The first time I heard about Moon Milk was during a late-night scrolling session through Pinterest. I was likely searching for things related to astronomy or the Moon, and Moon Milk popped up in my search. I wondered, “What the heck is Moon Milk?”
I have a curious mind, so of course I clicked on it. This was followed by a twenty-minute rabbit trail through a wide variety of articles and recipes. I’ve been intrigued with it ever since.
A WARM GLASS OF MILK
Perhaps you were raised with the tradition of drinking a warm glass of milk before bed, a tradition that has been passed down for many generations. Parents and grandparents claimed it was a way to cultivate relaxation, relieve anxiety, and help you get a better night’s sleep.
Some people swear by this tradition, others say it is nothing more than folklore.
There are a handful of studies that show that a mug of warm milk or cheese before bed may help some people sleep better. However, the reason is unclear.
Most experts think it could be related to specific chemical compounds or the psychological effects of a soothing bedtime routine. Or it could be a combination of both. Milk contains both tryptophan and melatonin, chemicals that help our bodies fall asleep. But the small studies leave the theories about its magic inconclusive.
But that’s just regular milk. And then…there is Moon Milk.
WHAT THE HECK IS MOON MILK?
You can find a wide range of flavors for Moon Milk recipes online. What they all have in common is milk or a milk alternative, a touch of sweetener, occasionally fruit or fruit juice, and always some combination of spices. It is in the spices where people usually find the “magic” qualities of the drink.
THE MAGIC OF MOON MILK
If you search the web for the “benefits of Moon Milk”, you will find a vast array of claims about this little cup of magic. Here are just a few:
- Relieves stress
- Balances hormones
- Supports the immune system
- Can curb cravings and cure your sweet tooth
- Helps regulate sleeping patterns
- Resets cortisol levels
In fact, Moon Milk is a fast-rising health trend in Western cultures right now, with 3,300 social media posts under the #moonmilk tag. The claims about its magic are growing, too. It is hard to resist the magic when images of various flavors of the elixir are so beautiful and enticing.
THE SCIENCE OF MOON MILK
I value science and the scientific method, which I try to make clear through my work with Night Sky Tourist. So as a good and proper skeptic, I dug a little deeper into this phenomenon to better understand the growing popularity of this drink.
This beverage has its roots in Ayurvedic traditions. Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world, originating on the Indian subcontinent. In that health tradition, warm milk at bedtime is a common remedy for sleeplessness, anxiety, and insomnia.
Yet Ayurveda is considered a pseudoscience. This means that it claims to be scientific in nature, but it is not compatible with the scientific method.
So what do we make about all the hype surrounding Moon Milk? Some nutritionists are saying that it is exactly that…hype. They say that Moon Milk may aid in relaxation, but it could be more psychological than it is physical. Like a placebo. But it certainly is not a miracle drink.
WHY I LOVE MOON MILK
Science be damned, I love Moon Milk. But I love it for a different reason.
I appreciate various cultures and traditions around the world, so long as they do not cause physical or psychological harm. So, while I do not buy into the health benefit claims of Moon Milk, I do embrace it for the experience that can be associated with it.
I can’t think of any foods or beverages that are truly associated with the night sky or stargazing. So, for me, Moon Milk can be part of a fun and unique night sky experience. I love the idea of having something special to drink while getting cozy in my backyard under a Full Moon. The Full Moon has such a magical glow and presence and having a unique drink to sip on while enjoying it can create a fun and magical experience.
WHEN TO DRINK MOON MILK
My favorite time to enjoy Moon Milk is under a Full Moon or under the new Waxing Crescent Moon when it is just a thin, beautiful crescent in the Western sky.
I also love the idea of a cup of Blue Moon Milk during a Blue Moon. With the Super Blood Moon coming up on May 26, I’ve decided to make a cup of Strawberry Moon Milk to enjoy while I watch the eclipse unfold.
I’ve also been looking for recipes that might go along with each of the Full Moons throughout the year. I find myself laughing as I do this exercise, especially when I see that the March Full Moon is known as the Worm Moon. Worm Moon Milk, anyone?
Another idea is to find a Moon Milk recipe for each new season. I think it would be great fun to kick off each solstice or equinox Moon with a mug of deliciousness.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I think that anything we do to expand our interaction with nature and the night sky is a great benefit to us. Creating fun traditions is a great way to connect more with our experiences in nature. These help us create memories and warm feelings about those activities, and we are more likely to come back to them over and over or to talk about them to others.
I love the idea of creating a new tradition of getting outside under the Full Moon every month and bringing things into that experience that makes it even more fun. You can even bring out your favorite crystals! (More about that in a future post.)