Some people may drink tea to help them relax before bed or enjoy it as an alternative to coffee, but digestive aid is probably not what immediately comes to mind. Although the tradition of drinking tea has been a long-standing practice in other cultures, we tend to underestimate tea as just another hot-beverage option. I personally have never thought to incorporate herbal tea into my everyday for digestive purposes, but after attending a class on gut health at Prep School, a wellness cooking club based in San Francisco, I'm fully convinced to pair all my meals with this recipe ahead.
Lila Volkas, a certified holistic nutrition consultant, led the lesson and had everyone sample a calming herbal blend before diving into all things digestion. She shared that tea is particularly fantastic for digestion because its warmth helps "build our digestive fire before we eat." On the other hand, drinking ice water may have the opposite effect and cool your digestive tract, according to Lila. She tells her clients to save cold water for in between meals and to opt for warm water or tea before, during, or after meals. This can help you "balance the energetic-temperature qualities of food" and allow you to enjoy raw foods, such as a veggie-packed salad, much more easily.
"I'll get a cup of hot water or hot tea to go with my salad, so that I'm having the cooling salad with all the raw vegetables, and then I'm having hot tea or hot water to basically cook it in my stomach," Lila told us. "The combination of the cold and the hot makes a happy medium for me."
But you also want to refrain from drinking too much liquid during a meal, especially if you have compromised digestion. Lila says that it can dilute the hydrochloric acid in your stomach and make digestion more difficult.
Before we go into the recipe itself, let's go over the digestive benefits of each ingredient, as provided by Lila:
- Ginger root: "Helps ignite your digestive fire and ease intestinal gas."
- Cinnamon bark: "Well known for its blood sugar-balancing qualities."
- Fennel seed: "Contains essential oils to ease bloating."
- Chamomile: "Helps to calm the nervous system and allow the body to enter a rest-and-digest mode."
- Dandelion root: "Supports the liver, which is an essential organ to healthy digestion."
For more nutrition tips and culinary creations from Lila, you can follow her on Instagram. See her recipe ahead!
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon chips
1 tsp. chamomile
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. roasted dandelion root
- Place herbs in a tea ball.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes.
- Drinks, Tea
- 8 oz.