If I’d known about Moon Milk with Ashwagandha 7.5 years ago, I might’ve not spent days or better nights sleepless.
In the spring of 2016 my professional life changed. I got kicked out of my corporate job. I was looking into starting my own business for quite some time, but I needed the kick in the butt, to finally get going. So, I became a Freelancer, e.g. with writing about coffee.
This big life change came with lots of anxiety, fear of the unknown and uncertainty. Not having a secure monthly income any more scared the Sh-beep out of me.
Since I didn’t know about Moon Milk and Ashwagandha, yet, I tried all sorts of things, e.g. reading inspiring books or coloring in coloring books at 3am.
But I’ve never taken any medication. I just don’t trust the mainstream Pharma industry and I wasn’t in touch with alternative medicine either at that time.
At some point those sleepless nights stopped. They actually stopped, when I went to the states for my cafe hopping journey in the of summer 2016. Since then I’ve never had any issues with insomnia again.
I don’t want you, dear reader, to suffer sleepless nights for weeks and weeks like I did – don’t blame me, if you’ve had too much coffee, though! What I’m about to share with you here, might not work in that case. I haven’t read any scientific proof about that, that is.
Anyways, in the article below you’ll find three recipes using Ashwagandha powder in Moon Milk. They’re all very different, the only ingredient that all of them have in common is the Ashwagandha powder.
Since I love playing around with different ingredients, spices and such. And since I also love to make my own nut milk, all the recipes have a fun twist to them and use home made nut milks instead of store bought ones. If you’re not up for that or don’t have the time, you can for sure use your preferred brand of nut milk, too.
But first, what is Moon Milk? What is Ashwagandha and most importantly, what is it good for?
What is moon milk?
Do you have any childhood memories having warm milk with honey made by your Mom or Dad? Either before going to sleep and/or, when you were sick? I do! Warm milk with honey is just very soothing and calming. Moon Milk now basically is the modern version of the classic milk with honey.
Moon Milk is made of three basic ingredients:
- milk or plant milk*
- a sweetener (usually it’s honey)
- organic Ashwagandha powder (as always, better when freshly ground. But who grows Ashwagandha outside of India?, I’m wondering).
*If you’re low in tryptophan, but still wanna opt for plant milks, choose soy or pumpkin seed milk.
Moon Milk benefits from the spices and ingredients of the Ayurvedic cuisine. Hence you can add many more fun things to the three basic ingredients: Spices (such as cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, turmeric), tea or tisanes (herbal infusions of your favorite herbs such as rosehip, hibiscus, lavender), dried flower petals (for garnish).
The warm beverage generally relaxes and soothes. The honey has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and the Ashwagandha has a calming effect on your nervous system.
The combination of milk, honey and Ashwagandha helps with problems falling asleep, insomnia and anxiety. The added spices or herbal tea infusions additionally have a calming effect and help with tension or even have some healthy vitamins to them.
What is Ashwagandha and what is it good for?
Ashwagandha is considered the most important herb in Ayurveda, a “Sattvic Kapha Rasayana”. Most Rasayana herbs are adaptogen and anti-stress agents. It is commonly known as Indian winter cherry or Indian Ginseng.
Ashwagandha is a root that smell like horse, hence the name ashwa. It is said, when consumed it gives the power of a horse. Well, that depends I would think. ^^
Among many other health benefits, it’s a powerful adaptogen and enhances the body’s resilience to stress. Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Ashwagandha is commonly used in insomnia that’s why it’s so popular as a good night sleep drink in combination with milk, i.e. it is very calming and relieves anxiety. The good thing is, it’ll help you sleep – it is considered a sleeping aid -, but it doesn’t make you sleepy.
If you want to benefit from the calming effects of Ashwagandha, the best time to take it is about one hour before bedtime. So make yourself a cup of moon milk with Ashwagandha and snuggle up on your couch.
What are possible side effects of Ashwagandha?
As always when trying new herbs or plant medicine, you might wanna ask yourself the following questions:
Are you taking any other medication? Then you might wanna consider talking to your GP or natural health professional.
Are you pregnant, breast-feeding, etc. Check in with your gynaecologist, midwife or doula.
The package usually tells you what the maximum daily dosage is (about 300mg). But always observe yourself and how you react to a certain amount of Ashwagandha powder. Because too much can cause diarrhea or vomiting.
Always always opt for organic Ashwagandha. Also, use the powder instead of capsules, those might contain some other stuff that you might not wanna intake. For the recipes below you’d always choose the powder.
After all this technical stuff, you’ve finally reached the point, where I’ll share my 3 recipes for Moon Milk with Ashwagandha with you. Are you ready?
Important note: All recipes are for one medium sized cup (250ml, about 9oz).
1. Hibiscus Macadamia Moon Milk
What you need:
- organic loose leaf Hibiscus Tea
- organic Rose Hip Powder (high in Vitamin C)
- honey (I used heather honey from a local beekeeper, but any of your favorite honeys works, preferably from flower nectar)
- Macadamia Mylk*
- organic Ashwagandha powder
Brew 125ml (or 4.5oz) of hibiscus tea (about 2 tsp dry tea). The tea should have an intense pink-red color.
Pour the tea in a pot and heat together with 125ml (or 4.5oz) Macadamia Mylk*. Add 1-2 tsp Heather Honey (or any other type) depending on your desired sweetness. Both Hibiscus and Rose Hip are high in acidity, so add honey according to your liking and desired sweetness.
Add ½ tsp Rose Hip powder and as soon as the Moon Milk starts to get hot (noticeable by the steam coming from your pot) add 1 tsp Ashwagandha.
Stir and continue until both powders have dissolved, but only long enough so that it doesn’t come to a boil. Pour into a cup with some foam of the Macadamia Mylk. Garnish with some dry or even some of the previously brewed Hibiscus flowers. Enjoy.
*Recipe for macadamia mylk: 150 grams (approx. 3/4 cups) of organic macadamia nuts, 1 Liter (35oz) of water, 5 dates.
Soak macadamia nuts overnight, rinse well the next morning and drain the soaking water, blend fresh water together with the soaked nuts and dates in a high-speed blender to a homogeneous milk. Strain through a nut milk bag. Yields approx. 1 Liter (35oz) Macadamia Mylk.
2. Butterfly Pea Lavender Moon Milk
What you need:
- organic lavender flowers tea
- organic butterfly pea flower tea powder (for an intense blue color, optional)
- organic maple syrup (I used Vermont maple syrup)
- cornflower petals for garnish (optional)
- Oat Cashew Mylk*
- organic Ashwagandha powder
Infuse lavender blossoms (2-3 tsp dry) with 100ml (just below 1/2 cup) of water. We are aiming for an intense flavor, because we still add our mylk. Let infuse for approx. 10min.
Heat 150ml (approx. 3/4 cups) Oat-Cashew-Mylk*, add the lavender blossom infusion (without the blossoms).
Now stir in 1-1.5 tsp Butterfly Pea Tea powder. The more you use the more intense the blue color gets. Add 1 tsp (or more, if you like it sweeter) of maple syrup.
Pro-Tip: Opt for the Amber Rich grade in your maple syrup choice, which is much lighter in taste compared to the robust/dark robust ones. The latter might make your beverage too caramelly, which we don’t want for that recipe.
As soon as everything starts to steam, add 1 tsp of Ashwagandha powder until it has dissolved. Do not bring to a boil!
Garnish with cornflower petals and/or lavender blossoms. Enjoy.
*Recipe for Oat cashew mylk recipe: Soak 100 grams (approx. 1 cup) of rolled oats and about 30 grams (1/4 cups) of cashews in water for 1 hour.
Drain and blend with 600ml (2.5 cups) of water (preferably ice cold) in a high speed blender to a homogeneous milk, optionally add 3 dates. Strain through a nut milk bag. Don’t over blend or squeeze too hard or otherwise your mylk becomes quite slimy. Makes about 750ml (about 3 cups) of mylk. Be careful, the mylk will be very creamy.
3. Almond Rose Moon Milk
What you need:
- organic rose petals or rose buds tea
- 1-2 cardamom pods (freshly ground)
- vanilla extract
- organic honey (I used heather honey from a local beekeeper, but any of your favorite honeys works, preferably from flower nectar)
- organic Ashwagandha powder
Brew 100ml (just below 1/2 cup) rose petal tea (2-3 tsp dried rose petals). Let infuse for approx. 10min.
In a small saucepan heat 150ml (approx. 3/4 cups) almond mylk*, add the rose petal infusion (without the flowers), freshly ground cardamom pods, ½ tsp vanilla extract and 1 good tsp heather honey.
Once everything starts to steam, add 1 tsp Ashwagandha powder until dissolved. Do not bring to a boil!
Garnish with the brewed and/or dried rose petals. Enjoy.
*Recipe for almond mylk: Soak 200 grams (just a tad more than 3/4 cups) of almonds overnight in approx. 500 ml (about 2 cups) of water. Drain the next day and blend with 800 ml (a little more than 3 cups) of water and 3-5 dates in a high speed blender to a homogeneous milk. Strain through a nut milk bag. Yields approx. 900ml (approx. 32oz) mylk.
It’s not me to decide, which of these warm and calming 3 Moon Milk recipes is the best. But, I’d be curious to know, which is your favorite recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
Inspired to try more of my recipes? Head over here for some inspiration!