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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

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      Rima Pundir

      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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