avoid seeds is due to the issues they cause during digestion. Would that be irrelevant if you aren’t ingesting them in their whole form?
Regardless, thank you for sharing!
This is Sarah Ballantyne’s discussion on seed spices during AIP: http://www.thepaleomom.com/spices-on-autoimmune-protocol/ She does not recommend initially consuming the seeds in this blend, and I do not know if this applies to tea application. I do not perceive this tea causing problems, but some individuals are highly sensitive during the intro stage of AIP.
YOU NEED TO STRAIN IT BEFORE DRINKING.