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Golden Milk: A Dreamy Nighttime Drink to Soothe Your Nerve!

Golden Milk: A Dreamy Nighttime Drink to Soothe Your Nerve!

You must have heard of golden milk mentioned in health websites every now and then. In case you are wondering what exactly golden milk is, well, it’s a healthy drink packed with the goodness of turmeric, black pepper and virgin coconut oil mixed with your favorite milk for a drink that bursts with health benefits.

More and more people are discovering the various health benefits of golden milk – though an Ayurvedic version of this is quite commonly used in the Indian subcontinent as a cure for just about everything – colds, fevers, skin ailments or congestion. [1]. Even though golden milk can be made with any milk be it soy, dairy, nuts or even coconut – the Indian haldi doodh (turmeric milk) is made by boiling freshly ground turmeric root in milk, adding a teaspoon of ghee and a dash of pepper and sweetening it with jaggery or honey…

Can Golden Milk Be Made At Home?

Once you source all the ingredients of golden milk, it’s a drink you can easily prepare within the comfort of your home. What you need is:

  • A glass of your favorite milk: Dairy, soy, coconut milk or even nut milk like almond or cashew: This forms the base of your drink and even if you are allergic to dairy or soy or are a vegan – nut milk is always a great option.
  • Fresh turmeric root or organic turmeric powder: Fresh turmeric is easily grown in the tropics but if the fresh root is not so easily available where you live then you can use 100% organic turmeric powder.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: All you need is organic peppercorns loaded in a pepper grinder, ready to go.
  • Ghee or virgin coconut oil: The healthy fats of ghee or virgin coconut oil further aid in the absorption of the healthy properties of turmeric.
  • Honey or jaggery: Unsweetened golden milk can get a tad bitter or sharp – the jaggery or honey will add some healthy sweetness to your preferred glass of golden milk.

Each of these ingredients come loaded with health benefits, and together, the combination that makes golden milk can really up to your health quotient in so many ways…

Are All the Ingredients of Golden Milk Healthy?

The jury is pretty much still out on whether dairy is actually healthy or not, and should humans even drink the milk of other mammals. Plus there are many studies that also point out to the fact that pasteurization of milk is increasing lactose intolerance in us. [2]. That said dairy fans can still use the milk they like, as can vegans or people with a preference for soy, coconut or even nut milk.

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  • Turmeric is, of course, a super ingredient, and has multiple benefits from cancer prevention to pain relief, anti-inflammatory benefits, and antibacterial benefits as well. Research is proving that turmeric improves the immune system, is helpful in easing arthritic pain, and might have anti-cancer and Alzheimer-fighting benefits as well. It also reduces cholesterol thereby lessening future chances of heart troubles as well. [3]
  • Black pepper comes with its own set of health benefits which include it fighting off colds and respiratory disorders, coughs, constipation, indigestion, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and heart disease – to say the least! [4]
  • Similarly, the healthy fat content of ghee [5] or virgin coconut oil [6] make you lose weight, keep your skin healthy and boost the immune system as well.
  • The healthy sugars of honey [7] or jaggery [8] also aid in digestion, and detox your body while adding some yummy goodness as well.

What Are the Straight Up Benefits of Golden Milk?

Obviously, with such healthy ingredients that complement each other as well, golden milk has to be bursting with many a health benefit. Here are some of them…

Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Turmeric, black pepper and the healthy fats of virgin coconut oil or ghee work together to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to anyone suffering from joint problems. [9]

Aids In Optimum Digestion & Weight Loss

Turmeric eases heartburn and indigestion, and the healthy fats of ghee or coconut oil aid in it. The spiciness of black pepper and the fibrous goodness of jaggery further aid in the optimal absorption of nutrients and prevent constipation as well. [10]

Is Good For the Heart

All the ingredients of golden milk work in some or the other way to aid in heart health – by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and even thinning out the blood. [11]

Can Help Diabetics Control Sugar Spikes

Turmeric and coconut oil can help the body regulate its insulin levels and basically prevent sugar spikes in diabetics. [12]

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Can Improve Brain Function

Black pepper, turmeric as well as the healthy fats of ghee or coconut oil get metabolized in the liver and are turned into brain food – in total, golden milk helps prevent degenerative diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s and also improves memory and lowers depression. Golden milk also has anti-stress properties, since turmeric stimulates the brain’s neurotransmitters and promotes happy thoughts. [13]

Have A Better Immune System

Most of the ingredients of golden milk have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties; which means that only does this drink help you fight off infections but also give your immune system a solid boost to get well faster… [14]

Aid in Weight Loss

The combination of all these ingredients – turmeric, black pepper, honey or jaggery and ghee or coconut oil boost metabolism, reduces those hunger pangs without suppressing appetite and also help to burn body fat quicker – thus helping you in your fitness and weight loss goals. [15]

Prevent Cancer

Studies are still on but turmeric has shown great promise in cancer prevention since it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and early studies have shown that it helps to suppress the start, progress, and metastasis of tumors. [16]

Are There Any Side Effects of Golden Milk?

While turmeric is a wonderful herb that nature has made for us to partake, too much of a good thing can be bad as well. Obviously, if you are allergic to one or more of the said ingredients, do not drink golden milk or substitute those ingredients for safer ones.

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The active ingredient of turmeric – curcumin, can be reactive in a number of medical conditions. People undergoing surgery, pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics, those with gallbladder stones, GERD, infertility, hormonal problems or fertility issues may want to check the safety of golden milk with their doctors before having it. [17]

What Kind of Turmeric Is Best?

The spice that we know as turmeric is obtained from the root of the turmeric plant – when fresh; it has a raw, earthy smell. This root can be washed and juiced to get the ideal turmeric extract to make golden milk. However, if and when the fresh root is not available, use organic turmeric powder instead.

What Is the Procedure of Making Golden Milk?

Golden milk can be made in the modern way or the traditionally Ayurvedic way. We give you two equally beneficial recipes:

1.Ayurvedic Golden Milk

    The traditional Indian recipe calls for milk as in dairy and a rather simple way of making the milk.

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    Here’s the Ayurvedic Golden Milk recipe from Maharishi Ayurveda.

    2. Golden Coconut Milk

      The golden milk cult following seems to have taken the world by storm with more and more people actually preferring to have golden milk lattes over teas and coffee.

      Here’s a slightly more exotic and complicated golden milk recipe from Epicurious.

      What’s The Best Time to Have Golden Milk?

      The enlivening properties of golden milk are best enjoyed at night; say an hour before bedtime. This revs up your sleep time digestion, alleviates stress and gives you a good night’s sleep.

      So basically, unless you have a medical condition in which you have to avoid turmeric, there are no reasons not to have golden milk, but plenty of reasons to say cheers and drink up. Happy health to you!

      Featured photo credit: The Violet Fog via violetfog.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Rima Pundir

      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

      1. Gratitude

      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

      Gratitude-Quotes

        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

        write down goals

          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

          6. Rise Earlier

          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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