Golden milk — also known as turmeric milk — is an Indian drink that has been gaining popularity in Western cultures.
This bright yellow beverage is traditionally made by warming up cow's or plant-based milk with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger.
It's touted for its many health benefits and often used as an alternative remedy to boost immunity and stave off illness.
Here are 10 science-based benefits of golden milk — and a recipe to make your own.
1. Key Ingredients Are Loaded With Antioxidants
The key ingredient in golden milk is turmeric, a yellow spice popular in Asian cuisine, which gives curry its yellow color.
Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties (1).
Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage, protecting your body from oxidative stress.
Golden milk is rich in antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage, fight off disease and infections and contribute to your overall health.
2. May Help Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain
The ingredients in golden milk have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation is thought to play a major role in chronic diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and heart disease. For this reason, diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce your risk of these conditions.
These anti-inflammatory effects may reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
For instance, one study in 45 people with rheumatoid arthritis found that 500 milligrams of curcumin daily reduced joint pain more than 50 grams of a common arthritis drug or a combination of curcumin and the drug (11).
Similarly, in a 6-week study in 247 people with osteoarthritis, those given ginger extract experienced less pain and required less pain medication than those given a placebo (12).
Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, the main ingredients in golden milk, have strong anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce inflammation and joint pain.
3. May Improve Memory and Brain Function
Golden milk may be good for your brain, too.
Studies show that curcumin may increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a compound that helps your brain form new connections and promotes the growth of brain cells (13).
Other ingredients may provide benefits as well.
For instance, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's is an accumulation of a specific protein in the brain, called the tau protein. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that compounds in cinnamon may help reduce this buildup (16, 17, 18).
What's more, cinnamon appears to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and improve brain function in animal studies (19).
That said, further human research is needed to fully understand the effects of these ingredients on memory and brain function.
Some ingredients in golden milk may help preserve memory and reduce the decline in brain function from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
4. Curcumin in Turmeric May Improve Mood
It appears that turmeric — more specifically its active compound curcumin — may boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
In a 6-week study, 60 individuals with major depressive disorders took either curcumin, an antidepressant or a combination.
Those given only curcumin experienced similar improvements as those given antidepressants, while the combination group noticed the most benefits (23).
Depression may also be linked to low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). As curcumin appears to boost levels of BDNF, it may have the potential to reduce symptoms of depression (24).
That said, few studies have been performed in this area and more are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help reduce symptoms of depression. However, more research is needed.
5. May Protect Against Heart Disease
For instance, a review of 10 studies concluded that 120 mg of cinnamon per day may lower total cholesterol, triglyceride and "bad" LDL levels while raising "good" HDL levels (26).
In another study, 41 participants with type 2 diabetes were given 2 grams of ginger powder per day. At the end of the 12-week study, measured risk factors for heart disease were 23–28% lower (27).
What's more, curcumin may improve the function of your blood vessel linings — known as endothelial function. Proper endothelial function is important for a healthy heart (28).
In one study, people undergoing heart surgery were given either 4 grams of curcumin or a placebo a few days before and after their surgery.
Those given curcumin were 65% less likely to experience a heart attack during their hospital stay than people in the placebo group (29).
These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also protect against heart disease. However, studies are small and far between, and more are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon — the main ingredients in golden milk — all have properties that may benefit heart function and protect against heart disease. Still, more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
6. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
The ingredients in golden milk, particularly ginger and cinnamon, may help lower blood sugar levels.
Similarly, regularly adding small amounts of ginger to your diet may help lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 12% (27).
A small, daily dose of ginger may also lower hemoglobin A1C levels by up to 10% — a marker of long-term blood sugar control (27).
That said, the evidence is based on only a few studies, and more research is needed to confirm these observations.
It's worth noting that most golden milk recipes are sweetened with honey or maple syrup. Blood sugar lowering benefits, if any, are likely only present when drinking unsweetened varieties.
Cinnamon and ginger, two main ingredients in golden milk, may lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. However, more research is needed.
7. May Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a disease marked by uncontrolled cell growth.
In addition to conventional treatments, alternative anti-cancer remedies are being increasingly sought after. Interestingly, some research suggests that the spices used in golden milk may offer some benefits in this regard.
That said, evidence on the cancer-fighting benefits of ginger, cinnamon and curcumin in people remains limited.
Studies indicate that cinnamon, ginger and turmeric may offer some protection against cancer. However, results are conflicting and additional research is needed.
8. Has Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Properties
In India, golden milk is often used as a home remedy against colds. In fact, the yellow drink is touted for its immune-boosting properties.
Test-tube studies suggest that curcumin has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties which may help prevent and fight infections (50).
Although the results of test-tube studies are promising, there is currently no evidence that golden milk reduces infections in people.
Moreover, compounds in fresh ginger may inhibit the growth of some bacteria. Ginger extract may fight the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a common cause of respiratory infections (51, 52, 53).
Similarly, lab test studies indicate that cinnamaldehyde, the active compound in cinnamon, may prevent the growth of bacteria. In addition, it may help treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi (54, 55).
The ingredients in golden milk also have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may strengthen your immune system (55).
The ingredients used to make golden milk have antibacterial and antiviral properties which may protect your body from infections. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may strengthen your immune system as well.
9. Ginger and Turmeric May Improve Digestion
Chronic indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is characterized by pain and discomfort in the upper part of your stomach.
Delayed stomach emptying is a potential cause of indigestion. Ginger, one of the ingredients used in golden milk, may help relieve this condition by speeding up stomach emptying in people suffering from dyspepsia (56, 57).
Research further shows that turmeric, another ingredient used to make golden milk, may help reduce indigestion symptoms. Turmeric may also improve the digestion of fat by increasing your production of bile by up to 62% (58).
Finally, studies show that turmeric can help maintain proper digestion and prevent flare-ups in individuals with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory digestive disorder resulting in ulcers in the gut (59, 60).
Ginger and turmeric, two ingredients in golden milk, may help relieve indigestion. Turmeric may also help relieve symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis.
10. Calcium and Vitamin D Contribute to Stronger Bones
Golden milk may contribute to a strong skeleton.
If your diet is too low in calcium, your body starts removing calcium from your bones to maintain normal calcium levels in your blood. Over time, this makes bones weak and brittle, increasing your risk of bone diseases, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis (62).
Vitamin D contributes to stronger bones by improving your gut's ability to absorb calcium from your diet. Low levels of vitamin D in your body may thus lead to weak and brittle bones, even if your diet is rich in calcium (62).
Though cow's milk naturally contains calcium and is often enriched with vitamin D, not all plant milks are rich in these two nutrients.
If you prefer to make your golden milk using a plant-based milk, choose one that is enriched with both calcium and vitamin D for more bone-strengthening benefits.
Golden milk can be rich in calcium and vitamin D depending on the milk you use. Both of these nutrients contribute to a strong skeleton, reducing your risk of bone diseases, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.
How to Make Golden Milk
Golden milk is easy to make at home. For a single serving of golden milk or about one cup, simply follow this recipe:
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of an unsweetened milk of your choice
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 small piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
To make the golden milk, simply mix all ingredients in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until fragrant and flavorful. Strain the drink through a fine strainer into mugs and top with a pinch of cinnamon.
Golden milk can also be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator for up to five days. Simply reheat it before drinking.
Golden milk is easy to make at home by following the recipe above. Simply mix the ingredients in a saucepan or pot and heat them up for a delicious and healthy beverage.
The Bottom Line
Golden milk is a delicious drink loaded with antioxidants that may provide an array of health benefits, ranging from a healthier brain and heart to stronger bones, improved digestion and a lower risk of disease.
To reap the most health benefits, use a milk with both calcium and vitamin D and limit the amount of honey or syrup you add to your drink.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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After decades on the political periphery, the climate movement is entering the mainstream in 2020, with young leaders at the fore. The Sunrise Movement now includes more than 400 local groups educating and advocating for political action on climate change. Countless students around the world have clearly communicated what's at stake for their futures, notably Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who just finished her yearlong school strike for climate. Youth activists have been praised for their flexible, big-picture thinking and ability to harness social media to deliver political wins, as Sunrise recently did for U.S. Sen. Ed Markey's primary campaign. They necessarily challenge the status quo.
A Convergence of Issues<p>The unequal impacts of a changing climate have become extremely clear in 2020, so equity has come to the fore of climate conversations in every corner of the country. A global deadly pandemic continues to rage out of control in the U.S., heat waves are setting new temperature records, wildfires are scorching American Western states, and the hurricane season has already made it to the end of the alphabet for naming storms. In all cases, low-income, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities are bearing a disproportionate amount of the impacts.</p><p>"Today, the scab is off, the ugly reality of injustice is hitting us up close and personal, made more realistic by this COVID pandemic," Bullard says.</p><p>This year the decidedly youthful focus on intersectionality is a big part of what defines the transformation of the climate movement. Climate is not just an environmental issue, according to youth activists. It's also a racial justice issue, an economic issue, and an access-to-health care issue.</p><p>"Environmental justice is really seeing the intersection of these issues," says Alex Rodriguez, a community organizer with the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, which aims to make environmental issues a priority for the state's elected leaders. The group is now focusing their efforts on the coming election and recently succeeded in persuading the state to allow absentee voting in November. "We want people to be safe when casting their vote," says Rodriguez, 26, whose fellow grassroots committee members range from age 16 to 60.</p><p>Rodriguez, who also serves on the equity and environmental justice working group for the Governor's Council on Climate Change, says, "We see our programmatic work as a way to help lawmakers see what they can do to improve the dignity of those suffering from environmental racism, systematic racism, and economic oppression."</p><p>Seeing the overlap and bringing these issues together is a strength that Bullard says was missing from the civil rights organizing he was involved with in the 1960s. He says 2020 is unique in many ways.</p><p>"The number of marchers is unprecedented, from different economic, ethnic, and racial groups—an awakening unlike any that I've seen on this Earth in over 70 years," Bullard says. "Today, the different movements are converging, and I think that convergence makes for greater potential for success."</p>
Young and Old<p>But young people are one essential demographic among many when it comes to climate action. With all that's on the line for climate in the coming elections, up and down the ballot, collaboration becomes key. Bullard says previous generations of climate activists can now play the critical role of mentoring, assisting, and supporting. Standing with, not in front of, youth.</p><p>"Youth are leading us and taking on frontline activity," says Jayce Chiblow, the community engagement lead for Indigenous Climate Action, a Canadian organization that works for Indigenous-led climate justice solutions. But in doing so, she says many young Indigenous activists are experiencing the trauma of violence, getting arrested, and being taken away from their land. "All of our older people are supporting those youth: Elders, mentors, people trained in nonviolent action," Chiblow says. "The youth aren't alone."</p><p>That support can go a long way. "There's a lot of anger and a lot of fear, and that's understandable," says Wazer of Sunrise Connecticut. "I definitely feel those things, too, just considering the ways that our future has been threatened and kind of trashed by older generations."</p><p>Under the Trump administration, the number of environmental rollbacks alone can be disheartening, not to mention new <a href="https://www.yesmagazine.org/video/arctic-national-wildlife-refuge/" target="_blank">drilling permits in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge going up for auction</a>.</p><p>Wazer is frank about the risks of burnout, depression, and anxiety from the stress of it all, but draws inspiration from the example of the late U.S. representative and lifelong civil rights activist John Lewis. "That forgiveness and that ability to keep fighting and stay motivated … I think that that is something really powerful to learn from older generations."</p><p>An intergenerational approach can leverage the individual strengths of youth and older people in all their diversity.</p><p>"The elders hold our stories," says Chiblow, who is Anishinaabe from Garden River First Nation, Ontario. Those stories include lived experiences, culture, history, and generations of adapting to changes in climate. Such collective experience continues to inform Indigenous knowledge and connections to the land, as well as how people manage and govern themselves in relation to it. This knowledge is passed on through relationship-building and storytelling.</p><p>"Every time you hear that story, you're at a different point in your life, and you'll pick up something else … something new," Chiblow says.</p><p>Changes in perspectives that come with time and experience are among the reasons why intergenerational learning and coalitions are critical to the climate movement. To combine that living and learning is to expand the reach and meaning of the message exponentially. As part of her research for her master's degree, Chiblow brought together youth, community leaders, and knowledge keepers in her community to workshop climate action. "Those relationships are vital to keep that movement going," Chiblow says.</p>
The Unique Value Proposition of Elders<p>Older activists bring unique strengths to the table, according to gerontologist Mick Smyer, who designs strategies to move people from anxiety to action on climate. He calls himself "the aging whisperer to climate groups" and "the climate whisperer to aging groups." He is quick to point out that the learning can go in both directions.</p><p>"I think older adults are untapped resources," Smyer says. "Older adults bring several resources, one of which is their circles of influence. Just by virtue of having lived longer, older adults are going to have denser and richer networks," Smyer says. "The second is, when it comes to voting and civic engagement, older adults, as an age group, outperform all other age groups."</p><p>He uses the 2016 presidential election to illustrate his point: "The older age groups, 70% of them voted. Nobody [else] came close." He is cautious about making sweeping statements about older people broadly, but he says that ageism is alive and well. And that can deter the kind of collaboration that would beget necessary progress on climate action.</p><p>As the twin global patterns of an aging population and a changing climate continue arm in arm, Smyer says a good place for starting this work is within one's family.</p><p>"We each have that power to use in our circles of influence, particularly in our families, and we don't realize it," Smyer says. Whether it's via Zoom or FaceTime or a phone call or a chat in the living room, Smyer says, family members have a superpower: They will listen to each other, and they'll at least start the conversation.</p><p> "Intergenerational collaboration around climate issues, particularly in this election season, starts at home, and then goes to the polling booth," he says.</p>
Speaking the Same Language<p>As an individual's network of family, friends, and connections becomes wider and more diverse, the more work will need to be done to have them all working toward the same goals. That is equally true for the climate movement at large.</p><p>In bridging the gaps among baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials, Bullard says, "Each generation will have some idiosyncrasy and uniqueness about it that another generation will not understand or comprehend."</p><p>If everybody in a group or institution is similar, then there's no need to explain a lot, Bullard says. There's usually a fair amount of shared knowledge and values. But the more diverse that group gets, in age, race, gender, or culture, he says, the greater the potential for making mistakes, stepping on people's culture, and causing pain. But the potential for learning also increases exponentially.</p><p>Chiblow says successful collaboration comes down to being able to speak in shared concepts. The term "justice," for example, is an English word that's hard to translate into the Anishinaabe language. Chiblow says that because her community sees itself as belonging to the land, and being part of the land, the Anishinaabe worldview, and therefore their understanding of justice, is necessarily more holistic than the mainstream.</p><p>"Indigenous people have been feeling [the effects of climate change] for so long," Chiblow says. Today, as wildfires rage across the West, the mantra of "I can't breathe" is being driven home on a grand scale. For better and worse, climate justice is finally a front-page story.</p><p>"It's affecting the broader society," Chiblow says. "We're finally at the turning point where we could start to make real change because … people are really starting to feel that urgency."</p><p>The urgency will be tantamount in the coming election. A lot is at stake, says Chiblow: "Incentives, funding, all-around agreement, and also the way we're able to manage our lands and ourselves as people."</p><p>Bullard, too, is insistent on urgency. "This election is one of the most important elections of a generation, because there's so many things at stake," he says. "We can't wait another 40 years on climate. We don't have that much time. We don't have 40 years to get justice."</p><p>Issues of climate justice will be on the ballot in state and local elections this fall, such as Nevada's proposed renewable energy standards and Louisiana's proposed disaster funding. And the topic has finally made it onto the national stage. Joe Biden called Trump a "climate arsonist" for not acting on or even admitting that the wildfires in California are clearly climate-related. The frequency and intensity of such disasters is indisputable.</p><p>"Hurricanes don't swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don't skip towns that voted a certain way," Biden <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-address-west-coast-fires-confront-growing-threat/story?id=73000218" target="_blank">said in a speech on Sept. 14</a>. "The impacts of climate change don't pick and choose. That's because it's not a partisan phenomenon."</p><p>In many ways, the results of the upcoming elections will reflect the ways youth activists and older activists are able come to a common understanding of what climate justice means and what they want the future world to look like. </p><p>"There's a lot of knowledge built up in experience, and there's a lot of energy that's stored in young people," Bullard says. "When you put those two together, you have … an excellent recipe for potential success."</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Simon Montlake
For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.
All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.
Moderates Feeling the Heat<p>If elected, Mr. Biden has vowed to stop new drilling for oil and gas on federal land and in federal waters and to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate accord that President Donald Trump gave notice of quitting. He would reinstate Obama-era regulations of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, the largest component of natural gas.</p><p>The Biden climate platform also states that all federal infrastructure investments and federal permits would need to be assessed for their climate impacts. Analysts say such a test could impede future LNG plants and pipelines, though not those that already have federal approval. </p><p>Climate change activists who pushed for that language say much depends on who would have oversight of federal agencies that regulate the industry. Some are wary of Biden's reliance on advice from Obama-era officials, including former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who is now on the board of Southern Company, a utility, and a former Obama environmental aide, Heather Zichal, who has served on the board of Cheniere Energy, an LNG exporter. </p>
The Push for U.S. Fuel Exports<p>As vice president, Biden was part of an administration that pushed hard for global climate action while also promoting U.S. oil and gas exports to its allies and trading partners. As fracking boomed, Obama ended a 40-year ban on crude oil exports. In Europe, LNG was touted both as an alternative to coal and as strategic competition with Russian pipelines.</p><p>That much, at least, continued with President Trump. Under Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the agency referred to liquified U.S. hydrocarbons as "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/us/freedom-gas-energy-department.html" target="_blank">freedom gas</a>."</p><p>Mr. Trump has also championed the interests of coal, oil, and gas while denigrating the findings of government climate scientists. He rejected the Paris accord as unfair to the U.S. and detrimental to its economy, but has offered no alternative path to emissions cuts. </p><p>Still, Trump's foreign policy has not always served the LNG industry: Tariffs on foreign steel drove up pipeline costs, and a trade war with China stayed the hand of Chinese LNG importers wary of reliance on U.S. suppliers. </p><p>Even his regulatory rollbacks could be a double-edged sword. By relaxing curbs last month on methane leaks, the U.S. has ceded ground to European regulators who are drafting emissions standards that LNG producers are watching closely. "That's a precursor of fights that will be fought in all the rest of the developed world," says Mr. Hutchison. </p><p>Indeed, some oil-and-gas exporters had urged the Trump administration not to abandon the tougher rules, since they undercut their claim to offer a cleaner-burning way of producing heat and electricity. "U.S. LNG is not going to be able to compete in a world that's focused on methane emissions and intensity," says Erin Blanton, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. </p>
Stepping on the Gas<p>In July, the Department of Energy issued an export license to Jordan Cove's developer, Canada's Pembina Pipeline Corp. In a statement, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said the project would provide "reliable, affordable, and cleaner-burning natural gas to our allies around the world."</p><p>As a West Coast terminal, Jordan Cove offers a faster route to Asia where its capacity of 7.8 million tons of LNG a year could serve to heat more than 15 million homes. At its peak, its construction would also create 6,000 jobs, the company says, in a stagnant corner of Oregon.</p><p>But the project still lacks multiple local and state permits, and its biggest asset – a Pacific port – has become its biggest handicap, says Ms. Blanton. "They are putting infrastructure in a state where there's no political support for the pipeline or the terminal, unlike in Louisiana or Texas," she says. </p><p>Ms. Brown, the environmental lawyer, says she wants to see Jordan Cove buried, not just mothballed until natural gas prices recover. But she knows that it's only one among many LNG projects and that others will likely get built, even if Biden is elected in November, despite growing evidence of the harm caused by methane emissions. </p>
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