5 Easy and Dreamy Ayurvedic Super Milk Recipes for Your Bedtime Ritual
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 consistent, good quality sleep from night to night, it taxes our nervous system and immune system, among other key systems.1
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 recommending warm milk recipes and Ayurvedic drink mixes to my clients as well to incorporate into their wind-down process and help them find deep sleep.
In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite bedtime drink recipes to help you achieve the perfect bedtime vibe. But first, let’s talk about what makes milk the right choice.
Milk Is a Nourishing Carrier Substance for Your 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.
The Ayurvedic perspective on milk considers the specific qualities of each different kind of milk and milk alternative, helping to determine which type of milk is best for the individual and their unique constitution, or dosha. (If you don't know yours, you can learn your Ayurvedic type with this free dosha quiz.)
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.
5 Bedtime Supermilk Recipes
Here are five easy-to-make supermilk recipes to help you reach the perfect bedtime routine. It's best to drink the milk about 2–3 hours after dinner and 1–2 hours before bed. You don't want your digestion working hard while you're trying to sleep. I hope you enjoy this evening ritual as much as I do!
1. 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!
Pour one cup of milk (or milk alternative) into a pot and warm it on the stove. Mix in the herbs, bring to a slow boil, then remove from heat and strain. If you would like to add a sweetener, try just a tad of maple syrup or turbinado sugar.
2. Shatavari-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 you into sleep.
Mix the herbs with a cup of milk and heat gently on the stove, then pour into your favorite mug and add a touch of sweetness if you'd like.
3. 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.
- ½ tsp ashwagandha
- ½ tsp brahmi/gotu kola
- Optional: a touch of cardamom or ginger to support digestion
Heat your cup of millk gently, stir in the herbs and mix well to combine, then pour into a mug. Sweeten slightly if desired.
4. Turmeric Milk to Soothe and Relax
Although it isn’t only 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. Banyan’s Turmeric Milk 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, and enjoy.
5. Ashwagandha Latte to Cozy Up and Unwind
Ashwagandha's heavy and grounding qualities make it a natural choice to include in your bedtime routine. If you're looking for an extra easy way to incorporate it, Banyan's Ashwagandha Latte is the tasty answer.
Mixed alongside other nourishing herbal adaptogens, including mucuna, shatavari, and burdock, this blend is a wonderful way to rejuvenate the body, calm the nervous system, and transition into dreamland.
Simply combine 1½ teaspoons Ashwagandha Latte with one cup of your preferred milk, heat gently, then pour into that favorite mug and enjoy!