What is golden milk?


The golden-hued spice turmeric is considered a miracle remedy these days, but turmeric’s health benefits have been known for centuries. This spice originally imported from India is part of the ginger family and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years.

The magic ingredient is curcumin, which is credited with giving turmeric its greatest benefits, from fighting inflammation to blocking cancer and even helping with indigestion.

We could all use a daily dose of turmeric, and one way to get that daily dose is to make golden milk, or golden milk latte as it’s sometimes called. There are many variations of golden milk, but the basic ingredients are turmeric, a little black pepper, and milk — cow, almond, coconut or other.

The pepper helps with the absorption of curcumin, making it more bioavailable to the body. Adding a pinch of pepper to the golden milk will increase its benefits.

Other ingredients that are often used in golden milk are ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, cayenne pepper, cardamom and vanilla. To sweeten the drink, you can use honey, maple syrup or dates. Traditionally, beverages made with turmeric for health benefits didn’t contain sweeteners, but many modern recipes include them to appeal to the modern sweet tooth.

I like the recipe used below in this video from Clean & Delicious because you can use either fresh or dried turmeric and ginger, and the rest of the ingredients are ones I always have on hand.
Here’s the golden milk recipe in case you want more specifics:

1 tsp. fresh ground turmeric (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

1/4 tsp. fresh ground ginger (or 1/8th tsp. dried)

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of black pepper

1tbsp. honey

1 tsp. coconut oil

2 cups unsweetened almond milk*

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan.

Gently heat over medium low flame, whisking until al the ingredients have come together and the milk is heated through.

*You can use any milk you prefer, just note, if you use a milk with fat in it, you can eliminate the coconut oil.

Makes 2 servings

Calories: 98; Total fat: 5.4g; Carbohydrate: 12.3g; Fiber: 1.9g Sugars: 8.8g; Protein: 1.2g

Credit: Robin Shreeves

the power of turmeric

Turmeric has a long-list of powerful properties. In addition to adding a boost of flavor to your favorite curry, it is also a known antioxidant thought to help fend off cancer and reduce inflammation. And now it can add brain healing to its list of accomplishments.

According to a new study published in the journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy, turmeric might be able to encourage the growth of nerve cells in the brain, giving the brain more tools to repair itself when damage occurs. The study may help researchers working on medications to treat such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

For the study, researchers from Germany’s Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine performed brain scans on rats, before and after injections with a turmeric compound. They found that certain parts of the brain, known to be involved in nerve cell growth, were more active after the the rats received the turmeric infusion.

Researchers also conducted a separate study in which they bathed neural stem cells (NSCs) collected from rats in extracts of aromatic-turmerone — a compound found naturally in turmeric. NSCs have the ability to become any type of brain cell and scientists have long been interested in the role they might play in brain repair after damage or disease.

The study found that NSCs bathed in the turmeric extract were more prolific and also seemed to specialize into certain types of brain cells more rapidly.

It’s important to remember that these studies were conducted on rats, so it’s still not clear whether or not the brain-healing properties of turmeric could translate to humans as well. But be on the lookout for further studies on this topic.

And while you’re at it, it may not be a bad idea to add a couple of curry dishes to your repertoire. Your brain might just thank you for it!