With the cold spells drawing upon us and the nights getting darker, there’s nothing more comforting than sipping a warm and soothing hot drink to fight the winter blues. Amid the latest buzz in herbal lattes and turmeric lattes, you may be wondering what is Turmeric Golden Milk?
This age-old Eastern cooking spice is increasingly becoming popular as a hipster beverage in the West. Seriously rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, even Starbucks and Pret A Manger recognises it’s healing powers and have jumped on the band wagon to produce a turmeric latte. So what is it exactly?
A Little History
Native to southern India, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial plant and belongs to the Ginger family. The root of the plant is used both as a spice and as a medicine.
Traditionally, it is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. As a symbol of prosperity, it was considered a ‘cleansing herb’ for the whole body. In India, it is widely regarded as a tonic for digestive and liver issues, blood disorders, skin disorders and as a wound healer.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s used to treat liver and gallbladder issues, help stop bleeding, ease menstrual pain and chest congestion.
Nowadays, it’s popularly known as the yellow spice that gives curries their incredible golden glow.
It’s main plant chemical, curcumin, (which gives the spice its vibrant golden hue) has been shown to contain potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects that may be protective against certain inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s and help prevent certain forms of cancers.
So, What Exactly Is It Then?
I’m glad you’ve asked.
It’s essentially a latte made with milk or plant milk and Turmeric. There are many variations in making golden milk but to get the maximum absorption from Turmeric, add some form of fat (I like using coconut oil) and black pepper.
In India, it’s known as ‘haldi doodh’ – which literally means ‘turmeric milk’ in Punjabi and traditionally made with cow’s milk. It’s often given to kids as a remedy to soothe coughs and colds.
Other aliases include:
- turmeric tea
- turmeric latte
- golden spiced latte
- golden latte
- moon milk.
How Do I Make It?
I’ve started drinking this blend a few months ago and it works a treat, especially before bed as it helps relaxation and helps boost the immune system whilst I’m in the land of nod. It can be drunk in the morning too as a great pick-me-up and a healthier alternative to coffee. My 4 year old loves drinking this too!
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 cup milk or plant milk (I like using almond or coconut)
- 1 pinch Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Coconut Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Ginger Root (fresh or powder)
- 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 1 Date (optional)
- ½ teaspoon Honey (raw is best)
- 1 pinch Vanilla powder (optional)
You can either blend it all up and then gently heat it up in a pan for 3-4 minutes. Or just add everything (except the honey which you can add at the end) in a pan on a low heat and stir generously until steaming but not boiling (6-7 minutes). Either way, you’ll have some very yellow-stained kitchenware!
One issue with using Turmeric to heal is it has poor bioavailability, which means the amount we can absorb and actually use. With Turmeric you would have to consume quite a bit in order to reach the therapeutic dose.
To overcome this drawback, certain foods are recommended which can boost absorption such as black pepper (due to a compound called ‘piperine‘) and fat (such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil or olive oil)
Why Drink It? 6 Beneficial Reasons Why It’s Good For You
Inflammation is the body’s natural way to respond when it identifies something as harmful such as an injury, an irritation, a type of bacteria or even pollen. It is part of the body’s immune response and generally involves pain, redness, swelling and warmth.
Cancers are a group of diseases characterised by abnormal cell growth and can develop anywhere in the body. Scientists now believe that there as many different forms of cancer as there are people who have cancer and the most startling evidence is the fact that many cancers occur largely in developed countries.
According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 UK people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. That’s quite staggering data.
The chemoprevetative effect of curcumin during the progression stages of colon cancer significantly inhibited tumour growth.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells in the body from oxidative damage. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can form nasty invaders like ‘free radicals’ that don’t belong in the body. They can be produced by smoking, radiation, environmental pollution and burnt foods, such as BBQ food.
A lifelong disorder in which the body is unable to regulate glucose which leads to high levels of blood sugar in the body. According to the NHS, Type II diabetes is more common than Type I diabetes as in the UK, almost 90% of adults with diabetes have Type II.
A 9-month study into the use of curcumin delayed the development of Type II diabetes.
Extensive research within the past two decades has revealed that obesity is a major risk factor for Type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer and other chronic diseases. One study found that orally ingested curcumin reverses many of the inflammatory elements associated with obesity and improved glycemic control in mouse models of Type II diabetes.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia that leads to the ongoing decline in brain functioning.
Many studies have highlighted curcumin’s multiple pharmacological activities that have the potential to be used to treat many gastrointestinal diseases.
Have you tried Turmeric Golden Milk before? If so, how did you make it? Did you drink it as a child or as an adult or perhaps you use it in cooking? Were you aware of the healing benefits from using this? I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and comments on the subject. Thanks for reading.
Peace be with you