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Benefits Of Ghee (Clarified Butter): Healthy Reasons From Ayurveda

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Ghee or clarified butter, in the past found mainly in many Indian dishes, is now becoming a favorite ingredient not only for Ayurveda cooks, but also main stream chefs and nutritionists as they experience the qualities it brings to their dishes. Benefits of Ghee (Clarified Butter) include improved digestion, memory, and flexibility of body tissues.

Ghee is made from butter, but its milk solids and salts have been removed which then makes it a pure “oil”.  This oil can be brought to high temperatures without burning.  (An important factor in the kitchen and possibly why many French cooks use it in their sauces).  When ghee melts it is clear and has a beautiful yellow color as well as a  faint nutty smell, a little like popcorn.  That quality only enhances the richness and flavor of everything that contains it.

Clarified Butter/ Ghee for our health

Health Benefits of Ghee

Ghee can also be used instead of butter.  In fact I use it much more often than I use butter.  It becomes solidified at lower temperatures, so in most cases does not need to be refrigerated.  Ghee does need to be stored in a glass container with a tight lid.  When removing from the jar, be careful to not contaminate and ruin it with other food products that may be present on a knife or spoon.

Ghee has a wonderful rich taste, but it also contains amazing healing properties.  First, it is tridoshic, meaning all 3 constitutions (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) benefit from its qualities of a sweet rasa (taste), cooling vīrya (the effects of ghee on metabolism) and sweet vipāka (post-digestive effect). It should be noted that the Kapha constitution needs to use sparingly, as ghee has kapha qualities and may cause imbalance.

Ghee is good for our health and is also used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes.  It is considered a prabhāva, which means that its dynamic, electo-magnetic action, or its ability to heal, cannot be explained by the logic of rasa, virya, or vipāka.  Considering Dr. Frawley’s quote, which reflects the idea that the “essences” of all the grasses in the world have come through the cow, then through the milk, then through the butter and then finally refined into ghee, I think is such a beautiful way to explain that “nature heals nature”.

Healthy Ghee

Clarified Butter Health Benefits

Because of its potent healing qualities you don’t need much.  Dr. Lad states in his book Textbook of Ayurveda General Principles of Management and Treatment that if one teaspoon or less is eaten per meal, ghee can actually help to increase HDL, the good cholesterol.  Some additional reasons to use ghee when preparing your food are:

• Digestion (helps absorb and assimilate nutrients)
• Improves memory
• Helps increase flexibility by lubricating the connective tissues
• Carries the medicinal properties of herbs into tissues (yogavāhi)
• Stimulates the liver to produce fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K

You will find ghee the base of many herbal ointments for skin problems such as rashes and burns.  While attending Ayurveda School, I was lucky enough to get to help make a ghee face cream using ghee and water in a copper bowl.  It took the entire class several hours to complete this project of “washing” the ghee.  The procedure included mixing ice water with ghee in a copper bowl (no bacteria can grow in a copper bowl).  We each took turns stirring the mixture with our hands, and then filtering it through cheese cloth to only start the sequence again with the next student.  We did this over one hundred times.  The ghee face cream was the consistency of thick, whipped cream.  It was an incredible experience and so much fun, especially having ghee all over our hands when we were done.  We didn’t want to wash it off and waste it so we just kept rubbing more and more of it on our faces, arms and legs. We each were given a small container that was like owning gold, at least for me, and I used it over the next few months. I have used ghee for many things since then.  I even use ghee in my eyes to moisten the tissues and relieve dry, red eyes.

How to make ghee – The pure ayurvedic way?

Medicated ghee’s or ghee containing medicinal herbs can also be made.  Basti is one example.  Basti’s (medicated enemas) are part of Ayurveda’s main Rejuvenating Detoxification, Pañchakarma.  One might receive a basti using ghee to sooth and heal tissues of the colon after a bout with constipation.

Peggy Breeze

Peggy is an Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle consultant, Yoga Specialist, Peak and Power Pilates instructor, cycle instructor and a personal trainer with certifications from Kripalu and 500-hour Himalayan Institute.

Peggy Breeze

Peggy is an Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle consultant, Yoga Specialist, Peak and Power Pilates instructor, cycle instructor and a personal trainer with certifications from Kripalu and 500-hour Himalayan Institute.

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227 comments
Erin Shepherd
Erin Shepherd 5pts

Ghee is not clairified butter it's actually brown butter. Mainly used in Indian food

Sunita Balyan
Sunita Balyan 5pts

Melt the white butter on slow fire.you yourself can notice that clear butter Known as GHEE........ ( देसी घी.) and some kinda light brown substance stick to the bottom of utensil. your Deshi Ghee is ready !

Susan Day
Susan Day 5pts

Not for me. There's too much animal suffering in the dairy industry.

Kaylene Peters
Kaylene Peters 5pts

Steven Kachejian thanks but I went vegan and it's working well for me.

Steven Kachejian
Steven Kachejian 5pts

The benefit of Ghee for cooking is most of the milk solids are removed so you have a higher smoke point.

Monica Kallee
Monica Kallee 5pts

All Indian grocery stores stock ghee & many reputable supermarket chain-stores too

Danielle Pirie
Danielle Pirie 5pts

Sarah Sutton Jaimee Treloar Dave would like this

Drdrgoyal Mahendra
Drdrgoyal Mahendra 5pts

Pure ghee can be prepared at home within 2 hrs. Take 10 pcs of Butter 250 gm each in a pot heat until all the water removed and filter it. You will get around 2 kg pure ghee. Store at the cool places. one butter slide costs around 89 cent, in Germany.

Kaylene Peters
Kaylene Peters 5pts

I'm lactose intolerant and like living without the side affects of milk products.

Luisa Marie
Luisa Marie 5pts

This is what I showed you the other day at Trader Joe's Nicole Marie, remember? You can make it yourself ..

Mark Grubb
Mark Grubb 5pts

In German this is called Butterschmalz

Raj Gurudev
Raj Gurudev 5pts

It's very easy Miss, check on YouTube there are several videos. From Seattle WA.

Monica Kallee
Monica Kallee 5pts

Make ur own butter ghee - in a saucepan bring 2 × 500g butter to a boil (choice or unsalted)....when it begins to sizzle then lower the heat & continue to boil gently until the ghee becomes clear & looks golden in colour.....gradually scooping out all the malaai (cream) which settles on the top....this process takes abt +- 30mins.....I add a few lemon or lime leaves to the butter during boiling....be careful not to burn the butter ghee

Emily McDonald
Emily McDonald 5pts

Cynthia McDonald maybe you should use this in your coffee?!

Michael Goldsberry
Michael Goldsberry 5pts

Snezana Markova Well what do you think what you were talking about cooking butter and using it I think this is pretty cool