I don't know about you, but I find that there's something special about sipping a hot cup of tea at night. After a long day of work, it helps me decompress and unwind. Suddenly, I find myself grounded. I've sipped plenty of different types of tea over the years, but golden milk is in a category all its own. Well+Good council member Latham Thomas's favorite golden milk recipe is a lightly spiced elixir that's loaded with anti-inflammatory spices sure to bolster your immune system and keep stress at bay.
"Tea is an entry point for mindfulness. When tea is served hot, in an open ceramic cup, we have no choice but to move slowly, patiently—and to be present," says Thomas, founder of Mama Glow. "One of the ways to further support your immune system is to imbibe herbal tonics daily."
What makes golden milk extra special is that it's packed with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, all thanks to turmeric. Grown in India, Central America, and other parts of Asia, "turmeric is a spice made from the root of the turmeric plant, which is related to ginger," says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD. Turmeric has been linked to many health benefits, including inflammation reduction, anxiety management, and settling stomach upset. "It can even help relieve soreness after a hard workout," she says.
The benefits of turmeric:
Any good golden milk recipe owes some of its warmness to ginger. Like turmeric, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help decrease inflammation and swelling. "Ginger has been used as a traditional remedy for thousands of years to help with digestion, nausea, and help fight flus and colds. It's been known for its healing and medicinal properties for over 5,000 years," says Beckerman. The root's carminative effect can even help with nausea and prevent gas build-up. This is why we love ginger.
The benefits of ginger:
Lastly, the recipe's hint of sweetness is all thanks to cinnamon, which also comes with its own impressive record of benefits. For starters, it's a great circulation booster and can aid digestion. And a little goes a long way, according to herbalist and holistic health practitioner Rachelle Robinett. "A couple of teaspoons of cinnamon can reduce blood sugar by 20 to 30 percent," she says.
The benefits of cinnamon:
If you have a Mason jar or bottle handy, you can start overnight infusions so that they'll be ready for you to consume by morning. "Take a light handful of herbs, handle them in your hand, and smell them. Place them inside the Mason jar, pour hot water over them, seal, and let stand overnight," says Thomas. "By morning, you have a tasty and nutritive tonic."
The best golden milk recipe
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk or almond milk
1 cup water
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1 tsp tulsi (optional)
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp virgin cold-pressed coconut oil
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
Ground cinnamon (for serving)
1. Whisk the non-dairy milk, cinnamon stick, turmeric, ginger, maple syrup, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm before serving. Sit still with your cup and sip your golden milk. Focus on being present to the experience you are having, savoring the layers of flavor.
Pro tip: Learn how to make oat milk at home for an even tastier experience.
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