- Moon milk combines dairy or non-dairy milk with herbs like ashwaganda, turmeric, and cinnamon.
- This Ayurvedic beverage may help you feel calm and relaxed, which could help you sleep better.
- You can find pre-made moon milk in some stores or make your own unique blend at home.
Moon milk may be a rising star on social media, but this soothing beverage isn’t anything new.
It’s a staple beverage in Ayurveda, India’s traditional healthcare system.
Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back nearly 5,000 years, is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. It approaches wellness from a holistic standpoint, often by combining herbal remedies with lifestyle and dietary changes.
As its name suggests, moon milk is a remedy that may help improve your rest. You can take this blend of milk and herbs before bed to aid with sleep and relaxation, says Daniel Powers, master of science in herbal medicine and founder of The Botanical Institute.
What’s more, you don’t need to head to the moon and back to try this drink, either. Read on to learn more about the benefits of this Ayurvedic beverage and discover a moon milk recipe you can make at home.
Moon milk benefits
Moon milk could provide a variety of benefits, such as improving sleep or reducing stress, says Maddie Pasquariello, a registered dietitian in private practice.
However, the exact effects can vary — namely, because there’s no one standard recipe. Rather, the recipe for moon milk tends to vary from person to person, based on your taste preferences and the herbs you have on hand, Powers says.
That said, according to Powers, moon milk recipes often contain three standard ingredients:
- Dairy or non-dairy milk
Turmeric and ashwagandha are both adaptogens — plants that help your body deal with fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Their potential benefits include:
Beyond the adaptogenic herbs, the milk you choose as your base could also boost its health benefits. For example, cow’s milk contains a number of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that help your body function, including:
Don’t worry if you’re dairy free, though. Plenty of plant-based milks can still benefit your moon milk. For example:
How to try moon milk
If you’re ready to bring moon milk into your bedtime routine, your local grocery store might have you covered.
Some brands sell powdered mixes on the shelves, or premade moon milk in the dairy aisle. Brands to try include:
However, you can also whip up some moon milk at home.
Homemade moon milk
If you’re ready to try your hand at this Ayurvedic remedy, you can test this recipe from Powers:
To blend your moon milk together:
- Combine your milk and oil or ghee, then heat the mixture on the stove until it’s warm, but not boiling. Alternatively, you can microwave it for 1-2 minutes.
- Add your herbs to the milk and oil and mix with a whisk or handheld blender until smooth and creamy. You could also toss your mixture into a standing blender and pulse for a few seconds.
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy while it’s still warm.
If you’re fresh out of cinnamon or cardamom, not to worry. You can customize this moon milk recipe with your other favorite herbs or spices, like:
- Ginger: This herb may help with indigestion, nausea, or inflammation and give your moon milk a warm, comforting taste, like a gingerbread latte.
- Black pepper: If you want to give your moon milk a kick, try adding some black pepper — this spice may help reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol, and ease indigestion.
- Astragalus: Research links this adaptogenic herb with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Almond extract: If you don’t have vanilla extract on hand, almond extract could lend your moon milk a nutty flavor.
Feel free to mix and match different herbs, sweeteners, and milk to create the perfect custom moon milk for you, Powers says.
How to enjoy your moon milk
Once you’ve got your warm homemade or store-bought moon milk in hand, you can make it extra relaxing by combining it with other activities in your bedtime routine, such as:
Moon milk is more than just a passing phase. It’s a staple of Ayurvedic medicine designed to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
The exact benefits can vary based on your recipe — but staple ingredients, like ashwagandha and turmeric, may help reduce inflammation and ease feelings of anxiety and stress.
You can buy moon milk premade in stores, or make it yourself to customize the flavors and potential benefits.
“Don’t feel like you have to make an exact moon milk recipe according to the book. Moon milk is an interpretive recipe: Make it based on whatever herbs you have on hand,” Powers says.