Monday, May 01, 2017

Golden Milk, or, How to Beat your Genes

My father and his mother had Alzheimer's, so statistically, I am at risk. My mother's family had heart disease both rheumatic (not genetic) and other which is a combo of genetics and lifestyle, so statistically, I am at risk. I have osteoarthritis in both knees which is quite severe and painful, and in my hands and a few other places. So, I often read up on how to keep these problems at bay and how to cope with them. There are sorts of things that various scientific and pseudoscience sources tout, and then there is what my doctors say.

My doctor said I should take 800 mg of ibuprofen twice a day for my knees. It's a LOT of ibuprofen; ibuprofen has been shown to injure the heart muscle which scares me, and I took it for nearly a year. There was immediate improvement, but over time, it seemed to stop working. I went off it for a few weeks and felt that the pain and stiffness was worse, so I went back to taking it. Immediately I felt a big difference for the better, but after a few more weeks, the effects lessened. I started looking for something else, since knee replacements are not possible right now.

Then I read about turmeric which supposedly helps with inflammation as well as ibuprofen, does not not harm the heart muscle, and has the added benefit of protecting against Alzheimers disease. The capsules are pretty expensive, and you take four at a time several times a day. The fresh root is the most potent, but very hard to find and I kill all plants, so the ground spice is what I'm focussing on.  I found several recipes for golden milk which is spiced sort of like chai, but with milk instead of tea, and with the addition of turmeric.  I decided to add some black pepper to assist with the turmeric's medicinal properties, and some coconut oil for the Alzheimer's.  I'm going to play some more with this recipe, but this is what I did last night and it was delicious! I drank it before bed and this morning, my knees seem less stiff and painful, so maybe, just maybe, we have a winner here.

Golden Milk
2 C milk - plant or animal based; I used cow's milk because that's what I had in the fridge
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 star anise
4 cardamom pods
1 heaping tsp of freshly grated ginger (don't bother to peel, just use your microplane and grate)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs honey (I use local honey which helps with my allergies)
1 heaping tsp coconut oil

Stir it all up in a 2 C pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 2 minutes, stir well, and microwave for another minute till steaming hot.

It really was delicious, and although this was meant to be two servings, I drank the whole thing. Yes, it was that good!  Once the milk is gone, I'll try it with unsweetened almond milk and maybe maple syrup - the real stuff, not that brown sugar water.

I don't think the star anise or cardamom pods are necessary for medicinal purposes, though the pepper is, so I think they could successfully be left out and it would still be delicious. I love fresh ginger, and always have a few knobs in the fridge, but you may not have it lying around.  I will try it with ground ginger and see how that affects the flavor. I really only use ground ginger when making gingerbread, so mine is probably old and should be used up anyway.

And, now, off to the salt mines!

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