I know what you’re thinking…what the heck is “golden milk”? Well, golden milk is an ancient tea-like drink that incorporates the main ingredient, turmeric, and has been used for centuries to heal a multitude of ailments.
Turmeric’s health benefits are so amazing that there are currently 6,235 peer-reviewed studies published on this magical herb to date. The one component of turmeric that no other herb possesses is called curcumin, and this is what gives turmeric its incredible healing ability.
Because of how amazing the curcumin component is, turmeric is one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science. It’s even been shown to have benefits equal to, or even better than, conventional pharmaceutical medications. That in itself should be reason enough to pay closer attention to this often looked over spice.
Health Benefits Of Turmeric & Curcumin
Studies have shown that this vibrant and aromatic spice is comparable to many prescription medications, and has even been found to perform many times better than some.
While there are definitely a lot more health benefits of turmeric, we will be focusing on the top nine benefits that could very well change your life.
1. Helps Fight & Prevent Cancer
Inflammation is one of the leading causes of most every cancer to date, so reducing inflammation would be the first step in cancer prevention. Studies have found that turmeric’s active component curcumin can stop the development of cancer by inhibiting an enzyme called COX-2. This enzyme is responsible for causing negative inflammation, which can ultimately lead to cancer.
In 2011 a study was conducted by researchers who found that curcumin can effectively differentiate between cancer cells and normal cells, thus destroying cancer cells while keeping normal cells untouched.
Curcumin exerts its biological influence through epigenetic modulation, a process that continues downstream staying one step ahead of adverse genetic influences.
Curcumin has also been found to inhibit and protect against the growth of colon, cervical, breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and liver cancers.
2. Arthritis Relief
Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, is known for its incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing abilities, a main reason why it’s been studied for so long. One study split 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients into three groups to compare the healing abilities of curcumin to more popular arthritis drugs.
One group was on a 500mg curcumin treatment alone, the second group on 50mg diclofenac sodium (most common arthritis drug), and the third group with a combination of the two. The results were astonishing:
The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall Disease Activity Score and American College of Rheumatology scores (ACR 20, 50 and 70) and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
Curcumin is the safest, and comparably the most effective treatment for arthritis and other inflammatory ailments with practically no adverse side effects. Another way that nature somehow knows best.
3. Control Blood Sugar & Manage Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a worldwide epidemic, and it’s grown into a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry with diabetic drugs being the most prescribed medication of any other drug. It’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to alternative, natural diabetes treatments to help manage their blood sugar levels and stay healthy.
Turmeric has the innate ability to help lower blood sugar, detoxify the liver, and reverse insulin resistance, all major components in controlling diabetes. A study done in 2009, published by Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications out of Auburn University showed how incorporating turmeric in your daily diet can help reverse diabetes.
The study found that the curcumin in turmeric is 400 times more potent than Metformin (the most common diabetes drug) in activating AMP-activated protein kinase, an enzyme that improves insulin sensitivity to help reverse Type-2 Diabetes.
Along with helping to reverse the causes of diabetes, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties have also been shown to delay and reverse some of the complications of hyperglycemia like diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy (the main cause of blindness).
4. Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Heart disease is another huge epidemic, especially in the U.S., with an alarming number of sufferers also having pre-diabetes. Whether you’re diabetic or not, your heart can suffer from a common complication known as oxidative stress, which damages the inside of healthy blood vessels. Cholesterol begins to then “build up” around the damaged patches in your arteries, thus causing high levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol).
Prescription cholesterol drugs (like Lipitor) are commonly prescribed for high cholesterol levels, although they are wildly known to harm the liver, kidneys, and cause a host of other deadly side effects. While they are effective in bringing down cholesterol levels, they never address the main cause of oxidative stress brought on by high blood sugar and inflammation.
Fortunately, more and more medical doctors are becoming increasingly aware of the dangerous side effects of cholesterol drugs and prescribing natural alternatives like omega-3 fish oil and curcumin!
A study performed by Drugs in R & D discovered that curcumin was equal to or more effective than common diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in treating high cholesterol levels. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies are attempting to create a synthetic version of curcumin, but it hasn’t come close to the real thing.
5. Helps With Depression
The journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazingly innovative study that took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder and split the group to determine how they responded to curcumin treatment versus fluoxetine (Prozac), or a combination of the two.
It was found that all patients treated with curcumin tolerated it very well, and that it was as effective as Prozac in managing depression. According to the researchers:
“This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”
6. Better Than Common Anti-inflammatory Pills
You’ll continue to hear the anti-inflammatory claims of curcumin throughout this article, and it’s really the main reason turmeric is highly studied. Inflammation leads to almost every disease and ailment out there which is why curcumin has taken the lead as a powerhouse treatment.
A study published in the journal Oncogene showed a comparison between the anti-inflammatory compounds in curcumin, aspirin and ibuprofen. Researchers found that both aspirin and ibuprofen were the least effective in reducing inflammation while curcumin remained one of the most effective anti-inflammatory treatments in the world.
7. Improves Digestion
Again, inflammation is the leading cause of gastrointestinal issues like IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis and most people with these ailments are prescribed corticosteroids which can destroy healthy gut flora and make the situation worse.
Luckily, studies have shown that patients who supplemented with turmeric on a daily basis were actually able to discontinue their usage of prescription corticosteriods as their condition improved dramatically with the intake of turmeric.
8. Weight Management
Another reason to include turmeric in your daily diet is its ability to assist with healthy weight management. Curcumin helps increase the production of bile in our liver which is key for properly breaking down fat and aiding in weight loss.
Curcumin also works as a liver detox to help rid the body of toxin buildup and improve blood circulation, all factors that help your body maintain a healthy weight.
9. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Studies are constantly being done on Alzheimer’s disease and how to prevent its occurrence, and curcumin happens to be among the potential treatment options. Because it’s thought that AD is caused by inflammation in the brain, curcumin is the perfect anti-inflammatory treatment for AD prevention.
A study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy reported that turmeric may actually regenerate neural stem cells not only to protect against the onslaught of Alzheimer’s disease, but also reverse damage done by those diseases.
How To Make A Turmeric Concentrate
The ancients referred to their turmeric tea as “golden milk” because the turmeric would stain the milk a beautiful, rich, golden color and was also toted as a miracle elixir for all types of health ailments.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can easily make a rich, aromatic drink that helps promote healing and combats inflammation.
Note: You must use black pepper in this recipe as it allows the body to easily absorb the turmeric for immediate use. Omitting the black pepper would render the turmeric useless.
- In a small bowl, mix together turmeric and spices.
- Slowly pour in the boiling water and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add coconut oil and stir for another 2-3 minutes until well mixed.
- Pour mixture into a glass jar and let cool before sealing with a lid.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How To Make “Golden Milk” For Daily Health Benefits
Now that you have your turmeric concentrate made, making “golden milk” is super easy. With just a few simple ingredients, this aromatic drink will fight inflammation and help prevent illness and disease.
- Add 1 tbsp of turmeric concentrate into a mug with 1-2 cups of warm almond or coconut milk. (Dairy milk is excluded due to its casein content which is linked to inflammation)
- Stir in 1 tsp of raw honey or stevia to offset the turmeric flavor. (sweetener is optional)
- Add a pinch of cinnamon on top.
- Drink immediately.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you can easily incorporate the turmeric concentrate into your latte, or brew up a bag of chai tea to enhance the spicy flavor. Find what works for you so you’ll drink this magic elixir on a daily basis, the key for good health!
Don’t Like The Taste Of Turmeric? Try A Supplement Instead
If you’ve tried turmeric and you just can’t get paste the spicy flavor, taking a daily supplement may work better for you. While drinking turmeric is the fastest and most effective method of receiving the health benefits, it won’t do any good if you can’t stand the taste!
Here are some of the top supplements I recommend:
Do you use turmeric in your daily diet? What are your favorite ways to use it?