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Ghee – the Elixir of Ayurveda

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To define ghee in a few words, it is basically the butterfat that is left over after the water and milk solids are taken out of butter. The only difference between ghee and clarified butter is that, ghee is cooked until the milk solids are slightly browned which adds a nutty flavour to the finished product.

Ghee is extensively used in Ayurveda therapies and in daily Indian diets. It is considered to be one of the best substances that can strengthen digestion and metabolism and also nurture the tissues and rejuvenate the body.

 

jar and measuring tablespoon of ghee - clarified butter on grung

 

Some of the health benefits of ghee are:

1. It is Lactose Friendly

Since it is made from the milk solids and the impurities have been removed, people who are lactose intolerant usually have no problems consuming ghee. However, be sure to consult with your physician before trying it.

2. It Doesn’t Spoil Easily

Ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and some mixtures can last up to 100 years.

3. Promotes Flexibility

Ghee helps to lubricate the connective tissue and promote flexibility. This is why many yoga aficionados and practitioners prefer to consume this type of butter.

4. Rich in Vitamins

Ghee is rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are important for promoting bone and brain health, and for boosting the immune system.

5. Promotes a Healthy Digestive Tract

Ghee converts fibre into butyric acid, which is beneficial to intestinal bacteria. It also helps to increase appetite, fostering better health and weight loss.

6. Lowers Cholesterol

Studies have shown that ghee can reduce cholesterol both in the serum and in the intestine. It does this by triggering an increased secretion of biliary lipids.

7. Higher Smoking Point

Since it cooks at a higher point than almost any other oil, it doesn’t break into free radicals like other oils. Free radicals can potentially be harmful to one’s health, and when an oil smokes, it can be hazardous to a person’s respiratory system, if constantly breathed in.

8. Weight Loss

When the ghee is derived from grass-fed cows, the butter contains cancer-fighting fatty acid conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), which aids in weight loss.

10 Benefits of Consuming Ghee

1. It strengthens the brain and nervous system and promotes memory, intelligence, Agni (digestive fire) and Ojas (essential life energy);
2. Ghee is a great rasayana (rejuvenator) for the eyes;
3. It enhances the digestive fire while cooling and alkalizing the stomach;
4. It binds toxins and pacifies pitta (which governs the digestive fire) and vata (which governs all movements in the mind and body);
5. Enhances complexion and glow of the face and body;
6. It increases physical and mental stamina;
7. Ghee supports learning, retention, and recall of the brain;
8. Increases longevity and life span;
9. Ghee cools and lubricates the stomach wall; and
10. It nurtures and cleanses blood tissue.

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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 a lentil soups, stews and 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. Do use sparingly. When ghee is used improperly, it becomes harmful to the system. Therefore, a general recommended amount of ghee is about 1- ½ teaspoon per meal. Usually, after ghee consumption, it is good to have a warm beverage such as a glass of warm water. It is also important to make sure proper digestive health is in place before starting the use of ghee.

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