Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, turmeric tea is a way of life. The population drinks this traditional favorite daily, and numerous studies have linked turmeric with wide-ranging anti-inflammatory effects. Perhaps this helps to explain why the people of Okinawa have one of the world’s longest average life spans: 81.2 years.
While turmeric tea is among Dr. Weil’s favorite beverages (particularly the refreshing iced version), he offers this recipe for Golden Milk Tea as another great way to get the many benefits of turmeric on a daily basis, along with the antioxidant power of ginger and black pepper.
Used to impart color and flavor to everything from traditional Indian curries to ballpark mustard, this deep-orange herb’s many health benefits are well documented. In a comprehensive summary of 700 studies published by ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, Duke found extensive evidence that turmeric can reduce inflammation and support brain and joint health.
Drinkers of Golden Milk can also reap the benefits of ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal ailments. Additionally, Golden Milk is flavored by black pepper, whose sharp taste comes from the alkaloid piperine, which enhances the absorption and the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. Plus, black pepper contains a number of essential nutrients, including manganese, iron and vitamin K, and is commonly used to calm digestive issues.
Perfect for an evening drink just before bed, here’s Dr. Weil’s recipe for Golden Milk:
Heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond or soymilk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
How To Make Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk
If you want to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory foods you consume, this Golden Milk recipe is a delicious way to begin. Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk, also called turmeric milk, is a popular beverage throughout Asia and is known by some as “liquid gold.” Similar to Turmeric Tea, Golden Milk offers up a creamier texture through the addition of coconut milk, and increases the anti-inflammatory health benefits with the addition of ginger.
The health benefits of our Golden Milk recipe come primarily from three ingredients: turmeric, ginger and black peppercorns.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice – and a relative of ginger – that is a featured ingredient in Indian curry dishes. It is also what makes American mustard’s color a distinctive bright yellow. Turmeric has been used in medicinal and culinary settings for centuries, and is prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. The chief active component of turmeric is curcumin, which is usually taken as a supplement.
Turmeric tea is the traditional favorite drink in Okinawa, and may be linked to the long life span of the residents there – some of the longest-living people on the planet.
Turmeric Health Benefits
Numerous studies have shown the anti-inflammatory effects turmeric and curcumin provide, including:
- Liver Health: Curcumin may help to delay liver damage that in some instances could lead to cirrhosis.
- Cancer Prevention: Turmeric reduces – by up to 40 percent – the levels of carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These form when meats are barbecued, boiled or fried, and evidence links increased consumption of foods with HCAs to stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and breast cancers.
- Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: As mentioned above, turmeric is part of the curries that are eaten daily in India. This may help explain the low Alzheimer’s disease rates in that country – it is less than one-fourth the rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the US in people aged 70 to 79.
- Preventing Skin Cancer: Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the growth of melanoma, the most serious and potentially dangerous form of skin cancer.
- Relieving Arthritis Pain: Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, and studies of the efficacy of curcumin have shown positive changes in arthritic symptoms.
Turmeric may also be useful as an anti-depressant.
Why Is Ginger Good For You?
Ginger is a root of the Zingiber officinale plant. A natural anti-inflammatory agent prized for its ability to address nausea and digestive issues, medicinally ginger has been used to relieve symptoms associated with motion sickness, arthritis, bursitis, and more. As a culinary spice ginger is popular in Asian and Eastern dishes, and adds a zesty, spicy flavor profile to foods.
The Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is native to Asia and the most popular spice in the world. Black pepper is the whole, partially ripened fruit of the pepper plant, and offers up a variety of health benefits: not only is it is a proven antibacterial agent, but it has the potential to protect against cancer, as the compounds in this spice help protect the integrity of DNA.
Getting The Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric and curcumin are poorly absorbed from the G.I. tract, but taking turmeric along with piperine enhances absorption. Piperine is a constituent of black pepper, and Indian cuisine often uses turmeric and pepper together. This Golden Milk recipe includes black pepper, to enhance the health benefits of turmeric.