Long loved and cherished by Ayurvedic students and practitioners, CCF tea (Cumin, Coriander & Fennel) is a bit of an Ayurvedic staple. Simple, gentle, and tasty, this tea is easy to make and is ideal for supporting a balanced digestive system.
I was first introduced to CCF tea as a student of Ayurveda at the Ayurvedic Institute. The faculty always had a very large batch of CCF tea going throughout the day, which students were welcomed and encouraged to drink during class time. As this was a full-time and intensive program, we wound up drinking quite a lot of it. I can personally attest to it’s warming, soothing, and supportive effects on the digestive system.
CCF tea is recommended for those suffering from an inadequate or compromised digestion, which is to say, mostly everyone you pass by on the street. I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t need some sort of digestive tune-up from time to time.
Drinking CCF tea relieves indigestion (and prevents it from happening in the first place), decreases gas and bloating after eating, and gently kindles one’s overall digestive fire (Agni), so digestive capacity is improved over the long run.
CCF stands for the three herbs in the tea: Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel, which are common Indian culinary herbs that many people will already have in their kitchen spice rack.
Western herbalists refer to these herbs as being carminative:
“Carminatives’ main action is to soothe the gut wall, easing griping pains and reduce the production of gas in the digestive tract. This is usually due to the complex of volatile oils present, which have a locally anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and mildly anti-microbial effect upon the lining and the muscle coats of the alimentary canal.”
Ayurvedic medicine has paired this trio of herbs together specifically for their carminative actions. Ayurveda would call this “enkindling the digestion”.
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum): The Sanskrit name for cumin (Jiraka) literally translates as ‘promoting digestion’. It is rich in essential oils and has an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and gentle diuretic effect on the body. Cumin is indicated for sluggish or slow digestion, indigestion, nausea, flatulence, and bloating.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum): The Sanskrit name for coriander (Dhanyaka) also means ‘rich’. Coriander is a gentle appetite stimulant and antispasmodic herb that is particularly suited for the hyper, acidic, or otherwise ‘burning’ qualities of digestion. It is soothing and anti-inflammatory to the tissues, and its diuretic action removes excess heat and toxins from the body.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): The Sanskrit name for fennel (Madhurika) translates as “the sweet one”. Fennel is particularly useful as an antispasmodic, relieving painful flatulence, cramps, bloating, indigestion, and colic in children. It is rich in sweet tasting volatile oils and assists digestive flow in its natural downward motion. It is also slightly diuretic and has the added benefit of increasing milk production in nursing mothers (don’t worry – if you aren’t nursing, you won’t start producing milk by drinking fennel tea).
RECIPE – CCF TEA
2 teaspoons whole Cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole Coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole Fennel seeds
4.5 cups water
Combine the seeds and water in a pot, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil on the stove top. Turn to low, and very gently simmer for 20 minutes, keeping the pot covered.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will make approximately 3 full cups of tea.
Strain the herbs, and drink warm or hot before or after meals.
This tea can also be sipped throughout the day to keep your digestive system ‘enkindled’, and happily churning along.