Turmeric Milk: The Magical Concoction to Fight Colds, Coughs, and the Flu

Turmeric Milk – what used to be a simple homemade concoction to alleviate symptoms of a cold, including sore throats, coughs, and milder forms of the flu, has finally caught on in the United States (just like coconut oil and coconut water, both of which, those of us in South India have been using long, long before it ever showed up on the radar of Western health gurus).

My mother has always been a big advocate for natural ways of healing one’s sick body, from the inside out, if you will, and every time I tell her that I or one of the kids or Aaron is showing symptoms of a cold, the first thing she says is to make Turmeric Milk. As with most things homemade or I guess, not scientifically tested, I have often rolled my eyes at what is my mom’s predictable cure for all ills. Her recipe is simple – turmeric powder, milk, and rock candy or as we call it in Maharashtra, khadi sakhar (खडि साखर). I am not against making this but given that making TJ drink this is a real struggle and Aaron is noncommittally reluctant to taste it, I just didn’t have the energy to make it just for myself. Also, not having rock candy sugar handy was a convenient excuse.

Ingredients List
Turmeric Milk: Ingredients

It all changed last night when I got tired of the entire family, and I mean ALL of us, sniffling and coughing, and snorting, and sneezing. After the kids went to bed, I set out creating my own version of what I will call a “magical concoction” starting with turmeric milk as my base idea. I figured this recipe may or may not work but I wanted to create it and see how it works or does not. After all, I DO believe in the healing power of turmeric and I am theoretically all for natural methods of healing one’s body without drugs.

So below is what I conjured up last night. I made myself a cup and one for Aaron and MADE him drink it. He called it “spicy” because of the pepper but even if he does not admit that drinking this was the reason, he did have a restful night. He had one bout of coughing just before he went to bed but after that, he slept through the night. I slept really well too and did not have a single cough.

Why not give this a shot? Every ingredient is natural. The best thing that will happen is, it will alleviate your cough and other symptoms of a cold. At worst, the taste will be an unusual one. Big deal. Go for it! Literally, nothing to lose.


Ingredients for making Turmeric Milk

Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Turmeric – 2 Tablespoons (Tbs., you may up the quantity to make the flavor stronger).
Ginger – Grated – 1.5 Tbs
Jaggery (a kind of cane sugar) – 1 Tbs (you may add more to make it sweeter/jaggery is not as sweet as regular sugar) – I used Jaggery Powder 1Lb
Cinnamon – 1 tsp
Pepper – 1/8th tsp (you may add more to make it more peppery, if you like)


  1. Heat Milk and Water 1:1 in a small pot on medium.
  2. After about 2-3 minutes of heating (pre-boiling), add the turmeric, grated ginger, jaggery, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle pepper and stir.
  5. Allow to boil. Turn off the stove once the turmeric milk rises.

Next, use a small sieve to strain the contents from the pot into cups. I like this one sold by Amazon – HIC Fine Mesh Tea Strainer Set, 18/8 Stainless Steel, 2.5-Inch

Strain the contents out and pour yourself a warm and healthful magical concoction that is known to work wonders for sore throats, coughs, and cold-induced raspy voices. Enjoy!

Note: You can buy turmeric and jaggery at any Indian grocery store. Amazon sells them too.


Turmeric Milk

Mummy in a Tutu
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A former Communication Studies professor turned a somewhat reluctant stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I blog about my adventures raising two multiracial kids. I write about parenting and living a multicultural Indian-Canadian-American HinJew life with honesty, a few tears, lots of laughter, and gallons of coffee.
Blogger at: www.thephdmama.com
Follow me: @thephdmama

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  1. What an interesting home remedy. I hadn’t heard of it before, though I had heard that turmeric has many positive health properties. I will keep this in mind next time we’ve got colds. My family loves Indian flavours so we might even like the taste. My husband is making a chicken curry right now and it smells so good. 🙂 #foodiefriday

    1. I am so happy you like Indian flavors. Yay!
      Turmeric Milk, depending of course on how much of it you add to the milk, will have a distinct rooty-turmeric flavor. It is quite obvious. My husband liked the beverage except for the pepper which he thought was a little strong for him but that is an easy fix.
      If you don’t have the energy to put all the ingredients in, even just turmeric powder, milk, and rock candy/sugar will suffice. The turmeric is the main healer here. Ginger tea with actual grated ginger in generous portions is also really good for sore throats and colds. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Oooo what a great idea for a home remedy – my mother would love this!!
    Thanks for linking to #foodiefriday

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