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Ghee – Ayurveda’s Super Nourishing Health Food

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Ghee is clarified cultured butter which is butter separated from yogurt. It has a well balanced combination of saturated and unsaturated fats and a high smoke point making it good for all styles of cooking. It strengthens digestive fire, increases lubrication and cools inflammation. It can also help repair and protect cell membranes.

We talk a lot about ghee in Ayurveda. It is said to be the best oil to cook with and it turns out there are lots of good reasons.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, ghee is special because it is the only fat that is said to strengthen the digestive fire.

First Of All, What Is Ghee?

Ghee is clarified cultured butter. This means it is butter that has been separated out from yogurt. It has then been cooked over a low-medium heat until the water has been evaporated out. During this process, the casein and the lactose have solidified and separated out of the pure milk fat.

Ghee has a very well balanced combination of saturated and unsaturated fats. Fat contents and proportions vary a bit throughout the year and depending upon the cow, but the proportions are about 65% saturated fats, 25% monounsaturated fats and about 5% polyunsaturated fat content. Most of the saturated fat is made up of short chain fatty acids and about 3% of that is linoleic acid which has antioxidant properties.

Ghee also has a very high smoke point (485 degrees Farenheit), which makes it a very good cooking oil for all cooking styles. When an oil starts to smoke and burn, it releases free radicals–which damage cells. Since ghee has a high smoke point, it can be heated higher without this danger. In fact, ghee is very protective of cell membranes and can even repair damage to the membranes.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, ghee is special because it is the only fat that is said to strengthen the digestive fire. It is also very subtle and so can penetrate deeply into the tissues of the body to increase lubrication and cool inflammation. Ghee is said to be the most important medicine for pitta dosha.

How To Make Ghee?

1. Put 1 pound or 1/2 kilo of unsalted, cultured butter in a heavy pot with a rather thick bottom and high sides. (If you have access to raw cow’s cream, you can make your own yogurt and then butter first).

2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the melted butter starts boiling, it begins to foam and sputter a lot. Continue cooking (at a simmer) with the butter uncovered over medium-low heat. Cook it slowly, if you are in a rush you are likely to burn it.

3. While simmering, small white curds appear on the surface, and the amount of foam decreases. The solids progressively settle on the bottom of the pot. Pay attention to the sputtering; the melted butter should simmer in a way that you hear constant regular sizzling and spitting sounds.

4. As the butter ghee continues simmering, you’ll see that it becomes more and more transparent.

5. From time to time, use a wooden spoon to gently stir the surface of the boiling butter to better check the transparency of the melted butter. Don’t go deep with the wooden spoon; the purpose is not to stir but to check if the clarified butter is taking the lovely golden color so characteristic of ghee.

6. When the clarified butter has a golden transparent color and there is very little foam left on the surface, the ghee is ready. All solids should have settled in the bottom by now.

7. Take it off the heat at once as it can burn easily. You’ll notice a sweet popcorn-like smell, and that the sputtering and crackling has calmed down. After the butter has melted, the cooking time is about 30 minutes, depending on the heat source and the kind of pot you use.

As soon as it turns a beautiful golden color and begins to smell like popcorn, remove the ghee from the heat immediately. At this stage it can burn very quickly.

8. Let it cool a little bit. If you want to, you can strain the ghee by pouring golden liquid through a fine sieve or clean tea strainer into an earthen or glass jar. Discard the brownish curds at the bottom of the pot. Alternatively, you can line a large sieve with 2 or 3 layers of clean cotton cheesecloth to strain the clarified butter.

Susan Fauman

I have trained classically in Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda for almost 15 years, spending more than 2 years studying in India with Ayurvedic doctors and healers. I am a passionate educator and speaker in college classrooms, yoga studios and at professional conferences. I have training in western and Ayurvedic herbal formulation and in diet and nutrition through the lenses of Ayurveda and classical Taoist medicine. I am also a skilled bodyworker, weaving Shiatsu massage technique into deep-tissue massage and Ayurvedic body treatments.

Susan Fauman

I have trained classically in Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda for almost 15 years, spending more than 2 years studying in India with Ayurvedic doctors and healers. I am a passionate educator and speaker in college classrooms, yoga studios and at professional conferences. I have training in western and Ayurvedic herbal formulation and in diet and nutrition through the lenses of Ayurveda and classical Taoist medicine. I am also a skilled bodyworker, weaving Shiatsu massage technique into deep-tissue massage and Ayurvedic body treatments.

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Anupama Prayaga
Anupama Prayaga 5pts

Daily before hitting your bed. Apply ghee on your lips and sleep. Follow this daily. You will notice soft supple and pinky lips. Good luck.

Ruby Nihal
Ruby Nihal 5pts

You should less use of ghee it can be decrease your fat

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

We already do have many vegan recepies and will post more in future :) thanks

Allison Vandersloot-Pederson
Allison Vandersloot-Pederson 5pts

A mommy cow would prefer her milk only goes to her calf. That's the ONLY reason she produces it. Please suggest non-animal ingredients. Mommy cow says thanks, she would appreciate it ♡

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Yes absolutely, Well said! :)

DrSatish Kumar
DrSatish Kumar 5pts

Depending upon health n disease conditions ghee can be used ... And also used as preventive aspect .... Anti aging... Etc .

RK Rana
RK Rana 5pts

Only desi cow ka ghee

Connie Romero-Perez
Connie Romero-Perez 5pts

Not related to ghee but I was wondering if tumeric helps with weight loss at all??? I know it's a silly question but I've been wondering this for the last week lol

Shane Komal
Shane Komal 5pts

How much cream/butter would you need to make a kg's worth of ghee?

Ashwini Bhanushali
Ashwini Bhanushali 5pts

How do I make ghee in US where we don't store cream in a traditional way

Sophie Meagher
Sophie Meagher 5pts

Cook first spices on a cooking sheet with ghee, then add your veggies and roast them! A favorite at home !

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Annaliza Maree Mazzon You should! :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

That's great! Sophie Meagher :)

Jan Pittard
Jan Pittard 5pts

Laura Lam Hardy remember when I posted I was making ghee

Ritu Bajaj
Ritu Bajaj 5pts

Ghee is good for H D L . But my Dr. Says never take ghee n butter. I never eat these because I have 274 cholesterol.

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Kanhaiyalal Soni True! :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Lakwei Laetitia Wei In small quantities! :)

Satish Kumar
Satish Kumar 5pts

Ghee is very helpful reduce agrevated "pitta dosha" but ghee should be cow 's(deshi ghay's)

Amanda Tan
Amanda Tan 5pts

Ayurveda.. please give us healthy recipes how to use and cook ghee. Thank you

richaarya1
richaarya1 5pts

Great information. Thank you for sharing it. It would be great if you also provide the reference for the facts that are listed as: (a) smoke point (b)  various fat content (c) useful in various diseases. 


Susan Day
Susan Day 5pts

I'm trying to be dair free. Not for me.

Ashok Mongia
Ashok Mongia 5pts

कृपया हिंदी में भी प्रस्तुत करें।

Priyanka Srivastava
Priyanka Srivastava 5pts

Is ghee is good fot weight gain? How much should consume safely in a day? With which food combination its more easily digestable? Is there anyfood with we shouldnt take ghee?

Tejal Shah
Tejal Shah 5pts

I use patanjali cow ghee.... It's really aromatic ghee... I suggest to all one time u will try to it ...

Kiran Kumar
Kiran Kumar 5pts

dear Admin: when you say ghee is good, define the what ghee, Ghee made out of HF cows is not at all ghee, it is bloody one shitty thing. (which has more of LDL) and it is available in the market for Rs150 -190, the real ghee is the one made out of Indian Cow ( Bos Indicus) what they call it, do' t just write something and fool the people. it is very unfortunate that the west is teaching Ayurveda to us!

Remy Kemp
Remy Kemp 5pts

I'm not convinced it's better than killing them. The majority of them live horrible lives; they get forcibly impregnated, and have their babies taken away right after birth.

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

We agree Remy Kemp about the ethical part of it. But it's commercialization of dairy industry which is to be blamed. But it's much better than killing them. We need to stop that before coming to other ethical issues!

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Glad to help Suzanna Conn

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Carolyn Sue Hayes Yes! :)

Anita Patil
Anita Patil 5pts

Everyone love ghee but fear using it

Suzanna Conn
Suzanna Conn 5pts

Thank you for this recipe for making ghee!!!..\U0001f600