When you were young, did you ever have a parent offer you a glass of warm milk before bed, or if you couldn’t sleep? As it turns out, they may have been onto something. Moon milk is the latest natural trend in fighting insomnia, which is a fancy term for what’s essentially regular (or nut) milk served warm, with added natural flavorings such as honey, fruit or herbs.

Sometimes referred to as a superfood latte, or mermaid milk, moon milk is a hot trend among people looking to live a natural, healthy lifestyle (and those who also want to get a good nights rest!)

Image via @mytinylagunakitchen. Click on the image for this specific recipe.

Is moon milk just a pretty drink?

Yes. It’s a pretty drink that’s super Instagrammable. But there is actually some science behind the legitmacy of drinking moon milk to help lull you to sleep.

Milk… both dairy and non-dairy… contains the amino acid tryptophan, which most of us know is also in turkey, and why we credit the bird for putting us into a coma after Thanksgiving. Conveniently, tryptophan can help you relax and feel sleepy, and also supplies protein and other essential nutrients. Not too shabby!

Beyond that, you’ll commonly find an adaptogen like ashwagandha in it- intended to reduce stress- and other herbs like turmeric- which helps with inflammation. Other popular herbs include cinnamon, ginger, and more. In other words, you can get creative with your moon milk and make it to your preference.

Where did moon milk come from?

While it originally may not have been enhanced with pretty colors, and photogenic backdrops for the sake of “the perfect Instagram photo,” moon milk actually stems from Ayurvedic tradition, and has been passed down as a remedy for sleeplessness for generations.

Why should I consider adding this into my nightly routine?

  1. Foremost, it treats insomnia, and can help cue the body to sleep.
  2. With cinnamon and ashwaganda, it has powerful antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals which cause premature aging and chronic illness.
  3. The combination of potent herbal remedies for insomnia are both soothing and invigorating to solve all your problems of sleeplessness.

Photo via @kitchenmiranda on Instagram.

Give me moon milk now

The first photo in this post will take you directly to the recipe for the moon milk shown. The photo directly above comes from a recipe found on Bon Appétit magazine. Recipe below, or you can also find it here:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha (powdered ashwagandha can be found in health stores or online)
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw

To make moon milk

Simmer milk in a small saucepan over medium-low.

Mix in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger (optional), and nutmeg. Season with pepper. Mix well to get rid of any clumps.

Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes. The longer you simmer, the more powerful the ingredients will become.

Remove from heat and let sit to cool for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in honey (do not cook!), pour into a mug, and enjoy!

 

Breaking down a few ‘WTF’ moments

What is ayurveda: Literally translated, ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world. It’s a personalized approach to health, and knowing your constitution, or dosha, allows you to make optimal choices about diet, exercise, supplements, and all other aspects of your lifestyle. My favorite quiz to determine you dosha is through Banyan Botanicals.

What is an adaptogen? Adaptogens are herbal supplements that are dense in nutrients and are used to improve the health of your adrenal system. In other words, they help to balance your hormones and are credited in helping the body to adapt to various kinds of stress. The most common adaptogen in moon milk is ashwagandha, but other well-known adaptogens include ginseng, holy basil, milk thistle, ginseng, rosemary, and aloe vera. 

I’m dairy free- can I have moon milk with an alternative? Yes. In fact, a lot of nuts and seeds are surprisingly high in tryptophan. Here’s a list of the top 10 foods highest in tryptophan. You’ll be shocked!

 

Throughout the month of August, we’re focused on topics that might make us scratch our head, and say… “What the F….?” Find out more here.

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