Ghee is a form of clarified butter used across India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe, and Central Asia. It is an ingredient you can use for cooking or as a supplement to increase your intake of butyric acid. Clarified butter does not spoil as quickly as typical butter and can be kept at room temperature for months.
In the case of ghee, the traditional method of making this clarified butter involves boiling butter until all the water has evaporated. This leaves behind a pure, golden-coloured fat with a high smoke point and a rich, nutty flavour that can complement any number of dishes.
There are three primary types of ghee: cow ghee, buffalo ghee, and A2 ghee. Cow ghee is made using regular cow’s milk, while buffalo ghee uses milk from water buffaloes instead. A2 ghee comes from cows who have only been fed grasses that contain beta-carotene or beta-glucan—no grains whatsoever.
How is Ghee healthier than Refined Oil?
1. Refined oils such as canola, coconut, and soybean oil are first extracted by processing them through an industrial process. As a result, the oils lose some of their nutritional value and are often contaminated with toxins and carcinogens. Ghee is never processed in this way, nor does it require any additional ingredients. Instead, it is created from slowly cooked cream until all the water evaporates and only pure butterfat remains.
2. Because ghee is made from natural dairy products, it contains nutrients that refined oils do not. It has a high concentration of vitamins A and E, proven to help skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.
3. Ghee also contains a unique fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to reduce body fat in animals compared with other dietary fats—and there’s evidence that CLA may have the same effect on humans!
4. Ghee can be used in place of oil in any recipe—because of its higher smoke point (250° Fahrenheit compared to vegetable oils’ 400°), it’s often considered even better for cooking. It adds a rich, nutty taste to recipes and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a healthy fat and energy source.
5. Additionally, ghee’s calming quotient makes it ideal for people with Vata-Pitta body type and those suffering from Vata and Pitta imbalance disorders.
1. Cow Ghee
According to Ayurveda, cow ghee is the best oil used in food preparations. It is considered to be the most essential ‘Rasayana’ in Ayurveda. Rasayana means rejuvenating agent for the body and mind.
The cow is a sacred animal and has been mentioned as an auspicious animal in ancient scriptures of India. In many homes, a small cup of cow ghee is considered equivalent to ‘Nanda Deep’ (the lamp of prosperity and happiness) which burns all through the day in many homes, representing purity, divinity and auspiciousness.
The cow is seen as a symbol of abundance and nourishment. And when it comes to cow products, ghee reigns supreme as the most highly-regarded ingredient. Produced through a lengthy process of boiling and straining butter, ghee is pure fat—and that means it has an incredible capacity for healing. It’s believed to be the only fat that can completely penetrate cellular membranes and act as a lubricant on a cellular level.
When we consume cow ghee, it positively influences our physical and mental health. For thousands of years, cow ghee has been used in ayurvedic treatments due to its medicinal properties. It improves digestion, reduces cholesterol levels, and treats constipation and many other health problems.
Benefits of Cow Ghee
1. Helps with digestion and constipation
a. For Lactose Intolerant
Cow ghee is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat any digestive problem. It’s known for breaking down fat-soluble vitamins and improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which is especially important for people who suffer from digestive issues.
b. Butyric Acid
Butyric acid is a fatty acid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease symptoms of many digestive disorders. It also helps improve the health of the intestinal lining, which allows food to move through more efficiently.
Cow ghee helps relieve constipation. Constipation can be caused by several different factors such as diet, stress or dehydration. Ghee has been shown to increase bowel movements and softens stools, so they are easier to pass. This makes it an effective natural remedy for constipation (and haemorrhoids).
2. Good for skin
Ghee has a variety of fatty acids that help seal moisture on your skin. If you have dry spots, or even an itch or irritation, rub a small amount of ghee over the area. Leave it on for ten minutes before washing off with warm water. It’ll leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated!
Ghee is packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help protect against free radicals and bacteria, leading to inflammation of the skin. Rub ghee on your face as a natural way to soothe redness and irritation.
c. Anti- Ageing
Ghee contains vitamin E, which is known to fight signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and spots on the skin. In addition, ghee helps detoxify the liver, keeping it from working overtime to process toxins that could show up later on your face.
3. Buffalo Ghee
Buffalo ghee is a slightly richer form of ghee, which has increased healing properties. It also has a more intense flavour than cow ghee, so if you’re hesitant to try eating ghee directly (which is a great way to boost your energy levels), buffalo ghee can be a good place to start.
Ayurveda recommends buffalo ghee to balance the body’s humours and return them to its natural homeostasis.
The body’s humours are described as wind (Vata), fire (Pitta), and earth (Kapha). In ayurvedic theory, these humours are associated with different body parts: wind is located in the pelvic cavity, fire in the digestive system, and earth in the chest. Vata is associated with movement, pitta with metabolism and digestion, and Kapha with structure.
When there is an imbalance of the humours, it can lead to disease or other health problems. To restore balance to our bodies—and thus achieve a healthy state—ayurvedic medicine prescribes buffalo ghee for its calming properties in reducing Vata imbalance. It also helps create an alkaline environment in which bacteria cannot grow. The high-fat content of buffalo ghee coats the entire digestive tract, leaving no room for harmful parasites to attach themselves.
In addition to treating digestive issues such as diarrhoea or constipation, buffalo ghee may also be used externally on the skin to promote healing and relieve dryness.
Benefits of Buffalo Ghee
1. Helps in healthy bone formation
It turns out that vitamin K2 in buffalo ghee is crucial for healthy bones. Studies have shown that consuming vitamin K2 can help reverse osteopenia and osteoporosis by encouraging bone formation.
But how does this work? Vitamin K2 is a coenzyme for the enzyme Matrix Gla Protein (MGP). MGP helps to regulate where calcium is deposited in your body. It does this by preventing the buildup of calcium in soft tissues such as arteries and encouraging the development of bone tissue.
So when you use Buffalo Ghee, with its high concentration of vitamin K2, you’re helping to support bone formation and health.
2. Improves brain function
Buffalo Ghee is an excellent source of healthy fats, including Omega-3s and CLA, which have been shown to have a wide range of benefits for mental health.
DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid found in Buffalo Ghee, boosts brain function explicitly by helping to improve memory and learning ability and growing serotonin levels—the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of wellbeing. Buffalo Ghee also enhances mood and lifts depression by increasing the brain’s production of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid), another neurotransmitter involved in regulating stress levels.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) has been shown to improve memory and recall, recognise patterns more quickly, and make better use of information learned, all while improving overall brain function. This can help with everything from increased focus to improved creativity.
3. A2 Ghee
In Ayurveda, ghee is considered an essential part of a healthy diet. But not just any kind of ghee—A2 ghee!
The ancient Indian sages didn’t have DNA sequencing technology when they were conducting their experiments on animal products and making discoveries about the body, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong about what they found! They knew what to look for when it came to quality ghee and how to find it.
How was this ancient wisdom discovered? Through observation and experimentation, of course! The sages noticed that cows that ate green grass tended to live longer and had fewer illness symptoms than those who did not. They used this knowledge to determine that the best ghee comes from cows who eat feed crops such as berries, nuts, and seeds. The cows are neither cross-bred nor factory farmed but instead roam in pastures freely.
They then conducted a series of experiments with different types of animal fats to determine which ones were most beneficial for human consumption: those most like butter (A1) or those most like cream cheese (A2). A1 has been shown through modern science research studies to cause inflammation in humans, while A2 does not.
Benefits of A2 Ghee
1. Promotes a healthy heart
The unsaturated fatty acids in A2 ghee are also beneficial for your heart. Polyunsaturated fats help lower cholesterol levels, while monounsaturated fats help decrease blood pressure — two factors that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
A2 ghee promotes the production of HDL or “good” cholesterol. HDL helps sweep away LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, that can clog your arteries and cause disease.
Ghee may also help prevent heart attacks and stroke by fighting inflammation. A2 Ghee has been shown to have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin K2, known to be heart-healthy.
2. Good for sleep
Some of the best foods to eat before bed to ensure healthy sleep include magnesium-rich foods, protein-rich foods, and omega-rich foods. Luckily, A2 Ghee has all three! Here are some of the benefits of A2 Ghee for good sleep:
Omega Rich: A2 Ghee contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, helping you get into deeper stages of sleep.
Protein Rich: The protein found in A2 Ghee will help boost your metabolism and provide you with increased energy. This will help keep you awake during the day when you need it most, ensuring you feel tired at night.
Magnesium Rich: Magnesium has been directly linked to improved sleep quality and can be found in high amounts of ghee. Diets rich in magnesium have also been related to reduced stress.
The verdict is in: ghee is good for you. Although it does contain a bit more fat per serving than other cooking oils, it’s the beneficial fats that count. Plus, the high smoke point means you can use ghee for most high-heat cooking options—just don’t forget to breathe in all that fantastic flavour.