Turmeric’s taken over the health headlines by storm. This bright golden spice, a staple in Indian cuisine, contains a powerful active ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin acts as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, AND antibacterial, and may even help fight cancer. Studies have suggested it may help alleviate conditions as diverse as depression and PMS.
Fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet. You can add turmeric powder or fresh turmeric root to your cooking or take curcumin as a supplement.
A popular way to get your daily dose is to drink turmeric milk, which is also called golden milk. Golden milk has a long history in Ayurveda—the holistic health system originating in India where it is called haldi doodh. This warming golden beverage typically combines turmeric with other spices, a natural sweetener, and milk (either dairy or nondairy).
While an array of golden milk products exist on the market, making your own delicious turmeric milk is easy.
In a pot, add a couple cups of the milk of your choice (cow’s, coconut, cashew, almond, etc.) and bring to a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric as well as complementary warming spices. Possibilities include cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and clove.
Experiment with the spices. You might want to add a teaspoon of ground ginger but find that a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon or just a pinch of clove or nutmeg suits your tastes. Add a pinch of black pepper as the piperine in black pepper enhances the bioavailability of curcumin and helps your body reap its health benefits. Some people add a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil as well. Mix in a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup, or a dash of vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is combined. Taste and add extra sweetener if you like.
The milk and spices can also be combined in a blender before heating for a smoother texture. Enjoy as an alternative to coffee in the morning or as a soothing bedtime beverage. You can also allow your drink to cool, add ice cubes, and drink it like an iced chai. Enjoy!
“Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: The Golden Pigment from Golden Spice” by S. Prasad et al., Cancer Res Treat, 1/14
By: Lili Hanft