Turmeric, that bright yellow spice that flavors many a tasty Asian dish also packs a health punch that benefits your body in numerous ways. Turmeric is one of the most studied natural spices on Earth with know health benefits going back thousands of years.
Turmeric milk, known as Golden Milk, is an ancient drink that’s been served up for centuries to combat a range of health problems, from a sore throat to digestive discomfort.
Golden Milk is delicious, and a cup a day can have far-reaching benefits. Here are nine benefits of drinking Golden Milk, along with an easy recipe so you can make it at home.
1. Decreases Inflammation
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is the source of turmeric’s many health benefits. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory properties and can help protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Studies have found the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin to be comparable to the effects of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical medications, including NSAIDs, but it carries none of the side effects.
2. Reduces Joint Pain
The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin help reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. One study found that just 500 milligrams of curcumin each day reduced joint pain better than diclofenac sodium, a common arthritis drug.
3. Supports Weight Loss
Curcumin has been shown through research to aid weight loss by reducing inflammation associated with obesity. It reduces inflammation in the cells of the muscles, fat, and pancreas to help your body’s systems function better and increase your fat burn.
4. Improves Immune Function
A daily dose of turmeric supports healthy immune function so that your body can better fight viruses and diseases. This is largely due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to fight and prevent oxidative stress, which increases your risk of many diseases.
5. Helps Manage Cholesterol
An animal study found that turmeric helped decrease levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in rabbits. Another study found that a daily dose of curcumin improved endothelial function and was as effective as atorvastatin for treating high triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
6. Fights Cell Damage
Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants that fight cell damage and reduce oxidative stress to lower your risk of infections and diseases. Antioxidants also help reduce the effects of aging on the body.
7. May Improve Brain Function
Research shows that curcumin may increase levels of BNDF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This compound facilitates new connections in the brain and promotes the growth and health of brain cells.
8. May Reduce Depression
Curcumin may boost your mood and fight depression, according to a study of 60 people with a major depressive disorder. In the study, participants were given either curcumin, antidepressants, or a combination of curcumin and antidepressants. Researchers found that the turmeric and antidepressant groups experienced similar improvements in their mood, while the combination group experienced the most benefits.
9. May Improve Digestion
Chronic indigestion causes discomfort and pain in the stomach, and Golden Milk may help relieve indigestion, especially when the milk contains ginger as well. Ginger helps the stomach empty its contents more quickly, and turmeric helps reduce uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion. Turmeric may also help improve digestion by increasing bile production by up to 62 percent.
How to Make Golden Milk
To make Golden Milk, mix the following ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil:
1/2 cup unsweetened milk (unsweetened soy or almond milk will work, too.)
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2-inch piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of honey
pinch of black pepper, which improves absorption of curcumin
Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain into a mug, and garnish with a bit of cinnamon.
Consider a Supplement
If Golden Milk isn’t your thing or drinking it daily doesn’t work for you, and if you want to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits from turmeric, consider a daily turmeric supplement. Stonehenge Health’s Turmeric Curcumin supplement contains 1,300 milligrams of Turmeric Curcumin Complex and 10 milligrams of piperine extract for optimal absorption.