Drinking This Healing Tonic Daily Helped Tame My Inflammation & Leaky Gut

mbg Contributor By Minna Lee
mbg Contributor
A jill of all trades, Minna Lee is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, wellness lifestyle blogger behind Living Minnaly, and founder of Live 24k. She holds a B.A. from New York University.

Within a single week back in 2014, I'd lost then gained 10 pounds. Cystic acne spread over every inch of my face, and I was so exhausted that standing to get a glass of water felt like climbing Everest. My body was so puffy that my rings no longer fit on my fingers, and it took me 10 minutes to get out of bed in the morning because it hurt too much to stand on my feet.

I was a fit 24-year-old trainer. Months later, after way too many doctors' visits, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease affecting my thyroid and hormonal functions, accompanied by a wicked case of leaky gut. But at the time of this sudden onset of extreme symptoms? It just felt like my body had betrayed me. The severe inflammation made me feel as if I was wearing a sumo wrestler costume on a body that no longer belonged to me.

After being dismissed by discouraging doctors, I was desperate for help and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I started an elimination food protocol and started incorporated any and all anti-inflammatory foods into my diet.

The golden fuel that helped me reclaim my health.

I turned to golden milk for the curcumin in turmeric, what we now all know is a powerhouse for combating inflammation. But I was dismayed to discover that I couldn’t find a pre-made turmeric blend on the market that had the components needed to make turmeric properly bioavailable and effective. Turmeric is fat-soluble and needs the piperine compound in black-pepper to bind to become bioavailable; otherwise, it passes through your body too quickly to have any beneficial effect.

All these blends all had counterproductive inflammatory sugars built in (I don’t know about you, but I’d rather choose where I eat my sugars—hello, chocolate!), didn’t have the fats necessary for absorption, had fillers like guar gum, or were either missing or using the wrong kind of pepper like pink peppercorns that are an entirely different plant and don’t contain piperine.

So I started making my own golden milk blend at 5 a.m. every morning before seeing my training clients. I was occasionally adding collagen to my matcha, but after I learned about its ability to help my gut health? You better bet that it made its way into my daily golden milk. I started referring to my concoction as "golden fuel," because it started to really feel like the catalyst that fueled my ability to do all the other things I needed to do to get my health back (full disclosure: I loved my blend so much I ended up starting a company to share it with other people).


How it helped my inflammation and leaky gut.

Within three weeks of having my turmeric-collagen golden fuel blend consistently, I felt like a balloon that got deflated, in the best way. My rings fit again because the inflammation in my hands and feet went down, I was able to begin working out again without pain, and my sluggishness subsided to the point where I felt extra-energized. My painfully inflamed acne cysts shrunk down, and my acne scars were healing so much faster from the collagen supplementation. My digestion finally felt like it was getting back on track thanks to the glutamine in the collagen paired with the curcumin. Alongside eliminating personal irritants like gluten and dairy and introducing probiotics, I credit my golden fuel for helping my gut inflammation and healing my intestinal wall that took a beating with my leaky gut.

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I began sharing my golden fuel blend with my training clients, family, and friends, and they experienced similar benefits of decreased joint inflammation and pains, increased energy, better digestion and skin health, headache relief, and strengthened hair and nails. One of my training clients had her eczema die down to the point where she no longer gets it on her arms, and another client with PCOS had her acne greatly reduce—hearing that made me cry.


Healing Turmeric-Collagen Coconut Tonic Recipe

One of my favorite tips is to use canned coconut milk rather than the boxed kind. Look at the ingredients on the label as they can vary from brand to brand, but canned coconut milk tends to just have coconut cream and water, whereas the boxed ones usually have carrageenan, guar gums, or xanthan gums.

This drink is the perfect nightcap, especially now that it’s autumn! It’s warm and cozy, yet sugar- and caffeine-free (unlike matcha or hot chocolate). Lately, I’ve been drinking it at night as I journal before bed. I recommend incorporating this into your daily routine for two to three weeks to experience the true benefits, as consistency matters more than amount consumed at once.

Makes one 8-ounce drink


  • 8 ounces of pure canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • Pinch of finely ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt


  1. Pour coconut milk into a milk frother if you have one, or pour into a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat milk until it just begins to simmer, then remove from heat.
  2. In a mug, combine the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the 2 tablespoons of water (plus more if necessary), and stir until ingredients form a paste.
  3. Pour heated milk into mug and stir to combine well. Sip and enjoy!

*Optional: Use an immersion blender to create froth to have a golden latte feel.

This is the best diet for inflammation, according to a functional medicine doc. Plus, seven ways to make eating an anti-inflammatory diet WAY cheaper.


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