turmeric chai latte

How to make a healing turmeric chai latte

As we know, autumn is the perfect season for pumpkin spice lattes. 

If you’re like me, it’s hard not to crave one at this time of the year. 

I love that there’s something uniquely soul-satisfying about sipping and savoring the comforting tastes of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mug on a cold, blistery day. 

I’ll ask you: what’s not to love about a velvety smooth and delicious latte?

Well, there’s another warm bevvy that is just as good, or possibly even better than your favorite pumpkin spice latte. And the bonus: it has awesome healing properties. 

Once overlooked, this lesser known hot and creamy drink is now becoming very popular. 

What is it, you ask? 

Without a doubt, it’s the aromatic, golden turmeric chai latte. Not only is super delicious, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn it’s very good for you.

To begin, turmeric, the deep golden spice, comes directly from the earth. And it looks similar to ginger root but smaller in size. Maybe you’ve seen turmeric root in the grocery stores next to fresh ginger.

Most notably, did you know that turmeric has very powerful healing and grounding properties?

For example, turmeric has the core medicinal compound curcumin which relieves joint pain. It heals and repairs wounds, reduces inflammation, purifies the blood, detoxifies the liver and strengthens the digestive fire or agni which according to Ayurveda must always burn bright to function properly. Agni references how strong your digestive system is. That is, ideally you want “normal” bowel movements (i.e. no chronic diarrhea, constipation, bloating or gas). 

With my Indian heritage, I know first hand how Indians use turmeric to heal pretty much any ailment, including cuts, scrapes, bruises and aching or arthritic joints. In fact, it’s quite common to add turmeric to many Indian dishes. 

Above all, turmeric is most definitely not the new kid on the block when it comes to root spices. Notably, you can trace its healing properties back over many ancient civilizations.

Now, the scientific studies on turmeric and curcumin are finally catching up to what many Eastern cultures have intuitively known for centuries. If you’d like to learn more about the many positive benefits of curcumin on human health, check out this PubMed article for more reading. 

Of course, if you enjoy Indian food, you likely know that turmeric is added to many dishes. You’ve probably enjoyed the golden spice in curries, lentils, stir-fried veggies, paneer (cheese) dishes, biryani dishes (aromatic rice) and many more. And you can most definitely add it to your favorite chai latte. 

Given that turmeric has been around for centuries, we shouldn’t find it surprising that the turmeric chai latte is, in fact, an ancient drink. And the Western world is just beginning to discover it. In your favorite coffee shop, you might have heard another name for a turmeric chai latte: Golden Milk. And maybe you’ve seen it’s becoming quite trendy! Now you know why. 

I have memories of my grandmother making it for family members who weren’t well, or as a warm, comforting natural sleep aid before bedtime. My mother makes it routinely too. 

You don’t need to experience the incredible taste and benefits of a turmeric chai latte at a coffee shop. Simply put, a turmeric chai latte is easy to make. I’ll share a my favorite recipe, which is the real deal:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or any plant-based milk, or regular milk if you can tolerate it)
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric (or finely grate 1 inch of fresh turmeric, peeled)
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A small pinch of black pepper (which helps with the absorption of curcumin)
  • Raw honey to taste (optional)

Boil the milk, stir in the turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. 

Just pour into your favorite mug and add a bit of honey to taste. Enjoy!

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