You may already love turmeric because of its earthy taste that adds a distinct flavor to curries and other ethnic dishes, but it also has powerful medicinal properties that can naturally improve oral and dental
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that makes it such a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb. (1) This is extremely important, as inflammation is a root cause of many health conditions, including stomatitis, gingivitis, and periodontitis. (2, 3)
To be clear, this drink will not cure gum disease or gingivitis, but it can improve symptoms while you work to get to the root cause of the condition with your dentist’s help. In fact, nearly 12,000 studies have been conducted to measure circumin’s health-boosting potential, with at least one showing that it’s as effective, if not more so, than pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories. (4, 5)
And if you’ve ever been in pain after taking a big bite of too-hot pizza, this golden milk recipe can soothe those burns, as well as any other trauma to the oral mucosa.
While you can always supplement with turmeric or curcumin to reap these amazing benefits, I find it’s easier—and tastier—to just add more turmeric to your diet. With origins in Ancient India and Ayurvedic medicine, this Golden Milk recipe is a delicious way to fight oral inflammation and provide relief for swollen gums.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients and their health benefits:
Coconut Milk—In an animal study, results suggest that coconut milk has anti-inflammatory properties, which are likely a result of the medium-chain triglycerides it contains. (6)
Black Pepper—contains piperine, which helps the body absorb the incredible benefits of turmeric. Piperine is also a phytonutrient that may fight dental inflammation on its own, while also suppressing the growth of bad bacteria. (9)
Cinnamon— Ranks number one out of 26 popular spices for its powerful antioxidant properties. (10) It also lowers swelling and inflammation throughout the body, helps with pain management, and is helpful for preventing infection in the gums. Although it has some powerful properties, cinnamon should only be used in increments and not for long periods of time, as its strong bactericidal effects can alter the oral microbiome.
Cardamom—kills bad bacteria in the mouth, while also stimulating salivary flow and helps cleanse the teeth. (11)Read Next: The 12 Best Foods to Eat if You Have Gum Disease Print
Dr. Burhenne’s Golden Milk
This warm, comforting drink is a perfect after-dinner nightcap. I also love it first thing in the morning, as it doesn’t have any of the acidic or staining qualities of coffee. In fact, turmeric can actually help remove extrinsic dental stains.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2-4
- 1 cup full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- dash of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon turmeric paste (recipe below)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- couple drops of stevia
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Turmeric Powder
- Heat coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in oil, ginger, turmeric paste, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, and stevia.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until everything is evenly combined.
- Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Bring water to a simmer. Stir in turmeric. Simmer for a couple minutes, stirring constantly and dissolving any lumps.
- Turn off heat. A thin paste should have formed. Add a little more water if paste is too thick.