Golden Milk: What’s The Buzz Behind This Ayurvedic Drink?
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Golden Milk: What’s The Buzz Behind This Ayurvedic Drink?

We look at the health benefits of turmeric milk

Turmeric milk has been a part of Indian culture for many centuries, but recently the health drink has been reborn as a TikTok trend. The platform is awash with videos of recipes for golden milk, a warm, bright gold superfood drink with a plethora of health benefits – from improved digestion to reduced inflammation. Here’s everything you need to know, plus a recipe.

Turmeric Milk: Health Benefits & How To Make It

What Is Golden Milk?

It might be having its time in the limelight now, but golden milk has a long history which dates back many years. The drink has its roots in India, where it’s known as haldi doodh, and is particularly popular in Ayurvedic culture, an ancient medical system which relies on a natural, holistic approach to health.

Traditionally, the drink is made by warming up milk and blending it with turmeric, black pepper and ginger root – but you can add other spices like cinnamon, or ingredients such as honey for added sweetness. It was originally made with cow’s milk, but nowadays some recipes swap in a plant-based, non-dairy alternative. You’ll see a version of golden milk served in lots of trendy cafes, where it’s usually called a turmeric latte – but unlike your usual latte, it doesn’t contain any caffeine. As a result, many devotees opt to have it as a warm, comforting drink in the evening, but it can be enjoyed any time of day.

@shivanidukhande How I make Golden Milk (Haldi Doodh)💛#recipe #healthyrecipe #drink #turmericlatte #goldenmilk #desi #indian #hongkong #makeadrink #tiktokhk #health ♬ camping – wüsh

Golden Milk Benefits

In Ayurveda, golden milk is seen as a holistic recipe which works to create balance in the body. That’s because the key ingredient, turmeric, is believed to have balancing qualities for all three doshas (energy patterns in our bodies): the heat balances Vata and Kapha, while the bitter taste balances Pitta and Kapha. But what does the science say? 

The health benefits of turmeric have long been documented, predominantly because of its most important active ingredient, curcumin, which gives the spice its orange-yellow colour. Research shows curcumin can help support gut health, reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system. There’s also evidence showing the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of turmeric could help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and ease the symptoms of arthritis. 


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That’s not all, though: a cup of golden milk could also help nourish your mind. There’s growing research to suggest turmeric could assist with brain function, such as a 2018 study from the University of California, Los Angeles, which found curcumin had a positive impact on memory performance and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss. ‘Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression,’ said Dr. Gary Small, then-director of geriatric psychiatry at UCLA’s Longevity Centre, who was involved in the research.

Ginger, too, is associated with lots of wellness benefits. Research shows it can aid digestion and reduce inflammation, as well as supporting the immune system. Cinnamon, meanwhile – another common ingredient in golden milk – is known for its blood-sugar lowering properties, plus evidence shows it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects, meaning it could help stave off illness.

Traditionally, golden milk is made with cow’s milk, which is packed with many important nutrients, such as calcium, B vitamins and potassium. But if you want to swap it for a non-dairy alternative, many of those have benefits of their own: soy is filled with antioxidants, while the lesser-known pea milk is high in protein.

Golden Milk Recipe


  • 1 cup of milk (either cow’s milk or a non-dairy alternative)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or 2.5cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Water (½ cup if you’re using dairy milk, ¼ cup if you’re using non-dairy)


  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp honey (for sweetening)


  1. Add all the spices to a jar or bowl and give them a good mix.
  2. Pour your milk in a saucepan, and add the spice mix.
  3. Heat it up on a medium heat until the milk starts to boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.
  5. If you’re adding honey, stir it through.