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Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healer. There may not be any Indian kitchen devoid of the presence of this wonderful spice. Since ancient times, turmeric milk has been consumed all over. It has been in existence for more than 2500 years now. Due to its immense health benefits, turmeric milk is also known as golden milk. Golden milk or haldi ka doodh is most commonly used to combat a cough or cold.

Turmeric milk may or may not have other remedial ingredients.  Pepper and honey can also be added to turmeric milk to enhance the taste.

A traditional drink of India, some recommend drinking turmeric milk before bed to induce better sleep.

The antibacterial properties of turmeric can help fight several infections while its anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve swelling and pain. Turmeric milk is beneficial not only for the treatment of specific diseases but also is considered as a tonic for general health.

Some basic facts about turmeric milk

  • Botanical name: Curcuma Longa
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Common name: Haldi ka doodh
  • Sanskrit Name: Haridra Ksheera
  • Native Region and Geographical Distribution: The exact origin of turmeric is not known but it is said to have originated from South or Southeast Asia. Vietnam, Western India or China could be the countries of origin. The largest producer, exporter and consumer of turmeric in the world is said to be India. It is mostly cultivated in some countries of Western Africa, Southeast Asia, Oceania etc.
  • Parts used: Every part of the Turmeric plant can be used. The roots and bulbs are used in medicines and food preparations.
  1. Nutrition Facts of Turmeric Milk
  2. Health benefits of turmeric milk
  3. Side effects of Turmeric Milk
  4. Takeaway

Turmeric is a host of several vitamins and minerals.  According to the USDA, the nutrient value for 100 ml value of organic turmeric golden milk are:

Nutrient Value per 100 ml
Energy 33 kcal
Protein 0.28 g
Fats 1.94 g
Carbohydrates 3.89 g
Fibre 0.8 g
Sugar 3.06 g
Mineral Value per 100 g
Calcium 6 mg
Iron 0.30 mg
Sodium 19 mg

Turmeric milk is rightly called the golden milk. It possesses a solution to every health concern you may have. Following are its health benefits:

Turmeric milk for the skin

In olden times, queens used to bathe in turmeric milk to keep their skin soft. Turmeric milk is considered as an excellent blood purifier and cleanser. It boosts blood circulation in the body and purifies the blood, which reflects in the form of clear and glowing skin. It cleanses the lymphatic system and the blood vessels from all the impurities.

Turmeric milk is highly beneficial for treating skin-related diseases like psoriasis, acne and eczema. Homemade turmeric is widely used to form turmeric milk since it gives flawless skin without any side-effects.

When mixed with warm milk, the antioxidant potential of turmeric milk enhances, which helps in reducing oxidative damage. Oxidative stress is responsible for age related changes in the structure of the skin and also leads to the manifestation of premature signs of ageing.

Turmeric milk, thus, makes the skin smooth, reduces fine lines, wrinkles and acne spurts. Other than drinking, you can also add a small amount of turmeric in milk and directly and apply on the skin to have a clearer complexion.

Turmeric milk for wound healing

The yellow colour of turmeric not only adds flavour to the food but can also be used as an antiseptic for cuts and burns. Drinking turmeric milk helps in reducing pain and stiffness in the body and also induces better sleep. This is an effective remedy for cuts and burns and even for joint pains. It is said that drinking one glass of turmeric milk every day is all that is needed to get the best results.

Turmeric milk for bones

Calcium is essential for strong and healthy bones and turmeric is a natural healer. So, turmeric milk has dual benefits for your bone health. Since ancient times, it has been used for improving bone strength and in the healing of fractures. Not only this, research evidence favours that turmeric milk may help in the prevention of osteoporosis, the risk of which is higher among postmenopausal women.

Osteoporosis is characterised by marked bone loss and an increased risk of fractures due to the softness of bones. Researchers found that the administration of curcumin-enriched turmeric extract enabled the prevention of bone loss by 50%. While these studies were performed on animal models and lack sufficient human claims, it is highly likely that drinking turmeric milk daily may help in relieving bone pain and in improving the process of healing.

Turmeric milk for menstrual problems

Menstruation is often accompanied by mood swings, back pain and irritability, which is experienced before or during the menstrual cycle. Having turmeric milk helps women in the alleviation of menstrual cramps.

These effects are more pronounced when the consumption of turmeric milk begins two weeks prior to the beginning of the menstrual cycle. It is recommended to drink it twice daily.

Due to the antispasmodic effects of turmeric milk, it aids in the relaxation of smooth muscles of the digestive alleviating stomach cramps. If it does not completely relieve stomach pain during periods, it will surely help to reduce the severity of pain. Further, it also help to regulate blood flow and promotes the normalisation of the menstrual cycle. This can be attributed to its warm energetics.

Turmeric milk for weight loss and diabetes control

Body weight is an issue among many but a glass of turmeric milk may help. Turmeric milk aids the digestion of fats and metabolization of fat molecules. Turmeric contains compounds which are responsible for exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties. This property of turmeric helps to suppress white adipose tissue inflammation, which is responsible for the manifestation of obesity.

Turmeric also regulates blood sugar levels, which prevents insulin resistance. As a result, excess fat is not retained in the body. People who are overweight are prone to type 2 diabetes, hence, drinking turmeric milk protects them from this diabetes as well.

Turmeric milk for digestion

Turmeric milk is ideal for relieving a multitude of digestive issues. It helps in improving the process of digestion. It also aids to relieve gas, bloating as well as heartburn resulting from a gastric reflux (backflow of stomach acids into the food pipe).

Turmeric milk stimulates bile production, which increases the flow of bile juices. It also aids in easy elimination of the bile from the body. All these mechanisms help in the process of digestion of fats.

Further, it aids in relieving common disorders of the digestive system such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea and constipation. It may also be helpful in cases of irritable bowel mechanisms. Other than this, it is a common remedy for indigestion.

Turmeric milk for asthma and throat infections

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the respiratory passages, causing them to swell. This causes narrowing of the air passage and is manifested by difficulty in breathing and the presence of a wheezing sound during exhalation. Several treatment modalities are available for the management of asthma but the addition of turmeric milk may prove to be beneficial.

Researchers have demonstrated that turmeric milk is a safe and efficacious for the management of bronchial asthma along with medications. Another set of studies have found turmeric milk to be efficacious in the management of sore throat. Sore throat is often caused due to bacterial infection with Streptococcal sp. So, turmeric milk can help in providing relief from a sore throat and in alleviating asthma symptoms.

Turmeric milk for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is marked by memory loss and diminished abilities in performing everyday activities. It is more common among the elderly and immensely affects their quality of life.

Turmeric milk has been reported to prevent the onset of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. In those already affected, turmeric milk may help in delaying or reducing the progression of the disease. This is facilitated by the removal of amyloid plaque, which is responsible for the progression of the disease. This can be attributed to the presence of the compound called as curcumin, which is naturally present in turmeric milk.

The safety and tolerability of this compound is currently being studied for the case of mild and moderate Alzheimer’s. This will help in providing a clearer picture of its dosage and effectiveness in these patients.

Turmeric milk for cancer prevention

Cancer refers to the uninhibited growth of abnormal body cells. This growth is aggravated by certain compounds, while other compounds may have a role in the inhibition of abnormal cell growth.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has been demonstrated to be effective against cancerous cells. This can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Antioxidant properties help to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which is one of the mechanisms of cellular change in cancer. A glass of turmeric milk is indubitably not a cure for cancer but will most likely make your treatment process less painful.

Turmeric milk for HIV/ AIDS

AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is characterised by marked immunosuppression, which makes the affected person prone to severe illnesses. Gradual wasting of the body tissues and repeated infections are the mechanisms responsible for fatality in AIDS.

With its antioxidant properties, turmeric milk may help in the prevention of these opportunistic infections. This will either help in improving the longevity of those affected or their quality of life.

In fact, researchers in Bangalore are working on seeing the effect of turmeric on the infected human cells. Turmeric extract has already been proved by them to kill HIV cells in laboratory settings but these cells tend to be different in the human host environment. The only known mechanism, for now, is the avoidance of infections in HIV patients.

  • Increases the risk of kidney stones: Presence of oxalate in turmeric leads to increased risk of kidney stones. The oxalate can bind to calcium which forms calcium oxalate which forms kidney stones.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Turmeric is not healthy during pregnancy since it increases the risk of miscarriage. The bioactive compound present in turmeric milk can also affect foetal development. In high quantities, it may also cause vaginal bleeding.
  • May cause hypotension: Curcumin, compound present in turmeric milk, helps in lowering of blood pressure. Copious consumption of it can lead to a counterintuitive effect causing the blood pressure to fall below the normal range. This is called as hypotension.
  • Causes allergic reactions: Turmeric can cause allergic reactions in some people leading to skin irritation, rashes and shortness of breath.

Turmeric milk benefits the body in many ways. As compared to the side effects, its benefits are immense. Turmeric milk possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It improves the functioning of the immune system and helps in relieving pain. It also colour get a good night’s sleep and can be a useful addition in a variety of diseases, but you may consider a doctor regarding its safety.

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References

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Full Report (All Nutrients): 45240448, REBBL, ORGANIC TURMERIC GOLDEN-MILK, SUPER HERB ELIXIR. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  2. Bradford PG. Curcumin and obesity. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):78-87. PMID: 23339049
  3. D Bhowmik et al. Turmeric: A Herbal and Traditional Medicine . Arc. Apl. Sci. Res., 1 (2) 86-108
  4. University of Michigan, Michigan, United States [Internet] Turmeric
  5. Cancer Research UK. Turmeric. [Internet]
  6. Vyas K. The Cure is in the Roots: Turmeric. (2015) The Cure is in the Roots: Turmeric. J Nutr Disorders Ther 5: 163
  7. Tang M et al. Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1262-7. PMID: 18469248
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