April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month, and we at AHS are focusing on Digestive Health. We’ve been holding potlucks that focus on ingredients that support digestive function, including high fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, cultured foods, and fermented foods.
Today I thought I’d share a wonderful tea recipe that does wonders for improving digestion. I learned this recipe from Gerhardt Horstman, Director of Vinayak Ayurveda Research Center in Albuquerque, NM. He instructed me of which herbs below to include just for me, so you might consider doing some research to figure out what to include and exclude based on how your digestive system is functioning.
Learn more about Ayurveda (Traditional Indian Medicine and way of life) here.
I love filling a thermos with this tea and sipping on it throughout the day. You can prepare the ingredients at the beginning of the week and then brew a new batch each morning.
Fresh Ginger Tea
1 quart filtered water
Fresh grated ginger root (anywhere from 3 tsp to 2 tbs)
Raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia (optional for added sweetness)
Any combination of the following herbs (abt ½ tsp):
- Flax seeds*
*those are the ingredients he specified for me, someone who has very active digestion. The other ingredients will help speed up digestion — in Ayurvedic terms, “increase agni” or digestive fire.
- Bring water, freshly grated ginger**, and spices to a boil. (The spice should all be ground. It’s best to buy whole seeds and grind them yourself so they’re fresh; a coffee grinder works great.)
- Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain. This tea will continue to get stronger the longer it steeps. You can adjust the pungency by varying the amount of ginger used and the time you let it steep.
- Drink 3 or 4 cups throughout the day for improved digestion.
You can get all these ingredients at a natural food store or Indian grocery.
**Avoid using dry ginger powder and use only fresh grated ginger.
To find out what you might need to put in your own brew, take this quiz.
More on Ginger:
Research from the University of Maryland shows that ginger can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Ginger has at least 12 potent antioxidants, which give the body special resistance to free radicals, byproducts of metabolism that increase damage to our cells. Other research shows ginger helps improve digestion, reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, reduces nausea and inflammation, in addition to a number of other wonderful findings.