What Exactly Is Golden Milk And What Does It Taste Like?

Turmeric is a golden yellow spice that comes from turmeric plants. Its root contains a chemical called curcumin which gives food items, like mustard and some cheeses, its bright yellow hue. 

Turmeric is the main spice in Indian recipes like curry. Its flavor is often described as "warm" and "bitter" (via WebMD). Turmeric is also known for its health benefits, which may include fighting inflammation, preventing oxidative damage, improving brain health and function, reducing the risk of heart disease, helping prevent and treat cancer, relieving pain associated with arthritis, and improving one's mood (via Nature's Path). Additionally, the spice has been used in a therapeutic manner for hundreds of years, as well as in Ayurvedic medicine, which is holistic medicine with roots in India. In fact, turmeric is thought to have a role in "strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, aiding in the digestive process, and helping with regular menstruation" (via National Center for Biotechnology Information).

That said, The New York Times notes that there is not enough research to confirm turmeric's true health benefits. Still, with all of these purported qualities, it should be no surprise that turmeric has made into mainstream wellness and health trends in the form of a beverage called golden milk.

Turmeric: Golden milk's secret spice power

Golden milk can best be described as a drink that starts off as a hot, steamed, dairy-free milk – think almond, cashew, or coconut milk — which is then mixed with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, maple syrup, and a dash of pepper (via Downshiftology). It tastes comforting, and some have described it as being similar to eggnog (via ICONIC Protein). 

While some sources have called it a Western variation of the traditional Indian Haldi doodh, Bon Appetit notes that golden milk is not really all that much like this ancient Indian cure-all. Haldi doodh uses hot dairy milk and turmeric, while the Western rendition of the drink has turned into more of a coffee shop special with its addition of other spices, sweetener, and specialty milks — but it's a tasty version nonetheless that still has many health benefits thanks to the super spice powers of turmeric.

Nature's Path recommends making this sweet, spicy, and flavorful tasting concoction with coconut milk because of coconut milk's concentrated medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which are said to help decrease inflammation. These MCTs coupled with the addition of black pepper's ability to boost metabolism makes golden milk a must-have in the healthy beverage arsenal.