Coffee and green tea have been praised for their antioxidant properties, but now there is another drink you can add to the list – turmeric milk. As its name implies, turmeric milk contains turmeric root which is a staple in Asian cuisine, particularly curry dishes.
Loaded with nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, turmeric milk offers a great mix of health benefits. But sadly, many people living in Western society have yet to catch on. This article reveals all that should be known about turmeric milk as well as how you can make your own at home.
What exactly is Turmeric Milk?
Often referred to as “golden milk,” or in India “haldi doodh,” turmeric milk is in fact yellow. It usually consists of just two ingredients: turmeric and milk. Although, other varieties exist.
The milk used in turmeric milk may be cow milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or a combination of these. Coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, raw honey, and other spices besides turmeric may also be added.
Many prefer to consume turmeric milk warm either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or last thing at night before bed. Either time will offer an amazing supply of benefits for your overall health.
Turmeric Milk is an Ancient and Potent Therapy
As you may have guessed, turmeric milk is so effective thanks to its main ingredient, turmeric. Turmeric may just be an herb, but its therapeutic qualities really cannot be exaggerated. After all, there has to be a reason why turmeric is used heavily in Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Research shows that turmeric participates in over 150 beneficial activities in the body that produce either anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, or anti-cancer effects. This makes turmeric a helpful treatment for wound healing, skin conditions, joint pain, respiratory illnesses, digestion problems, and liver disease.
Turmeric actually has to thank one of its most active compounds, curcumin, for its powerful effects. Once turmeric is digested, it is curcumin that goes to work on the body’s cells and does the following:
- Regulates approximately 700 different genes
- Activates over 160 different biological processes
- Straightens up the structure of the membrane that surrounds cells
- Intercepts certain signaling molecules and turns them off or on
Those signaling molecules are typically involved in DNA storage, protein synthesis, nutrient transport, cell preservation, inflammatory activities, and immune functions.
The 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric Milk
Shortened Cold and Flu Symptoms
Turmeric’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics make it ideal for supporting overall immunity. Individuals at a greater risk of getting infected, such as children, swimmers, and people who work around large groups of people, can especially benefit from turmeric milk.
During cold and flu season specifically, or if you are just particularly vulnerable to becoming ill, consider drinking warm turmeric milk every day. By increasing mucus production and fighting the inflammatory process, turmeric milk will at least reduce the length of time your symptoms last or prevent you from becoming ill all together.
Lasting arthritis pain relief
When people hear of foods described as “anti-inflammatory,” arthritis often comes to mind. Fortunately, turmeric milk serves as an excellent herbal remedy for arthritis pain with lasting effects thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory qualities.
It is important to note that dairy products, like cow milk, can actually trigger or aggravate inflammatory conditions. So when drinking turmeric milk to reduce inflammation in the body, opt to combine your turmeric with a non-dairy, milk alternative like almond milk or coconut milk.
Preventive anti-cancer effects
Curcumin specializes in destroying cancerous cells throughout the body and preventing their spread elsewhere in a process clinically referred to as metastasis. These effects have been observed by researchers for multiple cancers including cancers of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and skin.
It surprises many people to learn that everyone develops cancer cells in their body. However, it is the immune system that targets these cells and destroys them before full cancer can develop. Well, turmeric milk helps the immune system kill such cancerous growth which can easily go undetected in its early stages.
Relieved autoimmune disease
Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus are just a few examples of the many autoimmune diseases that may arise in the body. The causes of autoimmune disease vary drastically and often link back to the diet in some way. As a result, treatment options usually focus on suppressing disease symptoms and excessive immune system action.
Herbal treatments have proven effective for controlling symptoms as well as generating disease remission or elimination. Turmeric represents one of those herbal treatments especially for autoimmune diseases involving the joints, skin, or digestive system. And these benefits are maintained with drinking turmeric milk.
Improved gastrointestinal health
It is believed that turmeric initially gained its popularity for use in food from its amazing effectiveness in relieving heartburn, gas, and bloating. Nevertheless, further studies have shown that turmeric improves digestion, in particular the digestion of fat, by increasing the flow of bile.
Turmeric milk delivers the same benefits and treats gastrointestinal infections. Accordingly, turmeric milk serves as a reliable and affordable treatment for parasite infections in the intestinal tract. This is especially helpful in tropical regions where parasite infections in children are common, but treatment is very challenging.
Reliable headache or migraine treatment
For people who dislike taking an aspirin every time they get a headache, then turmeric milk may be just what the doctor ordered. When consumed warm, turmeric milk eases headaches by decreasing sinus congestion and increasing the flow of mucus.
One way turmeric achieves this is by thinning the blood to promote blood circulation. Thus, people who take blood thinners should avoid drinking turmeric milk as well as consuming turmeric period.
More quality sleep
Warm milk at bedtime has always been popular for putting children and adults alike to sleep. This technique works because milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which increases a hormone called serotonin in the brain. And it is the increase of serotonin that makes us feel calm, relaxed, and sleepy.
Now, the other amino acids found in milk can compete with tryptophan and limit its ability to get into the brain. However, the presence of turmeric alleviates that issue by increasing blood insulin which in turn absorbs all amino acids, except tryptophan, into cells. This makes it easier for tryptophan to enter the brain and warm, turmeric milk much faster in inducing sleep than warm milk alone.
External use of turmeric produces some very favorable results for overall skin health. These include smoother skin, acne control, and the fading of fine lines and scars. Consuming turmeric, however, offers these benefits along with the clearing of rosacea, liver spots, and rashes.
Drinking turmeric milk not only supports these benefits for the skin, but also significantly relieves eczema symptoms and prevents its future flare-ups. Eczema is often difficult to treat because its causes go deeper than the skin and typically link to some toxicity or an overactive immune response. This makes turmeric milk invaluable because it detoxifies the body and addresses immune system imbalances.
Reversed liver disease and purified blood
The curcumin found in turmeric can prevent or reverse liver diseases such as cirrhosis or fatty liver. The liver is responsible for identifying toxins in the blood and eliminating them. This is important because toxins that continue to circulate in the blood can damage blood vessels and body tissues and cause disease.
Turmeric’s ability to fight liver damage and support liver function ultimately supports increased detoxification of the blood. Following that detoxification, turmeric then promotes the flushing out of toxins by increasing bile production in the liver and increasing urine production in the kidneys.
Better female reproductive health
Turmeric demonstrates several actions within the reproductive system of women. This is because turmeric is a mild phytoestrogen which interacts with the hormones in the body that normally regulate women’s reproductive functions.
Make Your Own Turmeric Milk to Meet Your Needs
Cold or flu: Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of sugar to 1 glass of your preferred milk.
Bad Cough and cold or flu: Add ½ teaspoon turmeric, a pinch of sugar, and ½ teaspoon carom seeds to 1 glass of your preferred milk.
Sore throat and cold or flu: Add ½ teaspoon turmeric, a pinch of sugar, and 1 teaspoon minced ginger to 1 glass of your preferred milk.
Sleep: Bring 1 cup of your preferred milk to a boil. Then add ½ teaspoon of turmeric and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg.
Studies show that black pepper can boost the ability of curcumin to enter cells. So, consider adding 1½ teaspoons to any turmeric milk recipe for faster results.
Balasubramanian, S., Roselin, P., Singh, K. K., &…Saxena, S. N. (2016). Postharvest processing and benefits of black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, fenugreek, and turmeric spices. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 56(10):1585-1607. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.759901
Curejoy. (2018, March). 8 Health benefits of turmeric milk: A golden elixir. Retrieved from https://www.curejoy.com/content/health-benefits-of-turmeric-milk/
Mercola, J. (2015, September). What is golden milk? Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/golden-milk.aspx
Patterson, S. (2016, April). 12 Reasons to start drinking turmeric (golden) milk + how to make it. Retrieved from https://www.naturallivingideas.com/turmeric-milk-benefits/