Ghee -The Wonder FAT
Looking at the wondrous benefits of Ghee through an Ayurvedic lens may sound contradictory to the modern day belief that Ghee is fattening. Not all saturated fats are unhealthy and block arteries. Ghee is one such saturated fat that is healthy and highly recommended in Ayurveda. However, Ayurveda recommends using the Ttraditional Ghee” for one and all, from infancy to an old age Traditional Ghee is the one that our grandmothers churned from fresh cow’s milk as opposed to the Ghee available in the market that are made from heated milk fat or hydrogenated oil.
Ghee obtained from cow’s milk is considered the best. Buffalo milk is colder in nature, oilier and heavier. Traditional Ghee helps to pacify the Vata and Pitta. An imbalance in these two doshas contributes to most of the diseases. Ghee also has a diuretic and laxative property. Hence, it is highly recommended during pregnancy. It helps to ease bowel movement, reduce flatulence, aid lactation, and smooth delivery.
Most modern day mothers are skeptical and very reluctant to give Ghee to their babies. Because they believe that Ghee would make their child obese. On the contrary, Ayurveda preaches that Ghee helps to improve fat metabolism, because of its saturated short chain fatty acid structure. It calms the liver, improves the immune system and promotes memory and intellect in children. Traditional Ghee being sweet in nature also produces a sense of satisfaction when consumed and hence calms the body and mind. Ghee basically increases the Ojas in the body. It’s also an excellent aphrodisiac and increases semen.
Traditional Ghee has the quality of being oily and hence acts as a lubricant. This contributes to making the skin smooth and soft. This oiliness also provokes the agni and hence helps to stoke the digestive fire without increasing the Pitta. The proper functioning of the digestive fire is very important to nourish and provide strength to the body. Because of all these properties, Traditional Ghee is used to prepare many Ayurvedic medicines. It is used as a medium to assimilate medicines and helps incompatible ingredients to work well together. Its penetrating qualities make it a carrier (Yogavahi) for transporting herbs and medicines deep into the tissues. It inherits the quality of the herb or drug and enhances its potency.
On a lighter note, Ghee is used in temples to light lamps. It’s supposed to purify and ward off negativity. Ghee gives longevity by slowing the aging process. Older the Ghee better is its healing property. Some of the other therapeutic uses of Ghee are,
It can be used as a laxative tonic for kids by mixing one-teaspoon Ghee to a glass of milk
It helps to pull out toxins from the body. Hence, it can be used in Oil pulling, which is an ancient Ayurvedic technique for pulling toxins from your body. You can use Ghee with water and gargle for 10 minutes
Pregnant women can have a dollop of Ghee every morning for a smooth delivery.
It helps to clear a blocked nose. Add 5 drops of Ghee into your nostrils.
Ghee can be used for cooking and sautéing. When added to pulses it helps to reduce the flatulence caused by the pulse.