Photo: <a href="https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/">Love & Olive Oil</a>
When it comes to getting some shut-eye, we all know about the calming effects of a warm cup of milk. Recently, however, the classic sleep aid has gotten a long-needed makeover with a little help from herbs and spices. Blended with a few calming ingredients, that old school remedy for restlessness has been dubbed “moon milk,” and we’re loving it.
What is Moon Milk, exactly?
What sets apart the aptly named moon milk from just plain warm milk is the addition of ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family (along with tomatoes) and has been used for centuries to foster relaxation. As an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps regulate stress, ashwagandha can help you cope with anxiety and sleeplessness according to the Chopra Center.
Moon milk can be made with other adaptogens, like elderberry or ginseng, as well as other herbs. Turmeric is an especially popular alternative to ashwagandha, because it boasts many health benefits.
Combined with warm milk—which contains tryptophan, that amino acid that helps you produce sleep-inducing hormones—these ingredients can help you wind down at the end of a busy day.
How is Moon Milk made?
Now that you know the science, I’m sure you’re curious about how to make it yourself—after all, who can’t used a little stress relief? To make a very basic moon milk, all you have to do is stir in a bit of ashwagandha powder (a half teaspoon or less) into your mug of warm milk. That’s it! (Pssst… if you’r looking for ashwagandha, check your local health food store or order online!)
However, many foodies have been taking this basic recipe to the next level to create beautiful and healthful variations by using milk alternatives, like almond and coconut, and adding additional ingredients. Blogger Lindsay Landis of Love & Olive Oil created the stunning blue moon milk above by adding butterfly pea flower to her recipe. This ingredient is packed with antioxidants, and it also provides that gorgeous hue. Landis also included maple syrup and a dash of nutmeg to her recipe to make this bedtime drink even cozier.
Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients if you give moon milk a try at home! A dash of cinnamon or a drop of vanilla extract is never a bad idea!