Turmeric and cinnamon are thought to be two of the most powerful spices on the planet. Combined, they make a potent elixir that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. Golden milk is made by simmering dairy or non-dairy milk with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and other spices. The resulting drink is a rich, creamy, and anti-inflammatory powerhouse that is perfect for sipping on, any time of day (3). Curious about what happens when these two spices team up? Keep reading to learn all about the possible benefits of golden milk and how to make your own at home.
What’s In Turmeric And Cinnamon Tea?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in Indian cuisine for centuries. Its main active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions (9).
Cinnamon is a sweet and warming spice that has also been used medicinally for centuries. Its main active ingredient, cinnamaldehyde, is a potent antioxidant which may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (2). However, not all cinnamon is the same, and the form you use can make a big difference in terms of its health benefits.
Cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is the most common type of cinnamon sold in the United States. It’s what you’ll find in most supermarkets, and you can identify it by its dark reddish-brown color and spicy taste.
Cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin, a compound that can be toxic in large amounts. According to the European Food safe authority, cassia cinnamon can cause liver damage if consumed in large quantities. It’s also a carcinogen— meaning it can potentially cause cancer (4). Don’t worry about normal day-to-day use, but you may want to avoid consuming excessive amounts of cassia cinnamon.
On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true” cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka. It’s lighter in color and has a milder, sweeter flavor than cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon contains much lower levels of coumarin, making it a safer choice if you’re looking to get the health benefits of cinnamon (4).
Note that research on the health benefits of cinnamon uses the extract which is a potent source of the active compounds. Most powders you’ll find in the spice aisle at your grocery store aren’t as concentrated as a quality cinnamon extract. You can get cinnamon extract in capsules or liquid form at most health food stores.
The turmeric and cinnamon tea recipe also contains the following spices that serve crucial functions:
- Black pepper – our bodies are unable to utilize curcumin efficiently (the active ingredient in turmeric) on its own. Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperine that helps increase the bioavailability of curcumin (9).
- Coconut oil – curcumin is fat-soluble, meaning it is best absorbed by our bodies when consumed with fat. Coconut oil is a source of fat that helps increase the absorption of curcumin and pairs well with the other flavors in golden milk (7).
- Ginger – ginger is a warming spice with powerful anti-inflammatory and nausea-reducing properties. It’s the perfect addition to this recipe if you’re looking to soothe an upset stomach (6).
To make golden milk, you will need (8):
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated or minced, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, and finely grated or minced, about 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- 1 pinch cardamom, optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons raw honey, to taste, optional
- Add all ingredients except for the honey or maple syrup to a small saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once the mixture has reached a simmer, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and strain liquid (if you had used fresh ginger and turmeric, this step is not optional).
- Add honey or maple syrup to taste.
- Serve immediately.
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Benefits Of Turmeric And Cinnamon
Turmeric and cinnamon tea is a delicious and easy way to incorporate these two powerful spices into your diet. When consumed on a regular basis, this tea is thought to offer a wide variety of health benefits.
1. May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response from our immune system that helps us heal from injury or infection. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it is associated with a variety of health problems like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Turmeric and cinnamon are both potent anti-inflammatories that might help reduce chronic inflammation (10) (4). Studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, gingerol, the active ingredient in ginger, and cinnamaldehyde, the active ingredient in cinnamon, all have anti-inflammatory effects.
2. May Boost Cognitive Function
Turmeric and cinnamon tea might also help improve cognitive function. Curcumin has been shown to improve working memory and mood in healthy older adults by at least one randomized controlled trial (3).
Cinnamon has also been shown to improve cognitive function. One study showed that cinnamon improved attention span and working memory in a group of young adults. Another study found that cinnamon improved cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (4).
3. May Improve Digestive Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and cinnamon tea are thought to encourage a healthy gut microbiome that’s essential for digestion. Turmeric has been used traditionally for the treatment of various digestive ailments including dyspepsia, abdominal pain, familial adenomatous polyposis, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer (10).
In addition, cinnamon extract is said to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
4. May Protect Against Infection
Turmeric and cinnamon tea may also help protect against or fight infection. Based on test tube studies, curcumni may have anti-microbial activity against specific pathogens.
In addition, cinnamaldehyde extract has been shown to reduce the growth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast that can cause infections, although not as well as antifungal drugs (2).
5. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Turmeric and cinnamon tea may also help lower blood sugar levels. Ginger has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which helps our bodies better regulate blood sugar levels (6).
Cinnamon has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the uptake of glucose into cells and stimulating cellular glucose metabolism, at least in test tube and animal studies (2).
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6. May Prevent Cell Damage
Turmeric and cinnamon tea may also help prevent cell damage. Curcumin has antioxidant properties, which means it can potentially protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress (3).
Cinnamon has also been shown (in a test tube) to reduce the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), a type of molecule that contributes to cell damage (4).
7. May Improve Mood
People who regularly consume turmeric and cinnamon tea often report feeling more energetic and happy. This may be due to the fact that curcumin can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are known to regulate mood. Circumin has been found to exhibit antidepressant action in animal models of depression (1).
8. May Reduce Risk Of Cancer
Turmeric and cinnamon tea may also help reduce the risk of cancer. Its rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may help protect cells from damage and prevent the formation of cancerous tumors (10) (2). Human studies are limited, but test-tube and animal studies have shown promising results.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about turmeric and cinnamon tea:
Q: Do Cinnamon And Turmeric Go Together?
Yes, they do. In fact, they complement each other quite well to make an ancient and powerful elixir called golden milk. This drink has been used for centuries in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments.
Q: What Does Turmeric Cinnamon Tea Taste Like?
Turmeric cinnamon tea has a warm, earthy taste with a slight bitterness. The addition of milk and honey can help to balance out the flavor.
Q: Is Turmeric And Cinnamon Good For Weight Loss?
Turmeric and cinnamon tea can be a helpful addition to a weight loss plan. The spices are said to help to boost metabolism and promote satiety. However, it’s important to remember that this drink should not be used as a replacement for healthy eating and exercise (10) (5).
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Q: Are There Any Side Effects Of Drinking Turmeric Cinnamon Tea?
Turmeric and cinnamon are both generally safe spices with few side effects. However, some people may experience gastrointestinal upset, such as bloating or gas. If you experience these symptoms, it’s best to discontinue use.
Q: Is Turmeric And Cinnamon Good For Inflammation?
Yes, turmeric and cinnamon are both excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which could be beneficial for preventing conditions like arthritis or heart disease (10) (2).
The Bottom Line
Golden milk is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, making it a great choice for those looking to improve their health. Try adding turmeric and cinnamon tea to your diet and see how it can help you achieve your health goals!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- An Overview of Curcumin in Neurological Disorders (2010, nih.gov)
- Cinnamon and health (2010, nih.gov)
- Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health (2017, nih.gov)
- Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient (2015, nih.gov)
- Cinnamon supplementation positively affects obesity: (2020, nih.gov)
- Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials (2020, nih.gov)
- Health Effects of Coconut Oil-A Narrative Review of Current Evidence (2019, nih.gov)
- How to Make Turmeric Golden Milk (2022, thespruceeats.com)
- Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers (1998, nih.gov)
- Turmeric, the Golden Spice (2011, nih.gov)