Ayurvedic Drink to Beat the Winter Chill
This time of year, one of my favorite things to do is to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a warm beverage. This calming Ayurvedic drink has the added benefit of being excellent for digestion. It has the unique effect of both balancing overactive digestion and stimulating a more sluggish system. The best part is that it is extremely easy to make and it is suitable for all doshas.
CCF (Cumin, Coriander and Fennel) Tea
2 Cups Water
⅔ tsp Cumin Seeds
⅔ tsp Coriander Seeds
⅔ tsp Fennel Seeds
Combine the seeds with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and serve. This tea can be made in larger batches at the ratio of 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of water.
CCF tea supports the body’s detoxification and digestive abilities. While it is often used in conjunction with an Ayurvedic cleanse, it is gentle enough for everyday use. I recommend keeping a large batch brewed and drinking it throughout the whole day. It is even great at room temperature!
Short on time? Use ground cumin, coriander and fennel, and add ¼ tsp of each to 2 cups of hot water that is just under boiling.
Cumin seeds are rich in iron and also contain thymol, which helps promote the production of saliva and other enzymes responsible for digestion. In Sanskrit, cumin is known as jeeraka, literally meaning, “that which digests.” It has also been shown to boost the power of the liver’s ability to detoxify the human body.
Cumin is anti-congestive and a good expectorant, which makes it useful for treating cold symptoms and bronchitis. Since it also contains riboflavin, vitamin B6 and niacin, cumin also helps cognitive function.
Coriander is an annual herb also known as cilantro. Coriander has a myriad of benefits, one of which is its ability to help regulate blood sugar. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects. Both coriander seeds and leaves have traditionally been used to reduce gas in the stomach and intestines, stimulate digestion and treat stomach spasms. Due to the the presence of a terpenoid called linalool, coriander seeds have powerful cellular antioxidant properties and may help with mild anxiety and insomnia.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant in the carrot, celery, and parsley family. Traditionally fennel seeds have been used to treat cough/cold, fever, cuts, stomach aches, nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, arthritis, conjunctivitis, colic in children, to increase breast milk production and to treat PMS. One of the most common uses of fennel seeds is to treat an array of digestive ailments, including heartburn, intestinal gas (and infant gas), bloating, and even colic in infants. The seeds have antispasmodic and carminative effects, which can help treat other serious digestive ailments like irritable bowel syndrome.
Some of the compounds present in fennel seeds are:
Anethole – this is the main active ingredient of fennel. It is antimicrobial (kills germs), and also mimics estrogen, and increases prolactin.
Flavonoids like quercetin and apigenin – these are antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic acid and chlorogenic acids – these are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Terpenes such as fenchone and limonene, which improve wound healing.