Golden milk is a creamy brew that has been used for centuries in India for healing and soothing the body.
It’s perfect pre-bedtime or anytime you just need to unwind and destress.
Before I show you how to make this let me do a (somewhat) deep dive into all of the remarkable ingredients and spices that comprise this yummy drink.
Enter The Golden Beast
One of the most renowned spices used for a millennia in south east Asia and parts of India for healing is Turmeric.
Turmeric has profound anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits thanks to compounds called curcuminoids.
And the standout star of the curcuminoids is the aptly named curcumin which gives turmeric it’s distinct bright golden color.
Although pretty, it will unfortunately stain EVERYTHING it comes in contact with, much like a toddler given crayons. That’s why it’s also used in dyes for clothing and a food colorant for natural products.
Back to the inflammation thing…
Curcumin can go toe to toe in a cage match for your health with other anti-inflammatory drugs on the market, matching their effectiveness.
The compound itself blocks an inflammation triggering molecule known as NF-kB which is thought to play a major part in the development of several chronic diseases.
But inflammation itself is not always harmful, in fact it’s totally necessary to have some degrees of inflammation in order to protect your body from further damage.
After all, that bruise that healed up after slamming your knee into the concrete, well that was because of inflammation. I’m sure your thankful it was by your side when things went sideways.
Inflammation also helps attack foreign unwanted invaders from wreaking havoc on your system and in some cases possibly killing you for real.
Curcumin is a BOSS When It Comes To Combating Oxidative Stress.
Oxidation and oxidative damage, in case you aren’t aware, is considered to be a key component of aging and a plethora of diseases.
Basically there’s a bunch of molecules in your body called free radicals.
These molecules are HIGHLY unstable doing their own thing instead of their job which is to pair up with electrons. Without this pairing the antioxidants are react to several substances in your internal environment like certain proteins and fatty acids.
Antioxidants are the kryptonite for these untamed molecules. You’ll find them in blueberries, functional mushrooms, chocolate and pretty much every healthy food on the planet.
Curcumin itself is an antioxidant with two ace’s up it’s sleeve. Not only does it stop the free radicals from going crazy but it also enhances the capability of your bodies existing antioxidant enzymes.
Curcumin Makes You Smarter and Keeps Your Brain Young
Some studies have shown that curcumin can halt or even reverse the development of alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases.
This is thanks to BDNF or brain derived neurotrophic factor. It’s a growth hormone that helps grow fresh new brain cells.
Less BDNF means higher chance of the aformentioned memory diseases.
Thankfully curcumin increases your amount of BDNF and it’s able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, a type of “wall” that prevents harmful substances from entering the brain through the blood.
And if you experience depression or know of anyone that does, well BDNF also helps with that which coincides with the development of your hippocampus, the brain region relegated to memory and learning.
Cancer Seems To Have A New Adversary!
Curcumin has been shown to minimize the growth of new blood vessels in cancerous tumors and mitigate the spread of cancer.
It’s been proven effective in a 30 day study on 44 men with lesions in their colon to reduce the amount of cancerous legions by 40%. This was after they took 4 grams of curcumin a day.
But There’s A Catch…
Curcumin has a difficult time being absorbed into the body and into the bloodstream itself.
In order for you to acquire the benefits you actually need to consume it with one of the most basic flavor enhancers….
Nope not salt, black pepper.
Black pepper has a substance called piperine (on some turmeric supplements you’ll also see bioperine, the now industry trademarked name for piperine)
Piperine increases the absorption ability for curcumin to work it’s magic on your body by up to 2,000%!! (source)
Otherwise it would just pass through your digestive tract just like any other food. Not cool.
A close relative to curcumin is ginger.
With it’s spicy bite and peppery aftertaste, it’s been used in curries and in it’s whole form grated and mixed with lemon, honey and hot water to prevent the onset of a cold.
Ginger is excellent for digestion as it actually speeds up the process.
The active component in ginger that gives it the distinct flavor is gingerol. Gingerol has been shown to minimize the growth of infections in the mouth and gums such as gingivitis.
Why Cinnamon is Truly The CinnaMAN!
Cinnamon has always had a solid rep as a mild sweetener in decadent desserts like apple pies or added to chocolate for a bit of a kick.
It has more antioxidants (see above) than both oregano and garlic.
It’s anti-inflammatory like turmeric.
Cinnamon even reduces ldl (bad cholesterol)
But what it’s most known for is it’s influence of blood sugar which is why it’s always recommended to sprinkle some into your oatmeal, yogurt or a pie.
And what’s a cinnamon bun WITHOUT the cinnamon?
Not that I recommend eating that lol.
It will slow down the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream and improves the sensitivity to insulin which is totally out of wack for diabetics. Cinnamon also blocks an enzyme called alanine from it’s purpose of allowing the absorption of glucose into the blood.
The Bees Nectar (golden milk sweetener)
Honey in it’s raw form (honeycomb and all) is a mega dose of healthy goodness.
It’s full of antioxidants, especially the dark kinds of honey.
For this golden milk recipe I used American Beekeepers Local Hive honey. It’s completely raw and unfiltered.
Like cinnamon it reduces your overall “bad” LDL cholesterol and simultaneously raises your “good” HDL cholesterol.
Ancient Egyptians used honey to heal wounds and burns.
Manuka honey is considered to to be the bees knees (sorry couldn’t help myself) for treating burn wounds.
I personally put a small dab of honey on a spoon before bed to coat my throat if I have some irritation or congestion. In this regard it’s actually been known to work better against stopping coughs than other medications.