What Is Moon Milk and How Can I Make It?

April 30, 2020

Moon milk sounds deliciously witchy and magical, doesn’t it? 

But what is it?

Well, to summarise, before we dive in any further, it’s essentially warm milk that is flavoured (and sometimes colored) with a reasonably wide variety of herbs, spices and dried flowers.  

When I first heard of it, I was instantly intrigued, like you probably are now. 

Fast forward some months and I now regularly make moon milk in the evenings — mainly in the Fall and Winter months but also on cooler spring and summer evenings. Or just whenever I want to relax with a healthy, low calorie treat.

It’s such a comforting and relaxing hot drink. 

Types of Milk to Use

You can use any kind of milk to make it — it doesn’t have to come from an animal. 

I’m a vegetarian so I do consume dairy products but as much as I like dairy milk, it doesn’t like me for some reason, so I usually prefer to use nut milks in my moon milk recipes.

If you are able to, and agree with, consuming dairy milk, there’s actually a big pro to using it. Dairy milk contains the essential amino acid tryptophan and this can increase the sleep hormone, melatonin, in your body and that means you’ll fall sleep faster and sleep more deeply. 

Turkey contains high amounts tryptophan. Have you ever noticed how you or other people feel sleepier after eating a bunch of it on Thanksgiving and Christmas day? Yep, that’s the tryptophan doing its thing! 

In fact, Moon Milk was originally an Ayurvedic remedy because warm milk induces sleep, especially when combined with spices such as nutmeg and an adaptogen such as Ashwagandha. Apadptogens are known to aid sleep and rest.

So using dairy may be worth your consideration if you’d like something natural to help induce sleepiness. 

Other Types of Milk to Use

As mentioned above, you can use any milk when making moon milk, it doesn’t have to be dairy milk. So for example, you could go for:

  • Almond milk (most people use this)
  • Oat milk (my personal recommendation and favorite)
  • Coconut milk 
  • Macadamia milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Soy milk

If you can, try going for organic, whatever milk you opt for.

You can flavour the milk with all kinds of beautiful, fragrant spices, herbs, fruits, and flowers, so you’ll never get bored of drinking the same recipe – there are so many different ones out there to try out and fall in love with!

If you’re presently stumped for ideas, Pinterest is overflowing with delicious recipe suggestions. 

Flavouring the Milk

These are the more commonly foods used to flavour the milk but there are plenty more to consider. 

Fruits: Usually powered but certainly, fresh fruits can also be used. Popular choices include strawberry, blueberry and cherries.

Dried flowers: chamomile, lavender, rose, hibiscus, elderflower. Flowers are also great for making the final result super pretty.

Herbs: ginseng, ashwagandha, peppermint, lemon balm, valerian root. 

Spices: nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamon, anise, bergamot, clove. 

Sweeteners: More necessary when using unsweetened almond, oat and soy milk. 

As an important side-note, I wholly recommend talking to your doctor before consuming any new herb or spice. Some of them can interact with medications so this is very important. 

As a second important side-note, whenever you’re adding any porous ingredient to a recipe, such as an herb or flower, make sure that it’s organic, has been cleaned, and is food-grade. This is because porous foods absorb chemical pesticides effortlessly and they deeply penetrate their structures.

I want to mention that it can sadly be quite tricky to find organic rose buds and lavender flowers in particular — or it seems to be where I am (in the United Kingdom). 

I’d also be a little wary of using lavender flowers in a kids’ drink because the flowers are very small and may present a choking hazard if they aren’t all removed in the straining process. 

The ones that are available are usually astronomically expensive, but being organic, they are also quite potent so you’ll only need to add a small amount of them to flavour the milk.

What Can Moon Milk Do for Me?

In short, if you’re using nut milk, that won’t contain much, or any, tryptophan at all and tryptophan is the main reason why moon milk is called moon milk, because as mentioned above, it induces sleep by increasing melatonin levels in the blood. 

However, that’s only one of the main benefits of this wonderful ancient Ayrevedic remedy. If you add a spice like nutmeg to whatever milk you choose, that should still help to induce sleepiness and encourage a feeling of wellbeing and calmness.

There are plenty of other benefits too if you’re a plant based milk drinker like myself and some of those include the following: 

A sweet, low cal, natural treat 

I prefer sweet, hot drinks to high cal foods that I’ll chow down in a matter of moments like a chocolate bar. 

Very relaxing & may help to treat anxiety

The adaptogenic herbs that people usually use to make wonderfully delicious milks can apparently really help with reducing stress levels. 

I think that if you prefer to use completely natural remedies for treating anxiety, these might be worth including in your recipe. 

I’ve experienced terrible anxiety in the past and found that a proper diet with 5 fruit and veg portions per day plus cutting out synthetic sugars really helped. 

May help with weigh loss 

Due to the spices and herbs added to the milk. Plus, if you’re going for one of these before bedtime as opposed to half a tub of ben and jerry’s like I sometimes do (awful, I know), your daily caloric intakes bound to be lower.

May help to reduce inflammation

Again, this would be due to the spices and herbs added to the milk. There has been some evidence to suggest that certain herbs and spices can help to reduce inflammation in the body — as well as balance hormones.

Great for the kids 

Warm milk with honey and perhaps some lavender or rose may be perfect for relaxing them, watching their caloric intake and getting them off to sleep (if using dairy milk).

Perfect as part of a self-care routine 

Self-care is so important. I write about it now and again here in my blog and I make sure to actually practice it, too. 

I would totally recommend including this in your self-care routine, or just your nightly routine. It’s just such a wonderful experience to sink into bed after a long, productive day with a cup of this delicious milk and a good book or movie!

Moon Milk FAQs 

What else is this type of milk recipe commonly referred to as?

  • Tea latte
  • Milk tea
  • You’ll also find great recipes by searching online for terms like ‘warm milk recipes’ and so on.

How long does it usually take to make?

Not long! Put aside around 15 minutes for your first go and you should be good. Some recipes will, of course, take a little bit longer to follow through, but most are pretty simple, easy, and quick. The more you make it and become well versed in a few different recipes, the faster you’ll become with future recipes.

What’s the most common recipe for this type of drink?

hat’ll be dairy milk + honey + nutmeg, as far as I’m aware. It’s widely used because it’s simple, tasty, induces sleep, decreases stress and it’s super quick to make.

Why are some milks colored? How can I color the milk? 

You’ve probably seen a few purple, pink and blue moon milk recipes around online. They look stunning and you might be even more inclined to try them out. I know I was! 

You can get the following colors by using the following powders:

  • Blue color: Butterly pea powder or blueberry powder.
  • Pink color: A red fruit powder such as cherry or strawberry (you can also use fresh fruits)
  • Purple color: Purple colored berry powders (or again, fresh purple colored powders). 

You can also color milk by mixing colors. 

Do I HAVE to use Ashwagandha when making it? 

Nope! Definitely not. 

It’s a powerful adaptogen, however, which is wonderful for aiding relaxation but it doesn’t taste too good. Some of my friends swear they can taste it even after natural sweeteners have been mixed in. Personally, I use it now and again and I don’t ever notice the taste at all.

If you do leave it out when making some, maybe think about replacing it with another adaptogen. There’s a list of them here

Can I make it with cocoa instead of fruits, herbs etc?

Funnily enough, I have seen this question asked quite a few times in the comments of various recipes and yes, you can absolutely add cocoa to it! That might make it more of a cocoa drink, but heck, why not?! Might try that out myself…

How can I make my moon milk look Instagram worthy? 

Haha, good question! If you want to emulate some of the images found on Insta of this kind of milk recipe, just buy some loose flowers such as rose petals or hibiscus flowers and pop them on top of your finished recipe. 

I would also color the milk as mentioned above and then pick a spot close to a window with a good amount of natural light pouring through. 

If you don’t have a pro camera, no problem! I use Lightroom on my iPhone and I set shooting to Auto. The pictures come out great on my old iPhone 6s Plus and you can also easily edit them in Lightroom. 

I’ve no idea at all where the term came from. It’s super pretty and I love it. Moon milk was massive back in the Fall and Winter of 2018 and the trend, although somewhat quieter these days, certainly hasn’t gone anywhere. 

People seem to have picked various hot milk recipes up and incorporated them into their nightly and self-care routines. 

Leave me a comment below letting me know what you think of my guide! I’d also love to hear what you think about moon milk in general – is it a soothing, delicious drink for you, have you tried it, do you have any questions and so on…

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