Patrick’s weekend could be summed up in the word “overindulging”. Rich food, wine, chocolate, whiskey – you name it and I probably overindulged in it! So in the mornings I stayed away from traditional tea and went for the herbal tea or tisanes that are non-caffeinated. For nausea, some people recommend peppermint tea (particularly for seasickness) and I think it works well as a prevention but once I feel queasy, it doesn’t seem to help at all.
Instead, I go for fennel tea. If you don’t like liquorice, this isn’t the tea for you but otherwise drinking this can feel almost instantly soothing for the stomach. As a bonus, fennel seeds are rich in anti-oxidants and a concentrated source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Fennel tea can also be taken for other digestive ailments like indigestion and heartburn.
Fennel comes in the form of light brown/green seeds. To prepare I bruise about a tablespoon of seeds (5g) with a pestle and mortar (bruising between two spoons works too). Then I put the seeds in a brew basket, add 200ml of boiling water to the cup and infuse for about 5 minutes. The brown fluid looks a bit murky but smells of liquorice and aniseed and is pleasantly warming to drink. You can infuse a second time but it will be noticeably weaker.
[If you are wondering how all of this fits in with the steeping method that I talked about here, bear in mind that short steepings only apply to real tea (black, green, yellow, white, oolong and pu-erh), not to herbal teas/ tisanes. Tisanes have their own steeping guidelines depending on the herb but generally it is several minutes.]
Most tea houses and herbal shops will stock fennel seeds but because fennel seeds are used regularly in cooking, you can usually buy it in the spices section at the supermarket. I bought 100g for €3 which is excellent value as 100g would make at least 20 cups of tea.
I can confirm that fennel tea does not cure headaches but one thing at a time