Golden milk, also known as golden turmeric milk, is a staple in Ayurvedic eating that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. And we’ve got an ayurvedic golden milk recipe for you!
Made from Ayurvedic herbs such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, the tasty yellow beverage boasts an impressive range of benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved digestion, faster brain function and even a lifted mood.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Ayurveda golden milk, including:
- What Is the Ayurvedic Diet?
- 8 Principles of the Ayurvedic Diet
- Ayurvedic Doshas Explained
- 5 Benefits of Ayurveda Golden Milk
- Ayurveda Golden Milk Recipe
- When to Drink Ayurveda Golden Milk
What Is the Ayurvedic Diet?
The Ayurvedic diet is based on the ancient principles of Ayurveda, a system of medicine that promotes food and diet as the best way to improve and protect your mental, physical and spiritual health.
In contrast to restrictive Western ideas of dieting, the Ayurvedic diet is all about mindfully selecting foods that meet the unique needs of the individual and help restore balance to the Doshas, protecting against infection and illness.
What are the Ayurvedic diet principles?
Although we could talk about the vast and complex world of Ayurvedic eating for hours, the ideal Ayurvedic diet can be boiled down to 8 fundamental principles.
This refers to the nutritious nature of a food, such as whether it is light or heavy and how easy it is to digest.
Some foods are more difficult to digest and nutritionally incomplete than others and should be limited, such as cheese.
This refers to how we process food. It’s important to prepare food in ways that do not heat it too quickly and destroy the nutrients.
For instance, cooking food in the microwave can damage its nutritional value.
This refers to the science of combining foods as a means to produce a certain health benefit.
The reverse of this is Viruddhahaar, where certain food combinations can be damaging for your health. For instance, mixing ghee and honey in equal measures can negatively affect your metabolism.
This refers to the quantity of food you eat.
According to the ancient Ayurvedic texts, in order to optimize digestion 1/3 of your stomach should contain food, 1/3 of your stomach should contain water or other liquids, and the last third should contain air.
Emotional or mindless overeating should be avoided.
This refers to where and how you source your food.
Ideally, you should consume seasonal foods that are locally grown. By doing this, we ensure that we are in sync with nature and best adapted to our climate.
This refers to the time at which you consume food.
It’s important to take into account both the general influence of time (Nityag Kaal) and the conditional influence of time (Avasthik Kaal).
The former involves eating in harmony with the Ayurvedic body clock and the seasons, whilst the latter concerns eating to support illness or menstruation.
This refers to using food in the right way.
According to Ayurveda, you can optimize digestion and the absorption of nutrients by eating foods in the correct order and at the right temperature.
Regarding Ayurveda golden milk, it is best drunk warm and before going to bed.
Lastly, you as the consumer can have a huge impact on how you digest your food.
If you’re stressed, angry, anxious or upset, your sympathetic nervous system takes over and diverts blood away from the digestive system, hindering your ability to digest properly.
Try to make sure your parasympathetic nervous system is in control before eating by practicing gratitude, mindfulness or yoga poses for stress.
the Ayurvedic Doshas Explained
According to the Ayurvedic texts, the universe is comprised of 5 Bhutas (elements); vayu (air), jala (water), teja (fire), akasha (space) and prithvi (earth).
These elements form 3 fundamental forces known as ‘Doshas‘ – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – that govern our physical and mental processes.
By understanding which Dosha (or Doshas) is prominent in our body and which foods stimulate and pacify said Dosha, we can create a unique blueprint for optimal health.
Suffering from dry skin, hypertension and anxiety? You might be Vata-dominant.
This Dosha combines air and ether and is balanced by warming, moisturizing, oily, creamy, and fatty foods. Think root vegetables, protein, avocados and nuts.
Do you have asthma, diabetes or metabolic issues? You might be Kapha-dominant.
This Dosha combines earth and water and is balanced by dry, warming, flavor-filled foods. Think leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, spices, and beans.
Do you suffer from ulcers, skin rashes and acid reflux? You might be Pitta-dominant.
This Dosha combines fire and water and is balanced by cooling, energizing and refreshing foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Think cucumbers, melons, coconut, coriander, and mint.
So, which Dosha does golden turmeric milk pacify and balance? Vata, Pitta, or Kapha?
Trick question! One of the best things about turmeric milk is that it balances all three Doshas thanks to an abundance of cooling and warming Ayurvedic herbs and spices.
5 Benefits of Ayurveda Golden Milk
It’s not just us who think turmeric milk is the greatest thing bar sliced bread; check out these 5 health benefits backed by scientific research.
1. Strengthens the immune system
Turmeric-based drinks have long been used in India as a natural tonic for treating colds, flus and infections.
Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals in your body, delaying and preventing cell damage. As such, those with diets rich in antioxidants are less likely to suffer from infections or diseases.
Not only is cinnamon and ginger packed full with antioxidants, but golden milk also contains curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, which has powerful antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
2. Improves digestion
Both ginger and turmeric are powerful Ayurvedic spices well-known for aiding digestion.
Ginger works as an anti-inflammatory and is linked to reducing intestinal cramping and preventing dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), flatulence, bloating and nausea.
Meanwhile, turmeric is linked to reducing symptoms of indigestion and improving digestion via increasing bile production. Turmeric is also suggested to relieve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition involving stomach ulcers.
3. Improves mood
Amazingly, golden milk is also said to give you a helpful mood boost. This is because turmeric contains curcumin, an active compound linked to reducing symptoms of depression.
This was demonstrated by a randomized trial involving participants suffering from major depressive disorders. For 6 weeks, participants took either antidepressants, curcumin or both.
At the end of the trial, those taking only curcumin reported similar improvements in mood to those taking only antidepressants, whilst the group taking a mixture of both experienced the most improvements.
4. Strengthens bones
Last but certainly not least, golden milk contains calcium and vitamin D.
A low-calcium diet can cause your bones to be weak and brittle, whilst vitamin D improves your ability to absorb calcium from your diet. As such, these two nutrients are essential for keeping your bones strong and healthy.
This also holds true for those who opt for a plant-based milk as long as you choose one rich in vitamin D and calcium. For comparison, a cup of dairy milk contains 290 mg of calcium and 127 IU vitamin D.
5. Improves brain function
Last but certainly not least, golden milk has been linked to improving memory and brain function. This is primarily due to three Ayurvedic herbs and spices: ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.
Research has demonstrated that curcumin, found in turmeric, increases levels of BDNF, a compound responsible for forming new connections and promoting growth and repair in the brain.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases tend to display very low levels of BDNF, thus suggesting that curcumin may help protect against these.
Another signifier of Alzheimer’s is a build up of tau protein in the brain, a protein which animal studies have linked to being reduced by cinnamon.
Meanwhile, several studies have linked ginger to improving reaction time and memory recall, as well as protecting against age-related slower brain function.
Ayurveda Golden Milk Recipe
Chances are you’ll already have all the ingredients for this ancient Ayurvedic remedy in your kitchen cupboard. If not, they can all be purchased at your local shop at a relatively low expense.
If you’re concerned about your new ingredients not getting much use, make sure you check out our other Ayurvedic recipes that are jam-packed with tasty herbs and spices.
- 2 cups of full fat milk or a plant-based alternative
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp of ghee
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- 1 pinch of vanilla (optional)
Drinking Ayurveda golden milk is not only a great way to boost your health, but it’s also simple and quick to prepare.
To make enough turmeric milk for two people, pour 2 cups of milk into a saucepan and heat it on a low flame, taking care not to let the milk boil.
Once heated, add your spices and ghee and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.
You can store this milk in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Now that you’ve perfected this Ayurveda Golden Milk Recipe, why not put your culinary skills to the test and try making our Pitta-balancing kitchari?