I have been having turmeric milk for many years now. My previous post on Turmeric milk was written in 2016 which gives a general overview of the health benefits of turmeric in general and turmeric milk in particular, but considering the present COVID-19 pandemic and the questions I have been getting on my social media channels, I thought I should write about it again. Also, I wanted to share with you all the many ways in which I have been having turmeric milk which only further justified another post for the same.
Turmeric and Immunity
Immunity is our body’s natural ability to protect itself from diseases caused by bacteria and virus. Studies show that turmeric plays a major role in building the immunity of the body. Consuming turmeric through food is one of the most natural ways to build immunity of the body. Many studies have also shown that turmeric reduces free radicals in the body and also stimulates the body’s enzymes to build immunity and lead to overall well being.
Turmeric – Health Benefits
All the research that has been done in the west has reiterated what the ancient Indian civilisation knew all along-that turmeric contains compounds with a host of medicinal properties. Curcumin, the main active component in turmeric has powerful antioxidant, anti inflammatory, antiageing, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Consumption of turmeric is also known to improve brain functions, lower risk of heart disease and treat and prevent diseases like arthirtis, cancer and alzheimers disease. Turmeric is also known to improve mind related disorders like depression and anxiety.
Turmeric – Beauty Benefits
Including turmeric in your diet leads to good skin health, good hair and since it has antiageing properties it fights free radicals that lead to ageing improving ones overall physical and mental health.
The best way to include turmeric is by cooking with turmeric powder and having turmeric milk. Certain studies show that pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin, the bio active component of turmeric in the body. Indian recipes are hundreds of years old and these recipes have been tried, tested and perfected by our ancestors since time immemorial. Recipes like dals, curries, many rice and vegetable dishes have turmeric in it and it is one of the best ways to have turmeric. Having turmeric milk at night is also one of the best ways to enjoy the many benefits of the golden spice turmeric.
Throughout the year, through all the seasons, the one constant ritual for me is my cup of turmeric milk in the night. I make slight variations with the change in seasons like adding a pinch of ginger powder along with turmeric and cardamom powder during the winter season or adding spices like nutmeg powder along with the turmeric when there are seasonal changes. Nutmeg is a very powerful spice that helps to fight off infections and when had in the night along with the turmeric, it gives a good night’s rest. Adding a few sabja seeds or basil seeds to the turmeric milk also makes for a very satisfying drink during the summer as these seeds have cooling properties.
Having hot turmeric milk at night is soothing to the senses and has restorative and rejuvenating properties. My night cap of turmeric milk marks, followed by a round of mantra meditation marks a perfect end to my day and takes care of my body, mind and soul.
FAQs on Turmeric Milk
What is the best time to have turmeric milk?
Turmeric milk is best had at bed time, ideally 1 ½ to 2 hours after dinner. This means that if you plan to have turmeric milk at night, you should have an early dinner. Turmeric milk should ideally be had at or before 10 pm in the night.
What milk should I use?
Organic raw cow milk made from Indian breed cow or A2 milk is best to make turmeric milk. If you cannot source this kind of milk, try and get raw milk from any dairy nearby.
What kind of turmeric powder to use?
Make sure you use pure turmeric which is unadulterated and without any artificial colour in it.
What spices can be used with turmeric milk?
Alongwith turmeric milk you can add spices like cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, cinnamon or pepper.
What can I substitute milk with if I don't like milk or if I’m lactose intolerant?
Generally, A2 milk boiled with turmeric is well tolerated by everyone. If you do not wish to have turmeric milk, have it with a glass of buttermilk in the afternoon. Buttermilk and curd or yogurt are best avoided at night as per ayurvedic principles.
I’m a vegan, how can I have turmeric milk?
Nut milks with turmeric do not give the same result as cow milk. However, coconut milk can be had with turmeric by heating it up a little, although this cannot be had everyday! If you are a vegan, include turmeric in your food in whatever recipes you can.
Can I have turmeric milk everyday?
Yes, turmeric milk can be had everyday, throughout the year. Based on the season, you can add spices and sweeten accordingly. Adding ginger powder to your turmeric milk during winter, nutmeg powder when the season changes and cardamom powder to flavour it through the year is very good for the senses and overall health of the body!
What sweetener do I add to my turmeric milk?
The combination of turmeric, milk and jaggery is a powerful drink filled with healthful properties. In the summer you can add raw sugar. Adding a sweetener like jaggery or sugar enhances the taste and digestive properties of this milk.
What should be the temperature of turmeric milk?
Turmeric milk is best had hot as this has a cleansing effect on the body and as per ayurveda also nourishes the cells in the brain.
Will having milk at night, lead to weight gain?
On the contrary, having turmeric milk is known to stabilise weight since it improves the metabolic and overall functioning of the body. So go ahead and enjoy your cup of turmeric milk at night without any guilt.
Golden Turmeric Milk – Immunity Boosting Ayurvedic Drink Recipe
Soothing, rejuvenating and restorative drink with turmeric and spices
250 ml ( 1 cup) milk
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 to 4 strands of saffron
1 cardamom, shelled and the seeds powdered (see notes for variations)
2 tsp jaggery or raw sugar to taste*
- In a saucepan, heat the milk along with the turmeric powder and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the optional spices and sweetener.
- *A lot of people use honey with turmeric milk. According to Ayurveda, if honey is heated it produces toxins in the body. If you prefer to sweeten your turmeric milk, then jaggery powder or raw sugar is your best choice.
- Add jaggery or raw sugar or a mix of both to sweeten your turmeric milk.
- Cardamom gives a very nice flavour to the drink.
- Saffron enhances the immune system of the body and adds to the taste and flavour of the drink. Saffron also balances the hormones in the body.
- Nutmeg powder (a pinch) can be used instead of cardamom powder as a variation and during seasonal changes to fight off infections.
- If you like cinnamon powder, you can add a pinch of cinnamon powder to your turmeric milk.
- If you dont have dry ginger powder, you can add a slice of fresh ginger while boiling the milk with turmeric in the winter or when one has to ward off a cold.
Serves one. Best had hot or warm.