Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea?? Try this homemade digestion team, made with ingredients like fennel, mint and black peppercorns, known to aid in healthy digestion.
Time for another Recipe Redux! This month's theme:
Beverages Are Hot - That which is served in a mug, glass, or stein is becoming just as interesting as what’s on the plate. New cocktail-only blogs are emerging. Pinners are cooking with their Keurig K-cups. Hot beverages have gone way beyond hot cocoa. Beverages are in! Whether you’re serving something hot or cool, kid-friendly or happy hour worthy, show us your healthier drink.
At first, I was a bit flummoxed. As someone who is perfectly satisfied with tap water, black coffee and tea, I couldn't think of anything creative. I've already shared my favorite hot chocolate and more than enough smoothie recipes. I could share juicing recipes, but I mostly just throw leftover fruits and vegetables into our juicer, with variable results. I was stumped.
This recipe was developed out of necessity. Last week, as the snow started the fall, I felt a tickle in the back of my throat and started to get nauseous. Bad things were brewing, and it wasn't just the weather. When I went to brew tea, my go-to cold & flu fighter, I found a mostly empty drawer.
I never really thought of making homemade tea, but now that I have, it seems so obvious. With a mix of fresh herbs, spices and citrus, it achieves a complexity of flavor you could never get from dried tea. The fresh ingredients, in this case, orange, ginger and mint, are supported with a background of fennel and black peppercorn. Because my tummy hurt, I chose ingredients known to aid digestion.
Besides it's potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, ginger is helpful for reducing stomach gas and relaxing the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps increase the release of digestive enzymes, bile, and saliva. In studies, ginger has been shown to be effective relieving symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. This is especially helpful for women dealing with morning sickness, as many medications can be dangerous during pregnancy.
As someone who deals with occasional, severe heartburn, fennel is one of my favorites for promoting healthy digestion. It is a carminative, meaning it helps prevent gas and bloating, but also seems to relieve heartburn by relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract to help food pass through.
Mint helps encourage the production of bile, which digests fat. It also helps calm muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Even just the smell of mint can help sooth tummy troubles. Bonus, if you've got a sore throat like I did, mint helps sooth inflammation and irritation in respiratory muscles.
Orange Ginger Digestion Tea
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
- 2 thin slices of fresh orange
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- Pinch of whole, black peppercorns
- Honey (optional)
- Place the orange, ginger and mint in a teacup. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, mash them lightly to release the essence. Crush fennel and black peppercorns lightly in a mortar and pestle. Place the ginger, mint leaves, fennel and black peppercorns in a tea ball. I left mine loose in the pictures since my tea ball has a big, plastic Santa Claus on it - not so good for photography. Place the tea bag back in the teacup and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Let it infuse for at least 2 minutes before drinking. Sweeten with honey if desired.