If you’re a fan of Indian food and drink, you might already know about golden milk—and if you haven’t had the pleasure, this delicious drink is not only tasty, but good for you. Also known as turmeric milk, golden milk can be made with animal or plant-based milk and spices to create a warming beverage.
Here’s how to make it—and the health benefits you’ll enjoy alongside its tasty flavor.
Golden milk recipe
This recipe makes one cup. First, assemble the ingredients:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened milk (soy, almond, oat and coconut are all excellent vegan choices, but feel free to use cow or other animal milk if you prefer)
- 1 tsp of ground turmeric
- 1 small piece of grated fresh ginger, or a half teaspoon of ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup (if you prefer your golden milk slightly sweet)
Next, mix all of the ingredients together in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat so the milk simmers. Allow the golden milk to simmer for about 10 minutes, then strain into a mug. Add an extra pinch of cinnamon to the top, if desired.
You can store any extra golden milk in your refrigerator for up to five days—just reheat it before you drink it.
Golden milk, golden health
- Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Curcumin (found in turmeric) has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, while certain compounds in ginger and cinnamon inhibit bacterial growth. That’s not a reason to ditch the disinfectant when you cut yourself, but drinking golden milk can certainly help you stay healthy.
- Boosts your brain power. Curcumin and ginger are also good for boosting your brain function. Curcumin promotes brain cell growth and connections, while ginger helps prevent age-related brain function loss. Finally, cinnamon can reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Can help reduce joint pain. Oh, your aching joints! Curcumin, ginger and cinnamon all have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and occasional joint inflammation. That’s good news for anyone who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
- Could aid your digestion. Ginger and turmeric are great for improving your digestion. Ginger can help speed up emptying your stomach, while turmeric helps digest fat and prevents flare-ups in people with ulcerative colitis.
- Full of antioxidants. Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which can attack the tissues and organs. Antioxidants are key to cell health, so drink up—golden milk will help you fight off disease and cell damage.
- Helps fight your cancer risk. Lowering your cancer risk is always a good thing, and if that means you have to drink a tasty beverage, well, so be it. Although studies are limited at this moment, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger are thought to help prevent cancer, limit its spread and even kill cancer cells.
- Includes plenty of vitamin D and calcium. If you make your golden milk with cow’s or fortified plant milk, you’ll also get plenty of vitamin D and calcium. That’s great for your teeth and bones.
- Lowers blood sugar levels. Ginger and cinnamon can help reduce your blood sugar levels—and cinnamon also reduces insulin resistance. Of course, if you sweeten your golden milk, that will defeat the purpose. If lowering blood sugar levels is important to you, leave out the maple syrup or honey.
- Might even improve your mood. Drinking something delicious is bound to improve anyone’s mood, but curcumin may actually alleviate the symptoms of depression. Again, golden milk is no substitute for medical and psychological intervention, but drinking a glass every day can have a positive effect on your overall mood.
- Protects against heart disease. Finally, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger are linked to lower risk of heart disease. All three are anti-inflammatories. Curcumin can help improve your blood vessel linings, and cinnamon can lower cholesterol, triglyceride and bad LDL levels.
If you’re looking for a healthy new beverage, adding a glass of golden milk to your daily routine can offer myriad health benefits. Of course, you should continue to see your doctor, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly—no drink is a substitute for a good health routine and medical intervention. On the other hand, golden milk certainly isn’t going to hurt—and people from India have sworn by it for centuries. What are you waiting for?