by Shivani Narang: Ghee, a type of clarified butter, has been used for thousands of years in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic healing…
but only recently has it gained mainstream popularity as a beneficial cooking fat.
Dietary fats are vital for the human body. They support cell growth, protect our organs, keep us warm and provide us with energy. In Ayurveda, they form part of Kapha dosha, the water element.
Of all dietary fats, Ayurveda considers ghee to be the greatest for human consumption. Ghee is stable, has high tolerance to oxidation and its nutrients can withstand high temperatures, which is not the case with most oils.
Fat consumption is becoming increasingly popular, even trendy diets such as the ketogenic diet or those consisting of intermittent fasting are based on consuming high quality fats. Many fitness experts recommend ghee alongside coconut oil and olive oil.
WHAT IS GHEE AND WHY IS THIS ‘LIQUID GOLD’ SO POPULAR?
Ghee is similar to clarified butter and is considered a medicinal, cleansing and nourishing food in ayurvedic medicine. It is produced by heating unsalted butter to separate the whey and milk solids. Ghee contains almost no milk solids, which means it can stay good for extremely long periods of time without needing to be kept in the fridge. It is high in vitamins A, E, K, and fatty acids which are vital for good health.
HERE ARE A FEW BENEFITS OF GHEE:
1 GHEE HEALS BOTH MIND AND BODY
Ghee lubricates connective tissue, promotes flexibility and improves memory and intelligence. It enhances digestion by allowing food to be broken down efficiently and increases the body’s natural juices, promoting an easier disposal of toxins and waste. It is a highly effective remedy for problems such as inflammation. Ghee can also be massaged onto the body to improve skin disorders or to enhance natural beauty and skin glow.
2 GHEE IMPROVES DIGESTION
Ghee is rich in butyric acid which aids digestion and provides relief from constipation. Mixing 1-2 teaspoons of ghee with hot milk will help lubricating the colon and smoothen elimination of toxins and bodily waste. Ghee also helps stimulate secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which in turn improves digestive capacity.
3 GHEE STRENGTHENS THE BONES
Vitamin K is vital to the human body. It is essential for proper functioning of the brain and circulatory system. It also helps maintain healthy and strong bones. Ghee supplies Vitamin K to the body which keeps calcium in the bones and out of the blood vessels. It increases bone density and prevents joint pain.
4 GHEE IS GOOD FOR THE SKIN
Ghee has been a part of various beauty rituals as it is suitable for all skin types. It is used for cleansing and moisturizing skin. The fatty acids present in ghee act as a nourishing agent and are highly effective at making the skin soft and supple. Ghee can be used as a make-up remover, as a cleanser or as a lip balm. It quickly heals dry skin and rashes if applied as a salve.
5 GHEE STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Ghee is rich in antioxidants. It helps build a strong immune system, increasing resistance to allergies, colds and coughs. Placing a few drops of warm ghee into the nostrils in winters increases immunity, improves breathing and cures headaches and nausea.
6 GHEE PROMOTES HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS
The healthy fatty acids present in ghee – linoleic acid – promote weight loss, as they can be directly absorbed into the liver and burnt as energy. This type of fatty acid releases energy even hours after consumption, which can make it a great option for those who work out. Linoleic Acid helps the body build muscle rather than store fat, and has been found to help burn other fat tissues in the body.
7 GHEE PROVIDES ENERGY TO THE BODY
The most important benefit of consuming ghee is its ability to increase prana – the life force – and rejuvenate the body. According to Ayurveda, ghee supplies the mind and body with ojas – vitality. It keeps a person young, lowers stress and helps remove nutritional deficiencies in the body. Ghee restores the balance between the doshas: vata, pitta and kapha which is an absolute requirement for perfect health.
Ghee is one of Ayurveda’s most treasured foods. It has great healing properties. Consuming it moderately is beneficial for a healthy mind and a healthy body.