An ayurvedic elixir that touts benefits like reduced inflammation, improved digestion, and natural pain relief, golden milk has officially taken its foothold in the wellness industry. But there’s more to this cozy drink than milk and powder.

Golden milk is a mixture of hot or cold milk of any kind with a turmeric powder that combines the herb with others like black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and more (via MBG Food). Other varieties also add adaptogens like ashwagandha and cacao, which pack even more of a stress-relieving punch. Having black pepper in your golden milk blend helps your body more readily absorb a key ingredient in turmeric — curcumin. The primary bioactive compound in turmeric that’s responsible for the countless health benefits, curcumin works best with black pepper when it comes to reaping the full benefits, as noted by MBG Food. Plus, the drink is delicious.

To make your brew, you can also take a teaspoon of your favorite golden milk mixture and add it to warm nut milk, sweetened up with honey. But if you want to make your own mix, make sure to find a recipe that has black pepper to ensure that you’re fully absorbing the healing properties of the elixir!

Golden milk's health benefits come from turmeric

From joint health to stress relief, the benefits of drinking golden milk span a wide range of areas, thanks to its main ingredient — turmeric — and its levels of curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to help with various mood-related symptoms and may aid in relieving feelings of depression (via MBG Food). If you’re struggling with this mental illness, registered dietician and health coach, Jess Cording, told the outlet, “Curcumin’s impact on BDNF [brain-derived neurotrophic factor] has also been shown to have a potential use in depression treatment by reversing detrimental brain changes that occur in depression.”

Golden milk’s high level of antioxidants from the turmeric, cinnamon, and other herbs work to protect your body from the damaging side effects of oxidative stress. A natural pain reliever, turmeric also helps to lower blood sugar levels, fight off viruses, and protect against heart disease, as noted by Healthline. Aiding in inflammation reduction, these properties can also reduce pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Furthermore, since curcumin may help increase BDNF levels, golden milk can also help improve memory and cognition while promoting the growth of brain cells.

Healthline refers to inflammation and oxidative stress as two of the main culprits of most modern diseases. By drinking golden milk on a regular basis, you may be able to give your body the help it needs to stay strong — while also giving your taste buds a treat.

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