Have you ever noticed how certain things become a global rage over time? Being a rich-cultured country, India has contributed many such ‘simple wonders’ to the world, and turmeric milk has topped them all. From curing a cold to enhancing brain function, a glass of turmeric milk can do a lot for us that we may not even think of. Below, we will talk about turmeric milk, including its preparation and health benefits. So, if you are ready to reap the healing benefits of this miracle drink, read this post till the end.
What is Turmeric Milk?
Turmeric milk, also known as ‘golden milk,’ ‘Haldi ka doodh’, or ‘turmeric latte’, is a comforting drink that has long been a part of Indian tradition and culture. The beverage with a bright yellow or golden hue is primarily made of two readily available ingredients, i.e., turmeric and milk. Both dairy and non-dairy or plant-based milk can be used for this purpose. This drink’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a perfect ‘pick-me-up’ in common cold, low immunity, stomach upset, etc.
The basic recipe of turmeric milk can also be upgraded with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg, etc.
Know the Key Ingredients
Before getting into the details of the making procedure and benefits of a glass of warm, soothing turmeric milk, let us have a look at its key ingredients:
Turmeric or ‘Haldi (Curcuma longa) is a yellow-colored rhizome obtained from a perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). In the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, turmeric is widely used as a spice in Indian cooking and a herb in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It contains certain compounds called ‘curcuminoids’ (1), including the highly powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent ‘curcumin.’ Being the key active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin contributes to most of its beneficial properties. In addition, the herb is also a natural antiseptic that aids in wound healing.
Milk is a versatile ingredient that comes packed with nutrients. It is an excellent source of protein, fatty acids (mainly conjugated linoleic acid or CLA and omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins (A, B1, B12, D), and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc). Being a ‘complete protein’ containing 9 essential amino acids, it helps the body function at an optimal level (2). Apart from nourishing the cells, it also makes the bones healthy and strong while lowering the risks of diabetes, heart diseases, and age-related muscle loss.
How to Prepare Turmeric Milk?
Now, here is the most straightforward turmeric milk recipe that you can make easily:
- 1 glass of boiled unsweetened milk
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- Additional spices as per your choice – freshly grated ginger, ground cinnamon, black pepper powder, etc.
- Add turmeric powder and other spices to the milk.
- Bring the whole mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and wait for 10 minutes.
- Strain the concoction and serve.
Turmeric milk can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 5 days. You can also use honey or maple syrup to sweeten the beverage.
9 Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric Milk
When you start having turmeric milk every night, you take one big step towards a healthy life. Given below are the significant health benefits of the delicious drink:
1. Boosts Immune Power
Curcumin in turmeric is known to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, which keep infections at bay by boosting the immunity system (3). In addition, ginger and cinnamon also prevent respiratory infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi (4) (5). This helps effectively combat common illnesses like cold, flu, etc.
2. Keeps Liver Toxin-Free
Sometimes, large amounts of toxins get accumulated in our liver, which reduces its antioxidative and antitoxic properties. This interrupts the process of blood purification in the body and damages the liver in the long run. Turmeric milk can help eliminate this toxin buildup from the liver, thereby detoxifying it naturally.
3. Strengthens Digestive System
Studies have found that turmeric milk’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties effectively cure several digestive issues. Turmeric can increase bile production up to 62% to make fat digestion easier and lessen indigestion symptoms (6). It also prevents ulcerative colitis flare-ups (7). Furthermore, both turmeric and ginger in the beverage help relieve the conditions like chronic indigestion or dyspepsia and heartburn (8).
4. Improves Bone Health
If you want a more robust skeleton, rely on turmeric milk blindly. No matter whether dairy or non-dairy milk is used, the drink offers an abundance of calcium and vitamin D to build and maintain healthy bones (9). It also keeps osteoporosis, osteopenia, arthritis, and other diseases at bay that may, otherwise, increase the risk of bone fractures (10). The anti-inflammatory and antitoxic properties of turmeric also support its bone-strengthening benefits.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Most ingredients in turmeric milk, i.e., turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, have been found to hold powerful anti-inflammatory properties (11), (12), (13). As it lowers inflammation levels in the body, symptoms like swelling, joint pain, muscle stiffness, etc., caused by chronic inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, also get reduced significantly (14), (15). Curcumin in turmeric is considered as effective as certain anti-inflammatory drugs sans side effects.
6. Keeps Heart Diseases at Bay
All key ingredients in turmeric milk have been linked to the prevention of heart disease. Curcumin keeps the heart healthy by enhancing and maintaining proper endothelial (blood vessel linings) function (16). It also lowers the risk factors for myocardial infarction (heart attack) in coronary artery bypass surgery patients (17). On the other hand, cinnamon protects the heart by reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride in the blood while raising good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
7. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Unsweetened turmeric milk containing ginger and cinnamon may help keep your blood sugar under check. Studies have revealed that when taken daily in small amounts, ginger can reduce fasting blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetes patients by lowering the blood sugar marker hemoglobin A1C (18). Similarly, a daily intake of cinnamon has also been found to reduce insulin resistance (19), improving blood sugar control by up to 29%.
8. Enhances Brain Function
You can consider turmeric milk an excellent option for supporting brain function and sharpening memory. Curcumin in turmeric encourages the growth of brain cells. It promotes neural connections by raising levels of BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (20), which prevents brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc. Cinnamon also reduces the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, such as memory loss and tremors, by preserving specific proteins (21).
9. Fights Against Cancer
Turmeric milk comes loaded with antioxidants, which may even keep cancer at bay. Curcumin has been scientifically proven to reduce cancer risk by killing isolated cancer cells, stopping the growth of new tumors, and averting further cell damage (22). Ginger and cinnamon in the drink also have strong antioxidant properties that limit the growth and spread of cancer cells, thus showing anti-cancer effects.
However, make sure that you do not consume too much turmeric milk in one day as it may upset your stomach or cause you allergies.
- “Role of Curcumin in Systemic and Oral Health: An Overview,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “5 Ways That Drinking Milk Can Improve Your Health“, Healthline.com
- “A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Fresh Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has Antiviral Activity Against Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Human Respiratory Tract Cell Lines,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Antimicrobial Activities of Cinnamon Oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese Medicinal Herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Potential of Curcumin in Digestive Diseases,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Curcumin Maintenance Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis: Randomized, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Effect of Ginger on Gastric Motility and Symptoms of Functional Dyspepsia,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Dietary Protein and Calcium Interact to Influence Calcium Retention: a Controlled Feeding Study,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age,” Bones.nih.gov
- “Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Effects of a Ginger Extract on Knee Pain in Patients with Osteoarthritis,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Endothelial Cell Functions. Relationship to Atherogenesis“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Effects of Curcuminoids on Frequency of Acute Myocardial Infarction after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, and Lipid Profiles in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “The Potential of Cinnamon to Reduce Blood Glucose Levels in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Effect of Curcumin on Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Cinnamon Treatment Upregulates Neuroprotective Proteins Parkin and DJ-1 and Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Curcumin and Cancer: An “Old-Age” Disease with an “Age-Old” Solution,” PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov