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Golden milk is a hot drink made from milk simmered with ghee and warming spices turmeric, black pepper, fresh ginger, and nutmeg.
This traditional Ayurvedic recipe for golden milk has been used for centuries to aid digestion, calm the nervous system, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and focus the mind.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of healthcare from India that is still widely practiced today, and I am a certified Ayurvedic digestive health coach.
A significant contribution made by Ayurveda is its nutritional wisdom and knowledge on how to prepare food in a way that enhances digestibility.
Golden milk is a good example of how to enhance digestibility and obtain the greatest health benefits from cow’s milk.
(Golden milk is traditionally made from cow’s milk, but if you prefer to use plant-based milk for this recipe you could.)
Enhance your immunity
Cow’s milk is a highly nutritious food, an important source of animal protein for vegetarians, and a powerful source of immunity when properly prepared.
Ayurveda’s term for immunity is ojas, which is often translated as life force energy. You can think of ojas as your resilience and resistance to disease.
Generally, it takes 35 days to produce ojas as the final product of well assimilated and nutritious food.
Cow’s milk is one of the best sources of ojas, because it is said that properly prepared cow’s milk can assimilate into the body and enhance immunity within 24 hours.
The addition of anti-inflammatory turmeric, circulation-boosting black pepper and ginger, and nerve-balancing nutmeg, only enhances the immune boost effect.
Fixing the problem with milk
By nature, milk is sweet, heavy, and cold. These qualities are increased when you consume cold milk.
In Ayurveda, we caution against drinking cold milk, as it is very difficult to digest when consumed this way, and easily becomes congestive and mucus forming.
Unfortunately, most Americans have been taught to drink a cold glass of milk with meals, or cold milk with cereal.
Especially young children are given milk, and we know that young children are most likely to get ear and throat infections.
So it is very plausible that the modern backlash against milk, and the move toward so-called plant-based milk, is due to the incorrect consumption of cow’s milk, the overuse of milk, and the abuse of milk.
At the same time, poor diets, processed foods, food additives, and other sources of toxins, have increased, while digestion overall has weakened.
When digestion is weak, and the body is holding onto toxins, any difficult-to-digest foods will be more likely to cause symptoms of food intolerance.
Warming and boiling cow’s milk briefly with spices (such as in this recipe), is an essential step to increase digestibility, and it can make all the difference.
Milk also doesn’t combine well with many other foods.
Therefore, I recommend enjoying golden milk on an empty stomach as a snack between meals, or 1-2 hours before bedtime for sleep support.
What type of milk to use
I recommend that you seek out a source of non-homogenized whole milk.
Homogenization is to be avoided because the process changes the natural chemical structure of the fat molecules, making them much harder for the body to break down and digest.
Organic and grass-fed are always good choices, but you should also know that quality dairy isn’t always certified organic for various reasons.
Organic dairy isn’t always good either. Especially the national organic milk producers. These processors amalgamate dozens of farm sources together, which makes the energy of the milk chaotic.
It is better to find a local farm source. A single source dairy would be the best choice.
The most important thing you can do is to seek out a trusted dairy farmer in your local area and know where your milk comes from.
Try your natural foods grocer, CSA, or look online for a home delivery service. Fortunately, most areas do still have these options.
If you prefer, substitute the cow’s milk for almond, oat, or another plant-milk of your choice.
Regardless of what milk you use, you can still make a nourishing hot drink to enjoy on a cold winter’s day.
Support Your Immunity with Golden Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch black pepper
- 1 cup milk of your choice (whole cow’s milk, almond, oat, etc.)
- 2-3 slices fresh ginger
- pinch nutmeg
Step 3 (optional)
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar or honey
- Heat ghee in a tiny saucepan on medium heat.
- Add turmeric and black pepper and sizzle gently for 10-20 seconds. Appreciate the aroma and color.
- Add the milk, along with the ginger slices and nutmeg. Bring just up to the boiling point, where it’s foaming. Give it a stir, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and strain through a tiny strainer into a mug.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir in optional sweetener. Enjoy.