In the world of Ayurvedic medicine, CCF Tea leads the way as a digestive remedy that is powerful, yet gentle enough for all dosha and body types to use on a daily basis. This savory, but oh so tasty tea is perfect for drinking between meals to flush toxins from the system, kindle the Agni or digestive fire, and reduce chronic symptoms of indigestion such as gas, bloating, cramping, hyperacidity and malabsorption. Its natural diuretic properties also make this tea a great tonic for the kidneys and bladder, reducing fluid retention and swelling in the body.
So what does the CCF stand for? Respectively, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, often steeped in their whole form. Although traditionally CCF tea is made using equal amounts of each spice, I more often recommend cutting the cumin in half, as it is the strongest and most heating of these three Ayurvedic spices. This is especially true for Pitta types as taking in too much of the cumin may increase acidity and heat in the system, rather than pacify it. In fact, those with a strong Pitta imbalance can reduce this amount even further, adding only a pinch to the entire recipe (see Pitta modifications below).
This classical Ayurvedic remedy offers relief for a wide variety of ailments and I must admit, I prescribe it to my clients more often than not. The main benefits are mostly relating to digestion, whether one is suffering from gas, bloating, constipation, loose stools, inflammation, toxins, fluid retention, or anything in between. However, this tea possesses a few hidden benefits such as promoting healthy breast milk, making it a great choice for new moms too!
Health Benefits and Uses
- Increases the digestive fire without increasing heat
- Promotes the absorption of nutrients
- Detoxifies the system (great compliment to any Kitchari Cleanse!)
- Flushes heavy metals from the tissues
- Reduces allergies
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases breast milk production
- Treats menstrual irregularities and PMS symptoms
- Treats UTIs
- Removes congestion in the lungs
- Calms the nerves
Anyone with a current Pitta digestive imbalance such as hyperacidity should reduce the amount of cumin in this recipe, or omit it altogether.
- 1.5 tsp Cumin Seed, whole**
- 1 Tbsp Coriander Seed, whole
- 1 Tbsp Fennel Seed, whole
- 5 cups of water
**Pitta types may do better with less Cumin due to the heating factor. Feel free to reduce this amount if needed.
1. Heat the water in a medium size pot.
2. Once boiling, add in the cumin, coriander and fennel seed in their whole form.
3. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot, leaving only a small crack. This will allow the tea to steep without loosing too much water.
4. Steep the tea on a simmer for at least 7-10 minutes. The longer you steep, the more potent the tea will be.
5. For a super potent brew, you can double the water and let the tea simmer on low until only 4-5 cups remain. This may take a few hours, but will leave you with a powerful detox-digestion tea to drink throughout the day.
6. Once you have found your desired potency, strain the seeds using a fine mesh strainer.
7. This should yield about 4 cups of tea. It is recommended to drink this tea first thing in the morning and between meals consistently if you are dealing with chronic digestive issues or a large amount of toxins in the body.
One of my favorite variations for this tea is to spice it up even more by adding in some ginger. For this recipe you can add in about a 1.5 inch cube of fresh ginger grated (best for Vata and Pitta types) or 1 tsp of dry ginger powder (best for Kapha types) and steep with the original ingredients.