After surgery my husband had years ago (with a secondary infection and the use of IV antibiotics) her gut needed a little extra help. A bowel rehab he was undergoing at the time (see below) suggested he try making an infusion of fennel with cumin and cilantro to help his bloating and digestive issues.
It worked! Now we are big fans of this ancient Ayurvedic remedy.
Also called CCF Tea (for obvious reasons), we use this recipe whenever either of us has nausea, constipation or an upset stomach, or just needs a comforting nightcap.
Why try cumin, coriander and fennel tea
The taste of this tea is a bit unusual as you can imagine (in fact, we jokingly call it "Taco Tea") but it turns out that this three seed tea has a host of benefits.
In combination, these potent spices have a unique calming ability and even though I wasn't on protocol, I found this blend relaxing as an evening tea or as a mid-morning drink for mental clarity. During the postpartum period, it also seemed to increase my milk supply and calm my baby's stomach.
(Note that this would not be the best choice for anyone on a autoimmune paleo-type diet because it contains seeds, but those who can consume spices and seeds can enjoy this tea).
Here's why these spices are so beneficial:
Cumin has a long history with documented use in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in Biblical times. In fact, evidence for the use of cumin as a remedy has even been found in tombs in ancient Egypt and in writings from ancient India.
Now, modern studies show that the ancients knew what they were doing when it came to cumin. Studies show that it can help:
Cumin is also the source of black cumin seed oil, which also has a long history of medicinal use in various cultures.
Some people also notice skin benefits from using cumin. I even use it in this Antioxidant facial scrub recipe.
Cilantro is the seed of the coriander plant. It also has a long history of use in Asia and Mediterranean countries for thousands of years. Evidence of its use has been found in the ancient Sanskrit text and in ancient Egypt.
In the kitchen, it is often part of curry mixes and is used to flavor gin and certain other alcohols.
It has been used as a digestive remedy throughout history and is also documented as being used as a relaxing spice to calm an anxious mind. It is also sometimes used in tinctures and remedies for breathing problems, urinary problems, and nervous system disorders.
Another spice with a history of ancient use by Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Roman and Greek cultures as a carminative (remedy for bloating and gas) and expectorant (respiratory remedy).
It is often given to nursing mothers for improve milk production and because its soothing properties also seem to help calm a colicky baby with milk.
It is found in the recipes of many cultures, especially in Italy and France.
Learn more about the benefits of fennel (+ recipes) here.
Wait… What about weight loss ?!
Benefits of cumin cumin and fennel tea
Some of the benefits often associated with this tea are:
- Improved digestion- All of the spices used in this recipe are associated with better digestion and are carminative (meaning they reduce bloating and gas).
- Possible fat loss- This tea can help improve fat loss according to some preliminary studies.
- Increased milk production in nursing mothers- I noticed this effect, which makes sense as fennel and cumin are often recommended to help increase milk production.
- Soothing for colicky babies-Another effect that I noticed personally because this tea seemed to have a calming effect not only on my own digestion but also on babies.
How to make CCF tea (cumin, coriander and fennel tea)
Unlike some herbal remedies (homemade cough drops ... I'm looking at you), this remedy couldn't be easier to prepare with a few basic supplies and some cumin, fennel, and cilantro seeds.
I warn you that the taste is a bit unusual, especially if your primary method of tea drinking tends to be the sweet tea variety. I love its warming quality and find it very calming and calming (and I think you will like it too!).
You can also pour the tea over ice to make a slightly nicer iced version (although I found the hot variety more calming).
I am not an expert in Ayurveda so I am not sure there are any additional health benefits but I have noticed a great beneficial taste by adding a pinch of cinnamon or a few slices of fresh ginger root with infused tea.
Using CCF spices in other recipes
On their own, these spices are some of my favorites to use in cooking, so I always have them at home. You can use these spices for:
Cumin, coriander and fennel tea for digestion
A soothing, earthy herbal tea that benefits the digestive system to reduce gas and bloating and has a long history of use in Ayurveda.
- Optional prep step: For the best flavor, I like to roast the seeds on a baking tray at 350 for about 5-8 minutes until fragrant and golden. This is optional but I find it really enhances the flavor.
- Grind the seeds - place the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle to create a fine powder.
- Put this powder and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes until fragrant and remove from heat. Add cinnamon or ginger if you use it and stir. Let cool before adding raw honey (if you are using). Note: Some sources recommend letting the spices soak in water for up to an hour before simmering, although I haven't noticed any additional benefit when I've done this personally.
Pass through a fine mesh wire sieve and drink immediately or pour over ice for a cool drink. Can also be prepared in large batches, cooled and stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Can I use already ground spices? In theory, yes, although all of the original sources recommend using whole dried spices and using them immediately before brewing.
Here is a video from Christa showing how to make this tea:
I personally wouldn't drink fennel tea while pregnant without check with a doctor or midwife, as there is anecdotal evidence that fennel can cause uterine contractions. Of course, it is important to consult a doctor before using this or any other natural remedy, especially for those who have an existing health problem.
This article has been medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a family doctor approved by the board. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor.
Have you tried this before? Can't imagine adding taco seasoning to your tea? Weigh below!
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and nutrition tips that are actually based on good technique.
These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.
The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of kcal for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It’s recommended that men have around 2, 500 calories a day ( 10, 500 kilojoules ). Women should have around 2, 000 kcal a day ( 8, 400 kilojoules ). Most adults in the UK are eating more kcal than they need and should eat fewer calories.
Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.
They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the kcal of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy condiments on pasta.
It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit ?
A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit ( which should be kept to mealtimes ) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.
You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. There are 2 main genres of fat : saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.
When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All genres of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.
Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy ( measured in kilojoules or kcal ), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.
More than 22. 5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.
About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and condiments. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1. 5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.
Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt ( about a teaspoonful ) a day. Younger children should have even less.
As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.
Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.
Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer kcal. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more réactive. Eating a saine, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Check whether you’re a saine weight by using the BMI saine weight calculator. Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. If you’re underweight, see underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.
You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in kcal. They’re also bad for your teeth.
Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.
Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. Further informationThe Eatwell Guide can help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding calories.