3 Ayurvedic Super Milk Recipes for Bedtime
A bedtime routine is essential in Ayurveda. Getting a good night’s sleep is so important, yet it is one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get more work done, or to watch that one last episode on Netflix. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
However, when we don’t get enough sleep or even good quality sleep, it taxes our nervous system and immune system, among other key systems.
That’s why I love my bedtime routine—and why I like taking it to the next level of comfort by enjoying a “supermilk” as a nourishing nighttime treat. I love giving my clients warm milk recipes like the following to incorporate into their wind-down process as well.
In this article, I’ll share recipes with different ingredients to help you achieve the perfect bedtime vibe. But first, let’s talk about what makes milk the right choice.
Milk as a Carrier for Herbs
Ayurveda teaches that most varieties of milk can function as an anupan, or carrier substance, for bringing the qualities of herbs deeper into the tissues. So mixing herbs with milk can be a very effective way to take the herbs of your choice and enjoy their benefits.
Cow’s milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are all considered cooling, nourishing, and sweet. All of them are known to pacify vata and pitta—the two doshas most often responsible for insufficient sleep. Sometimes mixing half cow’s milk and half almond milk also makes for easier digestion.
For more information about milk as an anupan, check out Banyan’s article on Ayurveda’s Carrier Substances.
How to Make Bedtime Supermilk
Here are three supermilk recipes—plus one incredibly easy bonus recipe—to help you reach the perfect bedtime routine. All you need to do is choose your ingredients and then follow the simple directions below!
Anantamul-Rose Milk to Calm and Cool
If you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep because of excess heat or an irritated mind, you might have excess pitta in your majja vaha srotas, or your nervous system. Try this milk to help cool and calm both your mind and body.
- ½ tsp anantamul
- Handful of organic rose petals (fresh or dry)
- Optional: saffron sprig for more flavor and to help that pitta!
Ashwagandha-Cinnamon Milk to Ground and Settle
Sometimes our bodies are not ready to go to sleep, especially if we’ve had a really busy, hectic day. The body and mind can feel like they’re still running on full speed when it’s time for you to get to sleep.
All this lingering energy can increase the light and clear qualities of high vata in our systems, making it hard to get a good night’s rest. This milk recipe has grounding herbs that give a little heaviness to the body to help ease the body into sleep.
Ashwagandha-Brahmi/Gotu Kola Milk to Rejuvenate and Replenish
Taking herbs at night or before bedtime has a direct affinity to working on the mind, as the nighttime hours are those that target the nervous system and brain directly. Make this milk if you want to give your body a nice rest, with the added bonus of manasika herbs, or herbs that work directly on the mind.
All you do is pour one glass of milk into a pot and warm it on the stove. Mix in the herbs of your choice and bring to a slow boil, then remove from heat.
If you would like to add a sweetener, try some maple syrup or turbinado sugar—just enough to give you a taste. You don’t want the aroma of the herbs to be masked by the sweetener.
It’s best to drink the milk about 2–3 hours after dinner and 1–2 hours before bedtime. You don’t want your digestion working hard while you’re trying to sleep.
Bonus Supermilk: Turmeric Milk for Golden Relaxation
Although it isn’t strictly a drink for the evening, turmeric milk can make for a deeply relaxing evening beverage that soothes the mind and body. There are a few different ways to make it, but one of the easiest is simply using a blend that’s ready-to-go.
Try Banyan’s Turmeric Milk Mix, which combines turmeric with other sleep-supportive herbs like ashwagandha, ginger, and cardamom, to name a few. For this easy drink, just warm a cup of your favorite milk, add 1½ teaspoons of Turmeric Milk Mix, and enjoy.