The real ‘gold’ in golden milk

Heeral Shivnani/Staff

For years, Indian homemakers have been offering their young ones a simple golden-hued drink, termed in Hindi as “haldi doodh.” This served as a simple technique to soothe even the harshest of throat aches, lessen body pain or aid in reducing fever. Today, cafes across the globe are taking this South Asian homemade remedy to a whole new level of fancy. No longer is the recipe a basic cow milk-based turmeric tea, but it now serves as a nontraditional concoction with nut-derived milk instead. In addition to that, there’s a whole new wave of attention on using “fresh turmeric-root juice” instead of the usual dried and powdered version.

While the idea of this being some kind of cultural appropriation heated up in Internet conversations, we got to thinking about something else. In all the modishness of the new latte, does it even end up rendering the same purpose and effectiveness as does the classic haldi doodh ?

image1 (1)

Devina Kalwani/Courtesy

According to the 5,000-year-old science of Ayurveda, raw milk is most easily digested when boiled first, then cooled. Not surprisingly, this is the way this drink is originally prepared as well — giving you the benefits of milk’s calming and grounding effects while evading its potential to increase mucus production.

The addition of cardamom in the traditional spice mix naturally enhances the sleep-inducing effect of both turmeric and milk. On the other hand, along with lending a stronger shade of gold and a subtle sweetness to the drink, swirling in a pinch of saffron will further heighten its consumptive benefits. The most expensive spice in the world surely can be used to induce sweat and reduce your cold as well!

IMG_4063 (1)

Heeral Shivnani/Staff

In the book “Eat Right For Your Body Type” too, British-Indian food writer Anjum Anand notes that Ayurveda sees benefits for all body types upon consuming cardamom, saffron and turmeric in moderation. This science, which looks at how a particular edible impacts the balance of elements in your body, has indeed given the classic golden milk a clear green signal from all views.

So if the prospect of finding fresh turmeric, in order to make the homemade version of the fancy latte yourself has lately seemed bothersome, know that for generations it was the dried form being used in South Asian kitchens. And thankfully, little kids to senior humans have been getting rid of the flu just fine.


Devina Kalwani/Courtesy

Indeed, curing the problem from the (to be precise, yellow) root for college-going kids is far more convenient and cost-efficient than it’s often portrayed to be. Perhaps it’s time for the the world to realize that the so-called “golden milk” is merely a stylistic take on a much more utilitarian and handy version of tonic.

So fellow Bears, enjoy brewing it the real “golden” way!



Contact Heeral Shivnani at [email protected].