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Kate's Golden Turmeric Milk

This bedtime drink is a joy to share. It is absolutely delicious, and can transform your sleep to be more restful and healing. It is both medicine and dessert in one. 

You will see two recipes below: One is the Classic Golden Turmeric Milk that is time tested and the second is my preferred variation with Chamomile Tea. For those with lowered agni or who have a tendency to wake with sinus congestion or lethargy, the Chamomile version is lighter to digest and still soothing and delicious.  

Turmeric is the best medicine in Ayurveda. It cures the whole person.
— Dr. Vasant Lad

This tea can benefit anyone regardless of dosha though the ratio or water/tea to milk may need adjusting. Kapha-types do best with less milk, Pitta and Vata with more. Nut milks, ideally homemade, work as well but they tend to do less well with heat and so should not be boiled, only warmed. 

Turmeric, the golden powder that gives this drink its color, has been highly revered in Ayurveda for thousands of years and is now touted for numerous health benefits by modern medicine as well. Turmeric is warming and can suit all three doshas in moderation. Turmeric is useful in relieving pain, improving circulation, and stimulating agni. A simple google of "turmeric health benefits" shows the popularity of this simple root.

Nutmeg calms the nerves, reduces pain, and induces sleep. It is sweet, astringent, and heating. In significant doses it can be used to control though not cure diarrhea. 

Milk here indicates cow's milk that is organic, full fat, and as close to raw as you can find it. Water buffalo milk would also make a fine drink. Milk is considered cooling and heavy. When boiled it becomes more readily digestible and with spices can be enjoyed by Vata and Kapha types in moderation. Milk, when digested well, can benefit ojas, the vitality & immunity of the body. It is not to be mixed with other foods such as fruit, leafy vegetables, fish, sour things, or salt according to Dr. Robert Svoboda. 

Chamomile flowers are sweet and drying. They are soothing to an upset stomach, calm the nerves, and help lull you to sleep. 

I encourage you to notice how your sleep changes when you enjoy this drink in the evening. This drink is especially well suited to those who are fatigued, exhausted, or past the age of 60. One of my clients who had been challenged with sleeping through the night for many years, started drinking this nightly and exclaimed "I'm sleeping through the night; it's a miracle!". 

While this beverage is intended for 45 to 30 minutes before bed, one could enjoy it as a relaxing afternoon snack too. 



*I use a mug as my measuring tool here because who wants to create more dishes than they need to before bed? 


golden turmeric tea - ayurveda

Makes 1 serving. 

  • 1/2 a mug of water
  • 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers (or one tea bag)
  • 1/2 a mug of milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • nutmeg
  • preferred sweetener

Combine water and chamomile in a small pot and bring to boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Strain tea into a mug and rinse pot. Add milk and turmeric to pot and bring to low boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour milk into tea and stir. Add desired sweetener and top with freshly grated nutmeg.  



Makes 1 serving. 

  • 1/4 mug of water
  • 3/4 mug of milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • nutmeg
  • preferred sweetener

Combine water, milk, and turmeric to pot and bring to low boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into mug, add desired sweetener, and top with freshly grated nutmeg. 



Ayurveda: Life, Health, & Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda and Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha & Vasant Lad