I discovered Golden Milk while studying Ayurveda in New Mexico. I was having trouble sleeping (it was so ‘bloomin’ hot in Albuquerque in the summer nights) and my routine was all over the place. I was assured by those that knew- not only did Golden Milk promise a restful night’s sleep, but it’s packed full of antioxidants and reduces inflammation too.
Benefits of Golden Milk:
Golden milk contains turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and raw honey warmed and mixed gently with coconut milk. I used coconut milk as it is cooling in the summer heat however, you can also use almond milk, rice milk, oat, and soy milk. It is also delicious with raw milk if your State allows it.
Turmeric is a spice that is touted to cure everything these days. It’s popular because it has powerful medicinal properties. It’s bright yellow color comes from Curcumin, the active ingredient that decreases inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant. Turmeric with its strong yellow color signifies its use as a liver herb that is good at drying damp and moving stagnation in the blood. It is a pungent, bitter, and astringent herb that has a heating effect. It reduces excess Vata and works specifically on the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and female reproductive systems. It treats inflammation of the joints, alleviates pain, and strengthens the joints and tendons. Useful for treating arthritis, especially that dry arthritis of Vata.
Turmeric is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream so adding a little black pepper helps you reap the full benefits of this amazing spice.
Closely related to turmeric, ginger is a root spice with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Especially good for Vata disorders, this is one of Ayurveda’s best go-to spices. When using ginger, think digestion, lungs, and circulation. All Vata problems. Ginger with its pungent and sweet taste warms the digestive system, increases digestive fire (Agni), and helps in the secretion of digestive enzymes. Also useful in nausea, especially travel-sickness, gas bloating, and stomach gripping – it has a specific action against E. Coli and Shigella bacteria.
Ginger is great when used in menstrual cramps as it regulates Vata in the lower abdomen. Despite its warm energy, it also is an anti-inflammatory. It has the properties of being able to warm and cool and is really beneficial at nourishing the reproductive system.
Ginger has a unique effect (prabhava). Its post-digestive quality is sweet which means its long-term effect is anti-inflammatory and nourishing while its initial effect is warm and stimulating for digestion. That’s good news for anyone that has digestive and inflammatory problems.
Long relied upon for its stimulating effect on circulation, cinnamon warms your blood and your body into coziness with its sweet taste and powerful punch. The warmth it brings to cold hands and feet has also been used for conditions like Raynaud’s Syndrome. Cinnamon not only helps your hands and feet, but it also stimulates circulation especially in the lungs and joints. It’s pungent spiciness warms up the lungs and liquefies mucus congestion. You may have noticed that when you make tea with cinnamon, a thick, gooey substance settles to the bottom of your cup. This gooey property is called demulcent among herbalists and helps you expectorate any thick, Kapha like mucus adhered to the bronchial tubes. Cinnamon’s demulcency also coats the throat, soothing it.
As far as your midline is concerned, cinnamon causes a metabolic reaction credited with boosting metabolism and aiding in weight loss. This tasty spice also makes golden milk all the more satisfying.
Black Pepper, the ingredient in golden milk needed to help your body absorb turmeric, has its own health benefits. This everyday spice that we take for granted treats colic, anemia, heart-related issues, and diabetes. Piperine, found in black pepper, enhances nutrient absorption. This spice also packs an antioxidant punch and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Often used in traditional medicine, honey provides a number of health benefits in golden milk. Honey has been used in medicine for more than 5,000 years! It helps heal wounds, fight infections, and even replaces sugar as a healthier sweetening option. The key with honey is to shop for the raw variety. Pasteurized honey that has been heated and processed to remove impurities, also loses some of its health benefits in the process.
Golden Milk Recipe
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (other options are almond, rice, soy milk, or oat milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or chopped fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey or raw cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon ghee (The reasons is that fat makes it easier for the body to absorb the turmeric)
- In a small saucepan (copper-pans are best for this) warm the coconut milk until hot. Do not boil.
- Whisk in unsweetened nut milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, vanilla, ghee, and black pepper.
- Whisk as the ingredients warm in the milk. Heat up for about 4 minutes until hot, but not boiling.
- Whisk frequently.
- Turn off the heat and taste to adjust the taste if necessary. Add honey or raw cane sugar to taste or more turmeric or ginger for a more intense flavor. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.
- Drink up!
It’s probably clear by now why golden milk’s popularity is skyrocketing. The number of health benefits packed into one warm mug is just fantastic. Make Golden milk a healthy habit today!
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