Turmeric milk has been having its moment in the spotlight this year, with leading magazines and newspapers covering the rage it has become in America, the UK, and Europe. Once a simple grandmother’s remedy in homes in India, the yellow milk has caught the fancy of everyone from the hipster in a New York cafe to the fitness buff on the west coast. Here’s why!
Turmeric milk – turmeric latte, golden milk, or even haldi doodh (the traditional Indian name for the yellow milk) – is on people’s “things to try” list both for its exotic appeal and its magnum health benefits. Once a simple grandmother’s remedy in homes in India, the yellow milk has caught the fancy of everyone from the hipster in a New York cafe to the fitness buff on the west coast. So what sets this warming drink apart from every other herbal concoction you could be drinking? The secret lies in the use of the golden Eastern spice – haldi or turmeric.
Treat A Cold Or Cough
The warmth of turmeric milk can be very soothing if you have a sore throat. What’s more, the turmeric acts as an anti-microbial and works against infections of the respiratory system. Milk boiled with turmeric juice and a pinch of sugar works like a charm to ease symptoms of a cold.1
Get Stronger Bones
The calcium and vitamin D in milk can help you meet your daily recommended intake for good bone health.2 And the turmeric reinforces this – studies have found that turmeric root extract may help prevent osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.3
Tank Up On Antioxidants
Here’s where the power of milk and turmeric really come into their own. Milk, like turmeric, contains antioxidants that can help battle free radical damage in the body. This antioxidant property of turmeric has led researchers to believe it can also help battle certain cancers, though studies are not conclusive enough yet. However, what is known is that antioxidants can help counter free radical damage to skin and help it regain its elasticity and glow.4
Get Heart Healthy!
If you have a problem with high cholesterol levels, consuming turmeric blended in non-dairy, heart-healthy almond milk may help to normalize numbers. Curcumin, an active constituent of turmeric, has anti-atherogenic effects, suppressing the formation of atherosclerotic lesions early on. Studies have also confirmed its viability in lowering hepatic and plasma cholesterol levels.5 The nut milk meanwhile may be good for cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, consuming a small quantity of nuts may be good for the heart. The antioxidants and fiber in the nut can boost the power of your glass of turmeric milk.6
Turmeric milk is seen as a great detox agent in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It helps purify the blood and also detoxifies the liver. In fact, one liver cleanse suggests a 72-hour diet comprising solely of turmeric milk infused with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, and black pepper. For those who are anemic, turmeric’s ability to help generate new red blood cells is also beneficial.7
Turmeric milk contains amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin and serotonin. Researchers have found that having high levels of tryptophan in your body improves not just the number of hours of sleep you get, but the quality of sleep as well. In general, most practitioners suggest having this golden milk about half an hour or so before you turn in for the night.8
Heal Yourself And Battle Pain
Turmeric is legendary for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Which is why your body can use the turmeric to heal from within. Golden milk is sometimes referred to as a natural alternative to aspirin, because of its ability to help cut down pain and inflammation. As the swelling eases, a headache or wound can seem less painful.9
Why Use Milk?
In Ayurveda, treatments may be delivered via a water-based decoction called Kashaya or a milk-based extract or Ksheerapaka. As one report explains, milk-based remedies seem to have a higher antioxidant capacity, possibly due to the longer time taken to derive the extracts in the case of the ksheerapaka. While ksheerapakas use a ¼ reduction, kashayas are made with a ⅛ reduction, resulting in lower levels of the active constituents. Ksheerapakas also make some herbs less piquant and more palatable and offer the added benefit of nourishment through the milk.10
What’s In A Cuppa?
To make a golden cuppa at home, simply mix up a paste of a quarter cup of pure organic turmeric powder with a half cup of water. Use a quarter teaspoon of this paste with each cup of milk you need. Alternatively, fresh turmeric root can be used to extract the juice, which can then be infused into the milk. Some fruit or a pinch of sugar can be added to sweeten your milk.11
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Jaganath, Indu Bala, and L. T. Ng. “Herbs.” The Green Pharmacy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Vinpress and Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (2000): 95-99.|
|2.||↑||Calcium: What’s Best for Your Bones and Health? Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.|
|3.||↑||Funk, Janet L., Jennifer B. Frye, Janice N. Oyarzo, Nesrin Kuscuoglu, Jonathan Wilson, Gwen McCaffrey, Gregory Stafford et al. “Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis.” Arthritis & Rheumatism 54, no. 11 (2006): 3452-3464.|
|4.||↑||Binic, Ivana, Viktor Lazarevic, Milanka Ljubenovic, Jelena Mojsa, and Dusan Sokolovic. “Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|5.||↑||Shin, Su‐Kyung, Tae‐Youl Ha, Robin A. McGregor, and Myung‐Sook Choi. “Long‐term curcumin administration protects against atherosclerosis via hepatic regulation of lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism.” Molecular nutrition & food research 55, no. 12 (2011): 1829-1840.|
|6.||↑||Go Nuts (But just a little! American Heart Association.|
|7, 11.||↑||Khalsa, Karta Purkh Singh, and Michael Tierra. The way of ayurvedic herbs: The most complete guide to natural healing and health with traditional ayurvedic herbalism. Lotus Press, 2008.|
|8.||↑||Verster, J., A. Fernstrand, D. Bury, T. Roth, and J. Garssen. “The association of sleep quality and insomnia with dietary intake of tryptophan and niacin.” Sleep medicine 16 (2015): 105.|
|9.||↑||Nasri, Hamid, Najmeh Shahinfard, Mortaza Rafieian, Samira Rafieian, Maryam Shirzad, and Mahmoud Rafieian. “Turmeric: A spice with multifunctional medicinal properties.” J HerbMed Pharmacol 3, no. 1 (2014): 5-8.|
|10.||↑||Ghadge, Pallavi, Shital Giramkar, Megha Sangwan, Omkar Kulkarni, Asmita Wele, Aniket Kuvalekar, Suresh Jagtap, And Swati Gadgil. “IN Vitro Free Radical Scavenging Potential Of Common Traditional Ayurvedic Extract: Kashaya And Ksheerpaka.” Methodology 7: 8.|