Our family loves this golden milk recipe and it’s a favorite in our home. I used to mostly drink chamomile or green tea for their health benefits. But this tea with its earthy golden spice is perhaps an even more powerful (and soothing) remedy. Turmeric tea has been a staple in ayurvedic medicine for centuries. And golden milk is a tasty way to get the health benefits of turmeric!
Turmeric Golden Milk
You’ve probably encountered turmeric in Indian or Asian dishes. It’s easily recognized by its bright yellow (and I mean very bright yellow!) color.
Called haldi doodh in India, traditional turmeric tea is simply made with milk and turmeric. More modern versions of golden milk add everything from maple syrup to oat milk. Prepared this way with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger, even my kids love the flavor. It tastes similar to chai, but this particular recipe doesn’t contain cardamom.
We have this turmeric tea several times a week, depending on the time of year and what sounds good. I love drinking it, especially before bed. Golden milk aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.
Benefits of Golden Milk
Golden milk is more than tasty. Consuming turmeric supports digestion, immune function, and liver function. It may even offer protection from some types of cancer. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties make it popular for joint pain. It’s also been shown to protect heart and cardiovascular system health.
This tea maximizes the natural antioxidant power of turmeric because it’s served hot. We’re also combining it with other beneficial spices and a little bit of fat for better absorption.
There are several variations on how to make turmeric tea (given below). But here’s what you need to get the full benefits of turmeric. Heat, the turmeric itself, add fat for absorption, and black pepper to activate the turmeric.
Start with this base, and adjust spices and sweeteners to your satisfaction!
Which Milk to Use
Traditionally turmeric tea is made with hot cow milk. If your family is able to tolerate it, grass-fed whole milk adds a nice creamy flavor. Non-dairy milk options include almond milk, cashew milk, pecan, and oat milk. Coconut milk (not the canned kind, but this recipe) is another option that adds some healthy fats. Some people use plant-based soy milk, but it’s not something I personally use or recommend.
It won’t be as creamy, but you can even make this recipe with plain water instead of any milk at all. Bone broth is another great option for the base and you can omit the sweetener if you use broth. If you don’t use milk or broth, consider adding a tiny amount of some kind of fat (like butter or coconut oil) as it increases absorption.
Feeling really brave? Try using camel milk instead!
Golden Milk Recipe (Turmeric Tea)
- Place all the ingredients (except the peppers) in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
- Stir in the pinch of black pepper and cayenne pepper if using.
- Drink immediately.
- Turmeric has a natural, vibrant yellow color and may stain blenders and countertops. The color will eventually fade, but making a thick paste of baking soda and water and scrubbing the stain can help.
- This pre-made turmeric ginger broth is a perfect option if you choose to make this tea with bone broth.
Golden Milk Shortcuts
If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time you make tea, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add them to warmed milk when ready.
Option 1: Dry Golden Milk Mix
- 1/2 cup ground turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 TBSP ground ginger
- ½ tsp cayenne (optional)
To use, add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups warmed milk of choice.
Option 2: Golden Turmeric Paste
Another reader, Rose, also shared this variation (thank you Rose!):
In a stainless steel pan, combine water, turmeric, and black pepper. It should make a thick paste. Cook and stir for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
To use, whisk 1 teaspoon of Golden Paste into 2 cups of warmed milk of choice. Add molasses, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to taste.
Turmeric Tea FAQs
This recipe has gained popularity over the years and I’ve received a few (hundred) questions about it. I created this list of commonly asked questions to address the most asked ones:
Where Do You Get Turmeric?
I order turmeric in bulk because I use it in many spice blends, beauty recipes, and this golden milk. Look for one that’s organic, non-irradiated, and has curcumin. The brand will often specify a percentage. I’ve ordered this one on several occasions.
For an even more convenient option, one of my favorite brands, Organifi, makes a delicious ready-made turmeric drink mix. It’s packed with superfoods to help with sleep, improve your immune system, and relax at night.
What If I Don’t Like Turmeric/Pepper/Tea?
This might still be worth a try, as it doesn’t taste like any of those. The black pepper is important here since it has piperine, a compound known to increase the benefits of turmeric.
Can I Omit the Honey/Maple Syrup?
Of course. I find it helps mellow out the strong flavor of the turmeric, but it’s not necessary. You can also use blood sugar-friendly stevia or nutrient-rich blackstrap molasses to get the benefits.
Can I Get Turmeric in my Diet Another Way?
Sure! But this is the tastiest in my opinion. If you aren’t into golden milk lattes or don’t want to take the time to drink them, just add the ingredients to any food, or take alone. For instance, throw some turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil on some roasted veggies to accomplish the same thing.
I Have ___ Health Condition or Am Pregnant/Nursing. Can I Drink This?
I always recommend talking with a doctor before consuming any natural remedy. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports it’s safe to cook with turmeric while pregnant and nursing. However, they caution turmeric supplements shouldn’t be taken without a doctor’s advice. Turmeric can interact with certain medicines.
Since golden milk has turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you’re pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition. Talk to someone who knows your situation before making a decision.
Can Kids Drink Turmeric Tea?
I give small amounts to my kids. Turmeric is a spice after all! They love the taste and love to help make it. But check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns before drinking this.
This Stained My Counter/Blender/Cup. What Do I Do?
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the stains aren’t harmful and will fade over time. The bad news is that it will take some time. Using a baking soda water paste to clean the stain can help.
Can I Make a Big Batch and Keep it in the Fridge?
Sure! I’ve made up to half a gallon and kept it in the fridge. I find I enjoy it cold too, but you can also reheat it in a small saucepan. This turmeric lemonade is another delicious version to have on hand
Can I Use Fresh Turmeric Root?
Yes! It wasn’t often available where I used to live, so I used dry for this recipe. To use fresh, grate a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root into the recipe. This accomplishes the same thing. You may also want to strain it using a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining pulp or pieces.
This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board-certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
How do you use turmeric? Share your uses below!