You might have heard of Golden Milk before, the turmeric health drink popular with health seekers for thousands of years. But, what is moon milk?
You may remember when you couldn't sleep someone recommending a glass of warm milk. Well, this remedy has received a trendy upgrade and it's called Moon Milk.
If you are one of the millions of people who have a hard time de-stressing, and dropping off to sleep easily, try including it in your night-time ritual.
Milk in itself contains tryptophan and melatonin – natural substances that help people to fall asleep. The nutrients in moon milk are also known to be beneficial to your immune system. If the immune system is in good order, you can expect to fight off illnesses better.
The primary adaptogen, Ashwagandha is the main ingredient of moon milk.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are plants that support your adrenal glands. They help to balance your hormones so you can manage stress. They are derived from plants and which are nutrient-dense and help your body “adapt” to what it needs and help to protect against stressors. An adaptogen's job is to bring your body into balance.
Adaptogens are unique in that they don’t just serve one function. The belief is that they actually can adapt to whatever your body is battling with. For example, it is known to lessen the symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and stress.
Ayurveda and Chinese healing have known the power of Adaptogens for thousands of years. Ashwagandha is one of the most widely used herbs for general debility in Ayurvedic medicine.
A member of the nightshade family, Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng. and Winter Cherry.
When you are in a stressful situation, Ashwagandha helps your body adapt to the stressful condition. It offers calming effects, supporting the sleep cycle. It offers great support in times of stress and anxiety because it has proven to promote good levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory processes which get stimulated when undergoing stress.
It’s known as a ‘tonic’ and nourishing herb. It has a rejuvenating effect in that it helps to support and protect the nervous system and immune system and to improve energy.
Ashwagandha also supports a healthy nervous system. It promotes calmness and a stable mood because the natural cortisol rhythms are regulated.
Ashwagandha also supports cardiovascular health, and may also support healthy thyroid function as well.
Consuming Ashwagandha root also seems to support healthy muscle strength and recovery time and is good for joint health too.
In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is known to promote longevity, happiness, and vitality. It is the go-to tonic for memory, hormonal function, and vitality.
Turmeric and Other Spices
Another spice that makes up golden milk or moon milk is turmeric, one of the most used spices to fight inflammation.
Turmeric (or Curcuma longa) is a relative of ginger and used medicinally for centuries. It is highly prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. The main component of turmeric is curcumin.
Turmeric tea is actually a favorite drink in Okinawa where some of the longest living people live. The reason for this might well be linked to their drinking turmeric tea. When you add turmeric to your moon milk, you can expect these health benefits:
- Prevention of Cancer: Turmeric has the ability to reduce carcinogenic levels by as much as 40%.
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: Turmeric forms a vital part of the Indian curries that they eat it on a daily basis. India has a low Alzheimer’s disease rate – less than one-fourth the rate of Alzheimer’s disease found in the US.
- It prevents skin cancer: Curcumin is noted to inhibit the growth of melanoma, a serious and potentially dangerous type of skin cancer.
- It relieves arthritis pain: Turmeric contains many anti-inflammatory compounds.
Other popular spices you can use besides turmeric are nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice. Nutmeg and Cinnamon calming and warming. Cardamom helps with digestion problems. Allspice has terpenes that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sedative.
- Nutmeg: When you use nutmeg sparingly you get just a perfect spicy note without it being too overwhelming if you add too much.
- Cinnamon: This is probably the most popular spice, giving your moon milk a lovely, strong, sweet flavor.
- Cardamom: Cardamom is very aromatic, with woody flavors, adding a pungent note to the moon milk, but it pairs wonderfully with nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Allspice: The dried berries from a plant called the Pimenta dioica make you think of cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg.
Feel Free to Add Some Superfoods
Even though the below superfoods are not typical ingredients, feel free to add them to supercharge your moon milk as a yummy way to get more nutrients into your body.
Zhou Longevity Superfood powder: Just a spoonful of blue algae powder made from spirulina, the blue-green algae, which will give your moon milk its blue sea color and give you 15x more beta-carotene than carrots and up to 1.5x more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate is a fruit that represents fertility and health and eternal life. Adding a scoop of pomegranate powder into your moon milk is a fabulous addition. Pomegranates have antioxidants and high vitamin c. It aids digestion problems and helps with arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
More Moon Milk Ideas
Hibiscus Rose Moon Milk
Ease into the evening with an enjoyable floral moon milk. Blend warm macadamia milk with soothing rose hip tea and hibiscus, ginger, honey and some ashwagandha powder for a frothy nightcap.
Magnesium Moon Milk
This Moon milk blends cinnamon and cardamom and with some coconut milk, with a splash of orange-flavored magnesium. Magnesium is an anti-stress nutrient good for nervous tension but unfortunately, our bodies do not produce this mineral so we need to replenish it regularly.
What Type of Milk Should You Use?
Even though cow's milk is often used in Moon Milk, you can substitute healthier plant-based milk alternatives. If you prefer cow's milk, Ayurveda teaches that you should boil it first because it helps with digestion.
Cow’s Milk: In Ayurveda, drinking warm milk is a typical remedy to counter sleeplessness. Using cow’s milk will keep your moon milk classic and offer you a creamer, richer consistency and flavor.
Coconut Milk: Choosing coconut milk, you will achieve quite a creamy vegan flavor and you get 2 g of protein per serving.
Almond Milk: With almond milk, your moon milk will get a nice nutty flavor. Nut milk is so easy to make and this is our favorite!
Cashew Milk: Add cashew milk if you like, and as it has a neutral flavor, it won’t upstage all the other spicy flavors you have added.
Coconut Oil is Another Optional Ingredient
Coconut oil is a true key player in a moon milk recipe. It's said to be a healthy saturated fat capable of helping to protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It also helps to keep you feeling less hungry and may help you lose weight. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and considered useful for maintaining top gut flora balance.
The benefits of honey are endless, but we recommend using raw Honey. Because honey comes from plants it has phytonutrients. But these valuable nutrients are unique to raw honey and vanish when the honey is processed. You can also also substituted pure maple syrup for honey.
Is Moon Milk Just a Placebo?
While all the ingredients in Moon Milk have sleep-inducing qualities, some people believe the effect of Moon Milk is a placebo effect. But really, everything we do has some level of placebo effect. Whether it is going to see a doc, meditation, or drinking Moon Milk, when we believe something works, our biochemistry changes to support it.
The key to health though is creating healthy habits and rituals which will help us to stay in sync with the natural cycles and rhythms of nature. So then, if an aromatic, warm drink is your cue for you to relax and get a good night’s rest, then moon milk is really and truly worth the try.
What is Moon Milk?
Moon Milk Recipe
- 1 cup milk of choice
- ½-teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½-teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼-teaspoon ground Ashwagandha. Or, you can use other adaptogens such as Shatavari
2 pinches of ground cardamom
- 1 pinch of ground ginger (optional)
- 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of black pepper freshly ground
- 1-teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
- 1-teaspoon (preferably raw) honey
- Simmer milk in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat
- Then whisk in turmeric, cinnamon, ashwagandha, ginger, and cardamom, and nutmeg; seasoning with black pepper
- Whisk vigorously so as to avoid any lumps and clumps
- Next, add the coconut oil, reducing the heat to low, and then continuing to cook until warm; about 5-10 minutes, because the longer you go, the stronger the medicine is
- Then remove from the heat and allow it to cool
- Stir in the honey. Don’t cook the honey because honey that is cooked loses all its healing goodness
- Then pour into a mug, drinking it warm, and then go to bed and allow yourself to be shepherded into Dreamland
What is Moon Milk Conclusion
Instead of the classic warm milk to help you sleep, dial it up a notch and make some Moon Milk. It's a delicious natural sleep aid made with Ashwagandha that can help you de-stress and relax.
A core principle of Ayurveda is to find harmony for the mind, soul, and body and that means that good sleep is very important to achieve that.
If you are wondering where you get high-quality organic Ashwagandha, I feel good about recommending this one, because I use it all the time.
Let your moon milk take you to the stars and back. Let your moon milk be all about good nights that last until the morning.