Ayurvedic Milk Recipes for Restful Sleep

As a holistic science, Ayurveda teaches us that our daily routines, known as dinacharya, have a significant impact on our day-to-day physical and emotional states as well as our long-term health. For example, a simple practice such as drinking warm lemon water in the morning stimulates digestion, enhances elimination of toxins and builds immunity. Over time, small rituals like this result in greater strength and vitality throughout the body and the mind. Although much of dinacharya is recommended to do first thing in the morning, there are also evening rituals (ratricharya) one can do to nurture and support the natural rhythms of the body and mind. One of these rituals is concocting a warm Ayurvedic milk in the evening to prepare yourself for a restful night’s sleep. This is a wonderful practice which allows you to connect with plant wisdom, quiet the mind and cultivate more sattva, which is the Sanskrit term for harmony. 

Ayurvedic Evening Rituals (Ratricharya)

The activities we engage in before bedtime certainly have an impact on our quality of sleep. For instance, if we decide to roll into that next episode on Netflix or keep scrolling through social media in the late night hours, this improper use of the senses impacts our sleep. Hence, in order to sync up with the circadian rhythms of nature, Ayurveda recommends a few things to prepare the body for slumber. Here are just a few of Ayurveda’s suggestions:

  • Eat your dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime. 
  • Eliminate screen time after dinner or at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  • Wind down and replenish with a Coconut Milk Bath.
  • To clear and calm the mind, journal or write your to-do list down for the next day before you hop into bed.
  • Prepare and enjoy Ayurvedic milk.

What is Ayurvedic Milk?

Savoring Ayurvedic milk in the evening is a wonderful way to help the body and mind transition from the busy, activating hours of the day to the slower, more nurturing energy of the evening. So, how do you transform milk into Ayurvedic milk? First and foremost, to be an Ayurvedic milk, it must be prepared warm, not cold! Warm beverages are favored in Ayurveda because they do not impair jatharagni, the digestive fire required for optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients to occur. It is also suggested that Ayurvedic milks are consumed at least 1 hour from your last meal. Traditionally in Ayurveda, unpasteurized, raw cow’s milk is recommended to prepare Ayurvedic milk as it is considered balancing to all doshas, is a sattvic, or harmonious food, and, like turkey, it contains the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan, making it an ideal tonic to encourage sleep.  However, if you are vegan or are just being conscious about reducing dairy in your diet, as we outline in the below recipes, there are fabulous plant-based milk alternatives you can swap out for cow’s milk. Another ingredient you will commonly see in Ayurvedic milk is an oil like ghee or coconut oil. These high-quality oils help to ground, nourish and support the nervous system. Finally, Ayurvedic milks always contain herbs like nervine sedatives, tonics, rasayanas and dipanas:

Nervine Sedatives

  • Calm the nervous system.
  • Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Alleviate muscle cramps. 
  • Reduce anxiety.
  • Aid in the treatment of insomnia. 
  • Increase the quality of stability in the body and mind.

Nervine Tonics

  • Strengthen the nervous system. 
  • Improve the mind and body’s ability to withstand stress. 
  • Builds the qualities of heaviness and stability to anchor and calm the nervous system and mind. 

Rasayanas 

  • Nourish the tissues of the body. 
  • Support and protect cellular regeneration.
  • Build ojas (physical and emotional immunity)
  • Contain adaptogenic qualities, meaning they adapt to people’s specific needs. 
  • Enhance vitality. 

Dipanas

  • Kindles jatharagni, or the digestive fire.
  • Strengthens digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. 

Below we share some of our favorite dosha-specific Ayurvedic Milk recipes for you to prepare and enjoy. We hope these recipes inspire you to extend dinacharya beyond your morning routine and into your evening as well. Wishing you a peaceful night’s sleep tonight and every night!

Vata Ayurvedic Milk 

*This milk is helpful in reducing fear, anxiety and overwhelm in the mind. 

  • ½ cup cow’s, oat or almond milk
  • ¼ tsp. ghee or coconut oil
  • 20 grams ashwagandha powder
  • 10 grams shatavari powder
  • 5 grams nutmeg powder

First, blend all of the herbs together. Once the herbs are blended, store in an airtight glass container. This blend yields approximately 28 servings. Next, warm the ½ cup of milk in a pot on the stove and add ½ tsp of the herbal blend and the ¼ tsp. oil. Once the milk has come to a pleasant temperature, remove from heat and either blend everything together in a blender for extra creaminess and froth or simply pour directly into your favorite mug. Take a seat, relax, sip and enjoy your evening ritual. 

Pitta Ayurvedic Milk 

*This milk is helpful in reducing intensity, frustration and calming that endless to do list in the mind. 

  • ½ cup cow’s or coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp. ghee or coconut oil
  • 20 grams shatavari powder
  • 10 grams rose powder
  • 5 grams cardamom powder

First, blend all of the herbs together. Once the herbs are blended, store in an airtight glass container. This blend yields approximately 28 servings. Next, warm the ½ cup of milk in a pot on the stove and add ½ tsp of the herbal blend and the ¼ tsp. oil. Once the milk has come to a pleasant temperature, remove from heat and either blend everything together in a blender for extra creaminess and froth or simply pour directly into your favorite mug. Take a seat, relax, sip and enjoy your evening ritual. 

Kapha Ayurvedic Milk 

*This milk is helpful in replenishing the mind & nerves as well as improving circulation. 

  • ½ cup cow’s or rice milk
  • ¼ tsp. ghee or coconut oil
  • 20 grams brahmi powder
  • 10 grams tulsi powder
  • 5 grams ginger powder 

First, blend all of the herbs together. Once the herbs are blended, store in an airtight glass container. This blend yields approximately 28 servings. Next, warm the ½ cup of milk in a pot on the stove and add ½ tsp of the herbal blend and the ¼ tsp. oil. Once the milk has come to a pleasant temperature, remove from heat and either blend everything together in a blender for extra creaminess and froth or simply pour directly into your favorite mug. Take a seat, relax, sip and enjoy your evening ritual. 

Tridoshic Ayurvedic Milk 

If you’re short on time and need a prepared herbal blend for your evening Ayurvedic milk ritual, look no further than our Golden Milk! This blend is balancing to all doshas.

*This milk is helpful in supporting immunity, reducing inflammation and calming the nerves. 

  • ½ cup cow’s or coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp. ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp. Golden Milk 

Warm the ½ cup of milk in a pot on the stove and add 1-2 tsp of Golden Milk and the ¼ tsp. oil. Once the milk has come to a pleasant temperature, remove from heat and either blend everything together in a blender for extra creaminess and froth or simply pour directly into your favorite mug. Take a seat, relax, sip and enjoy your evening ritual. 


Want to learn more about evening dinacharya? Hop over to our blog Ayurvedic Evening Rituals to Ensure Your Beauty Sleep

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