A warmed-up milk infused with herbs and spices, moon milk has been touted as a miracle worker for helping you snooze soundly. It can be garnished with edible flowers, spices, herbs, or a drizzle of honey.
But is moon milk worth the hype? We asked the experts to find out.
What’s in moon milk, and where does it come from?
Moon milk supposedly has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine, a centuries-old holistic healing system. (It’s worth noting that there’s no little medical evidence supporting most Ayurvedic principles.) This is because moon milk features several Ayurvedic ingredients, such as turmeric and ashwagandha, a.k.a. Indian ginseng, a plant said to have anti-inflammatory properties, says .
Moon milk has its roots in "a siilar warm milk beverage, sometimes called masala doodh, which is commonly made with almonds, pistachios,, nutmeg, black pepper, dried rose petals, and other herbs and spices,” says Moon.
Does moon milk help you sleep?
Well, yes and no. For starters, “Dairy milk contains the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, though at low levels," Moon says. So while a glass of warm milk before bed may indeed help you get some shuteye, "it’s more likely the ritual of a warm beverage that helps with a restful night," she says.
The ashwagandha in moon milk, however, may have a generally relaxing effect on the mind and body. "Some research suggests that taking a specific extract of ashwagandha twice a day for two months made people feel up to 44% less stressed, with drops in the stress hormone cortisol of nearly 30% compared to adults with chronic stress,” says Moon. Additionally, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, “may also lower inflammation, which can create a sense of calm before bedtime," she explains. (That said, it's worth noting that there's a relatively small amount of curcumin in turmeric.)
Moon milk may also contain cinnamon, which is well-known for its antioxidant properties, and ginger, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. For some crunch, some people also sprinkle pistachios and almonds on top. "With these nuts, you’ll get calcium and potassium, ,” says Moon.
In short, if the idea of having a warm, calming beverage before bed sounds soothing to you, and you love sipping on colorful, creative concoctions, moon milk just might be a good addition to your nighttime ritual. But don’t assume it will be enough to put you to bed on its own. You should practice good general sleep hygiene, including avoiding screens before bed, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, and sticking to a solid consistent bedtime. a few other sleep hacks in mind when you can’t doze off.
“Have a bedtime ritual and allow enough time to relax and fall asleep for a full night's rest,” advises Moon.