Have a glass of (golden) milk: What is turmeric milk and what are its health benefits?

Turmeric is an incredible spice with many health benefits. In fact, it’s even used to make golden milk, a dairy-based drink that has anti-inflammatory properties.

Golden milk: An antioxidant-rich beverage that’s good for you

Golden milk contains turmeric and is served either hot or cold. Depending on your preference, turmeric milk can be made from almond, cashew, coconut, or cow milk.

The beverage may also contain other ingredients such as black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and honey. Black pepper is believed to boost your body’s ability to absorb curcumin, turmeric’s main bioactive compound.

Curcumin is used in Ayurvedic medicine because of its powerful antioxidant propertiesAntioxidants are compounds that prevent cell damage to protect the body from oxidative stress. Antioxidants help your cells function, and studies have shown that diets full of antioxidants can help lower your risk of disease and infections.

Turmeric milk is a traditional drink consumed in India. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to address cold, coughs, and insomnia.

Below is a list of the seven health benefits of turmeric milk.

It can improve digestion and gut health

The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, making turmeric milk the perfect drink for people who want to boost their overall digestive health. The drink can also help prevent colorectal cancer.

A study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research reported that consuming curcumin daily for 30 days reduced the number of lesions in the colon of smokers by 40 percent. This is important since these types of lesions may turn cancerous.

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Curcumin can also address inflammatory bowel conditions such as colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Adding ginger to turmeric milk is also good for the gut since it can speed up gastric emptying time, which in turn helps minimize bloating and nausea.

It can relieve achy joints

Inflammation is a major contributing factor in the joint pain caused by arthritis. Several studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric helps relieve the pain that individuals with osteoarthritis experience.

Curcumin also has potent anti-inflammatory properties and, in some cases, the compound is even more effective than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

If you’re an athlete, try drinking golden milk to soothe soreness after training. (Related: Use turmeric milk to fight against inflammation.)

It’s good for your heart

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S.

Some studies have reported that drinking golden milk can help boost your heart health, especially if you follow a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Curcumin and turmeric can protect your heart by improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation and free-radical damage.

It boosts your immunity

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties all strengthen your immune system.

It can keep your memory sharp

Certain degenerative brain disorders are caused by a decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key hormone that helps your brain form new neural connections.

Curcumin helps increase BDNF levels. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier. A study in Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology said that the brain benefits from curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Curcumin may even help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

It can help boost your mood

Turmeric can relieve some of the symptoms of depression. Studies have shown that curcumin’s impact on BDNF levels may have potential use in the treatment of depression. Researchers believe it can reverse detrimental brain changes that occur in people with depression.

It can help you fall asleep

Turmeric milk helps settle your mind and body. Drinking golden milk before you go to bed at night will help you relax so you can fall asleep faster.

Milk contains carbohydrates in the form of lactose. Consuming carbohydrates before turning in for the night has been shown to help people sleep better.

How to make turmeric milk

If you want to try making golden milk at home, follow the recipe below. Adjust the recipe based on your personal preferences or health needs.

No-nonsense golden milk

This basic recipe has black pepper for some spice. Black pepper also boosts the health benefits of turmeric.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon (Optional)
  • A pinch of ground cardamom (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (Optional)


  1. Blend all of the ingredients together. If you don’t have a blender, heat the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk until combined. Alternatively, you can use a countertop blender or an immersion blender.
  2. Warm the mixture in a saucepan on the stove. Let the milk simmer for about 15 minutes, but don’t let it boil.
  3. Transfer to a mug before serving.

It’s flavor might take some getting used to, but if you want to enjoy it’s many health benefits, drink turmeric milk regularly.

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