Health & Wellness

Spices and Teas for Better Digestion

If you know what to brew, you can keep your tummy healthy while keeping yourself warm

 By Katrina Caruso


If you reach for comfort foods to ease the winter blues, you might discover that with richer foods come digestive problems. If you’re experiencing tummy troubles, you may be happy to hear that certain spices can relieve discomfort, bloating, and other literal gut reactions.

Your first thought may be to brew up for a cup of peppermint tea, but, while it can be help with gas and indigestion, peppermint has been found not to relieve heartburn.

Below are a few spices that can help promote better digestion, and three teas you can make with these ingredients.

Spices for Better Digestion:

Coriander can help counteract diarrhea and constipation, as well as abdominal pain and cramping.

Cumin contains a compound called thymon, which helps to digest food in the stomach and intestines. It also faciliates the absorption of nutrients.

Fennel can help with a variety of digestive problems, including gas, inflammation, bloating, and heartburn.

Black pepper acts as a stimulant, which can help with digesting food.

Cinnamon works to relieve gas and discomfort in the stomach.

Ginger can help with nausea as well as help to treat an upset stomach.

Cardamom can relieve heartburn, nausea, gas, constipation, and Iirritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Star anise can help with gas, flatulence, and bloating.


Tea Recipes for Better Digestion:

Cinnamon, Ginger, and Pepper Black Tea

– Using a mortar, blender, or food processor, crush 4 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1–2 ginger slices.

– Add to saucepan with 1/8 tsp. black pepper (freshly ground) and 3.5 cups choice of milk (recommended: coconut milk).

– Bring to boil, remove from heat, and let steep in pan for 5 minutes.

– Add 2 tbsp. loose black tea; steep for 2 minutes.

– Strain and mix, adding honey to taste, and serve.


Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel Tea

– Add 1 tsp. of coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds (unroasted and whole) to 4 cups water.

– Bring to boil, strain, and serve.


Star Anise Tea*

– Add 4 star anise seeds to 2 cups water.

– Bring to boil and steep for 15 minutes.

– Strain, adding honey to taste, and serve.

*Make sure to use Chinese star anise. Health Canada advises against using Japanese or European anise.



Photo: iStock/Zb89V.