I’ve been drinking turmeric milk on and off for 20 odd years and it’s been my saving grace — not lemon water — whenever I’ve fallen sick or injured myself. Let me tell you why.
Thanks to my South Asian heritage, I’ve been drinking turmeric milk since I was a kid because my granny said so. It was her go-to response whenever I was down with a cold or flu or had some sort of injury courtesy of my rather clumsy nature.
She also told me to drink hot lemon water but not as frequently and only to help when my tummy was feeling a bit queasy, or as a first-thing-in-the-morning drink to lessen my bloating and improve my skin.
If you told me to tell you which one was better, I’d say turmeric milk until my dying breath because its health benefits far outweigh whatever plain ol’ lemon water can do.
Don’t get me wrong — turmeric milk is not going to miraculously cure you or anything but it’ll help ease your symptoms depending on what you’re down with. I swear by it and it’s not some old wives’ tale to be brushed aside.
Turmeric, otherwise known as haldi in Urdu or Hindi, is the great spice found in most Pakistani or Indian dishes. While you might associate it with popular curries from South Asia, it’s also used to make haldi doodh or turmeric milk, a common remedy drink in the region known for its healing properties.
In western countries, you’ll know it better as turmeric latte but I’m cheap and I’d rather not pay for something that can easily be made at home. Just add in a tablespoon of turmeric in a mug of warm milk (plant-based milk works too) and sip it down. You can even add honey, cinnamon and ginger if you’re not too keen on turmeric and milk on its own. If you really want a ‘home latte’, just use a cheap milk frother to fancy it up.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t like any type of milk, you can use warm water as an alternative too.
Now that you know how it’s made — a kid can do it — let’s talk about what makes this golden drink so great.
- Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for years thanks to its antioxidant properties.
- Turmeric has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergic properties so helps to fasten the recovery from injury.
- It can help treat joint and bones issues including arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- It can help improve digestion, especially if mixed with ginger.
- It might help improve your mood.
- You may get a better night’s sleep and improve your skin as it acts as an anti-aging tonic.
If you don’t believe me or the research, supermodels Rachel Hunter, Gisele Bundchen and Jourdan Dunn also swear by it.
While I like the calming taste of turmeric milk, you can add the spice to your morning smoothie or whatever else floats your boat. If you decide to have it on the daily, I suggest adding half a teaspoon to your milk. If you’re having it specifically to get rid of a cough, the sniffles, or another ailment, mix in a bit more.
Take that, lemon water.
Note: It’s always best to consult your doctor if you decide to drink turmeric milk on the daily, just to err on the side of caution.