Golden Milk: The drink that’s good for you

Growing up in an Indian home, Haldi doodh (turmeric milk)—also known as Golden milk—was something I drank on a regular basis. It’s gained a lot of popularity in the west today because both yoga and Ayurveda have gained visibility and acceptance. But haldi doodh was a staple in most Indian homes.

I remember after a long trip, Mom would make it for all of us, and it would knock me out. Hello, the powers of nutmeg. Nope, it wasn’t magic. Travel increases vata dosha, and warm, spiced cow’s milk lowers vata. Nutmeg is also a sedative. I distinctly remember Mom making this delicious drink for us during late fall and early winter months (Hello, Vata season!) because it also builds immunity. She would add strands of saffron. For my grandma, this was beneficial in lowering her aches and pains. We know that turmeric, one of the ingredients in Golden Milk, is a superpower spice. I have heard people say that their bowel movements became regular in the mornings because of drinking Golden Milk at night. Ghee can do that for you!

What does Golden Milk look like?

Ahara or diet is an important aspect of Ayurvedic healing. In fact, according to Ayurveda, Ahara is one of the pillars of health in Ayurveda. Ayurveda will suggest that you adjust the spices depending on the season and the person’s doshic imbalances. But, in general, Golden milk has a bright yellow color because of turmeric in it. Turmeric, or Curcuma longa-Rhizoma, is also known as Haridra, which literally means yellow. Turmeric contains qualities or gunas that balance all three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha.

This healthy, bright yellow beverage, haldi doodh, is traditionally made by warming up cow’s milk with turmeric and other spices. While Ayurveda reveres cow’s milk, if you’re vegan, you can make golden milk with a nut milk (almond milk or cashew milk) or oat milk or even coconut milk.

The health benefits of Golden Milk

According to Medical News Today, because this beverage is made with potent, Ayurvedic spices (ginger, cardamom, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, or nutmeg) and ghee, it’s loaded with several health benefits.

  • May reduce inflammation
  • Prevents cell damage
  • Improves mood
  • Supports brain function
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Possibly reduces the risk of cancer
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves bone health
  • Aids in digestion⁠
  • Helps improve sleep.

My recipe for Golden Milk

There are many recipes for Golden Milk. Pasted below is how I make it. I am not a fan of cinnamon, and I use fresh ginger in my cooking everyday. The cardamom and saffron appeal to my dessert-loving taste buds☺️
  • ¾ cup of whole milk, preferably organic. A2 milk is easier to digest.
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder (Use less during hot weather as it’s a warming spice)
  • 1/8th tsp green cardamom powder
  • 2-3 strands of saffron (Prefer using it during the cooler months as saffron is heating in nature)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • ½ – 1 tbsp jaggery

Boil the ingredients together (except jaggery). Pour the Golden Milk in a cup. Add jaggery according to taste and sip on the warm beverage.

When should you drink Golden Milk?

While you can choose to drink Golden Milk at any time of the day, I recommend drinking it at least 90 minutes before bedtime. It helps relax and can be beneficial as a sleep aid. Reminder: Make sure to drink it while it’s still warm.

What happens if you drink Golden Milk every day?

For some people, they might develop a temporary yellow coating on their tongue—one of my clients did. But I asked him to take a break for a month, and the coating was all gone. Ayurveda will tell you that healing, and recommendations should be customized based on the season, location, geography, doshic imbalances, prakruti, age, overall health of the rogi (client). That said, consuming turmeric regularly can help reduce inflammation in the body and significantly reduce symptoms of already-present inflammatory conditions. A client of mine skips dinner and drinks warm Golden Milk 2 hours before bedtime. She says she has never felt stronger or healthier.

Want to learn more about Ayurveda and Ayurvedic cooking? I want to help you with that. Schedule a FREE discovery call here.


Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic coach, contact me here.