Ghee ~ An Ayurvedic Staple
Updated: Aug 30
Ghee is clarified butter ~ butter that you cook down so that the milk proteins (whey, casein) and milk sugar (lactose) can separate from the oil and float to the top to be scraped off. What you are left with is this golden, divine, highly medicinal healing nectar. It has a high smoke point and can be used in place of butter.
Highly revered in Ayurveda, ghee is prized for its many medicinal properties. It is a digestive aid as it strengthens your Agni (your digestive fire) by stimulating stomach acids and helps to improve absorption and assimilation of vitamins and minerals.
Ghee has a high concentration of butyric acid - a short-chain fatty acid that acts as a detoxifier and improves colon health. Ghee contains anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. This divine nectar also supports healthy weight loss and toxin removal as it attracts other fats thereby dislodging hard-to-remove toxins and allowing them to be removed via the digestive tract.
Considered the ultimate internal oil for nourishing the bodily tissues, ghee is supportive for improving memory and lubricating the connective tissues and joints, making the body flexible.
In small doses ghee is tridoshic, meaning it's balancing for all doshas (constitutions). With its high vitamin K2 content, ghee also builds strong bones and supports a healthy microbiome.
Ghee is what we call a yogavahi in Ayurveda- a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the seven dhatus (tissues) of the body. It literally drives the medicine deeper into the tissues. Ghee also works on the subtle energies of the mind and body, nourishing Ojas, Tejas, and Prana.
Ghee pacifies vata and pitta and is acceptable, in moderation, for kapha. As ghee is rich in fat, those with high cholesterol or obesity should be cautious in using it. Ghee is not recommended when there is high ama (toxins) in the body.
For those with extra sensitivity to lactose, ghee made from cultured butter is a great choice as the lactose is converted into lactic acid during the fermentation process, so there is no chance of lactose escaping your scraping, because there is none!
With its cooling, soothing and unctuous qualities, ghee is also great to massage on the body and can serve as a base for herbal ointments.
It's clear to see why ghee is so revered in Ayurvedic medicine. Its medicinal properties are many and profound. It’s truly divine medicine when used in appropriate amounts for your unique constitution.