Golden milk (turmeric tea) is a traditional Ayurvedic drink made from milk and turmeric paste. Drinking golden milk is an easy way of including turmeric into the diet. Turmeric has many health promoting properties and has a long history of use in both Chinese and Indian traditional medicine.
Benefits of Turmeric include:
- A potent anti-inflammatory helpful in reducing inflammation and pain in muscles and joints.
- Stimulates bile flow from the liver which aids digestion
- Is an incredible powerful antioxidant which supports liver detoxification
- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol
- Promotes blood flow which improves flow of oxygen, nourishment and toxins from the body tissues
In order to activate the therapeutic components of turmeric it needs to be heated and mixed with a fat. This is why turmeric is traditionally added to many curries during the cooking process along with fat. Making a turmeric paste to use in the golden milk recipe heats the turmeric and makes the process a lot easier.
Turmeric Tea (Golden Milk)
I have based this recipe using a non-dairy milk like coconut, almond or oat milk. For some people with lactose intolerance dairy milk may be hard to digest or it they may not be able to find a clean source of milk free from antibiotics and homogenisation. Dairy milk may also promote mucous production so if you are supporting the body to cleanse then use a homemade non-dairy milk.
The fat I am adding to the golden milk is coconut oil which is heat stable and contains the medium chain fatty acid lauric acid. This is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and can be utilised by the brain as alternative energy source to glucose. Regularly including medium-chain fatty acids in the diet is helpful in supporting conditions where there are memory issues. Another suitable heat stable oil to add to golden milk is butter ghee. This is the traditional fat used in Ayurvedic medicine. It contains small amounts of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and like coconut oil also contains medium chain fatty acids which can be utilised by the brain as an alternative energy source to glucose.
Adding monounsaturated oils such as almond, olive oil to golden milk are ok but avoid adding fats which predominantly contain polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower, corn oil, grape seed, canola, and rapeseed. Commercial polyunsaturated oils are heated to high temperatures and have oxidised and become rancid. In this state these oils are harmful to ingest and promote inflammatory reactions within the body.
¾ cup hot water
¼ tsp turmeric paste
¼ cup homemade coconut milk (alternative use homemade almond or oat milk)
¼ tsp coconut oil
Sweetener (optional: use date syrup, maple syrup or honey)
- In a pan add ¾ cup hot water and ¼ tsp turmeric paste
- Pour in the milk and gently warm until the milk is hot but not boiling
- Take tea off the heat and mix in the coconut oil
- If you like add a natural sweetener (honey, date syrup, maple syrup) to your taste
- Pour golden milk into a cup and drink
When introducing golden milk into the diet, go easy to begin with. To avoid any adverse reactions, start with smaller amounts of turmeric paste. I recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric paste for each cup of golden milk. This contains around 350mg of turmeric.
Precautions when using Turmeric Therapeutically
- As turmeric thins the blood, be aware of possible interactions if you are taking blood thinning medication.
- Turmeric used therapeutically may also react with blood sugar lowering medications so again start with small amounts and observe any reactions before taking larger amounts.
- If you are pregnant, turmeric may stimulate uterine contractions so take this into account during 1st and 2nd trimesters or seek medical advice.
Remember that Asians have been adding turmeric to curries for centuries but the amounts added are usually small (1-3 tsp turmeric powder added to an entire curry dish which is not consumed in one go by an individual).