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The rise of golden milk and moon milk

First there was ‘golden milk’, and now images of dreamy-looking ‘moon milk’ seem to be dominating our social feeds. So what has sparked the latest interest in herb and spice-filled milk drinks, and are they worth the hype?

Where did the trend begin?

In India, the concept of blending warm milk and herbs and spices is not new. In the case of ‘moon milk’, blending cardamom, cinnamon and Ayurvedicherb ashwagandha (known for its anxiety-easing properties), dates back hundreds of years.

It is no coincidence that as our interest in Ayurveda (India’s ancient health system) increases, so does our awareness of warming cups of milk, herbs and spices to benefit wellbeing.

What makes them so special?

What stands ‘golden’ and ‘moon milk’ apart from other milky drinks is that they incorporate Ayurvedic herbs, such as turmeric and ashwagandha, which are also adaptogens.

Adaptogens essentially help the body adapt to current emotional and physical stressors. For example, they can help bring calm in times of heightened strain, bring peace to a racing mind in the middle of the night, and provide clarity and give energy when we are tired.

Ashwagandha is one of the most common adaptogens found in these popular drinks and is one of the most widely used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s known as a ‘tonic’ herb and is said to have an overall rejuvenating effect – helping to protect and support the nervous system and immune system as well as improving energy.

How do I make ‘golden milk’ and ‘moon milk’?

Golden milk 

Gently warm your preferred milk in a pan and add almond, cardamom pod, saffron, turmeric root, nutmeg and ashwagandha root (optional).

Moon milk

Add cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and ashwagandha to your favourite warm milk

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Author: Dr Vivien Rolfe

Head of Herbal Research

Viv is a gut physiologist and has recently achieved a Foundation in Herbal Medicine. She leads Pukka’s research programme to explore how herbs can benefit our health and be used to widen healthcare choices. This includes research into herbs for Women’s health and as alternatives to antibiotics. She establishes global research partnerships and enthuses the next generation of scientists through Pukka’s Scholarship Scheme. She is a champion of diversity in science and open access to knowledge.



Years of experience:

30+ years in the wellbeing industry and academia


Degree in Physiology University of Sheffield, PhD University of Sheffield, Foundation in Herbalism Heartwood, MBA Entrepreneurship (on-going) Edinburgh Napier University, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professional Registrations:

Membership of Nutrition Society, Physiological Society, Society for Chemical Industry, and other herbal and botanical groups.

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