About a year ago I fell in love with golden milk (otherwise known as turmeric milk), and it’s been a long-running love affair! Not only is this drink delicious, there are lots of health benefits of golden milk that just need to be explored!
In this season of cool rains and darker days that characterize Hawaii winters, I find that golden milk is a lovely, nourishing way to pause for a slow moment of self-care, especially at the end of the day.
What is Golden Milk?
Golden milk, sometimes called turmeric milk or turmeric lattes, is a mix of milk (any type of plant or dairy milk), warmed through with a blend of spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper – the latter of which helps improve the bioavailability of the potent compounds in turmeric known as curcumin.
I like to make my golden milk recipe with an unsweetened coconut milk, the aforementioned spices, a tiny bit of maple syrup or coconut sugar, and a blend of turmeric and ginger juice that I make every few weeks in my juicer. But you can also make a great version with dried turmeric and other dried herbs. It’s also really delicious blended with some chocolate for a Turmeric Cocoa drink, or blended with a bit of espresso for daytime!
Health Benefits of Golden Milk
I’ve written a lot about the health benefits of turmeric before, so I will just share some of the key points here:
- Curcumin, one of the key constituents in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory
- Turmeric is also a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Turmeric can help improve the health of your skeletal system and joint health
- Encourages your healthy liver function
- Turmeric has (preliminarily) been shown to be helpful for digestive disorders in medical settings, but has been used for centuries for ailments like indigestion, gas, and/or poor digestion.
Do you wish to go beyond golden milk and explore the flavor and health benefits of fresh and dried turmeric? Both have a pungent, slightly bitter and earthy flavor without the spicy zing of ginger. You can use minced fresh turmeric in soups, sauces, stir-fries and curries or simply use a microplane grater to add a bit to your salads or meals, or juice with citrus for a super bright fresh juice. The bright orange color will stain your hands, utensils, clothing, dish towels, and cutting boards, so take note and don’t wear white when prepping!
Health Benefits of Golden Milk
What I love MOST about this golden milk is that it feels really soothing and is really GOOD for the body. It’s just barely sweet, a bit spicy, and rich from the healthy fats.
This drink is also deeply calming for me, and can help soothe a rattling brain at the end of a busy day. In addition to the ‘hard’ health benefits, turmeric is deeply relaxing and can help our body adapt to stress. This powerful herb has been found to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and help people sleep better. I know anecdotally that golden milk can help bring a sense of calm to my nightly routine. I love it after dinner and really helps ‘ground’ me into the evening.
One of the other big benefits is that other ingredients (in my recipe for Golden Milk, and most others) include things like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. These are delicious, for sure, but also all are powerful carminative herbs, which are helpful for digestion. So golden milk is a great drink for after meals, both because it’s just sweet enough to tackle that craving that affects so many of us, but also because it can promote better digestion; these herbs are especially known for reducing gas and bloat.