Gut Nourishing Tea Recipe

Inflammation is harmful to the gut, and when leaky gut is present the mucilage of the gut is diminished. Therefore I created this really simple and nourishing tea for gut health! Last week I was visiting Texas and kept thinking about Texas “traditions” that I grew up with.

One of those things is Iced Tea.

If you've ever been to Texas, or met a Texan, you'll know they typically don't have a meal unless it's served with tea.

When they say tea, they don't mean hot tea, the way some other regions might expect. They mean iced black tea, not too strong, and it's usually sweetened. Most Texans like their tea plain, meaning no added flavors or potential adulterations of their classic... except, perhaps, a slice of lemon.

I recall when my mother came to visit Colorado while I was in college and we went to the Cheesecake Factory (I sure did used to eat that!). She ordered tea with her meal. They then asked her what kind, of which she did not really know how to reply. They were offering hot tea. She wanted iced. Period. I will never forget the way her face pursed as she drank the mango iced tea they offered. That's the moment I realized Texas tea was not the norm outside of Texas!

Though I haven't had Texas style tea in a decade or so, I can understand the flavor profile people want out of it. Sweet, gently bitter and, well, iced cold (because it's usually hot in Texas).

While black tea is from the tea plant, it's worth noting that the term tea is used interchangeably in our society.

There's the tea plant, camellia sinensis, including black, white and green leaves (all the same plant at different levels of maturity, some of which are fermented). And there's the term tea that basically means any herb or blend that is steeped with hot water, but not made specifically of the tea plant.

This Gut Nourishing Tea is an herbal tea. It is a combination of therapeutic herbs, which support gut health. And, while highly medicinal, can be served as a "plain" style iced tea.

The base of the tea is rooibos, a red bush caffeine-free tea. It is inherently sweet. I love rooibos tea! I make lots of herbal blend teas and put rooibos into them to mask some of bitter tones and create a sweeter, more palatable tea. It's has an almost vanilla-like flavor profile, but still a hint of bitter than helps to mimick black tea. Rooibos can be found loose or in tea bags at most any natural food market. *Anytime you are purchasing a bagged tea, be sure to read ingredients. Lots of surprising, and totally unnecessary, ingredients may be hidden there.

Therapeutic aspects of this Gut Nourishing Tea include:

Calendula: anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, generally healing

Marshmallow Root: mucilaginous, anti-inflammatory, may calm overactive immunity, soothes irritated mucosa or digestive tract

Slippery Elm Bark: mucilaginous, anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated mucosa or digestive tract

Licorice Root: soothes irritated mucosa, acts as a sweetener

The above herbal ingredients are more likely found in the bulk department of your local health food store, or herbal shop. When purchasing in bulk, you can try new things in small quantities. A few ounces to start is a nice way to go. I typically source from a local apothecary in Boulder, but you can find these items online, too. Always go for organic when making teas, as the potency of the herb is magnified. Buying in larger quantity bulk can also be great but, unless you are using daily, I find that about 2 cups (weight depends on product) of herbs will typically last up to 6 months.

As with anything, you can play with the amounts and steeping time to create your most desired flavor. But know, the longer you steep the more potent, and often bitter, the herbs become.

Let me know how it turns out! xo, B

pictued above are Rooibos & Slippery Elm


By: Brandi Mackenzie | Yields 2-4 Cups


2-4 cups Boiling Water, based on desired potency 1 tablespoon Roobios Tea 1/2 teaspoon Calendula 1/2 teaspoon Marshmallow Root 1/2 teaspoon Slippery Elm Bark tiny pinch Licorice Root, optional


1. Steep herbs in boiling water, for 4-8 minutes, until desired flavor is reached.

More water means less potent. Longer steep means stronger. I typically steep my hot, herbal teas for 4 minutes.  To prepare Texas-style, make stronger, chill and serve over ice.