Drink Hot Turmeric Milk & Stay Healthier This Winter.

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Relephant reads:

8 Ways to Get & Stay Well During Cold Season.

6 Reasons My Family Doesn’t Get Sick!

One Spice Fits all Imbalances.

In India, turmeric is a popular home remedy for cough, congestion, colds and skin problems.

Turmeric—that potent, mustard-colored spice we know most often as an ingredient in curries—has health benefits more far-reaching than originally believed.

Recent scientific research is proving what mothers have known all along!

According to a recent report by CNN, turmeric possesses a wide variety of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Turmeric, whose active agent is curcumin, can:

~ Prevent cancer cells from forming
~ Remove plaque from the brain and improve oxygen flow, acting as a preventive for Alzheimer’s
~ Detoxify the liver
~ Reduce cholesterol
~ Stimulate the immune system

How to add this miracle spice to a health and wellness regimen?

Turmeric is available in supplement form in many health food stores, but why not try to spice things up this cold and flu season?

Replace your usual hot cocoa (or hot toddy) with an invigorating cup of hot turmeric milk. Hot turmeric milk, known as haldi ka doodh, can be easily prepared at home. Bonus points for jammies and slippers!

It took some research, several rounds at the stove, and the assistance of a few devoted tasters to come upon this combination of ingredients—rich, creamy and satisfying! Adding black pepper to the mixture will greatly increase the absorption of turmeric into the body. It also gives the drink a spicy kick.

(Warning: Turmeric can stain clothing and countertops, so wear an apron and proceed with caution!)

For one serving you will need:

one cup milk (whole or 2% milk, almond milk or coconut milk beverage)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3/4- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar (depending on desired sweetness)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or a few cardamom pods)
pinch of powdered ginger or small piece of peeled ginger root
dash of vanilla extract
dash of black pepper or black peppercorns
pinch of cloves (if desired)
pinch of allspice (if desired)
strainer or sieve

1) Heat the milk on the stove. When milk becomes warm, add turmeric powder. Stir slowly to dissolve any lumps. The liquid will take on a rich, mustard color.

2) Add the honey, ginger root, vanilla and spices.

3) Keep the pot on gentle heat for a few minutes.

4) Pour the milk through a fine sieve to remove the ginger root, cardamom and pepper. (The turmeric can be a bit grainy, too.)

5) Enjoy! All ingredients can be adjusted for individual tastes!


Note: Turmeric is generally considered to be safe.

According to WebMD, “it has been known to cause nausea and stomach upset in some individuals, especially in high dosesPregnant women should not use turmeric supplements. Talk to a doctor before using turmeric supplements regularly if you have any medical conditions, like gallbladder or kidney disease, bleeding disorders, diabetes, or immunity problems. Since turmeric can potentially increase bleeding, stop taking it at least two weeks before any surgery.

If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using turmeric supplements. They could interact with medicines like aspirin, NSAID painkillers, statins, diabetes drugs, blood pressure medicines, and blood thinners. They might also interact with supplements that decrease clotting, like ginkgo, ginseng, and garlic.”

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Ed: Bryonie Wise


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anonymous Apr 1, 2015 10:06pm

Do not use honey in hot or boiling beverages. Add iot when its lukewarm later. Honey becomes poisonous once its heated.

anonymous Mar 27, 2015 9:56am

Svindlande försträfflig beskrivning! Gillar prestationen<3

anonymous Mar 5, 2015 9:56pm

Its always good to use natural ingredients, , Turmeric is one simple med which is available any time at home..

Great article! You explained well better than me…

anonymous Nov 17, 2014 6:03am


I have started taking organic Indian turmeric with coconut milk and organic oats for my inflamed joints – so good so far.

anonymous Nov 16, 2014 9:35am

I put about 1/8 tsp. turmeric, plus 1/8 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon, plus 1/2tsp. Grass fed organic butter, plus 1/8 cup almond milk in my morning coffee. Delicious!

anonymous Oct 15, 2014 3:11pm

Great idea! I am always looking for new ways to get more turmeric into my diet. This sounds delicious.

anonymous Aug 26, 2014 10:22am

can we add a little bit of pepper to it ???

anonymous Mar 31, 2014 11:57pm

According to Ayurveda, heating honey produces ama or toxins in the body that can lead to many diseases. Heating honey is a strict no if one wants to follow Ayurvedic or yogic principles. Turmeric ofcourse is an undisputed spice in terms of its rejuvenating and regenerating properties.

anonymous Feb 21, 2014 9:06am

I heard on radio about physician in small Vermont town who treats her patients cold symptoms with turmeric. Apparently the towns people stay in line just to see the doctor and be treated. Can't wait to start turmeric cocktail. Thanks for wonderful testimonials. Eugenie

anonymous Feb 19, 2014 2:10am

A lot of these new scientific studies have one thing in common that has been in Indian food culture for generations…natural spices are as beneficial for health as any modern artificial remedies…if not better. Turmeric and milk with some fresh ground cardamom and saffron (I sometimes add a dash of pepper and ginger for extra strength) is considered standard nightly fare. It's a better cure for common ailments like cold than any pill you can pop.

Like with anything, as you pointed out in the comments earlier, moderation and balance is key. What we often overlook in western society is the overall lifestyle that needs balance. Thanks for sharing this article, and keeping the recipe as authentic as I remember growing up. Cheers to good health (*takes a turmeric milk shot…) !

anonymous Jan 27, 2014 9:36am

Sounds good …..but why not just have a good curry 🙂

    anonymous Jan 31, 2014 1:59am

    this is typically taken at night, just before bed – it's a good bedtime beverage. a curry just before bed would be a bit more, well, active in the stomach!

anonymous Jan 7, 2014 5:53pm

Hi there. I’m having trouble finding cardamom and was wondering if you could recommend any substitues or specific places to go for it. Thanks in advance. Can’t wait to try it!

anonymous Jan 3, 2014 1:18pm

I love this drink. Thanks so much for posting. I am wodering if cayenne pepper will work as well as black pepper in terms of absorption. It is all I have in the house at the moment but will buy black pepper if need be. Thanks.

anonymous Dec 26, 2013 11:32am

Thomas Fernandes I grew up in Delhi, India in the 60's and 70's. A warm mug of milk with a pinch of turmeric, a teaspoon of honey and a couple of cloves all simmered together was my bedtime drink through the winter months there. My parents still drink that concoction Dad is 87 and Mom 73 and still active in their community.

anonymous Dec 23, 2013 6:08pm

Exactly what my mom who lives in India told me to do today for my cough!!!! She told me another remedy. To grind poppy seeds with dried coconut shredding with some milk and brown sugar. Wanted to say, you can substitute brown sugar with honey

anonymous Dec 23, 2013 4:32am

Sounds great, but skip the dairy milk, use plant based milk, and you can take out cruelty as an ingredient.

    anonymous Dec 26, 2013 11:33am

    Amen. I'm vegan. That said, soy creates tons of cruelty–farms that wipe out rainforests–and much of it is gmo. So make sure you know where your soy, almond, coconut, or dairy milk comes from!

anonymous Dec 23, 2013 12:21am

Hello – Is the powder turmeric as effective as fresh turmeric? Any nutritional differences? Thanks!

anonymous Nov 17, 2013 10:38pm

I was wondering, does this drink keep you up at night or is it a good sleepy time drink? Also, can kids drink this?


    anonymous Nov 18, 2013 5:06am

    Hi Judy! If you have a sensitive stomach (like me) turmeric milk may have to potential to aggravate if taken right before going to bed. If you think this may be the case, you might try to cut down a bit on the turmeric or have the drink with a small, nourishing snack in the evening. I think many kids would like this drink! As always, there are some contraindications for turmeric. The following is a good website to read up:

anonymous Nov 17, 2013 7:27pm

I was kind of skeptical of this drink because of the ingredients not sounding compatible with turmeric-I've used it a lot in cooking especially with beans and rice and already knew of the many health benefits from it but couldn't imagine it with honey and alspice, etc. but I figured I just try it and see and I was so pleasantly surprised! It was really good-I made it with almond-coconut milk (all I had at the time),the coconut also gave it a nice touch. I even had the cardamom pods. I will certainly make it often. Did you also know that in India the rate of people with Alzheimer's Disease is very low-research thinks because of the high use of tumeric (curcumin) there. Interesting, hugh!

    anonymous Nov 17, 2013 10:31pm

    Hi, Laurel! I'm glad you enjoyed the drink

    I made it tonight with unsweetened coconut milk beverage (out of almond milk after all the recipe tasting!) and it was quite enjoyable. I had read the statistic somewhere, too, about the rate of Alzheimer's being much lower in India than other parts of the world. It is believed that turmeric, when consumed daily with black pepper (two ingredients in many popular curries) keeps our neural pathways healthy. Of course, more research is needed — a very interesting concept, indeed!

anonymous Nov 16, 2013 1:28pm

I grew up drinking this but we did not add honey. I have been told by my Ayurvedic friends that to reap the nutrition benefits from honey, it is best to add honey to warm (not hot) liquids. In this way, you maintain the healthy nutrients in the honey. The heat tends to eliminate those healthy nutrients. It is a very yummy drink and it does wonders to keep me healthy year round. Thank you for sharing it.

    anonymous Nov 16, 2013 9:02pm

    This is a very good suggestion, Vandana! Thank you for sharing! I will be sure to add honey to the drink before it gets too hot from now on!

anonymous Nov 16, 2013 1:02pm

This sounds lovely! I'll try it ASAP. I'm allergic to ginger, however (and cinammon, and nutmeg): what do you suggest I'd replace that one with?

    anonymous Nov 16, 2013 9:01pm

    Hi Sonia! Would a pinch of ground cloves or allspice work for you?

anonymous Nov 16, 2013 11:26am

Thanks for sharing your creation. I have a question – for the health benefits you are suggesting, how often should one consume this drink?

    anonymous Nov 16, 2013 8:59pm

    Hi Heather! Like any natural medicine, you don't want to overdo it — and there are some contraindications for turmeric. Do not use turmeric if you are pregnant, have gallstones or are anticipating a surgery. WebMD has a good page on turmeric: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lif
    I will be trying this drink a few times per week!

      anonymous Nov 17, 2013 10:40am

      Wow, Marthe, thanks so much for writing back with the warnings – I am 6 months pregnant! I almost want to ask "how did you know" but the universe works in magical ways, doesn't it? I appreciate the link as well. Take care, and will revisit this idea in March.

        anonymous Nov 17, 2013 1:13pm

        Yes, it certainly does! Have a healthy pregnancy — you will enjoy this drink in a few months!

anonymous Nov 16, 2013 10:57am

This recipe was delicious, I'm hooked! I was freaking out because I couldn't find any cardamom… so I skipped it and it still tasted great! Is that okay or is the cardamom also essential to the health benefits?

    anonymous Nov 16, 2013 10:58am

    Totally rocking my jammies and slippers too!

      anonymous Nov 16, 2013 8:49pm

      Gotta love those comfy jammies and slippers! You can totally make this drink without cardamom, if you find your pantry bare of this peppery, citrusy-tasting spice. To my knowledge, it doesn't affect the absorption of turmeric like the black pepper!

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Marthe Weyandt

Marthe Weyandt is a Pittsburgh-based yoga instructor and freelance writer. She enjoys traveling and spending time in the great outdoors. She is currently learning to play guitar, albeit badly and at frequencies only dogs can hear. She believes in the power of the word, creatively and lovingly rendered, to create positive change in the world. She has a Bachelor’s in English and Religion from Dickinson College and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. She spent two years as an English instructor with the United States Peace Corps in Madagascar. Check out some of her other work here.