When it comes to looking after your gut, one of the most important lessons in gut health is learning how to slow down, take time for yourself and savour every single little moment in your life. This helps to relax the digestive system and make the digestive process easier.
Today I’m sharing three gut-health secret weapons, my Chamomile and Lavender Tea, a little Cumin Digestive Aid; the perfect liver detox and my delicious Anti-Inflammatory Toddy.
As soon as you wake up and reach for your daily cup of coffee-or get ground coffee online if you want to improve the health of your gut, why not try making a delicious digestive tea instead? Certain teas are one of the easiest ways to start the day right and set you up for a good gut day.
Tea can help rejuvenate you, lift your spirits, bring you comfort and soothe an irritated gut or worried mind. Coffee on the other hand can be acidifying, chemically laden and highly processed, for some people too much coffee can cause pain and irritation in the gut and for others who have it in latte form, the dairy can be hard to digest and lead to symptoms such as bloating and pain.
So much satisfaction can be found from hugging your favorite tea-filled mug with your hands. It’s a ritual you should never take for granted. Engaging in such a ritual helps you reconnect to yourself and digest not only the tea, but the day you’ve had or the one you’re about to embark on!
If you or your digestive system are feeling out of whack, teas and toddys can help hydrate you, relieve tension and settle down anxiety, switching your digestive system over to rest and digest mode; exactly where you need to be for optimum digestion and zero discomfort.
Some of my favorite gut-healing beverages contain the soothing blend of chamomile and lavender. I’m also sharing my favourite anti-inflammatory warming toddy which contains cinnamon, ginger and turmeric, a pungent household spice with a long history.
If you're feeling time poor and need an instant golden latte or smoothie, my Golden Gut blend is your golden ticket to glowing gut health. For an iron-rich morning pick me up, Love Your Gut powder can also be stirred into a smoothie or warm drink of choice. Just taking that extra five minutes in the morning to set yourself up for a good gut day means no more bloating, aching belly, quick dashes to the loo or falling asleep at your desk.
Particular herbs for the gut, such as chamomile and lavender are natural stress relievers. They’re both lovely herbs to soothe an upset stomach, so they’re great for people who suffer from poor digestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The delicate combination of these two calming herbs will settle your nervous system and simultaneously relax your digestive system. It can also act as a brilliant tonic for the liver; remember this drink after a big night when you’ve had too much to drink!
Chamomile settles down the stomach due to its antispasmodic properties. Delving in a bath filled with chamomile can bring a state of calmness to your stomach and your mind. Chamomile’s dynamic partner in relaxation, lavender, slows down the nervous system. If you’re struggling with sleeping issues, spraying some lavender oil on your pillow can help lullaby you softly to sleep.
Chamomile and Lavender Tea
- 2 teaspoons lavender buds
- 2 teaspoons chamomile buds
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) boiling filtered water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Put the lavender and chamomile in a teapot. Pour over the water, then add the lemon juice. Infuse for 10 minutes, then pour into mugs or glasses (or strain it if you prefer) and serve.
In the cooler months, I often turn to herbal teas to hydrate me. In traditional Ayurveda and Indian style, cumin digestive aid (Jeera Vellam) is consumed like water and sipped throughout the day.
In Hindi, Jeera translates to cumin, while vellam in this context means water. In Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old approach to health, agni, known as digestive fire is kind of like the Western term for metabolism. It helps the body absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, generate warmth, and transform physical matter into energy.
At the start of the day, agni is said to be quite low, and so, it needs an easily digestible meal followed by Jeera Vellam. This beverage is also often consumed after a meal or after celebrations to help aid digestion.
Cumin has been hailed to help us assimilate nutrients and even speed up our metabolism! Also if you’re in need of a liver detox my Cumin Digestive Aid may just be the answer. It’s filled with antioxidants to help excrete toxins from the body and help regulation.
The longer you allow the cumin seeds to soak in the water (if you have time, overnight is preferable), the more effective this drink can be. It’s my answer to reflux, gas, diarrhea and bloating.
The zing of ginger in this drink complements the earthy aroma of cumin so beautifully, I would love you to try this one and it’s so easy to make with a just a spice from your spice rack and a knob of ginger.
Cumin Digestive Aid (Jeera Vellam)
Drink this shot after eating to improve digestion.
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin sticks
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before straining. Cool to room temperature and divide between four glasses to serve.
And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s turmeric toddy time!
My delicious anti-inflammatory toddy is perfumed with healing spices to help soothe the body.
Turmeric is one of the wonder foods we’ve heard so much about lately. The compound curcumin found within turmeric is the reason why. Curcumin is reported to reduce inflammation and pain in the digestive system.
Maybe you’ve tried making turmeric recipes before and you’ve noticed that it says to sprinkle on some black pepper? Adding black pepper, like I do in this recipe, helps the body absorb and digest the curcumin due to its pungent piperine content.
Black pepper has a myriad of anti-inflammatory properties too. It’s an antioxidant that’s anti-bacterial and full of anti-inflammatory benefits.
Another one of my favorite root herbs, ginger, is also having it’s time in the spotlight. Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and is good for soothing headaches and aiding stomach upsets.
Turmeric and ginger can pacify the lining of the stomach and soothe the digestive tract. This is why both herbs are often prescribed as digestive aids in traditional medicine.
Some of you may be thinking – this sounds more like an intense shot or some like drinking a curry, but don’t worry. This is where cinnamon comes in, as it’s great for adding flavor with a subtle sweetness. It’s a healthy sugar-substitute which can be sprinkled over warm beverages, breakfast cereals and desserts.
More than its flavor enhancing ability, this sweet spice can help to ease swelling after injury, lower blood sugar levels and increase immunity.
This healthy tea can be enjoyed by anyone at any time and if you don’t have cashew milk don’t worry you can use any milk you prefer, coconut is nice. By the way if you don't have all the ingredients, an easy way to make this toddy is by using two teaspoons of my Golden Gut Blend in warm milk. It's delicious! and can be used in baking and cooking too.
You’ll find these and many more recipes in my book Heal Your Gut.
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cashew or coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- pinch of vanilla powder
- pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
- 6 drops liquid stevia (optional) or raw honey
- 2 star anise (optional)
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2–3 minutes or until just warmed. Add the spices, ginger, vanilla and pepper, and then stir to remove any lumps. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove the grated ginger. Add the sweetener and enjoy warm.
Enjoy these soothing teas for a healthy sparkling gut.