Thursday, November 12, 2009

Soothing Tummy Tea


The holidays are famous for overeating, aren't they? I thought I would share with you a digestion-stimulating herbal tea recipe of ours. It is a unique combination of roots, leaves, and flowers. First you simmer the roots, called a decoction, and then you add the leaves and flowers to steep.

We make a pot of this herbal brew a few times a week. Sometimes we add nettles, sometimes burdock root, but always ginger and licorice.


I am not an herbalist so I can't explain the details of how this tea works on your digestion, just know it works, and it works well.

Briefly, dandelion root stimulates the liver to help digest dietary fats. Ginger decreases inflammation and is soothing to the stomach. Spearmint relieves gas and nausea. Licorice is soothing to the stomach lining, promoting more mucous production which then in turn reduces acid indigestion, ulcers, and an upset tummy. Chamomile contains compounds which relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract to relieve pain and cramping.

The tea has a delicious blend of sweet and spicy flavors with overtones of mint and chamomile. It is perfect for the holidays or simply sipped while curled up on the couch with your kids and a pile of books on a windy Autumn day.


Tummy Comfort Tea

This tea is great for children who may have eaten food that doesn't agree with them or for children with food sensitivities who ate something they react to. We dilute this tea with water for our children. The younger they are, the more dilution. You'll have to decide the best ratio of water and tea for you. Strain tea and store in a large glass jar in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat in a small pot. The licorice makes this tea naturally sweet but you could add a touch of fresh honey to each cup if desired.

6 cups purified water
2 to 4 tablespoons (we use 4) sliced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons dandelion root
1 tablespoon licorice root
2 tablespoons dried spearmint
1 tablespoon dried chamomile

Place the 6 cups water, fresh ginger, dandelion root, and licorice root in a medium-sized pot. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add spearmint and chamomile, cover, and steep for about 10 to 15 more minutes.

Strain, pour into small tea cups and dilute each with water to desired taste. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

We buy most of our herbs locally from Wonderland Teas and Spices here in Bellingham, WA.



Other News:
Next week I will be posting Thanksgiving Recipes for a Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party I am participating in along with a few other bloggers. I will be linking up with them so you will have lots of ideas for yummy Holiday recipes. Look forward to that beginning Monday, November 16th!

14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Sometimes i feel like i'm taking a cooking class when i'm preparing one of them. we've tried several and each one has been awesome. we've had the quinoa/ cabbage cleansing soup twice. I make it, take my bowl(s) out and then add chicken to the rest for my family. they love it and soo do i. we add the lemon to it and it gives it a little zing. Your recipes have been a wonderful addition to our lives and livened up our meals. Four of our children have dairy allergies. The rest are enjoying the benefit of eating healthier. I'm on a vegan diet trying to do mostly raw. I've had a reoccurance of breast cancer that i'm trying to fight off with diet:) Every time i see an email from you guys i cant wait to open it to see what delightful treat is waiting for us to try! You made it possible for us to enjoy ranch dressing again.(sorely missed by some). As soon as i have the jing I'm buying your cookbook. cant wait! i actually heard about you from some one at whole foods who was making a raw dessert recipe from your book. thanks so much for doing what your doing!
    polly raichert
    952-212-1479

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  2. Hello,

    My son has many food allergies resulting from long term antibiotics for lyme and other co-infections. He is allergic to ginger so I was wondering what a good substitute would be. He also has many GI symptoms and could use a good "tummy tea".

    Also, how long does it stay fresh in the refrigerator?

    I'm so happy with your blog!

    P. Floyd

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  3. Where on earth do you get some of these ingredients? licorice root? dandelion root? plain dried chamomile?

    I have spearmint growing in a pot in my garden. Could I use it fresh? Just the leaves? Or leaves and stem?

    I enjoy your blog, clear recipes and beautiful photos.

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  4. Homemade tea? Way too awesome! I love my tea, but never considered making it myself! Sounds delicious =D.

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  5. Oh joy, a new tea! I so love the nettle tea in your book and this new one sounds great too!

    I've been wondering if there are tricks for righting the digestive system a little faster after eating things with gluten.

    D. really likes to have "tea time" since her Mon-mon (Grandma) often drinks tea when she visits. I make her a diluted nettle tea or some chamomile tea. She is really delighted by anything that is not plain water in a cup.

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  6. Polly - Thank you for your kind words. I like your idea of adding a little lemon to the quinoa soup. Glad you are enjoying so many of the recipes here, the ranch dressing especially! :) The gift is in the giving you know. It is a gift to me to share and know that so many people can benefit from my recipes. Thank YOU! :)

    P. Floyd - I think the tea would still be great if you left out the ginger and add just a tad more dandelion and licorice. Then add an extra tablespoon of spearmint when it is time to steep the herbs. It should last about a week in the fridge. Glad you are enjoying the blog!! :)

    Rachel - We buy all of our ingredients locally. Here in Bellingham we have 4 stores that sell herbs. Two of them are herb stores and the other two are the co-op and Terra Organica ~ a health food store. Most medium and large-sized cities should have at least one store that would sell these herbs. I have spearmint growing in my garden right now but I didn't dehydrate it this year. We just use it for green smoothies. You could use the fresh leaves for tea if you chop them up finely; you'll need about 3x as much though. I prefer using the dried herbs as I think they produce stronger flavors in the tea.

    Lauren - It is fun to be creative making your own teas. There are just so many variations and you can always pick the herbs that you are in the mood for. We still drink tea using tea bags, but this is fun too!

    Jennifer L. Thanks, my boys love this tea so I am sure D. will too. Just make sure to strain it after the 10 to 15 minutes of steeping. Any more time and the ginger starts to take over and the tea gets very spicy, which then, my boys won't drink it. There is also an enzyme supplement called Glutenzyme that can help with accidental gluten exposure. I am sure your doctor has info on that. :)

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  7. I will attest to the fact that ginger is AMAZING for a cranky belly. It usually works quickly and is comforting, to boot. I like your combination of herbs--can't wait to try it!

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  8. Thank you SOOO much for your fantastic cookbook!! I'm going to give it a big shout out in my blog today!! About a year ago, I found out I have a dairy allergy, I bought your book right away... LOVE IT!!

    Please come check out my blog too!! I would love some extra "healthy" followers.

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  9. Hi Ali! I made your tummy tea this morning using peppermint instead of spearmint because that's all I had. We all very much enjoyed it, thank you for sharing. I was wondering if there is a specific reason you chose spearmint over peppermint?

    Thanks again for your lovely blog; I've probably made about 90% of the recipes you share!
    Lara

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  10. Hi Ali!! I haven't been by for a while but remembered you had a soothing tummy tea and came by to find the recipe. My stomach has been upset lately so I'm looking for something to calm it. :) I'll have to pick up the ingredients later this week. Hugs!!

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  11. Thanks for posting this Ali! It sounds wonderful! I drink tons of Chamomile tea, eat lots of Ginger and have a licorice root mint that I eat, all to settle my constantly troublesome tummy. I never would have though to make tea!! I can't wait to head to the healthfood store to get my ingredients today!!!

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  12. Hello there, this tea recipe is simply wonderful. I am a firm believer in ginger tea, I also drink it when I feel down or have a back ache or feel that flu is in the air, and I always feel better afterwards.

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  13. I've been doing the Elim/Detox for about a month and now I have to start an anti-fungal medication for a toe I've been trying to deal with naturally for more than 3 years. The meds are really hard on the liver. I'm wondering if this will hurt or help my liver while it's trying to rid my body of the chemicals.

    Thanks!

    PS - I've been living by your blog since I found it last year while looking for detox recipes! Thank you!

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  14. Sorry, I just re-read my comment and realized it didn't make much sense. My question is: will the TEA help or hurt while my liver is trying to rid itself of the medicine? I wasn't sure if it was a detoxing tea (therefore putting more strain on the liver) or just an aid to make the liver work more efficiently. Thanks!

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom