An herbalist shares a simple golden milk recipe to enhance your wellness routine

It wouldn’t be cool, nice season without a warming drink in our hands. There is something about wrapping all ten fingers around a beautiful ceramic vessel that means maximum comfort. And as evidenced by Camille’s new lifestyle brand, Casa Zuma, when we weave an element of intention into these moments of seasonal bliss, we create the rituals that nourish us—mind, body, and soul. Today herbalist and holistic chef Rachel Musquiz shares the golden milk recipe that serves as the foundation of her wellness routine.

Rachel is no stranger to a busy on-the-go lifestyle. Before becoming a chef, she spent a decade in New York City and Los Angeles, working with major beauty and media brands while also earning her Masters. As much as she loved it, the hustle and bustle left her feeling burnt out. Through research, travel and educating herself in the ancient traditions of Ayurveda, Rachel began to heal herself from the inside out.

Today, she practices a food-as-medicine mindset, and this is one of the primary principles of her work. Rachel is the creator behind it Turmericthat offers Ayurvedic-inspired products to help people create healing, healthy foods, beverages and dishes at home.

We chatted with Rachel about all things holistic healing, Ayurveda and of course her favorite golden milk recipe. Keep reading to learn how to prepare the grounding elixir, its benefits, and why Rachel loves sipping it throughout the day.

What is golden milk? Can you share a bit of its history?

Over 5000 years ago, Ayurveda was established as the original holistic approach to health. Known as the “sister science” of yoga, indigenous sages outlined the principles of Ayurveda, which used food, herbs and lifestyle to target the root cause of disease. It was the first preventive approach and has been the source of other holistic medicine, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Modern medicine takes a different approach, focusing on curing or treating a health problem, often with prescription drugs and surgery.

Ayurveda was India’s primary medical system until colonialism in the 1880s, when the British banned Ayurvedic doctors from practicing. Indian women kept Ayurvedic traditions alive in the kitchen, consciously using spice blends (masala) to keep their families healthy. These healing recipes have been passed down for generations in the form of kitchari, curry and haldi doodh (aka golden milk).

Haldi Doodh is the traditional Hindi name for the perennial Ayurvedic remedy (haldi = turmeric, doodh = milk). But whatever you call it, the goal is to make turmeric as delicious as possible so you’ll enjoy it often. Both the fresh root and the powder are used in Ayurveda, and this drink is typically served as a potent remedy for colds, flu, digestion and postpartum recovery. Recently, science has proven that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and when consumed regularly, it can improve heart health, prevent Alzheimer’s and cancer, and help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

What are the health benefits of golden milk?

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been shown to help:

  • reduce inflammation
  • increase immunity
  • improve digestion
  • increase vitality

When do you usually drink golden milk?

It can be enjoyed at any time of the day!

  • Morning: add an immune booster to your daily coffee or try it as a coffee alternative
  • Recovery after exercise: golden milk’s anti-inflammatory properties support recovery
  • Evening: the drink’s sedative properties can lead to better sleep

What does golden milk taste like?

Golden milk tastes like chai, but it’s more earthy than spicy. Chai is black tea combined with spices such as ginger and/or cloves. Golden Milk has ginger, but it’s more subtle.

What type of milk is best to use in golden milk?

Dairy milk is difficult for many people to digest, so I always recommend a dairy-free alternative. Original Fronks is always my favorite – a simple blend of almonds, cashews, dates and sea salt. I also like the cream of coconut and oat milk.

What spices and flavors are typically found in golden milk?

Turmeric is the main ingredient along with other warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper, always! Pepper activates turmeric to make it more bioavailable. Without black pepper, you miss out on many of the benefits of turmeric.

What should we look for when buying turmeric?

Sourcing is the most important thing when buying turmeric. You should put the same level of intention into buying spices as you would for supplements, superfoods, and skin care. We source Lakadong Turmeric from Diaspora Co, whose mission is to build a better spice trade. This heirloom has 9.2% active curcumin! Their Pragrati Turmeric is around 5% and slightly milder in taste.

Most of the turmeric you find in the grocery store has been steamed so it can stay on the shelves for months (and sometimes years!). Not only does this create a bland taste, but it reduces the active curcumin to less than 2%. The last few years have also exposed how Indian farmers have been exploited and not paid fairly.

Scroll on for Rachel’s golden milk recipe, and if you make it, be sure to share your thoughts!

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