Golden Milk Recipe – From our ND Dr. Shah
Do you have inflammation in your body? It can be localized such as inflamed joints (arthritis), muscles or tendons (tendonitis) or more widespread which is often seen in autoimmune conditions. While there are many natural treatment options for decreasing inflammation depending on the root cause, turmeric is a very well-known anti-inflammatory herb. It has been used in East Indian cooking and ayurvedic medicine for many years to add spice and warmth to the food along with hidden health benefits.
The active constituents of turmeric root that are known to provide health benefits are known as curcuminoids. Curcumin is just one of the many curcuminoids found in turmeric and the one that has gained the most attention and research.
Curcumin’s potent anti-inflammatory properties are achieved by inhibiting leukotriene (1) and prostaglandin (2) formation. Prostaglandins and leukotrienes trigger inflammation in the body and while they are needed for acute situations to help trigger the inflammatory cascade to fight infections, prolonged synthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes can create chronic inflammation in the body. Inflammation affects many areas of the body such as the brain, organs, muscles, tendons and joints resulting in back, knee, and body pain.
Turmeric also helps with liver detoxification and enhances your digestion as well. In Chinese medicine, turmeric is considered a warming food that aids your spleen and stomach (Chinese medicine organs responsible for digestion) to digest food and transform it into energy or ‘qi’.
Adding turmeric powder to warm water or to your salt water gargles is great for taking way that inflammation associated with sore throats.
You can use turmeric powder or purchase turmeric in capsule formulations but with either option, if you want to use it medicinally, you do have to take a large dose because it is rapidly metabolized by the liver within a couple hours (2). Also, curcumin is a fat-soluble compound so it is best to take it with food. Like all herbs, turmeric may interact with certain medications and it is best to speak to a naturopathic doctor or other healthcare professional if turmeric is right for you and what other natural approaches are best for addressing the root cause of your inflammation.
In the meantime, here is a delicious “make-it-yourself” Golden milk recipe that can warm you up this Fall.
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp unpasteurized honey
*** You can also use a pre-made East Indian chai masala mix that contains cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, and black pepper powders to replace the individual cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. I typically add about 1 or 1 1/2 tsp of this mix.
- Add all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on low-medium heat until coconut oil is melted and milk is a bold yellow colour and warm.
- Enjoy as a perfect hot drink before bed as a replacement for black tea or coffee!
Makes 1 cup.
POST BY: Dr. Suhani Shah, ND
(1) Godfrey A, ND, PhD & Saunders PR PhD, ND, DHANP, CCH. Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Toronto ON: CCNM Press. 2010; p.371-372
(2) Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of curcuma longa: A review of preclinical and clinical research. Alt Med Rev. 2009:14(2);141-153.