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Ghee – An Ayurvedic Tradition

What is Ghee?

Ghee is the golden yellow substance left over after the impurities of butter have been melted away; it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for cooking and religious ceremonies, as well as therapeutically, both internally and externally. Ghee holds a pure or sattvic energy which are abundant in prana, the universal life force; sattvic foods support physical strength, a strong and pure mind, good health, and longevity.

Ghee is made from butter, but has gone through a clarification process which strips away the parts of butter that are the most difficult to digest, such as lactose, casein, whey proteins, and trace minerals. While not officially considered dairy free, it is adopted by paleo diet and is much easier to digest by people that are sensitive and intolerant to dairy.

Benefits of Ghee

Ghee is one of the most healing substances in Ayurveda when used appropriately.⁠ It’s full of medium and short chain fatty acids including butyrates, which support a strong digestion, bile flow and a healthy microbiome. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue.

Contrary to popular belief, ghee does not raise cholesterol, and is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), needed to build lean muscle mass and support weight loss. It is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K.

Best ways to use Ghee

Cooking – Ghee can be used in place of butter and is an ideal cooking oil, as it does not burn unless heated excessively. It is fairly easy to make ghee at home, generally takes about 15-30 minutes depending upon the quantity; this is a tradition that most Indian kitchens have passed down from generations. Ghee can be swapped for vegetable oil or coconut oil in baked goods or used for sautéing and deep-frying. It is fairly easy to substitute any fat in your recipe with Ghee.

Massage – It makes a wonderful body oil for massage and can serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.). Its detoxifying benefits have made ghee a notable element in cleansing rituals. In fact, ingestion of ghee is a core part of cleansing treatments. It has been found that many toxins have a lipophilic (fat-like) structure, allowing them to easily mix in with the ghee and move out of the tissues and body.

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