If you are suffering from arthritis, add this delicious add easy-to-prepare Golden Milk recipe to your diet.
The main ingredient in Golden Milk is turmeric. Turmeric contains a special chemical compound called curcumin. Curcumin is responsible for turmeric’s golden color. Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to the presence of this curcumin. It has shown to be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, arthritis of the knee and ankle, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis and fibromyalgia.
When taken along with milk, the effectivity of turmeric is enhanced and it also becomes tasty and palatable. It is safe for children and can be given as a complementary aid in treating juvenile arthritis.
According to Ayurveda, turmeric balances all the three Doshas of the body. By virtue of its hotness, it balances Vata and Kapha. Because of its dryness and its pungent and bitter taste, it balances Kapha dosha. Due to its bitterness, it balances Pitta dosha. It is considered a natural anti inflammatory.1
How Golden Milk Alleviates Symptoms Of Arthritis
Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin are natural anti-inflammatory agents.
In arthritis, the wear and tear of the joints ignites an inflammatory cascade which leads to a release of inflammatory enzymes, chemicals in the blood which increase the blood flow. This attracts the white blood cells to the sites of inflammation. The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint cause irritation, wearing down cartilage (cushions at the end of the bones), swelling of the joint lining (synovium) and inflammation of synovial fluid (synovitis) which leads to joint stiffness.
Curcumin inhibits the action of pro-inflammatory enzymes COX and LOX, unlike regular medications which inhibit only COX. Curcumin also does not cause any gastric irritation, which is a common side effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.2
In a study on female Lewis rats it was seen that Turmeric extract prevented local activation of NF-kappa B genes which cause joint inflammation, destruction and periarticular osteoclast formation.3 Curcuminoids also reduces C reactive protein (CRP) an important marker of inflammation.4
A recent study also demonstrated that a formulation of curcumin can inhibit inflammation in synovial fluid responsible for lubrication of the joint.5
The Immunomodulator Effect
In autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system starts to attack its own body tissue by producing autoantibodies. These autoantibodies attack its own tissue in the same way it would attack any infective organism. Curcumin present in turmeric inhibits the activity of these antibodies.6 Curcumin has an immunomodulatory effect. That means, it can regulate immune responses.7 It also inhibits activation of immune cells (T cells) and prevents them from spreading inflammation.8
A Potent Antioxidant Agent
Persistent increased oxidative stress leads to connective tissue degradation which is responsible for periarticular deformities of the joints in rheumatoid arthritis.9 One study showed that supplementation with curcuminoids attenuates systemic oxidative stress in patients with osteoarthritis.10
Effective Bone Protective Properties
Curcumin is a potent inhibitor of the production of inflammatory and catabolic mediators by chondrocytes, a type of bone cell.11 It has protective effects on the histopathological and degenerative changes in the joints similar to the steroid betamethasone.12 Curcumin protects the bone and joint from erosion in arthritis and prevents thickening of synovial fluid that lubricates the joint.
Curcuminoids prevent loss of bone tissue as it reduces the activity of osteoclasts (bone cells that absorb bone tissue) and maintains osteoblast function (cells that lay down bone tissue) thereby slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis.13
Curcumin prevents loss of articular cartilage (smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints and ensures joint flexibility) in osteoarthritis.14 In rheumatoid arthritis patients, curcumin reduces the osteoclast or bone absorption-like activity of cells.15
Excellent Anti-Arthritic Effects
Turmeric extracts contain 94% curcuminoids and three major curcuminoids are responsible for this anti-arthritic effect.16 In a study conducted on young patients with rheumatoid arthritis it was found that curcumin was well-tolerated, had no adverse effects and exerted an anti-rheumatic activity identical to that of phenylbutazone as shown by improvement in joint swelling, morning stiffness, and walking time.17 The level of CRP was suppressed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after curcumin administration.18
Another study proves that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of turmeric is superior to that of ginger and indomethacin (a pain killer) so it is considered to have beneficial effects against rheumatoid arthritis.19
In the case of osteoarthritis, 50 patients were given 200 mg of curcumin per day. It was seen that their walking distance increased and CRP levels significantly decreased.20
In a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of turmeric extract in osteoarthritic patients it was found that it can, alone or in combination with glucosamine sulphate, significantly reduce pain and also reduce the need to consume other medications generally prescribed as a treatment.21
Checks The Further Progression Of Arthritis
In the inflammatory condition of rheumatoid arthritis, the cells found on the lining of the joints begin to grow and resist cell death and thereby contribute to inflammation and joint destruction. Curcumin targets these cells, prevents them from producing inflammatory agents and at last destroys them.22
Curcumin increases the activity of proteins that causes apoptosis and simultaneously reduces the level of survival proteins.23
It alters the gene expression responsible for progression of arthritis. Curcumin has an impact on the gene expression of various molecular targets in order to regulate their activity.24 It acts on transcription factors, proteins that regulate conversion of genetic information, in order to deliver a therapeutic effect in arthritis.25
Curcumin inhibits epigenetic aberrations, errors which occur in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and thereby prevents the progression of arthritis.26
Stops Sepsis In Arthritis
Curcumin has a broad spectrum anti-microbial activity. It inhibits the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi. It has a synergistic action with antibiotics and potentiates their activity and so it is thereby beneficial in reducing sepsis in arthritis.27
Curcumin prevents inflammation occurring on the skin in psoriasis from spreading to the joints in psoriatic arthritis. Traditionally turmeric is used in treating various skin disorders and has proved effective.28 In psoriatic arthritis, curcumin reversed the rate of cell death which is common in this condition.29
Better Alternative For Analgesics And NSAIDS
One study found curcumin’s anti-inflammatory activity was stronger than prednisolone during the acute phase of the experimentally induced arthritis.30
Curcumin extracts are as effective as the painkiller ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis with an added advantage that curcumin is safer for the stomach than ibuprofen.31
In a clinical study, the curcumin treated group showed the highest percentage of improvement significantly better than the patients treated with diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not show any adverse effects. Another study proves that curcumin employed as an adjuvant therapy with diclofenac has a superior beneficial effect on arthritis than diclofenac alone.32 Curcumin has a synergistic effect when combined with celecoxib (NSAID) in treating osteoarthritis and related disorders.33
Overcome The Side Effects Of Modern Anti-Arthritic Drugs
Anti-arthritis drugs such as Methotrexate prescribed commonly at low doses for treating arthritis has major side effects associated with liver toxicity. Curcumin when administered with this drug overcomes this side effect. It protects the liver by reducing the oxidative stress caused by the drug and has a synergistic anti-arthritic effect.34
Benefits Of Other Herbs Used In Golden Milk Recipe
- Cinnamon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective in reducing pain linked to arthritis.35
- Clove has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects so it aids in reducing arthritis pain.36
- Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a pain reliever.37
Golden Milk Recipe
200 grams raw turmeric
500 ml cow’s milk
2-3 tsp honey
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon powder
pinch of cardamom
whole nutmeg for grating
1. For making turmeric milk, thoroughly rinse the raw turmeric and keep it aside to dry.
2. Pour one cup of water into a pot and place it over a hot flame. When the water boils, add a half tablespoon of cinnamon powder and 2-3 cloves. After 3-4 minutes add the milk to the pot. Continue boiling the mixture over a medium flame.
3. Meanwhile, peel and grind the raw turmeric. Wear gloves or else the color of the turmeric can stain your hands. Peel or scrape the turmeric like you would ginger. Chop the turmeric into small chunks so you can grind it easily. Grind the turmeric finely. Transfer the ground turmeric into a bowl and set aside.
4. When the milk in the pot starts simmering, reduce the flame and mix one teaspoon of ground turmeric into it. Let the milk simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Now, the milk will turn a golden color. Strain it through a sieve. Mix two teaspoons of honey into the strained milk. Whisk the milk for a while to create froth.
5. Serve this milk in a cup and garnish with some powdered cardamom. Grate a little nutmeg into it. Your golden milk is ready to be served.
Anyone who has joint pain, arthritis and for those who do a lot of exercise, consume this relaxing, healthy and delicious golden milk to stay fit.
You can use almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk in place of cow’s milk.
You can use turmeric powder instead of ground turmeric but using rawturmeric is more beneficial.
You can store the peeled and grounded turmeric in ice cubes as well. Whenever you need to prepare milk, use one cube of stored turmeric.
You can also use nutmeg powder instead of grated nutmeg.
1 Priyavratt Sharma Dravyaguna Vigyan part2 ,Chwkhambha bharti Academy 2005 pg no 162-163
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34 Banji DSynergistic activity of curcumin with methotrexate in ameliorating Freund's Complete Adjuvant induced arthritis with reduced hepatotoxicity in experimental animals Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 1;668(1-
2):293-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.06.006. Epub 2011 Jun 16
35 Pasupuleti Visweswara Rao Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant 2014; 2014: 642942.Published
online 2014 Apr 10. doi: 10.1155/2014/642942 PMCID: PMC4003790
36 Parle Milind , Clove- A Champion Spice IJRAP,2011,2(1) 47-54
37 HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF NUT MEG (MYSTICAFRAGRANS HOUTT) International Journal of
Pharmacy Review & Research Vol 4 | Issue 1 | 2014 | 64-67.