TURMERIC: potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant

 

In recent years, turmeric, or, as it is sometimes referred to as curcumin (the

the main active compound in turmeric) has gained immense popularity in the western world. The root of the turmeric plant, (Curcuma longa) has been used both as a spice and for its notable medicinal properties, in India and Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It is often associated with Ayurveda and a key ingredient in various curries and dishes throughout the region. Turmeric has also been used as a dye with a beautiful yellow hue. With this newfound popularity in the west and various claims of the health benefits of turmeric, many studies have been conducted to better understand the impact of curcumin on the human body. In Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, Susan J. Hewlings and Douglas S. Kalman have assembled 66 different studies on curcumin in order to provide an overview of the ways that humans can benefit from the bright orange roots of this plant. In their conclusion, they state that, “ Research suggests that curcumin can help in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and subsequent performance in active people. In addition, a relatively low dose can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions.” They find that many of these benefits stem from the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric. Besides their findings on the specific conditions that curcumin can be helpful in treating, turmeric’s ability to bring down inflammation in the body is very important for overall health. New studies have found that many diseases are first linked to chronic inflammation inside the body. As a strong antioxidant, turmeric can help your body fight "free radicals" which can contribute to aging and disease. This golden root is a powerful force and we're happy to have turmeric on our team!⠀

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ASHWAGANDHA: adaptogenic, immune support

 

Ashwagandha has become more widely known in recent years, but this herb has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for at least 3000 years. Categorized as an adaptogen, ashwagandha contains properties that help your body manage stress and anxiety. Adaptogens have been categorized as  “a … class of metabolic regulators which increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors and avoid damage from such factors.” In A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults, Ashwagandha was found to lower levels of cortisol in the study of participants over a 60 day period as well as reduce self reported stress levels on all scales. Besides new findings in stress and anxiety reduction, Ashwagandha is anti-inflammatory, has been linked to lowering blood sugar levels, and has been studied for its benefits as an “antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, antidepressant, cardioprotective, thyroid modulating, immunomodulating, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, cognitive enhancing and hematopoietic agent.” We love working with Ashwagandha and love the many benefits this plant is able to offer us which is why we included ashwagandha in our formula.

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GINGER: promotes healthy digestion

Ginger is one of the most long-standing and commonly used spices around the world (1). “Indians and Chinese are believed to have produced ginger as a tonic root for over 5000 years to treat many ailments, and this plant is now cultivated throughout the humid tropics, with India being the largest producer.”(2) Ginger is most widely recognized as a powerful tool to help improve digestion and relieve acute stomach pain and nausea. There are many studies detailing ginger's effects on the gastrointestinal tract and it’s extensive benefits for both short and long-term ailments (3). Ginger has many active compounds that aid the body in a wide range of metabolic functions. A prominent compound found in ginger is called gingerol, and it is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and has been shown to be supportive to the respiratory system. Ginger is also a wonderful tool to reduce inflammation and is a great herb to use when one comes down with a cold or flu. A prominent and delicious cooking spice, Ginger has a bright and spicy flavor that lends itself to both savory and sweet recipes. Just another reason we included ginger in our formula both for its medicinal properties and its unique taste.

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NUTMEG: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory

 

Not simply a prominent flavor in pumpkin pie, nutmeg has a range of health benefits that are not always at the forefront of our minds. nutmeg is a great source of antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory! “In folkloric medicine, nutmeg has long been used as a remedy for gastrointestinal problems, such as flatulence, colic, indigestion, and diarrhea. The traditional use of nutmeg to treat tumors and infectious diseases, such as parasites and plague, has also been reported. Nutmeg has been used externally to treat skin infections, rheumatism and paralysis (Khan & Abourashed 2010)”(1). In a short-term study, rats who were given high doses of nutmeg, experienced lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus, lowering their heart attack risk factors (2). The many compounds found in nutmeg have been found to be anti-bacterial and these compounds have been shown to be helpful with strains of bacteria linked to cavities(3). Not to mention, nutmeg has a warm nutty flavor that we associate with many delicious treats and dishes from chai tea, to pumpkin pie. Nutmeg adds depth and a tasty, warm, and slightly nutty quality to our drink mix. Can you taste the nutmeg in our formula? It's subtle but it's there!⠀

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CARDAMOM: antioxidant, promotes healthy digestion

 

Full of rich, complex flavor, this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice is one of our favorites. Cardamom's origins can be traced back to India and Indonesia where it has been used to flavor food and beverages for centuries. As the world's third most expensive spice (after vanilla and saffron) cardamom has been cherished and revered by many who encounter its unique characteristics. Several studies have been conducted that found that cardamom potentially helps to lower blood pressure (1). Other studies in mice have shown that there seem to be cancer-fighting compounds in cardamom (2)(3). With a long folk history of use for many digestive ailments, most recently cardamom has been studied to possibly help treat and heal ulcers, reducing ulcer size significantly (4). With antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, cardamom is found to have benefits in treating and preventing infections caused by E. coli and Staphylococcus, and Salmonella in test tubes (5)(6). These same properties have beneficial effects on bad breath and cavities. Additionally, cardamom is also used to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. With so many health benefits and deep flavor, cardamom adds important nutrients to Beloved Golden Milk Latte and we are in awe of these little pods!

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CLOVE: high in antioxidants

 

Cloves have many similar benefits to cardamom, they have been found to be antibacterial and antimicrobial and have been used for centuries to aid in the care of teeth. High in antioxidants, cloves bring all the power to fighting free radicals. Preliminary studies on rats show that cloves, particularly the compound eugenol, “produced significant improvement in fatty liver and dyslipidemia with consequent expected protection from cardiovascular diseases and other complications of fatty liver”(1). There is also a potential connection to the beneficial impact of clove oil high in eugenol and bone health. “Results of bone density, bone mineral content, bone tensile strength and histological analysis also showed a similar trend of results, which supported initial observations of this study. It is proposed that hydroalcoholic extract of dried clove buds has bone-preserving efficacy against hypogonadal osteoporosis”(2). Cloves also seem to have benefits for stomach and digestive tract health while also showing signs that they help with stabilizing blood sugar levels. As always packing a powerful punch in our delicious blend of potent and delicious herbs and spices!

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BLACK PEPPER: increases absorption of turmeric

 

We often think of black pepper as simply a spice we use to flavor food, but, black pepper is actually packed with antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Additionally, black pepper is key in ensuring that our bodies are able to absorb the powerful healing properties of turmeric. As noted in Susan J. Hewlings and Douglas S. Kalman’s findings on curcumin, Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, “Ingesting curcumin by itself does not lead to the associated health benefits due to its poor bioavailability, which appears to be primarily due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination. There are several components that can increase bioavailability. For example, piperine is the major active component of black pepper and, when combined in a complex with curcumin, has been shown to increase bioavailability by 2000%.” This likely happens for two reasons, one piperine allows curcumin to permeate the intestinal wall and easily enter the bloodstream where the nutrients are circulated through the body. Another element is that piperine slows the liver's metabolization of curcumin, also allowing the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements to enter into the blood. These findings demonstrate that black pepper is absolutely key in any formulation that includes turmeric and is one of the reasons us that we included black pepper in our Beloved Golden Milk Latte!

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VANILLA: supports the nervous system

 

Vanilla is a precious spice that comes from an orchid varietal. With a history of intrigue and fascination, vanilla has been highly sought after by all who come across its delicious taste and odor. Vanilla is a delicate crop that requires ideal growing conditions and meticulous pollination Many people simply think of vanilla as a flavor - but vanilla actually has a whole host of health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, vanilla helps to slow the breakdown of cells, a process that leads to aging and disease. Vanilla also has many soothing properties that are beneficial to digestion and gut health. Vanilla tea is often used to aid digestion or calm an upset stomach. Vanilla is antibacterial, and vanilla extract can be used in warm water to soothe a sore throat or can be used topically on the skin to treat acne. There has not been much research done about the health benefits of vanilla but “In animal models, preliminary findings suggest vanillin and vanillic acid have potential to alleviate neurological disorders, dysregulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis, and cardiac distress”(1), Vanilla is a win-win and provides our Golden Milk with amazing flavor as well as powerful healing benefits.

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MAPLE SUGAR: important vitamins and minerals

 

While formulating Beloved Golden Milk Latte, it was important to give our mix a touch of sweetness, and through careful selection, we chose to use maple sugar. Maple sugar brings a subtle boost of flavor to our Golden Milk without adding overpowering sweetness or the sometimes intense flavor of stevia and monk fruit. Maple sugar also has a much lower glycemic index score and will not spike blood sugar to the same heights as other sweeteners. Not only is maple sugar a lovely and gentle sweetener, but it is actually packed with essential minerals. Minerals are extremely important for overall health, they are actually crucial and none of our body’s functions would run smoothly without them. Maple sugar contains calcium (essential for bone health), zinc (immune support, general function), magnesium (helps tons of biochemical reactions), potassium (muscle & nerve reactions), and manganese (helps the body metabolize other nutrients). We take our ingredients very seriously, and it was important to us to choose a sweetener that would do more for your health than just taste good!

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