Covance Cynical Trials Turmeric Chopping Board

Cynical Trials: Turmeric Milk

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Hi, I’m Ruth! I’m not a Scientist, just a regular girl sharing her adventures in modern day remedies! All opinions are my own, and do not represent Covance. My dabblings in quackery do not constitute a Clinical Trial!

It’s a Sunday night, and I am full of cold. Well, not quite full of it – I have that swollen, sore, itchy feeling in the back of my throat, the roof of my mouth and behind my nose which tells me it’s in the post. My sinuses feel inflamed.

The good news is I’ve been reading up on a natural ingredient which helps with inflammation!

Covance Cynical Trials Turmeric RootWhen I first started investigating the perceived benefits of turmeric, I was trying to find out whether it could help to increase my overall energy levels – and I will write more about this in my next Cynical Trials blog. But I also learned that turmeric has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, and was used in Ayurveda for treating colds and sore throats. Feeling a bit poorly gives me a great opportunity to test out these properties, and to try out the recipe which I’ve had knocking around for a week or so now…

Here’s the recipe I’d copied out:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (opt)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (opt)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Grated ginger


After assessing what was available in the kitchen on a Sunday night, here’s what I actually made:


  • 2 cups semi-skimmed milk*
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil**
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed spice (which contains cinnamon)
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Finely chopped ginger***


*I had planned to buy some almond milk later in the week, but my need to shift the cold overrode my need to get the recipe spot on.
**I have loads of coconut oil left over from all the oil-pulling I haven’t been doing, but a tablespoon seems like an awful lot. I would have added honey, but the jar I pulled out of my cupboard smelled a bit funny and had a suspect black ring around the rim.
***Where’s my spice grater when I need it!?


One by one, I added the ingredients to my pan of simmering milk. When it comes to the turmeric, I open the jar and take a deep sniff (my nose is clear, despite the pain in my throat). The smell takes me straight back to the Delia Smith curry my Mum used to make and fake tan from The Body Shop – neither of these is a bad thing by any means, but it is an inherently earthy, savoury smell. Once it’s mixed in with the warm milk, coconut and spices though, my kitchen smells sweet and homey, cosy. The milk has gone a lovely, custardy yellow. I’m actually quite looking forward to this!

Covance Cynical Trials Turmeric Milk

With high hopes, I decant my brew into an oversized mug, nestle into the couch and take my first sip.

It’s a lot like a mild Thai curry sauce. I LOVE Thai curry. But not to drink from a mug.

But I have to keep going – as I watch my cold remedy cool, the ground spices start to settle on the surface like sediment, and the coconut oil is congealing into a thick yellowy skin. I start taking big gulps before the situation becomes really dire. It’s not the end of the world – it doesn’t taste awful. It’s just not what I expected!

Oh no! I forgot about the ginger! It’s gathered right at the bottom of my mug, so in the last few gulps I encounter dozens of solid little lumps. I really should have thrown a few mushrooms in and just called it Tom Kha Soup!
Afterwards, I do experience a modicum of pain relief – for the first time in hours, I can breathe comfortably through my nose without it feeling sore and irritated. But I wake in the morning and my cold is not gone. Oh bother.

I’m definitely intrigued by the medicinal properties of turmeric – I’m willing to try it again to see if I can avoid the worst of this cold, and I would love to know if it can have a greater effect on my general health. But if I’m going to do this I will have to tweak the recipe!