Turmeric Milk

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Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN

Turmeric milk is a traditional Indian and Ayurvedic beverage that is typically drunk before bed. Similar to what we do here in the States with warm milk before bed. Although, I never really enjoyed warm milk before bed as a kid, I sure do enjoy this delicious beverage. The warming effect it has on the body puts you right to sleep!

I chose to add ginger to my recipe to further enhance the anti-inflammatory properties (especially for the digestive tract!). Honey is optional as a sweetener…but it does also add more medicinal properties! I use coconut milk because it is full of healthy fats and contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Turmeric has many beneficial healing properties and have been shown to:

  • ease arthritis pain, due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties
  • help the liver detoxify by enhancing liver function, and also enhances the flow of bile (aka gallstone prevention!)
  • boost blood circulation, and also thins the blood (CAUTION to those already on a blood-thinning medication)
  • heal and soothe the digestive tract, and even help prevent ulcers due to the antiseptic properties
  • reduce the pain and fever associated with illness


A host of scientific investigations have also looked at the ability of curcumin to fight cancer. Curcumin kills several types of cancer cells in the laboratory. In animals, curcumin prevents or slows cancer in the skin, breast, liver, fore-stomach, duodenum and colon. Curcumin also has anti-angiogenic properties; translation: curcumin seriously slows new blood vessel formation in tumors, causes asphyxiation of tumors and thus preventing their growth and metastases. (source)

Here is how to make this delicious healing beverage:


  • 2 cups coconut milk (or milk of your choice) — where to find
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric — where to find
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (the absorption of turmeric is actually enhanced when combined with black pepper)
  • 1″ piece of ginger sliced
  • raw honey to sweeten, if desired — where to find

*Note: If you have an ulcerative intestinal problem, omit the black pepper as it can be problematic with ulcers. Black pepper can even make small cuts in the bowels of people with Crohn’s disease 


  • In a saucepan add all ingredients (except honey, if using) and whisk to combine
  • Heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble
  • Then turn heat down to low and simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors meld
  • Strain out the ginger
  • Add honey and stir
  • Makes 2 servings, so you can share the love

Here’s how I keep it on hand for ease of use:

In a small jar combine:

  • 3 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp powdered ginger
  • Cover the jar and shake to combine
  • To use: Mix 1 teaspoon of the powdered mix with 1 cup of milk

Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN

Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN

Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN

Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN

Watch this great video for more info:

Do you have a bedtime ritual that helps you get to sleep? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

CLICK HERE to Pin this recipe

Turmeric Milk (dairy free) | Real Food RN


  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303705
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20214562
  • http://arunshanbhag.com/2009/06/05/turmeric-milk/
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
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  1. says

    This is great – I have been reading a lot of turmeric milk and although I make a point to regularly cook with it, I have yet to make this! I am going to try it – Thanks :)

  2. Stevie says

    Going to try this tonight! Yum! I’ve been using turmeric in my Good Earth Sweet & Spicy tea, with a splash of cream…but this looks so delish!! Thanks for the recipe!

      • Edith says

        I use 2 tablespoons of raw honey with Sleepy Tea before bedtime to encourage a good night’s sleep. Will this much honey affect the usage of Turmeric Milk. Can’t give up the 2 Tblsn Honey.

        • says

          I think the honey is a great addition. However, honey does seem to keep me up if I have it later at night. It gives me a boost and then I won’t fall asleep right away, but that is just my experience. Go for it!

          • Edith D. Smith says

            Thank you……I am an “early to bed person” but also “early to rise”, so perhaps the honey I take at my bedtime helps me sleep without the boost. I will try this Turmeric Milk soon.

  3. Michelle says

    Can you use ground ginger? I live far away from a store and I’m not going out tonight to get any fresh ginger. I also don’t have any coconut milk…….I only have whole raw milk.

  4. says

    i took the turmeric, ground ginger, and added cinamon – sauteed it in coconut oil. Really releases the oils in the spice. Then added almond milk.I had some of the sweetened kind in the fridge. My 15 year old thought it was kind of a grown up variation on hot chocolate.

  5. Maureen says

    Is Tumeric milk different than golden milk, I see above that you simply combine ingredients and then ad to milk for the T. Milk and with golden Milk you cook the spice first. Different, yes?

  6. Raine says

    I’m wondering if you erred in listing your ‘jar’ ingredients. 3 tablespoons of turmeric equal 9 tsps. ??? According to your basic recipe that would mean you need to add 2 1/4 tsps. of black pepper to the mix. Anyway, I will try this milk. I use a lot of turmeric in cooking primarily for it’s health benefits and this sounds delicious. Since I don’t eat sugar in any form, I will sweeten with pure stevia. Thanks!

  7. Lil Rinaldi says

    Thank you for sharing! I will be trying this tonite! I love tumeric, I use it on just about everything. Love coconut milk!

  8. Desiree says

    Looks great, but I would question the black pepper, as it is a gastric irritant, which might be fine to have a little at mealtimes, but maybe not going to bed as your body is trying to wind down.

  9. Tami says

    Love it! I just made it for the first time. Is this something you should drink nightly? Although coconut fat is good for you, it’s still fat. I use coconut milk, water and oil in my morning smoothie. Should I be concerened about the fat content?

  10. Janey says

    Hi :) I don’t know if I will get a response to this as in: know if you say anything back) but, I just wanted to say that I might do it all in my vitamix? And then strain it? (the ginger) I make all my own nut milks, so I cannot wait to try this for myself and also my niece who is having troubles with her back atm due to being national level ice skater <3 thank you sooo much for this recipe :) xx

  11. Laura says

    i used to drink wanrm unsweetend almondmilk and adedd vanilla, cinamon and natural sweetner but this sounds better! i do have a question i really dislike ginger would the benefisial difrence be to much if i omitt it?

    ps. sorry for the spelling mistakes… it´s kindda like my weak spot

  12. ecobabY says

    Do you have any recommendations for coconut milk not in a BPA can and without added ingredients (I know, a lot to ask!)

  13. says

    I’ve been making this off and on for a while. I wanted to find an easier way to make it. What can you tell me about the health benefits of powdered ginger vs fresh?


  14. says

    Another Ayarvedic bed-time practice that I really love is to massage coconut oil into the soles of the feet right before you get into bed. It feels so delicious, when you lay down there’s a lovely warm, tingling sensation in the legs. You can also massage oil into the scalp before bed…

    • says

      I don’t count calories, its about nutrient dense foods. When you have a beverage that is thief high in healthy fats you naturally eat less. Fat is satiating.

  15. says

    This really sounds delicious Kate! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I am experiencing slight hot flashes, so I will omit the ginger and add cinnamon and vanilla paste to mine. I too make my own fresh nut milks; almond and hazelnut. I will definitely try the coconut milk one day too. What a fun recipe to play around with! Yaay! :)

  16. Charlotte says

    This is amazing! I’ve been trying to find a way to get a beneficial amount of turmeric/ginger/black pepper into my daily diet and this is definitely it! My husband even liked it! I “sauteed” the spice mix into a bit of coconut oil for a little extra oomph, mixed it with a blend of Silk Coconut and Silk Almond milks (both unsweetened), a dab of honey, and it was perfect! Think I’ll add a bit of cinnamon, too.

  17. Damy says

    One can also buy raw turmeric from from Asian shops , peel and eat, lot of juice…turmeric has an inflammatory properties and so will heal the throat and other parts of the body . turmeric can also be applied to cuts to stop blood loss.

  18. Sandi says

    I recently had emergency bowel surgery and was diagnosed with Crohn’s. I can no longer use anti-inflammatories to control my arthritis. I will definitely give this a try. Question: Since I lost 2 1/2 feet of intestines, a lot of high fat food pretty much runs through me quickly. Coconut milk, too. I guess I can try the coconut milk in the dairy case???

  19. Barbara says

    I’m using raw cow milk hence the question. Can I just mix all the ingredients and drink it without boiling? Is the boiling necessary for releasing the healing properties of turmeric and other ingredients? Thank you for the reply.

    • says

      The heating is necessary, but you will still get some medicinal benefit without heating it. You could try a very low heat for longer. Milk intact, nutrients blended!

  20. says

    I’ve been wondering how to get more Turmeric into my diet. This milk looks soothing and delicious—a lovely before bed treat! Thank you for this recipe!
    Last winter I made a warm morning concoction using my own raw almond milk recipe and superfoods, which you can find in the beginning part of this ridiculously long blog post: http://365daysofcelibacy.com/attachment/day-60-warm-morning-beverages-bad-dreams-and-heart-swelling-love/.
    Anyhow, this drink looks lovely! Thanks again for the recipe!

  21. Tiffany says

    I made turmeric ginger cinnamon tea last night. I added fresh ginger too, and didn’t strain it, oh the scandal. It was really tasty at the end of my tea. I am going to go try this. I might add some cacao. Emily Rose, when my kids are sick, we have a rice day or two. Well Sunday night, may be nerves, may be a stomach bug, one of them got sick. Monday night, we had rice made with turmeric, onion, and garlic cooked in beef stock (I didn’t have chicken or veg). It was good. Last night, the kids asked for yellow rice again, I made it with water and just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. When it is done I always add coconut oil and Himalayan salt. They loved it. It is such a versatile flavor that I am going to try it in everything, especially everything ginger is in since they are cousins.

  22. Jessica says

    I started drinking Turmeric aka Golden Milk since you posted this in October and LOVE the benefits!! My son and husband passed around a NASTY cold. My husband got the worst of it, because he wanted none of my “VOODOO” and decided it would be a wonderful idea to go fishing in freezing rain while sick. He ended up with bronchitis (knocking on pneumonia), sinusitis and an ear infection. My youngest son refused to drink the golden milk cause it just looked too gross (age 11) and ended up with bronchitis and sinusitis, but my 13 year old son has a more open mind. He began getting sick and guzzled this with me until his symptoms went away.

    I didn’t get sick at all. Maybe a tickle in my throat if I skipped a day or two, but nothing major and I am ALWAYS the one that has to go get medicated by the Dr!!! My seasonal allergies have not bothered me one bit since I have been drinking this and this is my bronchitis season! The arthritis in my hands has gone away, and I notice a BIG difference in my digestion when I don’t drink it (in a negative way).

    I mix my turmeric & ginger, in Organic milk, without the black pepper, but add cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves. I also add a drop of organic peppermint oil, a touch of coconut oil and honey to sweeten. It is delicious!! Sometimes I even put it in my coffee instead and it tastes awesome!!

    Thank you so much for posting this on your blog and linking it to your FaceBook page! I am a devoted follower and now a devoted Golden Milk drinker!

    • says

      This seriously made my day! I am so happy to hear that you have had such a great experience drinking it! Thank you for being a devoted follower :)

  23. Leslie says

    I’m so glad I found this post. I’ve started making a nightly drink using almond milk, turmeric, and Penzeys Baking Spice which contains cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves. I love it especially during this cold winter we are having…..warms you right up.

  24. Maryann Davis says

    Delicious! I used Flax milk and it was wonderful. This is a very flexible recipe but Turmeric is an amazing spice for health!

  25. says

    Hi Kate! I’ve been following your tips on Facebook for a while, and I’m really eager to try this recipe. I was wondering, could I use raw turmeric for this? If so, how much would you recommend? I’ve never used raw turmeric before, but I saw it at the grocery store last week and picked some up on sale. Not sure how much to use though. Thank you!

  26. Carol says

    This is great as a pain reliever. When pain from my hip, knee or ankle is too much, I drink this and am pain free for hours

  27. Leslie says

    Love this! I make mine with almond milk. I add cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom. When I have holy basil (tulsi tea works great) I add that too. I drink it at night (very soothing) and in the morning. Along with the other attributes, it helps me focus, gives me energy (not jitters).and satisfys cravings.

    To use with raw milk, why not make it ahead and let it infuse if one does not want to use heat?

    I look forward to trying this with coconut milk, thanks Kate!

  28. Erica Denner says

    I make mine with almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, a dash of cayenne pepper & honey. I have always liked chai & this is very much a chai-like drink.

  29. Carol Blue Jenckes says

    I have Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis and stocked up on turmeric and ginger. I still haven't chosen a milk product because I can't drink milk. I'll try the coconut milk and pray it works!

  30. Sylvia says

    This is a great tasting combo although the second night I tried it, I had an awful night of stomach discomfort with vomiting and diarrhea. I researched a bit and discovered that turmeric intake is associated with aggravation of gallbladder dysfunction and is best avoided in the setting of bile-duct obstruction. Hmm . . . so now what? I know I have some gallbladder issues and have done the cleanse several times but didn’t realize I have an obstruction. What do you think? Could I start with smaller amounts? I am also pregnant and want to keep my liver/gallbladder running smoothly. Any advice?

    • says

      I would avoid it if you are pregnant and it is causing issues. You do not want to have an emergency gallbladder removal surgery when pregnant!

      • Sylvia says

        Thank-you, Kate. Do you have other ideas of how to assist the gallbladder during pregnancy? I really do want to avoid surgery if at all possible!

  31. Kim Jeter says

    Perfect! I stumbled across your blog after making faux cornbread from realhealthyrecipes blog. I thought it was great but my significant other hated the coconut in it.
    Ack I bought a case of coconut milk to use in recipes! I'm so glad I found this recipe. Now I have a way to use my coconut milk and turmeric. I can't use hardly any turmeric in cooking because he thinks it tastes like perfume.
    BTW I'm an RT just south of PDX

    • says

      Awesome! I have a TON of coconut milk (a Christmas gift was a case of the stuff!) and have been making everything coconut lately :) I hope you enjoy the turmeric milk, we drink it every night. Sometimes I sub bone broth for the coconut milk for even more healing properties!

  32. says

    This an amazing recipe. Tried it tonight have been afraid because it just sounded like to many strong flavors. Needed something for a swelled ankle and can not take anything else do to health reasons . Thank you

  33. Laura says

    Is there a limit on how much to drink per day? Is it fine while breastfeeding? I also love that you included a recipe to mix up in advance. I mixed it up last night and am excited to have it ready to make quickly. :-)

  34. Portia Boesen says

    Thanks for your healing milk drink and all the advice. Im taking a sirmilar health drink at night. I use milk and add tumeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper,, cardamom and coconut oil. Then heat up in the micro oven and add honey afterwards; taste great!

  35. says

    Thank you for your healing drink and advice. I drink a similar health drink at night. I add tumeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cardamom and coconut oil to a mug of milk and heat it up in the micro oven. Then I add honey and it taste great!

  36. Karla says

    Hi Kate,
    For the recipe that you included to make ahead, would you heat that up once the dry ingredients & milk have been combined?

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