Nourishing, grounding, tasty and healing, golden milk is one of my all time favorite tonics. This drink has been around for quite some time, used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to heal the body and the mind. It is known to strengthen Ojas, which is a person's vigor, strength, and vitality. It is often used by yogis to reduce inflammation in the joints and with other musculoskeletal issues. Consistently taken, this drink can support a calm mind and help to reduce everyday aches and pains, not to mention it increases your daily dose of potent antioxidants! This drink can also help to enhance overall digestion and detoxification of the bowels and liver. Yay for Golden Milk, am I right?!
Golden Milk can be made with many different spices and herbs depending on the situation at hand. I went simple and used the Wild Sun Wellness Stay Golden...
Here is a breakdown of the herbs and spices used in our blend:
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
This rockstar rhizome is part of the ginger family and has been used forEVER in traditional cultures such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, and as I mentioned above, Ayurveda. It is commonly used today as a food additive to color foods like mustards and cheeses; it is also a staple spice in curries and other Thai and Indian dishes (like one of my favorites, Kitchari!!) Turmeric is one of the greatest herbs on the planet, according to me and many clinical studies proving how effective this plant truly is. It has traditionally been used for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammatory diseases, skin health, liver issues, UTIs, eye conditions, digestive problems... the list goes on and on. Turmeric's most important and most studied constituents are its curcuminoids. These little guys are yellow-orange volatile oils that essential inhibit the growth of toxins in the body. They are also fat-soluble, so when consuming Turmeric, it is important to pair it with some type of fat (aka your milk of choice in this case).
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
This is a rockstar rhizome as well and it too, is part of the ginger family (obviously). We are most likely all pretty familiar with this spice and have probably had some kind of run-in with it in the past, whether it be on the side of your sushi roll, in a nice post-meal tea, or as a crystalized candy. Ginger has been used for centuries as a carminative - a plant that helps ease gas and bloating - and as a stomachic - a plant that supports toning and health of the stomach - and of course as anti-nausea medicine. It is also known to support and stimulate the circulatory system as well as help healthy gut flora to thrive and will help to kill of some of the bad guys as it is antibacterial. A really awesome little-known fact about ginger is that it potentiates and improves the circulation and bioavailability if the herbs it is used with (Donnie Yance).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Well, this is a rockstar root as well...Ashwagandha is another traditional Ayurvedic herb, this one is part of the Solanacea family (nightshade family... so just leave this one out of your golden milk if you have issues with the nightshade fam). It is a Rasayana herb, the literal meaning of this is "Path of Essence", but generally, a rasayana herb is one that is overall rejuvenative to mind, body and spirit. The lovely root of Ashwagandha is adaptogenic, this means it protects our bodies against our own stress response as it helps our endocrine systems to adapt to the stress we are experiencing - studies have shown that in situations of extreme stress, taking Ashwagandha supported healthy blood sugar and cortisol levels. This amazing root can also enhance overall physical performance, muscular strength and neuromuscular coordination.
**This ingredient should be avoided during pregnancy!!
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)
One of my favorite flavors in the world is cinnamon. This hot and pungent bark is part of the Lauraceae family of plants. This bark brings a lot to the table, it is antibacterial, antiviral and astringent, making it great for the mouth and, well, the entire digestive system. It is also a fantastic circulatory stimulant as it improves peripheral circulation to the capillaries (tiniest blood vessels in the body). Cinnamon is also really wonderful to support the management of blood sugar levels, so it is a great addition to the diet for people with any type of metabolic syndrome. You really can't go wrong with cinnamon, unless of course you are allergic, and if that's the case, I am sending anti-inflammatory and prostaglandin inhibiting vibes your way.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
In Ayurveda, gotu kola is a rasayana, meaning it is a rejuvenative tonic. It is a wonderful herb for many, many things. We refer to it as a nootropic in Western Herbalism - this means it has the ability to increase mental clarity, reduce brain fog and anxiety, enhance memory and overall brain function. It has also been shown to support a regulation in stress hormones and has even been called adaptogenic in recent years. Gotu kola can help with most connective tissue as well, it promotes strengthening and rebuilding of the skin, muscles and joints. This one is a keeper for years and years to come, wouldn't you say?
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Cardamom seed, another ginger family plant, is a common kitchen spice that is very strongly scented with volatile oils, so strong you really only need a tiny bit when adding it to anything! This little seed is a mighty one - it does wonders for the digestive system as a carminative as it helps to reduce flatulence, bloating and increase fat digestibility. It is also great to help ward off yeast, fungal and bacterial overgrowth throughout the body... not too shabby for that random spice sitting in the back of your kitchen cabinet, huh?
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Black pepper, a member of the Piperaceae family, is something we herbalists call an adjuvant. Essentially, is enhances the effects of other herbs it is consumed with. On its own, it is energizing, detoxifying, carminative, as well as decreases overall congestion and increases digestive fire (agni) according to Ayurveda. Black pepper has been studied extensively with turmeric and these studies are showing the increased bioavailability of turmeric when consumed with its partner in crime (better yet, partner in health), black pepper.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
Stevia is nature's candy leaf... it is so sweet that just one teaspoon of the extract is as sweet as a whole cup of sugar, but the best part about stevia is that it's not considered a sugar at all. It is a plant that grows leaves that are just naturally sweet. This is due to the main glycoside in it called stevioside - if you don't already know, the body does not convert glycosides into glucose meaning our bodies do not digest stevia as a sugar. Every time I see this or remember this little fact, I am shocked and it makes me love stevia that much more. Stevia has plenty of benefits, but I will just name a few here, other than its fantastic flavor, it has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce infectious gum disease, and it contains inulin (a prebiotic, which helps the growth and development of probiotics in our gut). Honestly, does it get any better?!
So now that you have all of the health benefits, let's get to the fun part! Actually making this liquid gold...
Golden Milk Recipe
Time: 5 minutes
Here's what you'll need
1- 1.5 tsp of Wild Sun Wellness' Stay Golden Herbal Powder Blend
10 oz of water
6 oz of organic milk (whole, coconut, almond, your choice really!)
Cinnamon for dashing
Here's what you'll do
Place Stay Golden Herbal Powder Blend into a small saucepan, turn on low and allow the aromas to begin to rise up from the pan.
Measure water and milk and pour over the spices. (You may be wondering the benefits of the milk... these herbs are better absorbed in our bodies when they are taken with a fat).
Turn heat medium-low and allow the liquid to heat up (about 3-4 minutes) using a whisk to stir constantly.
Turn off heat. Pour into your favorite mug, dash with cinnamon, take a deep breath and enjoy.
I hope this delicious recipe serves you well and I hope that you thoroughly enjoy and benefit from it. Please comment below if you have any questions or concerns!
Love and Golden Light,