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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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      Last Updated on August 13, 2020

      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

      As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

      1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

      I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

      Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

      Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

      2. What is the purpose of meditation?

      The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

      It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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      Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

      In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

      You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

      This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

      The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

      Less Physical, More Psychological

      Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

      This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

      The First Benefit of Meditation

      The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

      1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
      2. Relaxation of the body

      Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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      Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

      That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

      When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

      When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

      Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

      Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

      This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

      Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

      Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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      This benefit takes you to the second one.

      The Second Benefit of Meditation

      While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

      1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
      2. Observance
      3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
      4. Patience

      Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

      You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

      This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

      1. Energy

      Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

      2. Observance

      The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

      3. Peacefulness

      Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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      4. Patience

      The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

      The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

      Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

      Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

      The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

      • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
      • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
      • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
      • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
      • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
      • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

      These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

      Final Thoughts

      Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

      Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

      Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

      More on Meditation

      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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