You may have heard people talking about golden milk. It’s been around for a while, but this year it seems to be trending. There are several ingredients, including turmeric and milk or a dairy-free alternative. People drink it for the health benefits derived from turmeric.
Turmeric is the main ingredient in curry. It’s also used to color and flavor cheeses, mustards, and butters. It’s bright yellow, and has a warm, bitter flavor.
What are the health benefits?
The root of the plant is used to create the spice. It’s believed that the bioactive compounds in the spice are responsible for the medicinal properties. One of the compounds and “the main active ingredient in turmeric” is curcumin [kur-kyoo-min]. “It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.”
These properties have been said to aid with a variety of health issues. People use it for pretty much anything that can cause inflammation. You can try a simple turmeric face mask, reducing inflammation from acne (mix honey and turmeric together, but don’t leave it on longer than 10 minutes if you have light skin, it can stain). Turmeric has also been used to treat arthritis, joint pain, fibromyalgia, itchy skin, and several other conditions. In fact, it’s even been used to assist in cancer recovery.
In short term, inflammation can be beneficial for the body, warding off potential dangers like bacteria. However, in long term, it can be harmful. In fact, “It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease.”
Turmeric actually only contains about 3% of the chemical touted to have the most health benefits, curcumin. So, taking the curcumin extract is probably a better option for reaping the full benefits. But, if you want to give Golden Milk a try, it’s easy to mix up, and could still have some health boosting effects.
What’s the recipe?
There are several recipe variations you can try. Here’s one from Wellness Mama, it’s super easy. Keep in mind, when ingesting turmeric, there are three things that may help you absorb it: black pepper, heat, and fat. Golden Milk is cooked over heat and this recipe calls for black pepper. Other variations also add coconut oil.
Are there any potential side effects?
Turmeric may slow clotting, so it’s probably best to skip this if you’re on blood thinners. Also, if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t take medicinal amounts of turmeric. Check WebMD for a full list of potential side effects.
Golden Milk is on trend right now, but many people have been drinking it for years. Have you tried it out yet? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.