Golden Milk ~ Winter's Ayurvedic Elixir
Golden Milk is the quintessential Ayurvedic Winter tonic. The synergistic blend of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and a healthy fat creates an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich immune booster that nourishes the blood, bones, and joints and enkindles the digestive fire.
The star ingredient, turmeric, has an abundance of medicinal applications, but its antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it great for colds, congestion, and cough.
Turmeric is also revered as a blood purifier and digestion enhancer. It scrapes accumulations and metabolic wastes from the channels which help thin the blood and improve circulation.
In addition, it increases the flow of blood through the hepatic system and increases bile output. All these benefits are opportune for Winter as we can become more stagnant in movement and congested in the body.
There are two particular ingredients that are necessary for Golden Milk to increase turmeric's absorption and bioavailability. These ingredients also enhance the anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric.
1) Black pepper: Piperine, an alkaloid present in black pepper, enhances the bioavailability of turmeric. Combining just a little black pepper with turmeric can boost blood levels by up to 2,000%. Turmeric to pepper ratio (10:1).
2) Fat: Turmeric is fat-soluble so it will absorb directly into the bloodstream when adding a healthy source of fat (such as cow’s milk, coconut oil, or ghee).
The energetic qualities of turmeric are light, dry, and heating and the post-digestive effect is pungent. Although turmeric can be considered tridoshic (balancing to all doshas), in excess, its heating quality can aggravate Pitta so it might be best to lessen the amount of the other heating spices like ginger and cinnamon. Turmeric's dry quality can aggravate Vata, so making sure you have plenty of fat in your cup of Golden Milk is important.
Golden Milk can be a great meal replacer in the dark Winter months when you get home too late to eat or if your appetite is light. It’s warming, grounding, and filling, but easy on digestion.
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk or Nut Milk
1 tsp ground Turmeric
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp - Tbsp Ghee or Coconut Oil (the lesser amount of fat for Kapha)
Pinch of fresh ground Black Pepper
Sweetener of choice:
Maple Syrup ~ more cooling for Pitta
Honey ~ best for Kapha
Vata can do either one
Warm milk in a saucepan to just below a boil.
Stir in spices and fat until the spices have completely dissolved. Option to then blend with an immersion blender.
Pour the drink into a cup, let the milk cool to a drinkable temperature before you add your sweetener.
Caution: High doses of Turmeric (more than 1 teaspoon 3x day) should not be consumed by people taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.