It wouldn’t be the chilly, cozy season without a warming beverage in our hands. There’s something about wrapping all ten fingers around a gorgeous ceramic vessel that signifies peak 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 is sharing the golden milk recipe that serves as the foundation of her wellness routine.
Rachel’s 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 big beauty and media brands while also earning her master’s. As much as she loved it, the hustle left her feeling burned out. Through research, travel, and by educating herself in the ancient traditions of Ayurveda, Rachel began healing herself from the inside out.
Today, she practices a food-as-medicine mindset, and it’s one of the primary principles of her work. Rachel is the creator behind Curcuma, offering Ayurvedic-inspired products to help people create healing, healthy foods, drinks, 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 on it all throughout the day.
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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” to yoga, indigenous sages outlined the principles of Ayurveda that utilized food, herbs, and lifestyle to target the root cause of disease. It was the first preventative approach and has been the source for other holistic medicine, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Modern medicine takes a different approach with a focus on curing or treating a health problem, often with prescription drugs and surgery.
Ayurveda was the primary medical system of India until colonialism in the 1880s, when the English prohibited Ayurvedic doctors from practicing. Indian women kept Ayurvedic traditions alive in the kitchen, intentionally 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 longtime 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 frequently. Both the fresh root and powder are used in Ayurveda, and this drink is typically served as a potent remedy for colds, flu, digestion, and postpartum recovery. More recently, science has proven that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and when consumed regularly can improve heart health, prevent against 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 proven to help:
- reduce inflammation
- boost immunity
- improve digestion
- increase vitality
When do you usually drink golden milk?
It can be enjoyed any time of the day!
- Morning: add an immune boost to your daily coffee, or try it as a coffee alternative
- Post-Workout Recovery: golden milk’s anti-inflammatory qualities support recovery
- Evening: the drink’s calming properties can lead to better sleep
What does golden milk taste like?
Golden milk tastes similar to chai, but it’s more earthy than spicy. Chai is black tea combined with spices like ginger and/or clove. Golden milk has ginger, but it’s more subtle.
What type of milk is best to use in golden milk?
Dairy milk is hard to digest for many people, so I always recommend a dairy-free alternative. Fronks Original is always my favorite—a simple blend of almonds, cashews, dates, and sea salt. I also like the creaminess 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 a lot 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 in sourcing 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 variety boasts 9.2% active curcumin! Their Pragrati Turmeric is about 5% and slightly more mild in flavor.
Most of the turmeric you find at the grocery store has been steam-treated so it can sit on shelves for months (and sometimes years!). Not only does this create a bland flavor, but it reduces the active curcumin to less than 2%. The last couple of years have also exposed how Indian farmers have been exploited and are not being paid fairly.
Scroll on for Rachel’s golden milk recipe, and if you make it be sure to share your thoughts!