Golden milk also known as turmeric milk is a popular Indian beverage. You can make this yellow beverage by mixing turmeric and other spices such as cinnamon and ginger with the cow, plant, or camel milk. It has many health benefits and is often used to increase immunity and keep you safe from diseases. This article describes golden milk benefits and uses.
Contains Antiviral Properties
People in India use golden milk as a home remedy for colds. In reality, for its immune-boosting qualities, the yellow drink is the best drink ever. Test tube studies show that curcumin has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can help prevent diseases (1).
Despite the promising outcomes of test-tube research, there is no proof that golden milk can reduce the risk of diseases. However, ginger compounds may inhibit some bacteria’s growth. Ginger extract may help to treat the prevalent cause of respiratory infections, the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) (2, 3).
Similarly, laboratory test findings show that cinnamaldehyde, the active ingredient in cinnamon, may stop bacterial growth. It can also help to treat infections of the respiratory tract triggered by fungi. There are also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the ingredients in golden milk that can enhance your immune system (4, 5, 6).
Reduces Joint Pain
Golden milk ingredients have strong anti-inflammatory effects. It can play a significant role in chronic diseases such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. That’s why diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds can decrease your risk of these conditions.
Research shows that ginger, cinnamon, and curcumin have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies even show that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are like some pharmaceutical medicines. It has no side effects (7, 8, 9, 10).
These anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may reduce osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis joint pain. One study of 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients discovered that 500 milligrams of curcumin daily decreased joint pain (11).
Similarly, in a 6-week study in 247 individuals with osteoarthritis, a ginger extract decreased pain and needed less pain medication than placebo patients (12).
Full of Antioxidants
Turmeric, a yellow spice common in Asian cuisine, is the key ingredient in golden milk. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Because of its powerful antioxidant properties, curcumin has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries (13).
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from oxidative stress and prevents cell damage. They are vital for your cells to function, and studies frequently show that antioxidant-rich diets can help reduce the risk of infection. The golden milk recipes also contain cinnamon and ginger with remarkable antioxidant properties (14, 15).
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Alternative anti-cancer remedies are increasingly being attempted in relation to standard medications. Interestingly, some study shows that in this respect the spices used in golden milk may offer some benefits.
Some test-tube studies, for example, show anti-cancer properties of 6-gingerol, a substance discovered in raw ginger in enormous quantities. Similarly, laboratory and animal studies report that cinnamon compounds may help lower cancer cell growth (16, 17, 18).
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can also destroy isolated cancer cells and stop fresh blood vessels from growing in tumors, thus restricting their capacity to spread (19).
That said, proof of ginger, cinnamon, and curcumin’s cancer-fighting benefits in humans remain limited. The findings of the research are conflicting, and it is uncertain how much of each component is needed to attain these benefits (20, 21).
Prevents Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. Interestingly, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric can lower the risk of heart disease as the key ingredients in golden milk (22).
A review of 10 research, for example, found that 120 mg of cinnamon per day could decrease complete cholesterol, triglyceride, and “bad” LDL concentrations while increasing “good” HDL concentrations (23).
In another study, 2 grams of ginger powder per day were provided to 41 respondents with type 2 diabetes. At the end of the 12-week study, risk variables for heart disease were 23–28 percent less (24).
Curcumin may enhance your blood vessel linings function known as endothelial function. For a good heart, proper endothelial function is significant. In one study, a few days before and after their surgery, individuals undergoing heart surgery were provided either 4 grams of curcumin or a placebo (25).
Those with curcumin were 65 percent less probable than individuals in the placebo group to experience a heart attack during their hospital stay (26).
These anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties can protect against heart disease. However, we need more studies before compelling conclusions.
Improves Brain Function
Golden milk can also be helpful for your brain. Studies show that curcumin may boost the neurotrophic factor (BDNF) derived from the brain. BDNF is a compound that helps your brain build new links and encourages brain cell growth. Low BDNF concentrations may increase the risk of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (27, 28).
An accumulation of a specific protein in the brain, called the tau protein, is one of the defining characteristics of Alzheimer’s. Studies of test-tube and animals show that cinnamon compounds may help to decrease this buildup (29, 30).
Cinnamon in animal studies appears to decrease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and enhance brain function. Ginger can also increase brain function by enhancing memory and reaction time. In addition, ginger seems to protect against age-related loss of brain function in animal research (31, 32, 33).
That said, to understand the results in memory and brain function, we need further human studies.
Can Improve Mood
Turmeric, its active compound curcumin, appears to boost mood and reduce depressive symptoms. 60 people with significant depressive disorders took either curcumin, an antidepressant, or a mixture in 6-week research.
Those provided only curcumin encountered comparable improvements to those given antidepressants, while most benefits were noticed in those provided with all the ingredients. Depression may also be associated with the low neurotrophic factor (BDNF) derived from the brain (34).
As curcumin appears to increase BDNF concentrations, symptoms of anxiety may be also reduced. That said, in this sector, few studies have been carried out and it requires more before we can draw powerful conclusions (35).
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Golden milk ingredients, especially ginger and cinnamon, may help reduced concentrations of blood sugar. For example, 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day can reduce blood sugar concentrations by up to 29%. In addition, cinnamon may decrease insulin resistance (36).
Insulin-resistant cells are less capable of absorbing blood sugar, so reducing insulin resistance usually reduces blood sugar concentrations. Cinnamon appears to decrease how much glucose it absorbs into your gut after a meal, which may further enhance the control of blood sugar (37, 38).
Similarly, adding small quantities of ginger to your diet regularly can help reduce blood sugar levels by up to 12 percent. A small daily dose of ginger may also reduce A1C concentrations of hemoglobin by up to 10% a long-term blood sugar control marker (39, 40).
The evidence is based on just a few studies, and to confirm these findings, we need more studies. Most golden milk recipes are sweetened with honey or maple syrup. Blood sugar reduces benefits only when drinking unsweetened.
Enhances Bones Health
Golden milk can add value to your diet. However, both cow and plant milk are usually rich in calcium and vitamin D. If your diet is inadequate in calcium, your body will remove calcium from your bones to keep your blood at ordinary concentrations of calcium (41).
This makes bones weak and brittle over time, increasing your risk of bone diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis. Vitamin D helps strengthen the bones by enhancing the capacity of your gut to absorb calcium from your diet (42, 43).
While cow’s milk includes calcium naturally and is often rich in vitamin D. Choose milk that contains both calcium and vitamin D for more bone-strengthening benefits.
Chronic indigestion such as dyspepsia, in the upper portion of your stomach, can cause pain and discomfort. Delayed emptying of the abdomen is a potential cause of indigestion.
Ginger, one component used in golden milk, can help ease this condition by accelerating the emptying of the stomach in individuals with dyspepsia (44).
Further research shows that turmeric, another ingredient used in the making of golden milk, may help to decrease symptoms of indigestion. Turmeric can also enhance fat digestion by raising your bile output by up to 62% (45).
Finally, studies show that turmeric can help keep adequate digestion and control flare-ups in people with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory digestive disorder that causes ulcers in the intestine (46).
How to Make Golden Milk?
Golden milk is easy to make at home. For a single serving of golden milk or about one cup, follow this recipe:
- 1 glass 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk or cow milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger powder
- A tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
- A pinch of black pepper
- Honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
Directions: combine all the ingredients in a tiny pot and boil it to make the golden milk. Strain the drink into mugs and top with a pinch of cinnamon. You can also make golden milk ahead of time and store it in your fridge for up to five days. Just heat it up before you drink.
The Bottom Line
Golden milk is a delicious beverage contains antioxidants. It can provide a range of health benefits such as a healthier brain, heart, and stronger bones. Use a calcium and vitamin D milk and avoid adding sugar, honey, or syrup to reap the most health benefits.