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Natural Sleep Aid Recipe: Moon Milk

Moon Milk is a drink that traces its roots back to the ancient Indian health tradition known as Ayurveda. Therapies in the Ayurvedan tradition include many practices which are common across the world today, such as massage, yoga, and meditation. Although Ayurvedan practices do not offer the benefits or protection of modern medicine, there are mental and physical benefits that come with these meditative activities. Herbs are also central to Ayurvedan practices, such as turmeric and Ashwaganda, the latter of which is known for its anxiety-easing properties as an adaptogen.

Adaptogens are herbs which essentially help the body adapt to current emotional and physical stress factors. For example, they can help bring calm in times of heightened strain, bring peace to a racing mind in the middle of the night, and provide clarity when we are tired. Adding another step to your bedtime routine also makes it easier to fall asleep, as your body and mind begin to recognise these rituals as a precursor to sleep, and begin to wind down accordingly.

Today on the Sleep.8 blog, we want to share a recipe for Moon Milk which uses Ashwagandha in order to help you unwind and de-stress before bed. Say hello to your new bedtime routine.

Top tips:

  • Ashawagandha can be found at most health food shops and Indian specialty shops, or online if you live further afield. If you struggle to obtain it, you can make this recipe without it and still enjoy many peaceful benefits from the Moon Milk
  • You can make this recipe vegan simply by swapping out whole milk for your favourite non-dairy milk such as soya or oat.
  • We recommend always consulting your doctor before adding new herbs to your diet. Moon Milk and ashwaghanda are not medicine and should not be treated as such.

Ingredients

  • 240ml whole milk or unsweetended milk alternative
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ashwagandha
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey

Method

  1. Bring milk to a gentle simmer in a saucepan over  medium heat
  2. Whisk in the cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper and ginger (if using)
  3. Whisk until the milk is smooth and free of clumps
  4. Add the coconut oil and turn the heat down low, simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the milk is heated through
  5. Pour into a mug and stir in the honey. Avoid cooking the honey as this reduces its nutritional value.
  6. Drink straight away, climb into bed and enjoy drifting off to sleep