Ghee-The Golden Elixir of Ayurveda
I grew up in a kitchen that always had a big pot full of golden elixir near the stove, ready to use for almost everything. I fondly remember helping mom making this soul food, scraping off the foam that would rise to the top and enjoying taking in the beautiful and rich golden color of the finished product once it was poured into the clean pots. That sweet aroma from the golden elixir always nurtures the mind. Yes, you are right; I am talking about Ghee (Clarified butter).
Ghee also is known as "Ghrita" is extensively used in Ayurveda practice. Ghee is strongly recommended in the daily diet and Ayurvedic therapeutics. Traditionally ghee is made from cow milk after churning curdled whole milk, separating the butter after fermentation, and clarifying it by heating it in pan on low flame. Ayurvedic classics describe eight kinds of ghee from eight different animal milk; among them.
ghee made from cow milk is recommended in Ayurveda as part of not only diet but also medicine. Ghee is considered to be one of the best substances that can strengthen digestion and metabolism and also nurture the tissues and rejuvenate the body. Cow Ghee, an integral part of the Ayurveda, is considered a premier Rasayana. A food that helps maintains good health, vitality, and longevity. It is satvic (Pure) food, which has a pure influence on mind, body, and spirit.
Benefits of consuming ghee
“Ghee is the best fat to eat.” It promotes memory, intelligence, Agni (digestive fire) & immune system the subtle essence of all the body's tissues, strengthens the brain and nervous system, and improves memory
- A great Rasayana (rejuvenator) for the eyes
- Enhances the digestive fire while cooling and alkalizing
- Enhances complexion and glow of the face and body
- Increases physical and mental stamina
- Supports learning, retention, and recall
- Increases longevity
- Cools and lubricates the stomach wall
- Nurtures and cleanses blood tissue
- It has Omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids
- Good source of Vitamins A, D, E, and K
- One of the highest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid, which helps with weight loss, maintain weight loss, retain lean muscle mass, antioxidants, and numerous other minerals.
External application Ghee is extensively used for skincare in Ayurveda.
Shata Dhout Ghruta (100 times washed ghruta):
It is prepared from ghee by washing it with water. We can prepare this by adding an equal quantity of water, mixing it thoroughly with a hand for 3 – 5 minutes letting out the water. Then again add fresh water and continuing mixing & washing the ghee. In Ayurveda, it is advised to repeat the procedure 100 times. This process transforms the ghee into a soft, cooling, nourishing, silky cream.
Recommended use: It is an excellent Astringent, Moisturizer, Anti-wrinkle & Cleansing cream. Can be used as a daily moisturizer on the face (or whole-body) or for facial massage. Also, it has a calming effect on reddish or burned skin, eczema, and rosacea
How to use ghee:
If you are new to the idea of ghee, you may be pondering how to incorporate ghee into your daily life. Ghee can be used as a replacement to butter or oil in any dish. It can be used to sauté veggies, or it can be added to lentil soups, stews, rice to increase the taste and texture of a dish. Some great meal options to add ghee to could be cream of wheat, oatmeal, porridge, rice dishes, kichari, stir-fry, casserole dishes, quinoa dishes, soup, and toast. “How much is not too much?” when ghee is used improperly, it becomes harmful to the system. Therefore, a general recommended amount of ghee to use would be about 1- ½ teaspoon per meal. Usually, after ghee consumption, it is good to have a warm beverage such as warm water.
Precautions for Using Ghee
Ayurveda lists some contra-indications for using ghee. Ghee should not be consumed when the digestion is poor and when ama (unprocessed digestive and metabolic byproducts) has accumulated in the system. When consumed in such a situation, ghee can clog the channels, hinder nutrition, and trigger the development of many health conditions
May you be well nourished!Author
Meenakshi Gupta BAMS, MD Ayurveda (Gold Medalist), RMAS, AD, Panchakarma Specialist, International keynote speaker Founder, Director AyurRoots Ayurveda Wellness, Dallas/Fort Worth Area www.ayurroots.com