How Golden Milk Benefits Memory
Golden Milk benefits include arthritis, sleep, immunity, skin health and mental health. It helps to prevent degenerative brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, boosts memory and reduces symptoms of anxiety.
According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women aged 65 and over have some degree of moderate or severe memory impairment.
Golden milk is easy to prepare and highly palatable, the milk taking most of the spiciness out of the Turmeric. All the health benefits of golden milk are mainly due to the main ingredient present in it, Turmeric. Turmeric contains a special key compound called curcumin. Curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s golden color and its effectivity in various health conditions.
How Golden Milk Benefits Memory
Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin is responsible for the effectiveness of Golden Milk in memory loss. According to Ayurveda, Turmeric balances all the three Doshas of the body. By virtue of its hotness, it balances Vata and Kapha. Because of its dryness and its pungent and bitter taste, it balances Kapha dosha. Due to its bitterness, it balances Pitta dosha.1
Ayurveda also ensures that the properties of milk are beneficial to the mind and body.2 Milk is considered the best vehicle (anupana) for the body’s seven tissue systems recognized by Ayurveda, called dhatus.3
So, the synergistic effect of Turmeric and milk makes Golden Milk an incredible drink with exceptional benefits in memory loss conditions.
1. Potentially Improves Alzheimer’s Disease
Curcumin, a key compound found in Turmeric, offers multiple health benefits for the brain and holds specific potential to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid beta is a protein which accumulates as plaque in the brain and causes damage to brain functioning. Beta-amyloid plaques, oxidative stress, harmful free radicals and inflammation are all key components in the development of memory problems, particularly as related to Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is an anti-amyloidogenic agent. It inhibits the accumulation of amyloid beta-peptide and prevents the formation and functioning of beta-amyloid fibrils, thereby it has a remarkable therapeutic effect in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.4
Curcumin enhances memory and the power of learning. The mode of action of curcumin is similar to the working of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which is considered an important therapy for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. It also protects brain cells from death and damage.5
2. Improves Diabetes-Induced Memory Loss
Curcumin improves diabetes-induced memory loss. Diabetes can increase the risk of developing long-term memory problems if blood glucose levels are less than well controlled. Cognitive impairment develops with pre-diabetes and dementia is a complication of diabetes. Natural products like turmeric and cinnamon ameliorate the underlying pathogenesis of memory loss.
In clinical research, it was observed that co-ingestion of Turmeric with a breakfast like white bread increases the working memory in patients with prediabetic conditions.6
3. Overcomes Age-Related Declines
Curcumin overcomes the age-related diminution in memory and supports cognition and better brain health. Aging is a progressive process and it may lead to the initiation of neurological diseases. In research done on mice using Turmeric, curcumin, the key compound of Turmeric reduced declines in neurogenesis. It also proved to improve the pace of learning ability and spatial memory (memory related to plan a route to a desired location and to remember where an object is located or where an event occurred) as well as regulate the cell proliferation and neuroblast differentiation required for survival and growth of neurons.7
Similarly, in another study on Wistar rats, it was seen that the administration of extract of Turmeric enhanced the learning ability and spatial memory along with an increased tolerance to stressful conditions by altering the brain chemicals like serotonin and corticosterone.8
Curcumin exerts beneficial effects on age-related impaired cognition and memory. It prevents deterioration of cognitive faculties such as sense, imagination, memory and understanding or intellect.9
It also modulates certain factors that are involved in neural development, memory and learning.10
It decreases oxidative stress11 and lipid peroxidation in brain tissue, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.12 It prevents or ameliorates the pathological processes underlying age-related cognitive decline, dementia or mood disorders. In a clinical study done on humans aged 60 – 85 years, it was seen that the attention and working memory was enhanced one hour after consuming curcumin and the working memory and mood (general fatigue and change in state calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress) were significantly better following long term administration for four weeks. Along with this there was also a significant reduction of total and LDL cholesterol.13
4. Assists With Depression And Anxiety
Curcumin is a proven anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic key compound found in turmeric. Curcumin is a potential therapeutic for stress related disturbances which reverse impaired spatial cognition, neuroendocrine and plasticity abnormalities.
In a research study it was noticed that curcumin is an effective therapeutic for learning and memory disturbances under stressful conditions. It effectively reduced the stress hormones and also protected the neurons from stress hormone related toxicity.14 Curcumin mediates antioxidant actions and decreases in corticosterone secretion thereby it is responsible for adaptogenic and memory restorative actions in chronic unpredictable stress.15
From research done on mice, it was concluded that co-administration of Piperine (an alkaloid present in black pepper) along with curcumin significantly enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, aids in restoring memory and potentiates its protective effects against chronic unpredictable stress.16
Research also shows that curcumin acts well in combination with drugs used in psychiatric treatment and protects brain cells from stress related changes.17
5. Prevents Memory Alterations Caused By Toxicity
Curcumin restores and prevents the thinking and memory alterations caused by environmental toxins such as cadmium, aluminium as well as other toxic agents like cigarette smoke and alcohol apart from reducing other hazards caused by such toxicity.
Sodium metabisulfite is an inorganic compound used as a disinfectant, antioxidant and preservative agent in the food, beverage and drug industries. Neurons are highly sensitive to sulfite toxicity. Curcumin, the main part of Turmeric, has neuroprotective effects on a variety of nervous system damages and has a protective role in learning and memory after exposure to sulphite.
Another chemical element, Aluminium is a potent neurotoxin and has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease causality for decades. Prolonged aluminium exposure induces oxidative stress and increases amyloid beta levels. Curcumin has neuroprotective effects against aluminium-induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative damage. Chronic administration of curcumin in the diet is found to improve memory retention and reduce brain damage caused by aluminium.18 Curcumin is also proven its effectivity in the Cd-mediated memory impairment.19
Cigarette smoking20 and alcohol consumption21 are widely spread habits and they are associated with a decline in cognitive function. Studies have demonstrated that curcumin possesses a strong neuroprotective effect on the brain and improves cognition deficits induced by smoke and alcohol.
Curcumin also protects from radiation induced memory deficits. It provides a potential useful radioprotective dietary component for human populations.22
Golden Milk Recipe For Memory
This recipe is the same as the Golden Milk for Arthritis recipe with one adjustment. Add a half tablespoon of black pepper while boiling the water. The rest of the recipe is the same.
200 grams raw turmeric
500 ml cow’s milk
2-3 tsp honey
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon powder
½ Tbsp black pepper
pinch of cardamom
whole nutmeg for grating
1. For making turmeric milk, thoroughly rinse the raw turmeric and set it aside to dry.
2. Pour one cup of water into a pot and place it over a hot flame. When the water boils, add a half tablespoon of cinnamon powder, the black pepper and 2-3 cloves. After 3-4 minutes add the milk to the pot. Continue boiling the mixture over a medium
3. Meanwhile, peel and grind the raw turmeric. Wear gloves or else the color of the Turmeric can stain your hands. Peel or scrape the turmeric like you would ginger. Chop the turmeric into small chunks so you can grind it easily. Grind the turmeric
finely. Transfer the ground turmeric into a bowl and set aside.
4. When the milk in the pot starts to simmer, reduce the flame and mix one teaspoon of ground turmeric into it. Let the milk simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Now the milk will turn a golden color. Strain it through a sieve. Mix two teaspoons of honey into the strained milk. Whisk the milk for a while to create froth.
5. Serve this milk in a cup and garnish with some powdered cardamom. Grate a little nutmeg into it. Your golden milk is ready to be served.
Anyone who has joint pain, arthritis and for those who do a lot of exercise, consume this relaxing, healthy and delicious golden milk to stay fit.
- Use almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk in place of cow’s milk.
- Use Turmeric powder (2 Tbsp) instead of ground Turmeric but using raw Turmeric is more beneficial.
- Store the peeled and ground Turmeric in ice cubes as well. Whenever you need to prepare milk, use one cube of stored turmeric.
- Use nutmeg powder instead of grated nutmeg.
- Drink golden milk daily to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as the symptoms develop. Make a habit of drinking Golden Milk at night before bedtime, two hours after dinner or one hour before dinner to improve your memory and concentration power in a healthy and tasty way.
1 Priyavratt Sharma Dravyaguna Vigyan part2, Chwkhambha bharti Academy 2005 pg no 162-163
2 Dr R. K. Sharma, Agnivesha’s Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana Volume 1 chapter 1,verse 107, page no 56, Chaukhambha Prakashan 2017
3 KAA 106: Ayurvedic Herbology Dravya Guna Karma Shastra 2015 Kerala Ayurveda Academy
4 Ono K ,Curcumin has potent anti-amyloidogenic effects for Alzheimer's beta-amyloid fibrils in vitro, J Neurosci Res. 2004 Mar 15;75(6):742-50.
5 B M McGleenon , Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in Alzheimer’s disease, Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Oct; 48(4): 471–480.doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1999.00026.x PMCID: PMC2014378
6 Lee MS et al, Turmeric improves post-prandial working memory in pre-diabetes independent of insulin, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2014;23(4):581-91. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.24.
7 Nam SM et al ,Effects of curcumin (Curcuma longa) on learning and spatial memory as well as cell proliferation and neuroblast differentiation in adult and aged mice by upregulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor and CREB signalling , J Med Food. 2014 Jun;17(6):641-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.2965. Epub 2014 Apr 8.
8 Pyrzanowska J et al,The influence of the long-term administration of Curcuma longa extract on learning and spatial memory as well as the concentration of brain neurotransmitters and level of plasma corticosterone in aged rats, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 May;95(3):351-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.02.013. Epub 2010 Feb 26.
9 Yu SY ,Curcumin ameliorates memory deficits via neuronal nitric oxide synthase in aged mice, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Aug 1;45:47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.05.001. Epub 2013 May 8
10 Sun CY [Effect of curcumin on the learning, memory and hippocampal Ca+/CaMK II level in senescence-accelerated mice]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2011 Mar;31(3):376-80.
11 Sun CY Neurobiological and pharmacological validity of curcumin in ameliorating memory performance of senescence-accelerated mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Apr;105:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Feb 8
12 Belviranlı M, Curcumin improves spatial memory and decreases oxidative damage in aged female rats. Biogerontology. 2013 Apr;14(2):187-96. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013- 9422-y. Epub 2013 Apr 23
13 Cox KH ,Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population J Psychopharmacol. 2015 May;29(5):642-51. doi: 10.1177/0269881114552744. Epub 2014 Oct 2.
14 Xu Y et al,Curcumin reverses impaired cognition and neuronal plasticity induced by chronic stress, Neuropharmacology. 2009 Sep;57(4):463-71. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Jun 21.
15 Bhatia N ,Adaptogenic potential of curcumin in experimental chronic stress and chronic unpredictable stress-induced memory deficits and alterations in functional homeostasis. J Nat Med. 2011 Jul;65(3-4):532- 43. doi: 10.1007/s11418-011- 0535-9. Epub 2011 Apr 11.
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19 da Costa P Curcumin attenuates memory deficits and the impairment of cholinergic and purinergic signaling in rats chronically exposed to cadmium. Environ Toxicol. 2017 Jan;32(1):70-83. doi: 10.1002/tox.22213. Epub 2015 Nov 23.
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21 Yu SY Curcumin ameliorates ethanol-induced memory deficits and enhanced brain nitric oxide synthase activity in mice Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 1;44:210-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Mar 14.
22 Xie Y ,Curcumin ameliorates cognitive deficits heavy ion irradiation-induced learning and memory deficits through enhancing of Nrf2 antioxidant signaling pathways Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014 Nov;126:181-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.08.005. Epub 2014 Aug 23.