If you’re not yet familiar with it, Golden Milk is that wonderful Turmeric and spice hot milk drink. Because of Turmeric’s active constituent curcumin, Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful in the management of oxidative and inflammatory diseases. This is why Golden Milk is advised for joints, memory, and arthritis.
Turmeric can be used as an occasional home remedy to manage different types of joint pains such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia. For relief from joint pain, you can add Turmeric to your daily food regimen.
Here’s an easy Golden Milk for joints recipe which you can add to your diet to reap the benefits of Turmeric.
1 cup milk (cow’s milk** or non-dairy milk like soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk or full fat canned coconut milk)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder or 1 inch long raw Turmeric piece, peeled and finely sliced
½ inch long fresh peeled ginger, cut into small pieces
¼ tsp whole black peppercorns or ⅛ tsp of black pepper powder***
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp cardamom powder
whole nutmeg for grating (optional)
raw sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or coconut sugar (optional)
** According to Ayurveda, cow’s milk acts as a fat and water soluble media for the active ingredients in herbs.
In the Ayurvedic texts it is mentioned that herbal medicine should be given with an Anupana or vehicle because it helps in the easy administration and assists the action of the herb. Milk is considered one of the best vehicles or anupana for herbs.1
Clinical studies showed that curcumin (the main active ingredient of turmeric) showed high bioavailability, faster rate and better absorption when given with a fat medium.2 Fats in the milk serve this purpose and you will get the additional health benefits of the milk too.
***Black pepper boosts the absorption of curcumin, the main ingredient in Turmeric.3
Steps For Making Golden Milk For Joints
Take one cup of milk in a saucepan and add all the ingredients except the Turmeric and nutmeg.
Heat over a medium flame until it comes to a boil.
Add peeled turmeric slices or turmeric powder and simmer over a medium flame for five minutes. The milk will now have a golden-yellow color.
Add raw sugar, maple syrup or brown rice syrup according to your taste.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Joint pain occurs when any damage takes place to the joints due to disease or injury and this pain starts interfering with and restricting your normal movement. The common cause behind joint pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a broad term and it includes more than 100 forms. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, other forms include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and related autoimmune diseases.4
The causes behind every form of arthritis is different but their symptoms and treatments are similar. The major goal in arthritis treatment is to reduce joint pain induced by inflammation in the joints. The existing treatment includes use of analgesics, steroids andnon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).However their long term use may lead to adverse effects. Therefore choose herbal therapies which have anti-inflammatory properties. Curcuma longa or Turmeric is a potential alternative herbal medicine for joint pain related to arthritis.4
Persistent oxidative stress may lead to deformity in the joints and can cause arthritis. Turmeric has shown very positive results against oxidative stress and it can scavenge different forms of free radicals also.3
In arthritis inflammation of the joints occurs and Turmeric has been shown to suppress inflammation through many different mechanisms.3
The anti-arthritic effects of Turmeric include inhibition of joint inflammation and periarticular joint destruction. In vivo treatment with Turmeric extract prevented local activation of NF-κB and the subsequent expression of NF-κB-regulated genes mediating joint inflammation and destruction, including chemokines, COX-2, and the receptor activator of NF-κB ligand. It also inhibited inflammatory cell influx, joint levels of PGE2, and periarticular osteoclast formation in rats. Also Turmeric extract, when given intraperitoneally, was found to be more active than hydrocortisone.5
Turmeric has also shown analgesic effects in acute pain, so it can be a potential alternative to NSAIDs. It does not have any adverse effects on the gastrointestinal system unlike NSAIDs which do under long term.3
Turmeric is helpful in exercise-induced muscle soreness which can also be a cause behind pain in the joints.3
Topical application of Turmeric is helpful in inflammatory conditions.6 Topical application can be done in the form of a poultice.
However, all these studies are a result of clinical trials done on a limited number of living beings and more and more clinical research on curcumin is ongoing.
According to Dravyaguna Vijnana (Pharmacopoeia of Herbs)
In the renowned Ayurvedic text books of Dravyaguna vijnana it has been mentioned that Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Along with this it is also mentioned that local application of Turmeric is helpful in inflammatory and painful conditions.7
1. Bhaishjya Kalpana Vigyan with hindi commentary by Aacharya Sidhinandan Mishra, Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan, Varanasi.
2. Prasad, Sahdeo, et al. “Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918523/.
3. Hewlings, Susan J., and Douglas S. Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/.
4. Daily, James W., et al. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/.
5. Prasad, Sahdeo. “Turmeric, the Golden Spice.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/.
6. Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice