Ayurveda is All Praises for Ghee; Here’s How it Benefits You
Ghee is in our dals, pulaos, khichadis, rotis, paranthas, halwas and ladoos, but why is it under scrutiny now?
Consumed for thousands of years, our grandmothers have been insisting on the importance of this food for ages. Ghee is in our dals, pulaos, khichadis, rotis, paranthas, halwas and ladoos. Used as a cooking medium, it imparts a rich taste and flavour. Today, we are scared of eating ghee even though only a few years ago it was regularly consumed in our country not with guilt, but with joy. If consumed correctly, it has immense health benefits.
Ghee according to Vedas is the first and most essential of all foods. The magical golden liquid, fragrant and healthy, was made from the milk of grass-fed cows that grazed in a natural and unpolluted environment. Ayurveda places it on the top of the must-have food list.
Ayurveda, followed by generations, is not an ancient way of life, but a wise way to lead a healthy life.
“Ayurvedic medicine is both preventive as well as curative in its application,” says Reenita Malhotra Hora, author of book The Ayurvedic Diet.
What is Ghee?
Ghee, known as Ghṛita in Sanskrit, is clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It’s made by heating white unsalted butter until clear golden liquid simmers, as moisture evaporates separating the sugar and protein to sink at the bottom. The liquid is strained and stored in a clean jar.
Mentioned in the Rigveda and the Mahabharata, ghee in India is considered pure and sacred. Also considered auspicious, it symbolises abundance and prosperity. In the past, even the vessel of ghee was touched only after washing hands even if you were engaged in the process of cooking.
According to the Vedas, ghee should be prepared on Purnima (the full moon) because on this day the qualities of milk and butter are energised.
Health Benefits of Ghee According to Ayurveda
According to Ayurvedic text, the Sushruta Samhita ghee is beneficial for the whole body. It is great to build dhatus (tissues) and pacify the Vata and Pitta doshas. Ghee is rich in antioxidants, linoleic acid, and fat-soluble vitamins like A, E and D. It aids digestion by keeping the gastrointestinal tract healthy.
- Beneficial in treating burns, hyperacidity, malabsorption, epilepsy, tastelessness, chronic fever, headaches, it also lubricates connective tissues and promotes flexibility.
- Ghee is used for topical application and is used as a massage base for pitta type skin.
- Ghee mixed with honey is recommended for application on wounds and blisters.
- It balances hormones, consists of fat-soluble vitamins and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acid.
- It keeps the body warm. Therefore, it is traditionally used in many winter recipes.
- A good source of energy, ghee has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. It is an essential part of the diet of nursing mothers all over India.
- Ghee consists of good fat and helps in pulling fat soluble toxins from the cells.
- It is known as an Ayurvedic cure for nervous system disorders.
Include one to two teaspoons of ghee every day to be healthy and strong. Applying ghee on rotis is a great way to include ghee in your diet as well as making the roti moist and digestible, along with reducing the glycaemic index of food.
According to well-known nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, “Ghee reduces cholesterol by increasing contribution of lipids towards metabolism. Liver produces excess cholesterol under stress. Ghee helps you to de-stress, sleep better and wake up fresher.”
In India, households would store ghee in large vessels which would be passed down from generation to generation. Ghee, the Indian super food, can help you deal with lifestyle diseases. Sadly, not many of us make ghee today. It’s time to go back to our roots and start preparing ghee at home.
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)
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