I’ve always been a big fan of after meal teas (especially after lunch and dinner) for two reasons:
- It prolongs the meal and makes the company last a bit longer to sit for tea after sharing a meal,and
- After consuming heavier meals during the day your digestive system can use some gentle support, and herbal tea is perfect for this purpose. My go-to post-meal tea has long been Cumin + Coriander + Fennel (CCF) tea, a traditional Ayurvedic tea to support digestion, liver detoxification and pancreatic enzyme production. It’s sweet, calming and cooling qualities resonate with nearly every body type, and it’s so easy to make you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits:
Fennel – one of the best carminative herbs (helps alleviate gas and bloating) that’s aromatic, cooling and mildly anti-spasmodic in the lower GI (large intestines and colon) so soothe digestion especially after heavier meals with lots of heavy proteins and savory foods. Fresh fennel seeds should be slightly sweet, a little pungent and very aromatic.
Cumin – a very aromatic and anti-inflammatory little herb that also functions as a mild bitter tonic. Bitter sensation on the tongue and in the upper GI (stomach and pancreas) help to stimulate the endogenous production of digestive enzymes which break down your macro-nutrients (like proteins, fats and carbohydrates) into smaller, more digestible pieces that are easier to absorb. Energetically, cumin is a warming spice which helps to balance the cooling qualities of both fennel and coriander.
Coriander – the seed of the cilantro leaf, is perhaps the most cooling ingredient in this formula which helps to reduce excess heat from the digestive tract, thus supporting the liver in it’s detoxification process as well.
I often like to keep a warm pot of this at the ready throughout the day to sip on, and if I want to make a quick batch, I use one of two options:
CCF Tea Recipe:
- 1/2 tsp whole fresh Fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole dried Coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds (you can bump up to 1/2 tsp once you get used to the flavor)
- 4 cups filtered water.
Crush the seeds gently with a mortal and postal. Place in a small sauce pan with the 4 cups water and bring to a gentle simmer for 6-7 minutes (keep covered to hold in the volatile oils which are good medicine!). Strain out the herbs and sip throughout the day or after meals.
Banyan Botanicals has a blend that I frequently use for quicker prep.
You can also purchase the single herbs in most bulk departments in your local health food store. Keep them stored in small, glass, airtight containers away from direct sunlight.
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com