MOON MILK & ASHWAGANDHA
Izzy is a holistic herbalist and nutritional therapist, who specialises in Women’s Health and Plant Medicine.
Ashwagandha has a wealth of health benefits (read more from Izzy below!) and is known to help promote good sleep. I’ve tried it myself, and as someone who struggles tremendously with sleep, I can say it definitely helps! At this crazy time in the world coming up to a full year of living amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, I think most of us can use something to help with stress, anxiety, worry and sleep! So I’m delighted to share more in this topic from Izzy below….
During this Covid-19 pandemic we are living in challenging times faced with a lot of uncertainty and worry. However, there are many plants that have therapeutic properties that we can use to support us.
Adaptogens are plants (such as ginseng) that have been researched extensively on how they can help us cope with stressful times. Adaptogenic plants support our immune system to keep us healthy and reduce the impacts of stress on our bodies.
One of my favourite adaptogens is Ashwagandha. This herb is calming (without being sedating) and rebuilds our vital energy to help us cope with our crazy lives!
Ashwagandha’s botanical name is Withania somnifera. Somnifera comes from the Latin meaning sleep inducing. So from the name we know it will be good for sleep, and it is! I love Ashwagandha to help promote a dreamy, deep, unbroken sleep.
It is particularly helpful if you cannot sleep because of anxiety. Ashwagandha calms the mind and is highly restorative so I find it very effective for depleted or anxious people.
Other benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has many other therapeutic uses such as:
- Ashwagandha is high in iron. Traditionally it was mixed with molasses and milk to relieve iron-deficient anaemia.
- Studies have also shown its ability to stimulate the thyroid so it’s often used for hypothyroidism.
- Ashwagandha can support the muscles and joints. It can be helpful for arthritis, restless legs, neck and back pain.
- It is a traditional rasayana or tonic in Ayurvedic medicine which means it has life prolonging properties. The name Ashwagandha means ‘Smell of a horse’ and is reputed to give the strength and stamina of a stallion!
How to use Ashwagandha
The root is traditionally used in medicine and I love buying the powdered form of the root so I can add it to smoothies, soups and drinks as well.
My favourite way to enjoy Ashwagandha is in a hot drink called Moon Milk.
This drink is wonderfully relaxing, warming and comforting especially at night time. Nutmeg also promotes sleep so combines well with Ashwagandha. The powder is slightly bitter so would recommend adding a little honey or dates to sweeten!
You can try this recipe to make your own Moon Milk before bedtime to promote a deep sleep…
- 250ml milk of your choice
- 1 tbsp. of cashew nuts
- 2 teaspoons of Ashwagandha root powder
- Small pinch of ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg powder
- Honey or dates (sweeten to taste)
- Blend all the ingredients until creamy then heat gently and enjoy.
You can adapt this using the spices or nuts that you love to create your own version!
Thank you so much Izzy!! I can’t wait to try this recipe and will definitely be making it very soon. For anyone interested, this is the Ashwagandha I use and highly recommend! xx
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