recipes

The Ultimate Guide to Golden Milk: Everything You Need to Know

The Ultimate Guide to Golden Milk: Everything You Need to Know
The Ultimate Guide to Golden Milk: Everything You Need to Know

It’s delicious, beautiful, non-caffeinated, and full of healthy herbs.* Say hello to Golden Milk. If you’re new to Golden Milk, we’d like to tell you why we love this warm drink and everything you need to know about it—from Golden Milk benefits to how to make it.

In this article, we’ll start by discussing what Golden Milk is and the ingredients that are involved. We’ll also walk you through how to incorporate it into your daily routine, why we think you should, and where to get a convenient Golden Milk mix.

This is your guide to Golden Milk. Let’s jump in.

What Is Golden Milk?

Golden Milk is based on the traditional Ayurvedic recipe that has been savored for centuries and used to support the mind and body in a number of ways.*

It is a non-caffeinated, herbal drink that can be made with your choice of milk. While we love to relax with our hands wrapped around a warm mug full of Golden Milk, as it has been traditionally served, it can be made as a cold drink, too.

What really makes Golden Milk stand out from other drinks is what’s in it.

You can gather the ingredients and make Golden Milk from scratch. It only takes about 15 minutes if you have all the ingredients already on hand, but in today’s busy world, sometimes even that can feel like an insurmountable task.

That’s why we created our own convenient powder, which honors the Ayurvedic roots of this nourishing drink and acknowledges the realities of our overscheduled lives.

Gaia Herbs Golden Milk

Gaia Herbs Golden Milk is vegan and gluten-free, with no GMOs or soy and natural sweetness from dates. It is a convenient, modern spin on a revered ancient drink.

Let’s take a look at the high-quality ingredients that make up our Golden Milk mix.

Golden Milk Ingredients

Turmeric

Tumeric root

What’s in Golden Milk? Turmeric, for sure! It gets its warm yellow color from this main ingredient, which we combine with other traditional Ayurvedic herbs and spices, including black pepper, cardamom, vanilla, and Ashwagandha.

Turmeric is a versatile herb that supports a healthy inflammatory response due to common wear and tear.* But it doesn’t stop there: It is regarded as a whole-health tonic, valued across the world for its ability to support the body in a wide variety of ways.* Turmeric has also been traditionally used to provide immune, cognitive, and digestive support, and the list goes on.*

(Read more about using Turmeric for cooking and taking it as a supplement.)

Black Pepper

Traditionally paired with Turmeric to support absorption, black pepper also adds a hint of spiciness to our formula.*

This spice is very common in Ayurveda, and it is traditionally considered a hot, pungent herb. As such, it’s believed to stoke digestive fire, called agni, by promoting the natural release of digestive secretions.* It has been called “the king of spices.”

Vanilla 

Vanilla Bean

The sweet aroma of this spice has long been used to naturally help boost one’s outlook.* Plus, it just tastes so good in warm milk!

Traditionally, vanilla was considered to be an aromatic for supporting the nervous system and promoting a healthy libido.*

Ashwagandha

Long valued in Ayurveda, this adaptogen is thought to help tonify the entire system.* Ashwagandha is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs used today.

This herb is considered both a tonic, meaning it supports the body’s overall well-being, and an adaptogen, meaning it supports the body’s natural resistance to stress.*

Cardamom

This aromatic spice has a long history of supporting the digestive system.* A relative of Ginger, cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) was called the “queen of spices” in Ayurveda, where it is commonly used. It helps promote healthy digestive function.*

Dates

This naturally rich, sweet fruit is a source of vitamins and minerals. Dates have a complex saccharine taste similar to caramel, making them a popular swap for sugar.

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) dates back 50 million years, according to fossil records. A staple across the Middle East, it is made into sugar, vinegar, and syrup.

Dates

Those are the six simple yet powerful ingredients we use in Gaia Herbs Golden Milk powder. Rest assured, we source only the highest-quality Turmeric, black pepper, vanilla, Ashwagandha, cardamom, and dates for our mix.

After all, the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why many of the herbs in our products are grown on our own Gaia Herbs Farm, where we can cultivate them exactly the way we want.

For plants that we do not grow on our own farm in Western North Carolina (like the ingredients in Golden Milk), our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best and where conditions are ideal to produce the highest possible level of botanical compounds.

Learn more about the ingredients in Gaia Herbs Golden Milk at meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform. Here, you can discover the origin of your herbs; learn how they were grown, harvested, and extracted; and see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.

We verify at every stage of the Gaia Herbs seed-to-shelf journey—because you deserve to know exactly what’s in your herbal supplement.

Keep in mind that if you’re taking a look at different Golden Milk recipes, you may notice that other recipes, both traditional and modern, use additional herbs and spices, including Ginger, allspice, mace, nutmeg, and saffron.

History of Golden Milk

Golden Milk is having a moment, but while this warm, comforting beverage seems like a new and trendy drink—invented, perhaps, by a clever barista—this Turmeric latte actually has a long, rich tradition of use dating back thousands of years.

Within the ancient branch of traditional medicine in India known as Ayurveda, Golden Milk is a tonic that’s meant to be nourishing, while also tasting delicious.

“Ojas,” meaning vigor in Sanskrit, is the essential energy of life, and it’s said that Golden Milk—or haldi ka doodh as it’s traditionally known—helps to naturally maintain that vitality.* The ojas circulates to sustain the body and support clarity of mind and emotions.*

With one sip, you’ll understand. Just as, in the West, warm milk has been used as a comforting bedtime beverage, “Turmeric tea” has served the same purpose.

Ginger root

Turmeric has long been used to support a healthy inflammatory response in healthy individuals, among other uses, and in Golden Milk, this vibrant yellow herb is combined with other traditional Ayurvedic herbs to offer further support.*

In addition to pleasing the palate, the recipe for Golden Milk honors Ayurvedic dietary principles. Ayurveda promotes a diet focused on “sattvic,” or fresh and pure, foods that are easy to digest and provide ojas.

These foods include many of the traditional ingredients in Golden Milk: dates, honey, milk, and ghee, plus the nuts used for milk in plant-based versions. “Rajasic” foods, which are naturally stimulating, are used in moderation to stoke our inner fires (agni) and promote vital energy.* The herbs and spices used in Golden Milk are considered rajasic.

In India, the comforting drink is still consumed at bedtime, and moms often make it to soothe kids, too. When we sampled our Golden Milk powder in the spring of 2016, a woman squealed with delight when she tasted it.

“It’s just like my mom’s,” she exclaimed, going on to share how, when she was younger, she and her sister liked to use their fingers to scoop out any bits of herbs and honey that had settled in the bottom of the mug. That lightly spiced warm milk, she said, transported her right back to her childhood.

Turmeric tea also made its way to Okinawa, in southern Japan. This island is considered to be a “Blue Zone,” where inhabitants are known for their longevity. Researchers credit Okinawans’ long lives to a healthy, vegetarian diet and strong social and familial bonds.

Okinawan Turmeric tea is slightly different from Golden Milk, with the Japanese preferring theirs be served cold and unsweetened, according to Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being by integrative physician Andrew Weil, M.D.

Modern, creative versions are making waves across the US, too. The Turmeric Tonic at Sqirl in Los Angeles uses spiced apple juice in place of milk and swirls in cardamom ghee.

Dobra Tea, a tea shop in Asheville, NC, serves Turmeric tea blended with coconut butter, goji berries, and black pepper for a Traditional Chinese Medicine meets Ayurveda spin on Golden Milk. There are vegan, Paleo, and even raw versions popping up around the country.

Now that you know more about this delicious drink, we’ll share how you can make it.

How to Make Golden Milk—It’s Easy!

woman drinking golden milk for golden milk benefits

Making a cup of Golden Milk using our mix is easy. Follow these basic steps to make this Turmeric-based beverage:

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 5 min

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 cup of your favorite milk.
  2. Whisk in 1 serving Gaia Herbs Golden Milk.
  3. Continue to heat, stirring often, until the mixture is quite warm but not boiling.
  4. Remove from heat, pour into a cup, and savor immediately.

Notes:

  1. You can also stir in honey and additional herbs as desired.
  2. For a vegan option, you can substitute non-dairy milk and raw or coconut sugar.
  3. In Ayurveda, milk is traditionally boiled to promote absorption and digestion, and around bedtime, warm milk is considered soothing and soporific.*

You can also follow the traditional recipe if you prefer a true D.I.Y. experience. No matter which version you choose, you may want to use a milk that contains fat.

The dietary fats serve two purposes. First, they help your body absorb the fat-soluble components in the herbs, including the beneficial curcuminoids in Turmeric, which are what give it that golden hue.*

The fats also carry and coat those herbs and spices, creating a smooth, balanced taste. By heating the herbs in the fat before adding the milk, you release their aroma and flavor. (This is why, in most recipes, you add dried herbs and spices at the beginning, with a little oil. It makes them taste better!)

4 Ways to Customize Golden Milk with Herbs

Golden milk in a mug

There’s no wrong way to consume Golden Milk, so you can really get creative and make it your own. If you’re a fan of using herbal supplements in your food and beverages, you can customize your Golden Milk by adding other herbs.

We like adding liquid herbal extracts of:

  1. American Ginseng: Promotes healthy stamina and helps sustain endurance.*
  2. Cinnamon Bark: Supports healthy blood sugar levels and glycemic balance.*
  3. Holy Basil Leaf: Helps support a healthy response to stress.*
  4. Ginger: Provides relief from occasional upset stomach and promotes healthy digestion.*

How to Incorporate Golden Milk into Your Daily Routine

Here are six easy ways to start adding this drink into your daily routine and experiencing Golden Milk benefits:

Swap in a Different Milk

Use whole milk with cream on top for a particularly rich cup of Turmeric tea. Use coconut, cashew, or almond milk, maybe even one with extra vanilla flavor.

You can also top it with whipped cream or coconut cream. Or use your “everyday” milk but stir in a special honey. This sweet drink is worth sipping slowly!

You could also use a honey swizzle stick or melt a dark brown sugar cube in the bottom for a rich sweetness to the last drop.

golden milk

Drink It Instead of Coffee or Tea

Sometimes it’s not the caffeine we crave but the ritual surrounding having a fresh, hot cup of our favorite beverage. Golden Milk, or Turmeric tea, doesn’t require any fancy equipment like that morning cup of pour-over coffee, but it does involve a few mindful steps.

There’s an aromatic component that triggers our olfactory bulb to signal to the brain that the scent is a pleasant one, thus releasing serotonin and other feel-good hormones.* Breathe deeply to inhale the scents of each herb, and savor every sip.

Garnish It as You Would a Regular Latte

Try a sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom, an extra dash of vanilla, or a pinch of nutmeg. Add frothy milk, use a dollop of whipped cream (can you tell we really like this idea?), or sweeten it to taste. Or try a sprinkle of vanilla- or cardamom-infused raw sugar.

Blend It with Goji Berries or Whole, Pitted Dates

For antioxidant support, blend your milk with a tablespoon or two of goji berry powder before whisking into your Golden Milk.* Whole, pitted dates are a caramel-like natural sweetener that can be used in place of honey, making it vegan, too!

Make It Seasonal

While it is anything but traditional, you could also add a bit of pumpkin pie syrup (all-natural, of course) or pumpkin pie spice for an autumnal twist on your Turmeric tea.

Make Popsicles or Cookies

Yes, you read that correctly. While Golden Milk is a drink, you can also use Gaia Herbs Golden Milk powder to make popsicles or cookies. Don’t hesitate to switch things up.

Check out our recipes:

Why Golden Milk?

Why should you consider integrating Golden Milk into your life? Golden Milk can benefit your overall health and wellness, but we also love this drink because mindfulness is golden.*

We’ll talk a bit about what we mean by that before we share Golden Milk benefits.

Golden Milk and Mindfulness

We all need to take time for ourselves. We like to think of the ritual of sipping a warm mug of Golden Milk as our “Golden Hour” (though it takes nowhere near that long from start to finish). Taking the time to treat yourself to a comforting, nourishing drink is an act of mindfulness.

Woman holding a cup of golden milk

Imagine, after a long day of work, curling up in your favorite chair and wrapping your hands around a steaming mug full of rich, creamy milk that’s slightly spicy and sweet. That’s your Golden Hour, no matter how long you stay present.

Because there is no caffeine in Golden Milk, you can have your Golden Hour any time of day without worry that you’ll be up all night.

Even if you’ve never tried Turmeric or Golden Milk, it may instantly feel familiar, thanks to those aromas of comforting, warming herbs, redolent of eggnog, or maybe horchata.

How Do We Find a Golden Hour?

  • Around the dinner table with our kids, with Golden Milk as a sweet finish to the meal.
  • Sitting on the couch with a dear friend, catching up and laughing until tears roll down our faces and into our mugs.
  • During the afternoon slump, when we forgo the candy or coffee and inhale the warm coziness deskside.
  • On a rainy fall Saturday in the mountains, with a good book and a snuggly cat.
  • After yoga class, as a gratitude circle as a swap for the traditional coffee kvetch.
  • In place of the eggnog at a family holiday gathering.

The only rule is to try and be mindful and present as you sip. Step away from the phone, email, and screens so it’s just you, your breath, and a steaming mug of Golden Milk as an act of self-care.

Feel free to share it, too!

Golden Milk Benefits

The mindfulness that goes along with a cup of Golden Milk can make a positive difference in your day. But Golden Milk can also support your health and well-being through its wonderful ingredients, like Turmeric and Ashwagandha.*

Gaia Herbs Golden Milk powder is a delicious stress-support supplement, making it a good choice for adults with busy, overactive lives.*

In addition to vanilla to support mood and Cardamom for digestive support, Turmeric and Ashwagandha are the two star ingredients of our Golden Milk.*

Want to know about Golden Milk benefits? All you have to do is look at the amazing ways that Turmeric and Ashwagandha support your body.*

As we mentioned, Turmeric supports a healthy inflammatory response due to common wear and tear and provides antioxidant support.* Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body handle physical and emotional stressors and supports overall well-being.*

To learn more about how these herbs support your body (and thus how Golden Milk benefits your well-being!), read about the Amazing Benefits of Ashwagandha and 8 Uses of Turmeric and Its Benefits.

Experience Golden Milk Benefits and Mindfulness Moments*

Woman enjoying golden milk benefits outside

With all of this information about Golden Milk under your belt, what are you waiting for? Put Turmeric and Ashwagandha (not to mention four other wonderful herbs) to work for you by incorporating Gaia Herbs Golden Milk into your daily routine.*

Golden Milk benefits your health and wellness through powerful herbs as well as the mindfulness moment that you create for yourself when you intentionally stop to savor its deliciousness.*

Cheers to this golden beverage and all the moments you’ll create around it!

Where to Buy Golden Milk

To buy our Golden Milk powder online with FREE, fast delivery, shop now at our online store.

To find a store nearby that carries Gaia Herbs products, enter your zip code on our Where to Buy page.

REFERENCES:

Johnny Brannigan, Daniel Rhoda, and Thomas Yarema, Eat Taste Heal (Hawaii: Five Elements Press, 2006); Andrew Weil, Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being (New York: Anchor Books, 2005).