Golden milk’s turmeric “wonder drug of life”

By Sari Huhtala

Years ago, golden milk became a trendy health drink. While its popularity may have waned over the years, its number one ingredient is still considered the “wonder drug of life.”

That ingredient is turmeric, a natural polyphenol that has been studied extensively for over 50 years and has been used in ancient medicine for inflammation, liver and digestive disorders and wound healing.

The active compound in turmeric is the polyphenol curcumin. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-protein aggregating properties have piqued the interest of researchers looking for new ways to approach neurodegenerative diseases.

Studies show promise in using turmeric therapeutically for conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease, according to a 2020 review in the Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Curcumin was found to decrease inflammation and provide neuroprotective effects.

It also has the capacity to “supress cancer cell metastasis” and eliminate cells that could have dangerous mutations, according to the review, Turmeric and its Major Compound Curcumin on Health: Bioactive Effects and Safety Profiles for Food, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological and Medicinal Applications.

In addition to protecting the liver, curcumin also provides heart healthy benefits, and also has anti-asthmatic, antifungal, antiviral and wound healing properties.

Several studies note that curcumin is not well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

Combining turmeric with coconut oil to make golden milk is one way to aid in its absorption. Coconut oil contains lecithin, which aids in absorption. Adding black pepper is also recommended. The compound piperine in black pepper speeds up the rate of absorption, increasing bioavailability.

How to make golden milk? Simple. Combine one teaspoon turmeric, with 1 teaspoon coconut oil, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and a few dashes of black pepper. Mix well. Add one cup of hot coconut milk or hot nut milk into a blender and add the turmeric mixture then blend. Pour the frothy hot golden milk into a mug and enjoy.

(This information is not intended to replace medical advice and treatment from a health care practitioner).

Sari Huhtala is the creator, publisher and editor of Alive and Fit Magazine, which was created in 2007.  She has over 25 years of experience in journalism and over 15 years of experience as a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, and is a holistic chef, offering holistic cooking and edible wilds workshops. She is an organic farmer, wild-crafter and grandmother, who has spent over 20 years navigating a holistic, healthy path for her family. Reach her at friends@thelaughingforest.ca 

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