As someone who struggles with insomnia, I'm always trying new sleep remedies and teas to help me get a little more rest at night. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't, but I've long been hearing that making a hot cup of something called golden milk before you drift off for the night is the way to go. Apparently, one of its main ingredients, turmeric, helps you sleep, but in a way that doesn't leave you feeling totally groggy and miserable the next morning.
BTW, even if you haven't heard of golden milk before, just know it's not actually anything new. The beverage has been made and consumed in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries.
Anyway, along with sounding like a beverage that might be served at Hogwarts, golden milk promises a variety of health benefits, thanks to its anti-inflammatory main ingredients. Your classic cup of golden milk, like this one from Epicurious, is going to contain warm coconut milk mixed with delicious ingredients like turmeric, cinnamon, coconut oil, and peppercorn. Sounds like a nice little elixir to pop on the stove come evening, doesn't it?
For real though, the turmeric in a mug of golden milk is the real star of the whole recipe, at least from a scientific standpoint.
Turmeric is most commonly considered an anti-inflammatory because of a chemical compound it contains called curcumin.
Anti-inflammatories essentially act to reduce swelling in your cells and joints, which in turn may help relieve physical pain you may feel in your body. While there's not a ton of scientific research out there on the specific benefits associated with turmeric or curcumin, a 2013 study showed positive healing results for patients taking turmeric for a variety of illnesses, including Crohn's disease, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Anecdotally, turmeric is considered to help with an even wider variety of health issues that range from acne, to depression, to, yes, insomnia! Hence, the celebrated nighttime cup o' golden milk.
So, is a warm mug of golden milk really the answer to your sleeplessness?
Well, we can't really say for sure. It seems pretty clear that more controlled studies need to be done before any experts can truly confirm, or even fully understand, how the curcumin compound in turmeric could be responsible for so many lovely health benefits and potential cures, as well as what the best way is to ingest it in order to reap its maximum effects.
As for making a cup of golden milk a regular part of your self-care routine before bed to help your slumber? It's believed that part of the reason why the beverage helps your journey to dreamland is a result of the many benefits of turmeric that might particularly and directly affect your ability to fall asleep. Some of those benefits — like lowering your blood sugar levels and improving your digestion — all help contribute to making the process of sleep easier and better. Not to mention, a hot cup of anything before bed can be simply cozy and relaxing, amirite?
On top of that, the other ingredients in golden milk are pretty darn good for you, too.
Cinnamon is also believed to be an anti-inflammatory, and coconut oil (an optional, but tasty ingredient you can add to your golden milk) helps your immune system and cell repair, to name a couple benefits. And if you want to get super experimental with your golden milk recipe, you can add a little ashwagandha, which is thought to help with stress and fatigue.
I don't know about you guys, but I think this all sounds delicious, so I'm definitely willing to add a cup to my evenings for a while. I'll let you know how it goes.