Better Than Butter: Amazing Health Benefits of Ghee
Ghee is clarified butter traditionally used in Indian cooking. Though high in fat, ghee has amazing health benefits, including improving memory, digestion and boosting the immune system.
Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a pot until all the water has boiled. Ghee is the milk solids that has settled to the bottom of the pot and is best enjoyed in moderation. If you’ve eaten lobster or crab before, you may be more familiar with the term “drawn butter“, which is essentially the same thing, although often many people will simply melt some butter and call it drawn butter.
In Ayurvedic medicine and practices, ghee is at the top of the foods list, as it has the healing benefits of butter without the impurities (saturated fat, milk solids).
Ayurveda claims ghee is beneficial for the whole body and recommends it as the ultimate remedy for problems stemming from the pitta dosha, such as inflammation.
Long a favorite of yoga practitioners, ghee lubricates the connective tissues and promotes flexibility.
Traditionally, the preparation has been used to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion. Modern science tells us that ghee also harbors phenolic antioxidants, which bolster the immune system.
Even better than ghee is aged ghee—up to 100 years—which treats alcoholism, epilepsy, fever, and vaginal pain. Medicated ghee (ghrita in Sanskrit), meanwhile, combines clarified butter with healing herbs. Ghee’s benefits extend to topical use as well. Ayurveda beauty experts suggest ghee as a massage base to calm sensitive pitta-type skin. The Indian Materia Medica, a widely respected source book for Ayurveda remedies, recommends ghee, sometimes mixed with honey, as an application for wounds, inflammation, and blisters.
You’ll find ghee at the health food store, but it’s easy to make:
♦ Place 1 to 2 pounds of butter in a saucepan on low heat.
♦ Melt until white curds separate and sink to the bottom.
♦ When a drop of water flicked into the pan boils immediately, the ghee is done.
♦ Discard the curds and store in a jar. If kept out of contact with water, ghee needs no refrigeration.
♦ Take 2 teaspoons per day as a supplement, or simply use ghee in your cooking.
Just remember that ghee is fat, and only a certain amount of total fat is necessary for the diet. If you use ghee, reduce your total fat intake proportionately.
Resources: Yoga Journal & Agricultural Society