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Lavender Moon Milk: The Vegan Ayurvedic Elixir for Relaxation

Apr 12, 2024

Lavender Moon Milk: The Vegan Ayurvedic Elixir for Relaxation

Unveiling the Magic of Moon Milk 

As a physician specializing in culinary medicine, I always seek nourishing and therapeutic food and drink options that can support overall well-being. In light of this, I would love to share about the benefits of Lavender “moon milk” from Ayurvedic perspective. This soothing bedtime beverage harnesses the power of natural ingredients to promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Many people struggle with insomnia from daily stressors. Not sleeping well can have a detrimental impact on all aspects of life. As an integrative doctor who studied Ayurveda as well, I explore the root causes of these issues through holistic approaches, including the strategic use of nutrient-dense foods and herbal remedies.

Lavender moon milk is a beautiful example of how the food we cook in the kitchen can be a healing tool and an integral part of a self-care plan for sleep. As I have learned from my sleep colleague friends, having a wind-down routine is very supportive to cueing thr body that rest is needed. And with my long Covid, I have had to be very disciplined about how I go to sleep, and a warm glass of milk with spices about two hours before bedtime has been a needed addition.

There are many different options on how to make this wonderful drink, which I’ll share more about below.Β 

Anti-Oxidant Rich Lavender Moon Milk

Combining antioxidant-rich lavender and plant-based milk (which I like to make from scratch) is lovely. In my practice, I saw firsthand how this simple bedtime routine could help people wind down and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Also, while you make the milk, you can create a routine of lowering the lights in the house and perhaps having gentle music on.

If you want to explore how lavender moon milk could benefit your sleep or add a nourishing, comforting beverage to your nighttime routine, I encourage you to give it a try.

In the following sections, I’ll explain exactly what goes into this beneficial brew and provide a step-by-step recipe so you can make it at home.

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What is Moon Milk?

Moon milk is a warm beverage that has become increasingly popular for its potential sleep-promoting and relaxation benefits in recent years. At its core, “moon milk” is a milk-based drink infused with various soothing herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients. The term “moon milk” refers to the drink’s connection to the moon’s cycles which are thought to influence our sleep patterns and the milky white base that it is made from. When you gaze into a warm cup, you will see a warm full moon gracefully smiling back at you.

Typical moon milk recipes include dairy or plant-based milk as the base, combined with ingredients like honey, vanilla, cinnamon plus a plant powder. In this case, we are using culinary organic lavender. Adaptogens like ashwagandha, tulsi or reishi mushroom can be added as well. I love to make my own nut milks with varieties of nuts as the recipe below indicates. Honestly, you can let your imagination and taste buds carry you.

Other pigmented plant powders that are used:

  • Rose Powder
  • Chamomile
  • Turmeric
  • Blue Spirulina
  • Butterfly Pea Powder
  • Activated Charcoal Supplement

Variations of Moon Milk

One of the great things about moon milk is its flexibility – the basic formula can be adapted to suit your personal preferences and needs. Some common variations include:

  • Dairy-free moon milk using plant-based milks like almond, oat, or cashew. You can also add in hemp, chia or brazil nuts too
  • Spiced moon milk with the addition of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger
  • Adaptogen-infused moon milk featuring herbs like ashwagandha, tulsi, Rhodiola, Reishi, or cordyceps

The options are endless when it comes to customizing your moon milk. Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations and adjust the sweetness. I don’t tend to add much in the way of sweetener.

Lavender as a Sleep Aid

One of the most versatile and well-studied ingredients in moon milk recipes is lavender. This fragrant, purple-hued herb has long been revered for its calming, sedative-like effects on the mind and body. The active compounds in lavender, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, have been shown to interact with neurotransmitter systems in the brain to promote relaxation and reduce physiological markers of stress.

Multiple studies have demonstrated lavender’s ability to improve sleep quality, reduce insomnia, and enhance overall sleep duration. The soothing aroma of lavender is thought to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s “rest and digest” functions. Inhaling essential oil or sipping on a warm lavender-infused beverage like moon milk can be an effective natural remedy for those struggling with sleep issues (Luo J, 2022). Incorporating this calming herb into your moon milk is an excellent way to explore its sleep-promoting benefits (Koulivand PH, 2013).

Moon Milk’s Ayurvedic Roots

The concept of moon milk has strong ties to the ancient Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, warm milk-based drinks have long been revered for promoting calmness, regulating cycles, and fostering overall well-being. These milk-based tonics, known as “doodh,” are often infused with herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients believed to balance the body’s doshas (biological energies).

Ayurvedic practitioners have traditionally recommended warm milk as a natural sleep aid, citing its ability to pacify the Vata dosha, associated with the nervous system and sleep-wake cycles. Adding complementary ingredients like ashwagandha, turmeric,  lavender, or saffron can augment its therapeutic benefits. If you are drinking something with botanical components in it regularly, it is essential to review the potential impact (and benefits) of this with your healthcare team. This post is for educational purposes and is not meant to replace to medical treatment and assessment.

Moon Milk 

The term “moon milk” could be linked to the Ayurvedic belief that the moon’s phases can influence human physiology, including the body’s melatonin production and other sleep-regulating patterns. Drinking a warm, nourishing beverage during the evening is thought to help synchronize the body’s circadian rhythms with the lunar cycle. Not as potently as morning light can impact our circadian rhythms, but all these microdecisions throughout the day can be impactful.. 

While modern science is still exploring the potential lunar-biological connections, the underlying Ayurvedic principles that inform moon milk recipes remain highly relevant today. This ancient elixir’s soothing, sleep-promoting properties make it popular for those seeking natural solutions to insomnia and stress-related sleep disturbances. Incorporating Ayurvedic wisdom into your nighttime routine with a comforting cup of moon milk and sleep routine can be a powerful way to support whole-body balance and restoration.

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The food we eat significantly impacts our health, but how we prepare it can also have an effect. Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to many health problems, such as obesity and heart disease. Furthermore, what if I told you that changing these factors could make all the difference? You can improve your health by cooking your meals with whole food and plant-based ingredients. First, grab this free recipe ebook that incorporates flavors and principles from my Ayurvedic and Lifestyle Medicine training, and it is 100% plant-based. Then let me know what you have made.

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Lavender Moon Milk: The Vegan Ayurvedic Elixir for Relaxation


  • Author: Dr. Siri Chand
  • Total Time: 15 minutes

Description

Lavender Vanilla Vegan Moon MilkΒ 


Ingredients

Scale

1/4 cup blanched almonds

1/4 cup brazil nuts

1 tsp culinary organic lavender flowers

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean scraped

Dash pink salt


Instructions

Blend for 2 min and strain.

🫢🫢 My favorite technique in making this is to use a French double mesh sieve. It goes so quick. And easy to clean. And separates the milk really well. I store overnight in glass jar with lid and shake up when I need to use it

Notes

I find almond and Brazil nuts are naturally sweet and Brazil nuts have selenium in them which is not found robustly in plant diets. So I don’t add any extra sweet but you could add a date. I have also found that nut milk bags while amazing got moldy easy. So this solution has worked well for decades for me.

And don’t throw away the pulp – it is great for baking or waffles.

I think it would be great steamed as latte too. 😍😍

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5

Keywords: Vegan, moon milk

Click on the image above to grab the ingredients on the “Instacart” from a list I have personally selected. The app will let you pick the store and provide a basis for the shopping and ingredient list. Then you can choose what you need. It has worked great for us.

ALSO…. if you select the β€œpick up” option, which you can do on the way home from work, you may even have a small credit on your purchases for your next visit.

To sum up, if you are a busy professional, look into Instacart to eat healthier when your schedule is hectic, either as a delivery or pick-up option.

Health Benefits of Moon Milk

Sleep-Enhancing Properties

Consuming a warm cup of moon milk before bedtime may help improve sleep quality and promote a sense of tranquility, allowing you to drift off into a more restful slumber. When coupled with the relaxing properties of herbs like lavender, chamomile, or ashwagandha, this milk-based beverage can help relax the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and experience a more restful night’s rest.

Stress-Relief and Relaxation

In addition to its sleep-promoting benefits, the ritual of preparing and sipping a comforting cup of moon milk can have a calming impact. Warming the milk, infusing it with soothing herbs and spices, and mindfully enjoying the beverage can help alleviate stress and promote deep relaxation after a long, demanding day.

Sleep hygiene or the habits that we have prior to sleep can benefit one’s ability to rest deeply.  Beyond just its ingredients’ nutritional and pharmacological effects, the simple act of sipping a warm, comforting beverage like moon milk can signal to the body that it’s time to unwind and prepare for sleep. This ritual-like quality of moon milk consumption promotes a sense of calmness and relaxation, allowing you to transition more seamlessly into a restful state.

Nutritional Advantages

Depending on the specific ingredients, moon milk can also provide valuable nutrients that support overall health and well-being. For example, milk (dairy or plant-based) is a source of protein, calcium, and vitamins, while herbs like ashwagandha and reishi mushroom are rich in antioxidants and adaptogens that can support the body to better cope with stress. Adding honey, cinnamon, or other spices can also contribute beneficial compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties.

By incorporating nutrient-dense, sleep-promoting ingredients, moon milk can be a genuinely holistic beverage that nourishes the body, mind, and spirit. Sipping on this comforting elixir as part of your nighttime routine can be a simple yet powerful way to support your overall health and wellness.

Kitchen Supplies

Having the right supplies makes being in the kitchen easier. You can find the ways I love to store my food by clicking on the image.

These are some of my favorite ways to prepare food and I have included the mesh sieve that I used in the video above.

How Moon Milk Enhances Sleep and Well-being

Potential Benefits for Overall Wellness

By supporting healthy sleep patterns and managing stress, the regular consumption of moon milk may improve overall wellbeing. Adequate, high-quality sleep is essential for physical recovery, cognitive function, and emotional regulation. With good rest, we can handle the demands of daily life and maintain a balanced, resilient state of mind.

Incorporating moon milk into your nighttime routine can be a simple yet powerful way to support your health.

Incorporating moon milk into a bedtime routine can contribute to overall well-being supporting a sleep schedule and routine.

This article explored the soothing properties and delicious variations of moon milk but is not medical advice and does not replace the care of a medical team. Thanks for coming with me on this healing journey.

References 

  • Lucena L, Santos-Junior JG, Tufik S, Hachul H. Effect of a lavender essential oil and sleep hygiene protocol on insomnia in postmenopausal women: A pilot randomized clinical trial. Explore (NY). 2024 Jan-Feb;20(1):116-125. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2023.07.004. Epub 2023 Jul 17. PMID: 37495431.
  • Luo J, Jiang W. A critical review on clinical evidence of the efficacy of lavender in sleep disorders. Phytother Res. 2022 Jun;36(6):2342-2351. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7448. Epub 2022 Apr 12. PMID: 35412693. 
  • Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi: 10.1155/2013/681304. Epub 2013 Mar 14. PMID: 23573142; PMCID: PMC3612440. The aromatherapy intervention was effective in improving the overall quality of life in the Aroma group. Moreover, the sleep diary and sleep hygiene instructions helped all participants to self-assess and improve their sleep patterns.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/ 
  • Nasiri Lari Z, Hajimonfarednejad M, Riasatian M, Abolhassanzadeh Z, Iraji A, Vojoud M, Heydari M, Shams M. Efficacy of inhaled Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Essential oil on sleep quality, quality of life and metabolic control in patients with diabetes mellitus type II and insomnia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Apr 6;251:112560. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.112560. Epub 2020 Jan 10. PMID: 31931160.

Earn CME

This experience is powered by CMEfy – an AI-powered platform that directs learners along a pathway to capture reflections at the point of inspiration, point of care. Clinicians may earn CME/CE credit via ReflectCE, the accredited activity portal. Learn more at about.cmefy.com/cme-info

The CE experience for thisΒ Blog Post / ArticleΒ is powered by CMEfy – click here to reflect and earn credits:Β https://earnc.me/7CbypP

Work with me!

Looking to make a positive change in your life and community clincially? Dr. SiriChand is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, and Hospice/Palliative Medicine. She has dedicated her career to promoting long-term vitality through the choices we make every day and is an expert in Ayurveda and plant-based nutrition.

She particularly works with physicians to explore how to create time for self-care and how to learn to innovate in their integrative medicine careers. Take the first step towards an aligned, happier future, and contact Dr. Siri Chand Khalsa today.

Let’s create a better world together through mindful living. Learn more here.

Review recent seasonal PLANT-BASED posts here!

Thanks for checking out this week’s post to the end!

If you make this, tag me on social media @doctorsirichand. I would love to see your variations and options for flavors. SAVE this Recipe for later to your favorite place. I like to use PINTEREST, but you could also clip it somewhere else.

Dr. Siri Chand 

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May your life be nourished and vital! 

*Please note as an amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases which means I will receive a small fee if you purchase them. I have only included things I truly use. This post is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. For my full Disclaimer, please go here.

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Plant focused recipes that are oriented to bring you to a deeper relationship to spices and flavor. Recipes I make every week. 

Get your spice cabinet together in this new found joy of cooking where you may need a few new spices and herbs for your meals. 

Recipes that we are always asked for. Like walking or brushing our teeth, these recipes nourish us everyday.