Ghee - History , significance , benefits and much more!
What is Ghee?
Ghee is a specialty that hails from India. It is a form of highly clarified butter that is obtained by melting regular unsalted butter at a high temperature until milk solids and liquid fats are separated. Once the separation is done, milk solids are removed by straining the liquid through a muslin/cheesecloth. Let us discover the history, significance and benefits of Ghee in our day to day.
Brief History of the Indian Clarified Butter
Ghee has been used in tradition Indian cooking for many many years and is a staple in every household till date. Ghee is considered the most precious oils in Ayurveda and is also referred to as “The Golden Goddess”. Ghee is considered sacred in Ayurveda and Hinduism because of its various health benefits and medicinal applications.
Ghee is a yogavahi —a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the seven dhatus or tissues of the body. Ghee pacifies pitta and vata and is acceptable, in moderation, for kapha. (Read more about Doshas or biological synergies of human body) . It is also believed to help build physical and mental strength and stability or Ojas. When we have healthy ojas, we have a strong immune system and the ability to withstand stress.
What are the health benefits of Ghee?
I remember my Mother using ghee for us with every opportunity she got – cooking with it, putting it on our roti, massaging our skin with it, applying on burns and scrapes. All of this in addition to lighting a ghee lamp with a cotton wick in our little temple at home. How can something so simple offer so many health benefits if used in moderation? Lets take a look
Helps keep you warm from within:
According to Ayurveda, ingesting Ghee keeps you warm from within, which explains why every winter all our favorite home-made desserts in India were made with Ghee. Indian winter is not nearly as harsh as winters in Canada so more reasons for us to include a little bit of Ghee in whatever way we can in our diet.
Source of good fat :Trying to lose weight? Ghee is a rich source of healthy fats that help you burn fat and weight loss. It helps pull fat-soluble toxins out of the cells and triggers fat metabolism, a process where the body kick-starts to burn its own fat for fuel.
Good source of energyGhee contains medium-chain fatty acids which the liver can absorb directly and burn immediately, promotes heart health, and is a source of energy than most of the carbs we eat today. Nursing mothers are especially given some desserts loaded with Ghee to boost energy levels.
Keeping constipation at the bay:It is believed that taking warm milk with 1 to 2 tsp of Ghee before bedtime can gently relieve constipation.
Promotes flexibility and reduces inflammation:Ever wonder how Yogis in ancient times were able to do so much with their bodies. That is because Ghee was an essential part of their diet. It lubricates the joints and connective tissues and promotes flexibility.
Great for skin:Dry skin is quite common nowadays. A highly effective way to combat dry skin is by massaging it with warm ghee. Its vital fatty acids act as a nourishing agent that can do wonders to infuse life in your dull skin.
Promotes positivity:Ghee is sattvic food in Ayurveda. It is believed that sattvic foods are rich in life-force and they promote good health, positivity, and personal growth.
As a matter of fact, I have used Ghee on my newborn babies. Everyday massaging their belly buttons with 2 drops of warm ghee, helped keep their skin and lips soft, supple, and moisturized all the time.
Another herbal remedy that my mother passed on to me. Every time, my son or daughter had a stomachache, I would warm up Ghee with a pinch of Asafoetida (an Indian spice), massage it on their belly button and stomachache would be cured in no time.
Ghee can be stored in a mason jar at room temperature from three months to a year. There is nothing better than a jar of homemade ghee. So, go ahead and make your own bottle of “The Golden Goddess”. I recently bought an Instant pot and could not believe how simple it was to make Ghee in it.
Remember, like any other source of fat, it only provides you the above benefits and much more if used in moderation. Using it in excessive quantities may have negative impacts on your health.