This beautiful ‘Golden Milk’ is something I have been meaning to try for months now (yes, it really does take me that long to get around to something!). I’m a huge fan of turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action in the body and I use it a lot in my cooking.. I have also recently rediscovered just how comforting a warm, frothy, milky drink can be, especially on these wintery evenings, and after years of dedication to my beloved herbal teas and infusions (still going strong!) the odd frothy chicory coffee with nut milk has been hitting the spot big time. So this healing delicous-ness of liquid gold was only a matter of time.
Turmeric milk is an old Ayurvedic tradition, used for centuries as a deeply nourishing and healing tonic. Traditionally it would have been made with cows milk, but I prefer to use nut milk, either coconut, almond, or my current favourite; macadamia nut milk. So good.
Turmeric is most widely know for its anti-inflammatory properties due to the compound curcumin. Curcumin works by inhibiting the activation of a certain molecule in the body that plays a major role in ‘turning on’ inflammation. (1)
In the short term, acute inflammation is a vital tool of the immune system which is always working to protect us from invasion, but chronic, long term, low level inflammation, caused more often than not by diet and lifestyle, is a driver for most if not ALL chronic illness. So, any foods or rituals you can add into your diet and lifestyle that helps to reduce inflammation, I believe is a fantastic way to support the long term health of your body.
Below are some of curcumins other beneficial properties, and the areas where it is proving to have some very positive results.
:: Antimicrobial – Supporting the immune system by helping to fight of invaders and guard the body against infections. (2)
:: Antioxidant – Mops up free radicals which cause oxidative damage to cells, tissues and DNA. (3)
:: Anti-carcinogenic – Studies have shown that curcumin can reduces the growth of tumours and the formation and growth of new blood vessels which feed the tumour. (4)
:: Digestive & Liver health – Turmeric is a carminative and has a soothing action in the digestive system, it can reduce inflammation of the mucous membraines of the intestinal lining. It is also a cholagogue, meaning it stimulates bile flow, improving the break down and absorption of fats as well as promoting the excretion of toxins from the liver, where bile if formed.
:: Protects cardovascular health – Curcumin supports the function of the blood vessel walls which regulate blood pressure. Also, by reducing inflammation and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, it may help to reduce the development altherosclerosis that can lead to a a heart crisis. (5) (6)
:: Brain health – We now know that neurons, or brain cells, can in fact multiply and form new connections in adulthood. This process depends on the a growth hormone specific to the brain; BNDF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and increase levels of BNDF. Wow.. take that in for a moment.. WOW!! (7) (8)
- 2 cups nut milk [I love macadamia nut milk as a real treat, but any nut milk will do]
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 clove
- large pinch of black pepper
- 1 Tbs grated fresh turmeric or 1 1/2 tsp dried ground
- Seeds from 1/4 vanilla pod or 3 drops extract
You could also add cinnamon or cardomon pods for a more chia flavour.
*Black pepper is an important addition as it greatly enhances the absorption of turmeric in the intestine.
1. Measure 2 cups of nut milk, either almond, macadamia or coconut milk works best, and place in small pan with the spices and the coconut oil.
2. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Strain and serve with a dusting of cinnamon or turmeric. To make frothy, wiz up for 30 seconds in a blender.
Could you, or someone you know benefit from adding turmeric to your diet?
Have you ever tried turmeric milk? What did you think?
Or do you already have a favourite way of getting turmeric into your own or your families diets, if so please do share it with me in the comments below, I would love to hear about it!