It’s not uncommon to drink a warm cup of milk before bed. It is, after all, what “grandma” always recommended for a good night’s sleep. But the newest trend is what’s called “Golden Milk,” which, ironically, is not milk at all (at least in the dairy sense).
Traditional Golden Milk is actually coconut milk, mixed with a special turmeric paste that gives it that nice, Turmeric is quickly rising as a superstar on the natural health list of best medicinal and therapeutic plants.
While anyone who cooks or likes to eat Indian food, knows how important turmeric is for curry dishes. This powerful plant has also been used for centuries for its medicinal properties—and there are many.
In fact, curcumin, the bioactive polyphenol contained within turmeric, have been shown in numerous studies to have over 150 potential medicinal and therapeutic properties, which according to a study published in Natural Product Reports in 2011, have been shown to support health and protect against a vast array of health conditions including lung and liver diseases, inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases
1. Turmeric Fights Inflammation
Curcumin is essentially one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in nature.Countless studies show that almost every chronic disease can be attributed to inflammation of some sort, which is what makes the curcumin in turmeric so special.Today, most people live on what researchers now term “an inflammatory diet” — any diet high in processed foods, sugars, and/or grains.
While diet is not the only cause of inflammation, it definitely plays a huge role in your overall health.And if you do nothing at all to change your current diet, drinking a cup of golden milk every night before bed can at least help offset the harmful effects caused by an inflammatory diet.In 2006, a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology, found that “curcumin can block inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.”
2. Turmeric Prevents Cancer
According to several studies, “curcumin in turmeric has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression—both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function.” Curcumin can also help in cancer cases, by essentially cutting off the blood supply (preventing the development of additional blood supply sources) that are needed for cancers cells to grow and survive.Curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer including the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) according to a recent 2013 study published in Cancer Prevention.
3. Turmeric For Liver Detox
Studies show that turmeric can improve the production and flow of bile, which makes it a powerful liver cleanser that can also help to rejuvenate your liver cells and hence, their ability to break down toxins.
4. Turmeric Vs. Alzheimer’s
According to Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, researcher and author of a study called, “Targeting Inflammatory Pathways by Dietary Spices for Prevention and Therapy of Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases,” turmeric is very helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, “Because Alzheimer’s disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, [and] curcumin has been shown to be effective against inflammation.Currently, there are clinical trials in progress at UCLA in which the effects of curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease are being tested.
5. Turmeric For Heart Health
There are numerous studies on the cardio-protective properties of turmeric.One study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that turmeric extract can actually reduce “post-bypass heart attack risk” by as much as 56 percent (7).Another study published in Nutrition Research, revealed that taking curcumin can be as effective as a moderate aerobic exercise training regimen for improving vascular function in postmenopausal women (8)—that’s not to say that you should ditch exercise for a daily dose of turmeric, however.Exercise is and always will be essential to a healthy body. The study just shows the power of this otherwise unassuming spice.
6. Turmeric And Overall Brain Function
According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population,” curcumin can improve memory and mood not only with just one dose, but as well, in just one hour! (9)Further, when taken for 4 weeks, the daily 400 mg dose of curcumin improved the participant’s overall working memory and mood, revealing a positive change in their “state [of] calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress.”
Turmeric is also helpful for:
- Healthy cell formation
- Immune support
- Wound healing (Johnson and Johnson even have curcumin-containing Band-Aid in India)
- Weigh management
- Cystic fibrosis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Muscle regeneration
One Last Thing About Turmeric…While turmeric is certainly proving to be a powerhouse medicinal, it has also been found that in order to improve its bioavailability (how well your body can use the therapeutic benefits of the spice) you also need to add black pepper and a healthy fat.