10 Health Benefits of Golden Milk (aka Turmeric Milk)

Published on February 24, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Golden Milk, also known as Turmeric Milk, Haldi Milk, or Haldi Ka Doodh, is a cherished beverage in Ayurveda, the traditional wellness practice of India.

It combines milk with Turmeric and other spices to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.*

Golden milk’s popularity has recently spread to the Western world, where recipes and various testimonies touting its benefits are constantly trending on social media.

It has become so popular it’s now offered in coffee shops, juice bars, fitness centers, spas, and from supplement companies.

But is Golden Milk as great as influencers and health experts claim, or is it just another trendy East-meets-west mock-latte?

In this article, we’ll help you make sense of the Golden Milk trend by examining the science and traditional use of its ingredients.

What is Golden Milk? 

Golden milk is a traditional Ayurvedic recipe of milk (dairy or non-dairy) combined with Turmeric (which gives it its golden color); spices such as Cardamom, Saffron, and Black Pepper; and a natural sweetener like cane sugar, date paste, coconut sugar, or honey. 

Some recipes also call for Ghee, a type of clarified butter with toasted milk solids used extensively in Indian cooking.

It can be taken warm or cold and is often enjoyed daily to help promote the health of body, mind, and spirit.

Golden Milk is so popular because of its ingredients, especially Turmeric/Curcumin, which have been shown to support various aspects of well-being.*

It’s also delicious, beautiful, simple to prepare (especially if you use a mix like Gaia Herbs Golden Milk), caffeine-free, and affordable.

Here are ten incredible benefits of Golden Milk, plus recipes to make your own.

10 Benefits of Golden Milk

Turmeric is the main functional ingredient in Golden Milk. It’s also one of the most studied herbs REF#668 and will therefore take center stage in this benefit list.

However, we’ll also focus on other traditional herbs in Golden Milk, including Cardamom, Black Pepper (piperine), and Gaia Herbs’ signature addition: Ashwgandha.

#1: Golden Milk May Support Healthy Sleep

According to research, there may be specific benefits of drinking Golden Milk at night.*

This is due to the sleep-promoting benefits of Turmeric and Ashwagandha—an ingredient in Gaia Herbs Golden Milk.

Plus, warm milk has enjoyed a long history of success as a natural sleep aid.REF#669

Turmeric has shown promise for promoting sleep by reducing the time it takes you to fall asleep.REF#669 Turmeric/Curcumin also supports normal inflammatory processes, which may be related to sleep onset, quality, and duration.REF#670

It’s also adaptogenic, which means it helps the body better adapt and respond to all types of stress.REF#671

Regarding Ashwagandha, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found a significant improvement in the sleep parameters in the Ashwagandha root extract supplemented group.REF#672

Benefits noted within the sleep parameters include: 

  • Sleep onset latency
  • Total sleep time
  • Wake after sleep onset
  • Total time in bed
  • Sleep efficiency
  • Mental alertness upon waking
  • Overall sleep quality

Golden Milk has been recommended to help induce relaxation and sleep in Ayurveda.* 

However, its effects may vary based on whether the formula contains Ashwagandha or other adaptogenic or calming herbs.*

Ultimately, more research is needed, but it can’t hurt to try winding down with a warm mug of this drink before bed.

#2: Turmeric in Golden Milk Supports Normal Inflammatory Response

Turmeric is a rich source of antioxidant compounds.REF#671 

Curcuminoids, like Curcumin, are the most studied of Turmeric’s antioxidants. They’re also what gives Turmeric and Golden Milk their signature golden color.

Hence, why Curcumin is often discussed within the context of Turmeric.

These antioxidants have been extensively studied and have demonstrated a beneficial effect on inflammatory response.REF#671

This effect has wide-reaching potential benefits for nearly all organs and systems of the body, including:REF#673

  • The heart and circulatory system
  • Joints and muscles
  • The immune system
  • The digestive system
  • The skin
  • And much more

To learn more about the health benefits of Curcumin and Turmeric, check out: Curcumin vs. Turmeric: What’s The Difference?

#3: Golden Milk May Support Immunity

The Turmeric in Golden Milk has demonstrated immune-supportive and immune-regulatory effects in several studies.

In a 2007 paper published in the Clinical Journal Immunology titled: “Spicing up” of the Immune System by Curcumin,” researchers discuss Curcumin’s immune-regulating effects, including its ability to:REF#674

  • Support activation of critical immune cells, such as T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells.
  • Promote normal inflammatory response via its supportive effects on balanced cytokine production.
  • Support antibody response.

The authors concluded their findings warranted further consideration of Curcumin for immune support.

#4: Golden Milk Aids Digestion

Turmeric, in the form of golden milk or other preparations, has long been used in Ayurveda to flush toxins from the digestive system and promote intestinal health.*

Research has validated these traditional uses, showing that Curcumin and Turmeric can positively impact gut microbiota diversity through their bacterial- and fungal-balancing properties.REF#679 REF#675 REF#676

In addition, the Black Pepper or “Piperine,” typically added to Golden Milk to enhance Turmeric absorption, has a long history of use in Ayurveda for supporting digestive fire. Thus, it is used extensively in Indian cooking and beverages.

#5: Golden Milk’s Antioxidants Support Graceful Aging and Longevity

Golden Milk provides a wealth of antioxidants from Turmeric and other spices.

Extensive research has shown Curcuminoids in Turmeric, for example, work to support cell health by scavenging free radicals (unstable molecules). 

This antioxidant action can help prevent cell damage and support normal inflammatory response, promoting graceful aging and longevity.

Turmeric’s longevity benefits are part of the reason it’s often used in skin care products.

CardamomREF#677 and Black PepperREF#678 (Pipperine) have also demonstrated antioxidant and longevity benefits.

Learn more in 7 Remarkable Benefits of Turmeric for the Skin.

#6: Golden Milk Spices May Support Metabolic Function

Part of the beauty of Golden Milk lies in its complementary mix of spices, which support various aspects of well-being, including metabolic health.

Metabolic health is a hot topic these days and relates to the function of the metabolic process in which your body converts food and drink into energy on a cellular level.REF#680

There are various systems and organs involved with metabolism, including the:

  • Thyroid
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Hypothalamus
  • Digestive system

And the function of these systems affects various other aspects of health, including:

  • Heart health
  • Body weight
  • Digestion
  • Energy
  • Hormonal balance
  • And much more.

With metabolic concerns on the rise, it is wise to adopt certain lifestyle practices that help support this underappreciated system, such as eating healthfully, exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.

In addition, certain herbs, including Turmeric,REF#673 REF#681 Ashwagandha,REF#682 REF#684 and Cardamom,REF#683 found in Golden Milk have been shown to support metabolic health via their potentially beneficial effects on:

  • Inflammatory response
  • Blood sugar balance
  • Weight management
  • Appetite 
  • Heart and circulatory function
  • Sleep
  • Thyroid function
  • Liver gall bladder health

To learn more about herbs for metabolic health, check out: 

    #7: Adaptogens in Golden Milk Help Support a Healthy Stress Response

    Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help build and maintain resilience during times of physical, mental, or emotional stress.

    They work by supporting the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays an essential role in releasing stress hormones, the sleep cycle, and endocrine function.REF#685

    In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha, Tulsi, and Turmeric are considered supreme adaptogens.

    In traditional Russian folklore, Rhodiola Rosea was their adaptogen of choice.

    Native American cultures used Ginseng and Mushrooms as their adaptogens of choice.

    And in Andean traditional cultures, adaptogenic Maca Root was once considered more valuable than gold.

    The Turmeric in Golden Milk has adaptogenic properties, making it a great choice to support overall health and well-being during stressful times.REF#671

    Gaia Herbs Golden Milk also contains Ashwagandha, another prized adaptogen backed by extensive research.

    Reach for Golden Milk as a soothing pick-me-up whenever life's stresses get you down.

    To learn more about adaptogens, check out: All About Adaptogens.

    #8: Golden Milk Promotes Feelings of Calm

    The making, drinking, and sharing of Golden Milk has been a time-honored ritual for centuries. Once you try it, you’ll understand why; it’s incredibly calming, uplifting, and soothing.

    Many factors are believed to induce this sensation of serenity from Golden Milk.

    1. The warmth and aroma of preparing hot Golden Milk is an instant soother. Plus, warm milk has been shown to induce relaxation and promote sleep.REF#669
    2. Likewise, Iced Golden Milk offers a desirable hit of hydration, and spices like Ginger can encourage perspiration, creating a cooling effect on hot summer days (and summers are scorching hot in India).
    3. As we just covered, the adaptogens in Golden Milk promote feelings of calm and support a healthy stress response.*
    4. Adding warming spices like Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cardamom can create a mildly euphoric effect. Much like one experiences after eating a spicy meal.

    Many people turn to unhealthy foods and drinks for comfort when life gets challenging. 

    Golden Milk is a healthy alternative that fulfills the need for ritual while offering a wealth of soothing benefits.

    Ready to start creating healthier stress-relieving habits?

    Try out this Traditional Golden Milk Recipe with Gaia Herbs Golden Milk mix, calming Saffron, milk, honey, and Ghee.

    #9: Ingredients in Golden Milk Nourish The Heart

    Taking care of our hearts is one of the most important things we can do to promote longevity and overall health.

    Most understand the importance of eating a heart-healthy diet, restricting sugar and unhealthy fats and carbs, and getting plenty of exercise.

    However, new research shows that things like inflammation, mental health, metabolic health, and sleep also play a critical role in heart health.REF#686 REF#687 REF#688

    The spices in Golden Milk have been shown to be potentially helpful in supporting various aspects of heart and circulatory function, including:REF#673 REF#684 REF#672

    • Inflammatory response
    • Metabolism
    • Sleep
    • Digestion
    • Mental well-being
    • Stress response

    Turmeric has demonstrated efficacy in supporting normal cholesterol, blood pressure, arterial health, liver health, mitochondrial function (mitochondria are the energy centers of cells), sugar metabolism, and inflammatory response through its antioxidant properties.REF#689 REF#690 REF#691 REF#692 REF#693

    Gaia Herbs has a variety of herbal supplements designed to support heart health, including Turmeric Supreme Heart.

    #10: Golden Milk is “Liquid Gold” for Liver Function

    The liver is one of the most hard-working and underappreciated organs.

    Given the unprecedented times of pollution we’re living in, it is wise to support your liver as you would a cherished loved one.

    Regular consumption of Turmeric, like that found in Golden Milk, is one way to show your liver some love.

    Research has shown Turmeric and Curcumin support various aspects of liver function, including normal fatty acid levels.REF#694

    For example, one study showed daily Turmeric supplementation helped support normal liver enzymes and inflammatory response.REF#695

    Turmeric has also been shown to support normal cholesterol synthesis in the liver, and its antioxidants have demonstrated liver-protective properties.REF#696

    Discover more ways to support your liver in: 8 Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy.

    How to Start Your Own Golden Milk Ritual

    Golden Milk can be consumed daily or a few times weekly, depending on your goals and preference.

    The easiest way to prepare Golden Milk is using a mix, such as Gaia Herbs Golden Milk. 

    This takes the mess out of preparation (Turmeric stains nearly anything it touches!), resulting in a consistently delicious beverage every time.

    However, that doesn’t mean you can’t customize your Golden Milk.

    Some ideas include:

    • Substituting plant milk, goat’s, camel, or sheep’s milk for traditional cow’s milk
    • Adding Ghee for extra body and richness
    • Adding a pinch of Cayenne for spice and warmth
    • Drizzling in some raw honey for extra sweetness
    • Adding in other herbs, such as Saffron, Cinnamon, Ginger, or Nutmeg, for extra flavor and benefits

    The sky's the limit when creating your optimal mug (or glass) of Golden Milk heaven!

    Gaia Herbs Golden Milk Mix can also be added to cookies, popsicles, puddings, smoothies, and more.

    For more recipe inspiration, check out:


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