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Is there anything more refreshing than early morning CCF tea sipping in oversized linen shirts with the first glimpse of warm sun rays on your face? July brings mornings when I love waking up before 6am to soak in these precious hours. We open up all the windows wide and start the fans blowing to cut the humidity that built up over night and absorb the early morning bird chirps that flood the neighborhood. During this month too...the oppressive southern humidity starts to settle in, the heat melts onto my skin and the garden is heavy with fresh, heavy, nutrient abundant veggies. Everything just feels thick and laden right now, and anything to take the edge off is most welcome. This time of year, my appetite really shifts into a scant reflection of what is once was six months ago, and I find myself craving more raw fresh fruits and veggies (which is not really great for my vata digestive tract on the regular...) and over the years I've found that the perfect solution to this predictable seasonal shift in digestion is incorporating CCF tea into my daily rotation. 

CCF Tea (Cumin, Coriander, Fennel), is a traditional Ayurvedic tea to support digestion and works as a tonic herbal support for any type of digestive seasonal shift. I find that when my diet shifts towards more raw foods (which are generally harder for the body to digest), my vata constitution has a harder time processing these foods. The combination of cumin, coriander and fennel naturally helps to ignite agni (digestive fire) to break down foods more efficiently and has the added benefit of enhancing absorption of nutrients as well. Coriander has the subtle ability to expel heat, cooling over heated (or excess) areas of the body. Cumin is a more warming and stimulating spice that aids in the absorption of nutrients and promotes detoxification, while fennel is a cooling, gentle carminative in the gut, helping to soothe and calm the lower digestive tract.  This seedy combination of herbs is relatively energetically neutral (not too cool, not too warm) and is truly ideal for almost all Ayurvedic constitutions to consume during any season. During the summer months, I often make a fresh batch in the morning and let it cool for about an hour before I pack it up in a mason jar and take it along with me for the day. 

This month, I've also been craving more minerals (and I've been so thirsty!!), so I've added in a bit of nettles to my CCF tea batch to quench my mineral lusting thirst and it works like a charm. Nettle is jam packed with nutrients and minerals including magnesium, potassium and tannins along with high amounts of zinc, calcium and chromium. It's a beautiful anti-inflammatory as well and I clearly love this herb like no other because it's been added to so many other monthly steeps I've made this year. 

When I prepare my CCF tea, I almost always use equal parts of all herbs, and I also keep a steady supply of Banyan Botanicals CCF Tea on hand as well. Nettle I'm harvesting locally if it's in season, and otherwise I keep lots on hand from  Mountain Rose Herbs who harvest their nettle domestically in the US. 

CCF Tea + Nettle

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried Nettle leaf
Serves 1

Mix all ingredients together and add to a tea steeper or to the bottom of a glass container. Cover with 2 cups hot water and let steep 12 minutes. Strain and sip before or after meals to promote healthy digestion, or strain and let cool to pack away with you for the day. 

 

I just arrived back home this week from another amazingly awesome Medicine's from the Earth conference in Black Mountain, NC and I'm still feeling the buzz of energy I always seem to absorb while I'm there. This was my fourth year attending this magical conference, and I'm always so jazzed by the time I leave I want to learn more about every. single. thing. It often feels like there's an endless stream of new things to learn about herbal medicine and therapeutic nutrition - I love that about this field. No matter how much I think I know, I'm blown away by how much more there is to learn and share. One of my favorite things about herbal medicine is learning from so many different teachers with different backgrounds... perspectives and experiences with herbs vary so much and it further reinforces that there is no one right way to do anything, but a collective wisdom that is shared from practitioner to person that is equally effective even with no single protocol. The flexibility and creativity of herbs and nutrition is endless - and I love that. 

Since returning home, the past week has been a busy one indeed, but what was most jarring was how much the garden has exploded with beets, chard, cucumbers, basil and squashes and it's only just getting started. June is the month of beginning summer abundance from our garden. Also, we finally starting hitting some 90 degree afternoons here in Richmond, VA...which I can't way I mind. I kind of like the oppressive heat of summer. But, when in need of a cool down - thank goodness for an excessive supply of cucumbers. These little viney green dudes are my favorite thing to infuse in chilled water with some extra fresh fruits & herbs for a delicious herby/fruity infused "tea" that I sip on all day for weeks. It especially hits the spot when the 99% humidity rolls in around mid July...

These fruit & herb infused teas can work with almost any fruits you have on hand throughout the seasons (including peaches, pineapple, pears, apples, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, limes, hibiscus, kiwis etc). Just add a bunch and see how you like it! The cucumbers really give it a cooling undertone, and adding in fresh or dried herbs like lavender and orange peel is another delicious addition (I use dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and absolutely love them). Experiment with each season and Sip Consciously...

Fruit & Herb Infusions

Cucumbers
Blueberries
Lemon
Strawberries
Fresh Basil
Grapefruit
Lavender Flowers
Orange Peel (fresh or dried)
Fresh Sage
Filtered Water or Sparkling Water

Strawberry Basil - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 4 sliced strawberries and 5-6 fresh basil leaves. Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Blueberry Lemon - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 lemon (sliced and squeezed including the juice). Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Lavender Grapefruit - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 1/2 grapefruit (in chunks and squeezed, including the juice), 1 tsp lavender flowers, 1 tsp dried or fresh orange peel, and 4-5 fresh sage leaves. Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

When ready to drink, pour through a strainer, smashing all the juice out. Drink chilled with extra lemon if desired. 

 

This month, my April steep is a bit different. Although I love creating new blends every month, experimenting with flavors and energetics and emotionally supportive herbal allies...there are some points in time when I just want to feel tended to. I'll preface by saying that this is not a sponsored post, but rather a genuine outpouring of love for an herbal blend (and herbal company) that I absolutely love. Gaia has been a company that perpetually impresses and inspires me. They formulate the most amazingly therapeutic herbal products, and it's happened more than once over the years that one of their herbal formulas (either a tea blend, or a targeted capsule or an extract) came to the rescue for exactly what I needed. I often feel like sometimes their herbal blends were made just for me, which is kind of a magical thing considering how many thousands of people take their products. That was the case for their Golden Milk blended with my homemade almond milk. At first sip, I melted into the rich flavors and felt immediately taken care of. And it couldn't have come at a better time. At the end of March my grandmother passed away, and with her passing came an array of emotional and mental and physical experiences that I'm sure will persist for many months. But for the month of April, at least, Gaia's Golden milk will be my daily steep because of how warm and nourishing and well tended to it makes me feel. 

Gaia's Golden Milk is a therapeutic and time honored blend of turmeric, dates, ashwagandha, cardamom, vanilla bean & black pepper. When decocted in a warm milk, the medicinal components are extracted beautifully to create a creamy, nourishing, grounding and calming tea that's best sipped in a quiet space, curled up in a blanket with a pup at your feet and a box of old letters. Turmeric is incredibly therapeutic to so many organ systems (largely due to its curcuminoids content), but when taken as a whole in traditional fashion, turmeric is extremely restorative to the liver and functions as a profound anti-inflammatory and immune support. Turmeric is often difficult to absorb, but when combine with black pepper the absorption is enhanced. The added sweetness of dates, vanilla and cardamom make this Golden Milk blend so decadent it's like sipping an indulgent dessert (and the creamy richness of almond milk doesnt hurt either). And then there's wonderfully strong yet subtle ashwagandha, the magical adaptogenic yet calming herbal ally to support both the adrenal glands and central nervous system - making it ideal for both morning and evening consumption. 

I started sipping this the day I heard the news about my grandmother, and I never realized it before, but the taste and smell of turmeric remind me of her. When sipping this golden milk blend with my homemade almond milk every day since, I feel completely taken care of. Sort of like a time when you just want your mom and a teddy bear and all of your responsibilities to go away for a while. This is how golden milk makes me feel - even if it only lasts for one mug full of warmth. I drink it in the morning to begin my days, and also in the evening while Greg sips is nighttime herbal tea, and the calming restorative turmeric + ashwagandha combo helps me ease into peaceful and restorative sleeps. 

Now through April 19th, you can enter to win a years supply of Gaia's Golden Milk + a 1 year supply of Califia Farms Almond milk. 

Almond Milk + Golden Milk

For the Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds, soaked at least 6 hours
4 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
4 cups filtered water
For the Golden milk
1 serving Gaia Golden Milk
1 tsp organic ghee
8 ounces almond milk

Combine soaked almonds, dates, pink salt, vanilla and filtered water in a high speed blender (I use a vitamix) and blend very well until frothy and creamy, about 1 full minute. Strain through a nut milk bag or finely meshed cheese cloth. Store in a glass container for up to 5 days, shaking before each use. 

Golden Milk : pour 8 ounces of almond milk into a small pot and add 1 serving Gaia Golden milk and 1 tsp organic ghee. Heat slowly and stir often until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, pour in your favorite mug and sip consciously. 


 


HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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