In Ayurveda (one of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world), warm milk is a common remedy for sleeplessness. This recipe features nutmeg (a natural sleep aid) and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps your body deal with stress) to shepherd you to dreamland. Look for ashwagandha at health food stores, Indian specialty stores, or Whole Foods.
- 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as hemp, almond, or cashew)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha (or another adaptogen, like shatavari or astralagus)
- 2 pinches of ground cardamom
- Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw
Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (the longer you go, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you’ll destroy its healing goodness). Pour into a mug, drink warm, and climb right into bed.
Found at: Bon Appetit
Simple Ojas Nightly Tonic
According to Ayurveda, chronic or excessive stress depletes a precious substance in the body called ojas. Ojas means vigor or vitality and is said to support healthy sleep, vitality, and virility cycles. In Ayurveda, there are certain foods and herbs that build ojas, and it all starts with milk.
To replenish and revitalize, and for a good night sleep, here’s a recipe for a mix of ingredients that can be made in advance and then added to a nightly cup of hot milk:
To 1 cup hot milk, add 1.5 tsp of the following mix:
- Chopped dates (1 tbsp)
- Chopped almonds (2 tsp)
- Coconut meat or flakes (1 tbsp)
- Saffron (1/2 tsp)
- Ghee (1-2 tsp)
- Cardamom (1/8 tsp)
Hot Milk Before Bed
A cup of hot milk before bed sets the stage for smooth transition into sleep. It soothes the nerves and, if you prepare it just right, it is tasty and full of nutrients. According to AyurVeda, milk is balancing to vata and pitta doshas.
Here’s a recipe to make your own delicious treat:
Boil the milk. Watch milk carefully until it boils, then let it continue to boil on low for about 5-10 minutes. Add spices (if desired).
- Turmeric reduces inflammation.
- Cardamom aids in digestion and adds sweetness.
- Cinnamon and ginger stimulate digestion and add a spicy kick.
- Vanilla flavor is also a delicious choice.
Pour the milk into your mug or cup of choice. Let sit until no longer scalding.
After the milk cools completely, a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup can be added for sweetness. You can also add a half teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter).
Drink your milk and enjoy!
Milk does increase kapha dosha, which can cause weight gain, but this effect is lessened by using 2% or skim milk in place of whole milk. Hot milk pacifies vata dosha in the body and mind, allowing one to settle down for sleep.
In addition to these ayurvedic benefits, milk also supplies:
- Calcium, which keeps bones and teeth healthy and helps your body maintain bone mass
- Protein, a good source of energy that builds and repairs your muscle tissue
- Potassium, which helps maintain good blood pressure
- Phosphorus:, which strengthens your bones and gives you energy
- Vitamin D, which maintains bone density
- Vitamin B12, which maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
- Vitamin A which maintains the immune system, normal vision and good skin
- Niacin, which improves metabolism
Tonight, try boiling a cup of milk and feel the benefits for yourself. It may take a few tries to find the exact balance of spices you enjoy, but once you discover your favorites you will have a tasty new way to unwind in the evenings.
Poppy Seed Sleepy Time Tea
Warm and relaxing. Aromatic cardamom balances the grounding tones of nutmeg and poppy seeds. This recipe is a gentle sedative if you are having a hard time falling asleep. Poppy Seed Sleepy Time Tea will gently lull you into a comforting dreamscape.
Ground-up poppy seeds create an oil-rich paste that is dark & earthy, a substance that embodies night’s stillness and nurturing yin. Aromatic cardamom and heating honey moves soothing warmth throughout your tired body. When steeped in rich whole milk, this tea becomes the soothing restorative you’ve been dreaming of for ages. The next time you can’t sleep, pull on your favorite slippers, shuffle to the kitchen, and make a cup of Poppy Seed Sleepy Time Tea. You’ll be drifting off to dreamland in no time.
- 2 pinches Cardamom
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp Poppy Seed
Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder or pulverize with a mortar and pestle. Add to a small saucepan with 8-12 ounces of milk. Boil for twenty minutes. Add honey, ground cardamom and nutmeg, and serve.
Source: Joyful Belly
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