April 12, 2013

Turmeric Milk

What?  Yep, turmeric milk.  Or that's what I thought when I heard about it on NPR a couple years ago. Sounds odd.  And AWESOME.

According to the story I heard (and now can't find, sorry), it's quite common in Indian households for relieving colds and sore throats. It has become rather common in my household for comfort and, well, for it's good looks. I really enjoy the way it tastes, too, which is a little spicy and simultaneously warming and refreshing.

Having done a little searching on the internet for this post, I see that turmeric milk is considered a rather effective cure-all. Turmeric is regarded as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial. The fat in the milk increases the absorption of turmeric's healing properties in the body, therefore turmeric milk is said to sooth coughing, allergies, and asthma, as well as aiding immunity, liver detoxification, digestion, and healing in general. It's also been thought to lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, and stop cancerous growth.  Whoa.  That's a lot of good stuff!

I just like it because it tastes good. I hope you do, too.


  • 12 oz. whole, organic milk (a mug-full), or non-dairy alternative
  • generous 1/2 t. ground or fresh turmeric*
  • cardamom pod
  • a few black peppercorns
  • cinnamon, ginger, star anise, caraway - optional, to taste
  • scant spoonful of sugar or honey

Measure milk in the mug you want to drink from, and pour into small saucepan. Add turmeric, cardamom, peppercorns, sugar, and any other spices you choose. Whisk into milk and set over med-low heat.

Heat, whisking occasionally, until steam begins to rise from the surface. This will be plenty hot without scalding the milk or creating that gross skin. Turn off heat and pour into mug, through a strainer if you'd like.

That's it! Enjoy your delicious path to health!

*Here in Denver, I can always pick up a bit of fresh turmeric at Whole Foods, but having made turmeric milk with dried or fresh turmeric, I think it's great either way.

**One of the websites I looked at said to be careful about ingesting too much turmeric. My diet doesn't normally include a huge amount of turmeric, so I'm not worried. If you take turmeric capsules, you might check the bottle for any information about the ideal amount of turmeric to ingest.

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