CCF — for coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds — is a classic “detox tea” of Ayurveda and an easy remedy with a usual ratio of 1:1:1 to balance out digestive discomfort and aid digestive capacity. Strong digestion is absolutely necessary to maintain good health according to Ayurveda and according to more recent western discoveries of the role that good digestion and a healthy gut play for both health of mind and body. Each of these seeds has its own long list of benefits by itself and, taken together as a decoction, it’s a wonderful remedy for general digestive health.
While we refer to CCF as a tea, “tea” really means tea leaves, whereas a tisane refers to gently steeped herbs. When it comes to these seeds, however, much more dense and robust than delicate leaves, a decoction is required. A decoction “is a concentrated liquor resulting from heating or boiling a substance, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant.” So whilst simply pouring hot water over these seeds as you would a tea will give you a touch of flavour (and slightly more benefits if those seeds were powdered), a good boil and simmer is required to make the remedy you require. A decoction should be roughly one part herb or spice (in this case seed) with 16 parts liquid, then reduced to half, a quarter or an eighth of the volume by simmering, depending on the potency you prefer.
Herbs and spices are nature’s medicine, so it’s best to work with a herbalist or Ayurvedic practitioner before making your own potent remedies — after all the dose makes both the medicine and the poison and certainly with Ayurveda, which is a holistic way of viewing your system, overdoing the good stuff doesn’t make it better for you. Enjoying a little of many things is a more useful and less scary way to take care of yourself and, for anyone whose digestion takes a direct hit from any stress, this tea is a saviour!
Cumin is very heating so a Pitta type person or someone suffering from a Pitta imbalance should be careful of consuming too much cumin, as it can make their gastric situation worse, so reduce or omit if it’s aggravating. If your digestion is poor before eating a meal, you could add some grated ginger to increase your “Agni,” or digestive fire, as a variation. You can also add some triphala powder (another powerful herbal remedy made of three ingredients, hence the “tri”) to your tea to make it more potent, and even add some ghee and raw honey to make that more potent (avoid cooked/pasteurised honey and avoid heating the raw honey; instead wait until the tea has cooled to a pleasant drinking temperature before adding), but as always it’s best to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner when trying to make something more powerful.
2-3 slices fresh ginger
¼ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp of coriander seeds or 1 tbs of freshly chopped coriander leaves
Boil one litre of water and put all the ingredients in the water & boil for 5 minutes.
Filter the water and keep it in a thermos flask. Throw away the ingredients.
Drink this water warm, throughout the day, for purifying, detoxifying and cleansing of the digestive system.