How to make golden milk, and why turmeric and raw honey are so good for you.
Turmeric lattes and golden milk have crept onto the menu of many trendy cafés recently. But there’s more to this than just a warm, Instagram-worthy drink in a cup. The combination of super-spice turmeric and raw honey packs a real punch in health benefits.
The benefits of turmeric
In many countries across the Middle East and Asia, turmeric has been relied on, not just for its taste in cooking, but for its power to boost immunity and prevent illness. The remedy pressed on you by Grandma when you have a sore throat isn’t just an old-wives’ tale.
Turmeric, whether in fresh root form or dried powder, contains compounds called curcuminoids, including curcumin which is the main active ingredient and is responsible for the bright yellow colour. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Studies have shown that curcumin may help to prevent or have a beneficial effect in treating heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome and arthritis. It doesn’t have the side effects of chemical anti-inflammatories. Turmeric is also good for the digestion and can treat gastrointestinal disorders like colitis and IBS.
It has also been proved that curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF, a beneficial growth-hormone in the brain. Therefore, it may be effective in delaying or reversing many age-related decreases in brain function and boosting memory.
There are drawbacks to taking turmeric in its natural form as it is can be difficult for the body to absorb it. Piperine is a natural substance proven to enhance absorption and this is found in black pepper. Curcumin is also fat soluble. This is why the ingredients in golden milk are so important.
Drink some if you have a sore throat or feel a cold coming on and take some regularly as a preventative measure. If you want to take a larger dose, there are supplements containing curcumin.
The benefits of raw honey
Honey doesn’t just make golden milk nice to drink with a bit of sweetness. There are a multitude of benefits of eating raw honey as it contains over 200 health promoting enzymes and nutrients. It’s the only natural sweetener which actually contains active ingredients that do you good.
You can read more about this here:
- Why raw honey should be in your medicine cabinet
- How raw honey helps memory and cognitive function
- How raw honey can improve gut health
- Raw honey and diabetes
...and more on the Honey Explorer blog.
High heat can destroy some of the potent active compounds in raw honey which is why golden milk must be made at a certain temperature for maximum benefits.
Finding a good source of turmeric and raw honey
It’s important to know where your ingredients come from. Choose organic turmeric from a trusted supplier. Companies add artificial colours and anti-caking agents to this spice which can lessen its benefits or even have an adverse effect.
It’s even more important to choose the right company to buy your raw honey from. Read more …. What is honey laundering? And how can you avoid fake honey?
A warming, fragrant drink that does you good.
Servings 1 mugIngredients
- 250 ml milk either dairy or plant-based
- a small piece of cinnamon or the tip of a teaspoon of dried cinnamon*
- ½ tsp grated fresh ginger or ground ginger*
- ½ -1 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp organic coconut oil
- a pod or pinch of cardamom*
- 1-2 tsp raw honey
- Whisk all the ingredients together, except the raw honey, in a small saucepan. You could also do this in a heat-proof bowl and make in the microwave. Heat slowly until steam rises off the surface (don’t let it boil).
- Pour into a mug through a fine strainer and discard the spices.
- Let the milk cool until just above blood temperature (it will feel only slightly warm if you put your finger in it).
- Add the raw honey and stir well to mix all the turmeric in (it sinks to the bottom).
*these ingredients are optional but all have health benefits and make this a warming, spicy drink