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What is ‘moon milk’ and is it good for you?

Could this warm bedtime drink be the key to a good night's sleep?

Olivia Petter
Thursday 14 June 2018 17:43 BST
@glowbarldn (Glow Bar)

As the birthplace of #avotoast and #breakfastbowls, Instagram is hardly short of wellness trends - but amongst the saturation of plant-based poke bowls and cauliflower pizzas, it might come as a surprise that the trending newcomer isn’t even traditionally vegan.

Hold onto your almonds - the latest fad filtering through your Instagram feeds is in fact made from dairy.

Moon milk is a warm drink derived from Ayuverdic traditions typically made from a mixture of honey, cinnamon and cow’s milk.

The drink is used in the ancient holistic practice of Ayuverda as a remedy for sleep deprivation and is usually consumed before bed.

One of the core principles of Ayuverda is finding a harmonised approach to the mind, body and soul and good sleep is obviously an important part of that, hence the advent of moon milk, which is also praised for its stress-relieving properties.

With more than 3,300 posts under the #moonmilk tag, it’s evidently a trend that has surged in Western culture, with users uploaded endless images of their aesthetically-pleasing pastel creations.

(Glow Bar (Glow Bar)

You’d be forgiven for looking at these images with a puzzled expression, as, depending on how lenient you are with expiry dates, milk is typically white in hue, unlike the golden, purple and blue shades of its moon-branded counterpart flooding your Instagram feeds.

This is typically due to savvy and snap-happy Instagrammers spiking their milks with natural colourants, such as matcha powder, beetroot extract and turmeric.

London-based wellness brand Glow Bar has developed a range of coloured moon milk recipes using lavender and rose extract that are designed to boost serotonin levels, with founder Sasha Sabapathy claiming that the warm drink can help rebalance one’s hormones after a hectic day.

However, unlike the original Ayuverdic milk, Glow Bar’s drinks are all dairy-free and contain the adaptogenic herb, Ashwagandha.

“Ashwagandha is one of those herbs that can be taken in the morning to find a sense of calm before a hectic day, or in the evening to get your system ready for bedtime,” Sabapathy tells The Independent.

“Taken over the course of a couple of weeks, it helps your body to reset its cortisol levels which helps regulate sleeping patterns and also lowers anxiety and restlessness.

“We typically make all of our tonics and moon milks with non-dairy milks as dairy tends to inflame the system, something which we want to avoid when we’re trying to get our minds and bodies in a healthier, happier place.”

It might sound like the perfect potion for a happy and healthy life, but leading Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert argues that, like most wellness fads, the hype surrounding moon milk might be too good to be true.

“It is crucial to remember that we as humans are all different,” the Re-Nourish author tells The Independent.

“Whilst some may swear by a mug of hot milk and sweet spices, others may experience no effect at all.”

Lambert added that while the drink may help aid relaxation, it is certainly not a “miracle drink” guaranteed to lull you into a good night’s sleep.

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