Ever since golden milk was pronounced “2016’s drink of choice” by The Guardian (1), interest in this frothy, warm, yellow beverage has skyrocketed. But why has it become so popular? What are the benefits of golden milk? And where did it come from?
Golden milk is a variant of a traditional Indian beverage called Haldi Doodh, or “turmeric milk,” which has been used in ayurvedic medicine since ancient times for sleep and as a cold remedy. In the West, the many health and wellness benefits of golden milk’s core ingredients have made this delicious drink into quite a hot topic.
What Makes Golden Milk Healthy?
The basics are simple: take the piping hot milk of your choice (we highly recommend coconut!) and mix it with turmeric—the yellow spice that gives golden milk both its color and its name.
Turmeric comes from a root in the ginger family that’s used both for its rich, peppery flavor and its abundance of “curcumin,” the active medicinal ingredient. Supplement with other spices like cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger, then add honey as a natural sweetener for a truly tasty treat. The best part? This particular blend of ingredients combines into a powerful healing elixir.
- Curcumin is a powerful bioactive compound found in turmeric that has well-established antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Black pepper contains “piperine,” which stops your liver from breaking down the curcumin before it can get into the bloodstream. Just a pinch of pepper can boost curcumin’s bioavailability by up to 2000%.
- Fats (from the coconut milk) also enhance the body’s absorption of curcumin, because it is fat-soluble.
- Cinnamon and ginger have some of the same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as the curcumin in turmeric and gives the drink a richer and sweeter flavor profile.
This rockstar combination of superfood spices works together to do a ton of things your body will love.
What Are the Health Benefits of Golden Milk?
1. It Soothes Soreness, Reverses Swelling, and Comforts Joints
Some studies have found curcumin to be as powerful and safer than anti-inflammatory NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) (2). Whether you’re sore from the gym or suffering from osteoarthritis, golden milk may help to soothe aches from inflammation.
2. It Boosts Your Immune System
Golden milk is rich with antioxidants that fight free radicals and shield your cells from damage. Curcumin has also been linked with antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties (3). Together, these pump up your immune system to protect you from illnesses.
3. It May Help Control Blood Sugar
Some evidence has shown that regular ginger consumption can have a positive, decreasing effect on the fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes (4).
4. It Aids Digestion
Curcumin has been used to treat inflammatory bowel conditions and is known to reduce bloating and nausea. Ginger—a frequent companion of turmeric in golden milk—is a well-known home remedy for nausea and vomiting.
5. It Could Lower Your Risk of Cancer
Some studies have linked high antioxidant intake from foods like ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric to lower overall risks of developing certain cancers (5).
6. It Promotes Emotional Wellbeing
Hot beverages are a relaxing and soothing way to unwind in the evening. But research has also shown that curcumin milk can offer some relief from symptoms of depression (6).
7. It Helps Sharpen the Mind
Curcumin has been studied for its ability to aid in treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. It has been proven to boost levels of essential hormones that the brain can use to form neural connections (7).
8. It Promotes Restful Sleep
The benefits of golden milk as a bedtime ritual are many. Science has linked turmeric to calming properties, suppressed inflammation, lowered anxiety levels, and better quality of sleep.
So there you have it! The potential benefits of golden milk are truly amazing. Try your hand at an easy home recipe or a well-balanced premade mixture to test it out for yourself.