by Joseph Mercola
Many people like to end their day by sipping on a cup of chamomile
tea, but even devoted tea drinkers may be tempted by a warm cup of
In fact, while some
people find it soothing, and perfect before bed, others enjoy it
first thing in the morning and even drink it in place of coffee.
What is golden
It's not actually milk at
all, at least not in the dairy sense.
The basis of golden milk
is a combination of the warming (and golden-colored) turmeric spice
along with coconut milk and/or coconut oil (depending on the recipe
Turmeric is most well-known for its use in curry dishes, but it's
earning a name for itself as a potent medicinal food.
Turmeric has actually been valued for its medicinal properties for
centuries, but in the Western world, particularly the US, it's not
Golden milk has the
potential to change that, as each cup provides you with a healthy
dose of this "spice of life."
Over 150 Potentially Therapeutic Activities
It's difficult to describe turmeric in brief simply because it has
so many beneficial properties.
That's why the "spice of
life," as it's known in India, sums it up wonderfully.
Traditional medicinal uses in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
as well as Ayurvedic medicine include the treatment of liver
disease, skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments,
sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.
Turmeric's benefits have since been well documented in the medical
curcumin - one of the most well-studied bioactive
ingredients in turmeric - has been found to promote health and
protect against a wide variety of health conditions.
It actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities,
including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as
potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied.
Researchers have found a number of different mechanisms of action
for curcumin, and part of the answer as to why curcumin appears to
be such potent medicine is because it can:
700 of your genes
modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways1
Make your cells'
membranes more orderly2
molecules.3 For example, curcumin has been shown to directly
Lowers Inflammation and Blood Sugar Levels
Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in nature,
which is why, if you're struggling with any inflammatory disorder,
golden milk is a beverage worth trying.
Many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root, and even if
you're currently healthy, you may benefit from an anti-inflammatory
beverage like golden milk, particularly if you eat an inflammatory
diet (one that is high in processed foods, sugars, and/or grains).
Curcumin can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of
cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other
enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.
A 2006 study also found that a turmeric extract composed of
curcuminoids (curcumin is the most investigated curcuminoid) blocked
inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a
protein that triggers swelling and pain. 4
Separate research among people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome
also set out to determine curcumin's effects on inflammation. Half
of the participants took one gram of curcumin powder daily for eight
weeks while the other half received a placebo pill.
At the end of the study, the curcumin group had lower levels of
three blood markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein
(CRP), along with lower fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (a
measure of longer term blood sugar levels). 5
For comparison, the placebo group had higher blood sugar levels and
increased inflammation after the eight weeks. When the researchers
evaluated eight previous studies, they, too, confirmed that curcumin
lead to reductions in CRP levels.
They concluded that short-term supplementation with bioavailable
curcumin significantly improves oxidative and inflammatory status in
people with metabolic syndrome, and could be regarded as a,
"natural, safe, and
effective CRP-lowering agent." 6
What Might You Gain
By Sipping on Golden Milk?
Curcumin in turmeric has the ability to modulate genetic activity
and expression - both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting
healthy cell function.
It also promotes
anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of
additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.
Curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type
of cancer. In addition, according to an ever-expanding clinical body
of studies, curcumin may help:
low-density lipoprotein oxidation
thrombosis and myocardial infarction
associated with type 2 diabetes
of rheumatoid arthritis
of multiple sclerosis
of Alzheimer's disease
pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis
A study published in
Natural Product Reports in 2011 further described curcumin as being
therapeutic for a wide range of diseases, including:
Lung and liver
and Coconut Oil: The Other 'Magic' Ingredients in Golden Milk
There are many variations of golden milk you can try, but most are
made with coconut milk (and some include coconut oil as well).
Blending turmeric in with
coconut milk not only adds a soothing, creamy base but also
additional health benefits.
Coconut milk is made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat
and water. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric
acid, which is rarely found in nature.
Your body converts lauric
acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy
lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles,
gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.
Lauric acid is a type of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFAs), which is
easily digested and readily crosses cell membranes.
MCFAs are immediately
converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat.
There are numerous
studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study
that showed rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin
sensitivity and glucose tolerance. 7
Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in
MCFAs lost more fat tissue, presumably due to increased energy
expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake. 8
In addition, coconut milk
is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and
B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Coconut oil has similar health benefits and is useful for making
"golden paste." You can make golden paste ahead of time, which
allows you to quickly whip up a cup of golden milk whenever you're
in the mood.
As an added benefit,
turmeric is fat-soluble, so the use of coconut milk and oil helps to
increase its benefits.
How to Make
Golden Paste and Golden Milk
Golden paste acts as a "starter" to blend the perfect cup of golden
milk. It includes not only turmeric and coconut oil but also black
pepper, which has been found to increase curcumin's bioavailability
by 2,000 percent. 9
Here's a simple recipe to
make your own from Health Impact News: 10
organic turmeric powder
1 cup water
virgin coconut oil
stainless steel pot, cook the water, turmeric, and black
pepper until it forms a thick paste, stirring and
cooking for about 7 to 10 minutes.
heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully
mix in the coconut oil.
Golden Paste into a glass jar with a lid, and store in
the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You will use
this paste to make your Golden Milk below.
Once you've made
your golden paste, you're ready to make golden milk.
The recipe that
follows, also from Health Impact News, is simple and can be
suited to your tastes. 12
Raw honey [or
stevia] to taste (optional)
stainless steel pot, gently heat, but do not boil, 2
cups of milk with 1 teaspoon of golden paste.
A whisk is
helpful to fully mix the paste into the milk.
vanilla, honey [or stevia], and/or cinnamon.
Variation Using Turmeric Sticks and Ginger
For a slightly different slant on golden milk, the recipe that
follows, from Prevent Disease, includes the spice ginger and uses
turmeric sticks instead of powder. 14
It's also made without a
starter golden paste, which is useful if you're hankering for a mug
but don't have any golden paste on hand.
Golden Milk with
stick of turmeric
1 cup water
1 cup coconut
piece of ginger
Raw honey or
ghee (optional, for sore throat or cough)
inch-long stick of turmeric… and crush it coarsely using
a mortar and pestle.
Crush a few
peppercorns too. The white variety is better.
Mix a cup of
water with a cup of coconut milk, add the crushed
turmeric, pepper, and a 1-inch (by 1/2 inch diameter)
piece of ginger, and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 20
minutes. By this time, the milk will reduce to a cup.
This is the reason why you begin with a mixture of milk
and water; otherwise you will end up with a very thick
drink that won't be as soothing.
the stove, filter, add a spoonful of honey or stevia
(optional), and enjoy the drink warm.
If you are taking this to
relieve a sore throat, add 1/2 teaspoon of ghee to the hot turmeric
milk before drinking it. The ghee will melt and coat your throat,
relieving you of cough as well.
If you've never tried golden milk, you're in for a pleasant
Many people enjoy it
especially during the fall and winter months (and cold and flu
season), but it's just as delicious and soothing in the summer, too.
One final tip - when cooking with turmeric wear an apron and don't
let your pot boil over.
This spice will stain
your clothing and countertops easily, so unless you want a yellow
kitchen, be very careful with spills.
Sources and References