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Uncovering the Health Benefits of Ghee: What You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 22


Unlocking the Golden Goodness of Ghee: A Comprehensive Guide to its Health Benefits


Introduction: Ghee, often referred to as clarified butter, has been touted as the 'food of the Gods' in ancient scriptures. Ghee is a good source of fats essential for a balanced diet. This golden elixir has played a pivotal role in promoting holistic well-being through the ages, forming an integral part of a sattvic bhojan (sound eating regimen). In this article, we delve into the numerous health benefits of ghee, exploring its profound impact on physical, mental, and emotional health, including how ghee may lower bad cholesterol.


The Ayurvedic Marvel Ghee, a staple in Ayurveda, holds a revered status for its ability to enhance intelligence, refine intellect, and improve memory. Ghee is known to build the aura, soften organs and increase the internal juices (rasa) of the body. It also contains fat-soluble vitamins that aid overall health.


Digestive Powerhouse Ghee acts as a catalyst in stimulating stomach acids, aiding in the breakdown of food and promoting toxin elimination. Not only does ghee rekindle the digestive fire, but it also enhances the absorption of nutrients, making it ideal for conditions like leaky gut syndrome, IBS, Crohn’s disease, which impact fat digestion and absorption.

Nutrient Absorption and Disease Prevention Ghee's unique properties extend to increasing intestinal wall function, reducing the risk of colon cancer, and nourishing and lubricating body tissues. Its application is beneficial for conditions such as dry skin, inflammation, and stiff joints. Ghee is also rich in fatty acids, which may provide added benefits.


Mental and Emotional Well-being Beyond physical health, ghee contributes to mental and emotional balance, improving memory and intellect. Alongside Triphala and honey, ghee may improve eye health, act as a natural remedy for stress, anxiety, and boost the immune system. It's also beneficial for those concerned about heart disease.


Ayurvedic Wisdom and Endorsements Ancient texts like the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita sing praises for ghee's multifaceted benefits. The former highlights its role in promoting memory, intelligence, and overall well-being, while the latter recommends it as a remedy for pitta dosha-related issues like inflammation.


Ghee in Modern Context Ghee's benefits transcend traditional medicine, aligning with modern nutritional knowledge. Infact, ghee contains good fats that can be beneficial for heart health. It is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin E and beta-carotene, acting as antioxidants to combat oxidative stress. Furthermore, ghee may also improve cholesterol levels.


Conclusion: In conclusion, ghee stands as a golden elixir, celebrated for its multifaceted benefits in Ayurveda and recognized in modern nutritional science. Its potential to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and lower saturated fat, makes it a versatile addition to a balanced diet. Embrace the golden goodness of ghee and unlock the key to a healthier, more vibrant life. Ghee's fatty acid content can protect against heart disease.

 

Is it healthy to eat ghee everyday?

In Ayurveda, ghee (clarified butter) is considered a highly beneficial food when consumed in moderation and according to individual constitution (Prakriti) and imbalances (Vikriti). Ghee is revered for its nourishing properties and is often used in Ayurvedic cooking and traditional medicine for its therapeutic benefits.

Some consideration regarding ghee are

·       Digestability

·       Package of nutrients

·       Balances pitttha

·       Stimulates agni

·       Used as anupana and in various poorva kama and panchakarma techniques


What is the disadvantage of ghee?

While ghee (clarified butter) is generally considered highly beneficial in Ayurveda when consumed in moderation and according to individual constitution, there are some potential disadvantages or considerations to be aware  due to following factors like

·       High calories

·       high in saturated fats

·       Aggravates kapha

·       Impure quality

·       Lactose intolerance


Is ghee high in cholesterol?

Yes, ghee (clarified butter) is high in cholesterol, as it is primarily composed of saturated fats, including cholesterol.


Is ghee bad for cholesterol?

The relationship between ghee and cholesterol is complex and depends on various factors, including individual health status, dietary patterns, and overall lifestyle habits. While ghee is high in saturated fats, including cholesterol, its impact on blood cholesterol levels can vary depending on how it is consumed and the context of one's diet.


Who should avoid ghee?

While ghee (clarified butter) is generally considered beneficial and well-tolerated by many individuals, there are certain groups of people who may need to exercise caution or avoid consuming ghee altogether.

Some of them are

·       Individulas with lactose intolerance

·       Cardiac disorders

·       Obesity

·       Vitiated kapha


How much ghee per day is healthy?

The amount of ghee (clarified butter) that is considered healthy to consume per day can vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, overall diet, and health status. Ghee is high in saturated fat and calories, so it's important to consume it in moderation.


What happens if I eat 1 spoon of ghee everyday?

·       Consuming a small amount of ghee daily can provide essential nutrients and support overall health.

·       Consuming a small amount of ghee daily may help stimulate the digestive fire (Agni), improve digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, and prevent digestive discomfort such as constipation or bloating

·       Consuming ghee daily may support brain function, memory, and overall cognitive health.


Is eating ghee daily good for skin?

Ghee, being a type of clarified butter, contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, as well as fatty acids that are beneficial for skin health.


How to eat ghee for maximum benefits?

To maximize the potential benefits of ghee,

·       Use it for cooking: Replace other cooking oils or fats with ghee when sautéing, frying, or roasting vegetables

·       Blend it into beverages: Add a small amount of ghee to your morning coffee, tea, or smoothie for added creaminess and richness. This can also help slow down the absorption of caffeine, potentially reducing the jittery effects.

·       Drizzle it over cooked dishes: Finish off soups, stews, or cooked grains like rice with a small drizzle of melted ghee for extra flavor and richness

·       Consume it with Ayurvedic principles: In Ayurveda, ghee is often used as a carrier for herbs and spices in traditional medicine preparations known as "ghrita." Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations.


Should I Be Using Ghee Or Butter In My Diet?

Both ghee and butter are dairy-derived fats commonly used in cooking and baking, each with its own unique characteristics and potential benefits.

If you have specific dietary restrictions or health concerns, such as lactose intolerance or high cholesterol, ghee may be a better option due to its lactose-free nature and higher smoke point.


Which Ghee is the Best?

A1 ghee typically refers to ghee made from milk of cows that produce the A1 beta-casein protein variant. The quality of A1 ghee can vary depending on factors such as the breed of cows, their diet, and the production methods used. Some people prefer A1 ghee for its flavor and nutritional profile, while others may have concerns about potential health implications associated with A1 milk.


Other ghee - There are various types of ghee available in the market, including those made from cow's milk, buffalo milk, or a combination of both. Additionally, there are organic, grass-fed, and artisanal varieties of ghee that may appeal to individuals looking for specific qualities such as purity, taste, and ethical production practices.


Determining the "best" ghee can depend on individual preferences, dietary needs, and ethical considerations. Here are some factors to consider when choosing ghee:

·       Source of milk: Ghee can be made from the milk of various animals, including cows, buffalo, and goats.

·       Quality:Look for ghee made from high-quality milk, preferably from grass-fed or pastured animals.

·       Taste and aroma: Ghee can vary in flavor and aroma depending on factors such as the source of milk, the diet of the animals, and the production process. Choose ghee that has a pleasant taste and aroma that complements your cooking preferences.


How to make ghee at home?

Making ghee at home is a simple process that involves clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and water, leaving behind pure butterfat. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make ghee at home:


Ingredients:

-Butter

Equipment:

- Heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot

- Wooden spoon or spatula

- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth

- Glass jar or container for storing ghee


Instructions:

·       Select the Butter: Choose unsalted butter for making ghee. It's best to use high-quality butter, preferably grass-fed or organic, for the best flavor and nutritional benefits.

·       Melt the Butter: Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot over low to medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt slowly, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent sticking and ensure even melting.

·       Simmer the Butter: Once the butter has melted completely, it will start to bubble and foam. Continue to cook the butter over low heat, allowing it to simmer gently. As the butter cooks, the milk solids will separate and float to the surface, and the water content will evaporate.

·       Skim the Foam: As the butter simmers, skim off the foam that rises to the surface using a spoon or ladle. This foam consists of the milk solids and impurities that are being separated from the butterfat.

·       Observe the Color and Aroma:As the butter clarifies, it will gradually turn from yellow to golden and then to a rich, amber color. The aroma will become nutty and fragrant. Be careful not to let the ghee burn; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.

·       Clarify Completely: Continue to simmer the butter until the bubbling subsides, and the milk solids at the bottom of the pot turn golden brown. At this point, the ghee is clarified, and the milk solids have caramelized.

·       Strain the Ghee: Once the ghee is clarified and the milk solids have caramelized, remove the pot from the heat. Place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a clean glass jar or container. Carefully pour the hot ghee through the strainer to remove any remaining milk solids and impurities.

·       Cool and Store: Allow the strained ghee to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, cover the jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in a cool, dark place. Homemade ghee can be stored at room temperature for several months or refrigerated for longer shelf life.

 

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