Well, if you haven’t heard of golden milk, where have you been hiding?
It seems that the wonders of this tasty treat are limitless! Indeed, praise and claims for golden milk benefits to health are endless, from weight loss to life-changing health benefits.
In this post we aim to take a look at golden milk and, as usual, based on sound scientific research, separate the facts from the fiction.
What exactly is Golden Milk?
So, it seems that the basic recipe for golden milk or ‘turmeric milk’ varies. However, we do know that golden milk originally derives from ancient Ayurvedic medicine.
So, the basic recipe is:-
- 1 cup of milk
- an inch of fresh turmeric stick
- a pinch of ground pepper
Originally, in India, whole milk is used so check out the old and authentic recipe here.
However, as the popularity of golden milk soars there are now many variations on the golden milk recipe. However, typically in the West, it goes something like this:-
- 2 cups of milk (almond, cashew, pecan, coconut or organic dairy)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- pinch of ground black pepper
- small piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
How to Make Golden Milk
Simply mix all the spices together. (Feel free to add any other of your favourite spices such as cardamom seeds or a pinch of cayenne pepper).
Warm the milk and add the spices and stir until all the spices are dissolved.
If you find the mix too thick, simply water down to your desired consistency.
Turmeric and Coconut Milk: What is all the Fuss About?
Well, there are a LOT of medical research studies that confirm the many health benefits of both turmeric and coconut milk.
So, with a combination of these two trendy ingredients you can’t really go wrong.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice originating from India and Southeast Asia. Turmeric spice has a distinct, slightly spicy flavour that is more usually found in a good old curry.
Coconut milk is a healthier alternative to whole dairy milk and also has some impressive health benefits too.
(By the way, coconut milk is not the juice found in a natural coconut but is made from the flesh).
What’s so great about Turmeric and Coconut milk?
The Main Health Benefits of Turmeric
There are many proven medical research studies that confirm what the Indian Ancients have known for many, many years. Turmeric is great for health.
Here are some health properties of Turmeric:-
(i)Turmeric has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and this is VERY important.
Modern medical thinking believes that a LOT of chronic diseases arise as a result of the body’s inflammatory response going overboard.
(ii) Turmeric boosts the immune system
Curcumin, the main compound found in the sassy spice, turmeric ehances the body’s antibody responses too.
So, according to one medical study2, the possible benefits of turmeric in chronic illness treatment, may in part, be due to the spice’s ability to modulate the immune system.
(iii) Turmeric is a Powerful Antioxidant
What is an antioxidant? Well, basically antioxidants can help control the amount of free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are toxins that are produced through various of the body’s processes such as breathing and metabolizing foods. So, to have free radicals in the body is normal.
However, oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals in the body. Too many free radicals, or oxidative stress, is thought to play a role in a lot of chronic diseases and the aging process.
The Main Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
The second main ingredient of the golden milk elixir, is of course milk. Now, as mentioned, you can use any type of milk, such as almond, rice, soy or coconut milk.
However, the most popular milk for making golden milk is coconut milk. So let’s have a brief look at some of the main health benefits:-
- Anti-inflammatory properties: So, together with turmeric, we have a double whammy for preventing or reducing inflammation, a major factor in a lot of chronic illnesses5.
- Helps fight infections and viruses: Because coconuts contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) several research studies show that coconut milk is a strong microbial agent6.
- Aids with stomach ulcer healing and protection of the stomach lining. In a research study on rats coconut milk extract reduced the size of a stomach ulcer by up to 54%.7
Golden Milk and Weight Loss
There are many celebrities who are reportedly big fans of turmeric and golden milk for both the health and weight loss benefits. These include:-
- Gary Barlow
- Michael Caine
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Victoria Beckham
Indeed golden milk (sometimes called turmeric tea) has become very popular and is popping up in trendy coffee and smoothie bars all over the place … but, does it really lead to weight loss?
The Scientific Research on Golden Milk Benefits and Weight Loss
To be fair there are not many research studies specifically on golden milk weight loss.
Curcumin, is the active ingredient in turmeric, but the absorption of this compound by the body is difficult. However, combining turmeric with a fatty substance, such as coconut milk, aids the absorption of this compound.
Combine this with the alleged weight loss benefits of both turmeric and coconut milk and oil and we may be onto a winner.
Will Golden Milk lead to Weight Loss?
Side Effects of Turmeric
On the whole natural turmeric, either in organic natural root form or powder is safe.
You should always seek medical advice before taking any supplements. It is also necessary to take care before using any supplements that there is no interaction with existing medications or health conditions.
However, turmeric, taken in higher doses or supplements may cause some side effects, such as:-
- Irritant in gastritis and reflux disease
- Reduces blood clotting
- Abnormal heart rhythm has been known with very high doses of turmeric (1500 mg twice a day)
The future of Turmeric in Medicine
Indeed, modern medicine is finally realising that there may be something to the ancient secrets of the Ayurvedas regarding turmeric.
Over 3,000 medical research papers have been published over the last 25 years on various aspects of this yellow spice.
It is true, however, that a LOT more rigorous studies are needed in this area, particularly regarding correct dosage and results over time.
Although side effects of turmeric and coconut oil are rare and minor more studies are also needed on the safety and efficacy of this powerful root.
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Kunnumakkara AB, Sailo BL, Banik K, Harsha C (2018) Chronic diseases, inflammation, and spices: how are they linked? J Transl Med. 2018 Jan 25;16(1):14
Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. (2011) Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.
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