Turmeric Milk That Calms Inflammation

The warming effect turmeric milk has on the body puts you right to sleep and it's delicious.

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 Turmeric Milk 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 has been shown to:

  • ease arthritis pain, due to its 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)

Turmeric Milk
Yield: 2 servings

Turmeric Milk

The warming effect turmeric milk has on the body puts you right to sleep and it's delicious.


  • 2 cups coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 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


1. In a saucepan, add all ingredients (except honey, if using) and whisk to combine.

2. Heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble.

3. Then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors meld.

4. Strain out the ginger.

5. Add honey and stir.


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.

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

Turmeric Spice Blend

Turmeric Spice Blend

Make a big batch of this turmeric spice blend and keep on hand to make a tasty cup of turmeric milk.


  • 3 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp powdered ginger


1. In a small jar, combine all ingredients.

2. Cover the jar and shake to combine.

3. To use, mix 1 teaspoon of the powdered mix with 1 cup of milk.

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Watch how to make the turmeric milk recipe video below.

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


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169 Replies to “Turmeric Milk That Calms Inflammation”

  1. 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. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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!

          1. 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.

          2. This is for everybody talking about the tumerick milk. Remember that Tumerick thins your blood. And for you vegans out there, your blood already thinner than most peoples’. So take caution! Taking something at bedtime that thins your blood , when your blood already thin, might not be wise. Most people eat meat, which is not natural, so really their blood is actually too thick. But, what would be the result of thinning your blood when it’s already as thin as it’s supposed to be??? Possible hemorage…. Possibly in the delicate vessels of the brain?
            Probably a nice antidote to someone that eats a lot of meat, and very fattening sweets that have butter and cream and cheese in them. And, if they have heart disease. But for vegans I would not suggest it.

    1. And this is Gayle again. I also meant to post that I think this writer of this website….her name I can’t remember right now?, is doing a great job! I love the way you write/(she writes). The information is really good! But, God puts people there, to help out some times, who may know something you don’t know and I hope when I have my website functional & productive ( it’s brand new. I haven’t written the first article yet) that someone will chime right in if they see something that warrants comment.
      Eat right, think right, love right!!!

  3. 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. 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.

    1. Hello, I noticed some recipes call for coconut oil, do you ever use this? I tries it last nite with the oil but just didn’t care for the oil base. What do you think?

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

  8. 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. I just made this for the first time. I used raw whole cow’s milk. AMAZING!! Thank you for such a lovely recipe 🙂

  10. 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?

  11. 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

  12. 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

    1. Laura, you can change up the recipe to your tastes. If you don’t like ginger, then feel free to omit it. Add some cinnamon instead!

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

    1. The company Natural Value sells organic coconut in BPA free cans – I buy it at my local Co-op. And thanks for the great recipe!

    2. Natural Value brand coconut milk is in a BPA free can and I don’t believe it has any added ingredients, just coconut. 🙂

  14. 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?


  15. 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…

    1. 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.

  16. 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! 🙂

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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???

  20. 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.

    1. 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!

  21. 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: https://365daysofcelibacy.com/attachment/day-60-warm-morning-beverages-bad-dreams-and-heart-swelling-love/.
    Anyhow, this drink looks lovely! Thanks again for the recipe!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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!

  27. 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

    1. Maybe the pain-relieving properties could help the lingering side effects from chemo that have my hips aching! I’m going to give this a try.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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?

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  32. 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

    1. 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!

      1. I love this idea of subbing in bone broth, but I can’t find any without carrot, celery or parsley (I’m allergic to almost every plant in that family, which is just so wrong). My daughter was cooking down chicken bones in the crock pot for me, but I’d love another suggestion if you have one.

        1. You could just go with the plain chicken broth from Kettle & Fire, their brand tastes the best: realfoodrn.com/bonebroth. Otherwise, I would just go with what your daughter is making, flavor it with salt and garlic to make it a bit tastier 🙂 Hope this helps!

  33. Can I use fresh tumeric in this recipe instead of the powder? If so, how much do you recommend using?

  34. 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

  35. 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. 🙂

    1. I don’t think there is a daily limit. But as with everything, moderation is important. I am breastfeeding right now and I drink it every night. I am drinking it right now actually!

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

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

  39. I just made this and was surprised how peppery it is. But after the first drink, I really liked it. I made up a batch of mix in a jar to use a spoonful each night.

  40. Does anyone know if drinking golden milk can stain your teeth yellow? I want to try it but my teeth are yellow enough!

  41. This is FANTASTIC !!! Thanks for another GREAT healthy alternative recipe. we have Not been let down on any of the recipes we have sampled on your recommendation. i love the idea of” adding to” your diet as a way to get healthy not through deprivation.

  42. This was AMAZING! I started with 1/2 tsp turmeric since I have never had before and I had seen some comment on another page that it might cause stomach distress…it was soooo yummy! I cannot wait to have the 2nd cup tomorrow 🙂 I am just beginning the process of balancing vata…warm foods and this was so comforting!

  43. Has anybody developed yellow staining on their teeth after drinking this? If turmeric stains everything else it touches I would imagine the teeth will be the same.

  44. Would this be helpful for asthma? It seems every winter,my asthma is getting worse! I hate depending on my inhaler and short doses of prednisone! )-; any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  45. Hi,

    This really sounds wonderful. Also, just wanted to note that there may be a misspelling in your little picture with the coup and spoon – just below “Gut healing’ – it says “Sleep Promiting” – I think it should be “Sleep PromOting’? Keep the great ideas coming.

  46. I’ve seen a few different recipes like this. Question: does the milk have to be simmered and why? Thanks.

  47. I know I am way behind. However, someone mentioned that pepper could irritate. just wanted to mention that you need a small amount of pepper heated with the turmeric to be able to release all the good ingredients. I think the protein in the milk helps with absorption. You can drink it in the morning too. It’s healthy. I cut down on the milk – dairy and non dairy as I find it too many calories. I also don’t use honey as I’m cutting out sugar as much as possible. I want milk with my coffee. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for even more benefits. Just watch it as it can get hot very fast and I don’t mean temperature. Thanks.

  48. Do you use canned coconut milk? If so, how much of the solid fat do you use vs the liquid? Any ideas for leftover canned coconut fat?

  49. Depending on the person; you really have to be careful combining tumeric and ginger together. It can have an adverse affect like causing your heart to beat very rapidly because they both help the blood move fast in your body. This is what happened to me using both a small piece of fresh ginger root and tumeric in a smoothie drink.

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