Ghee or butter oil (endearingly called as Desi ghee) refers to clarified butter made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk in the East. It is highly popular as part of Indian staple diet and for its great health benefits. Before coming to the USA I had hardly tasted ghee bought from outside. My mother make pure ghee at home which is either by some with rice as it is, used to make doses or a wide variety of Indian sweets and desserts. Ghee is also used with certain Ayurvedic medicines at the recommendation of the Doctor. Ashtanga Sangrah, an Ayurvedic treatise by Vagbhatta, acknowledges the potency of ghee and its thousands of uses.
The butter is churned from curd and is melted over a low fire. It turns into a thick yellowish fluid which is cooled and then strained. Ghee is a part of a Brahmin’s daily life. It also plays a major role in Hindu religious ceremonies and sacrifices.
The Indian Cuisine cannot light up without ghee. The buttery flavor and non-burning quality endears ghee to Indian dishes. Ghee is healthy for sauteing and frying as it doe snot burn and hence is not carcinogenic. Ghee is great for people with lactose intolerance as it does not contain lactose or milk solids. It is highly nourishing without any hydrogenated oils and is beneficial if used in moderation. It is maintained by some that ghee does not increase cholesterol as the casein protein is removed while separation. It also contains Vitamin E and A. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid present in ghee which promotes growth and development of body’s tissues and organs. Gee is easily digestible as it contains 8% percent lower saturated fatty acids than oil improving absorption and assimilation.
Old ghee (Purana ghrita in Sanskrit) stored for around 6 months is highly known for its curative powers. It is good to enhance memory, to nourish the tissues, the brain and the nervous system. It is used for the treatment of tension, disorders of head, ear, eye and uterus. Old ghee can also help with wounds related to diabetes and ulcers. Ghee is an emollient and stoma chic according to certain healing arts. It is also a cure for many eye-diseases, dyspepsia, to improve voice and personal appearance and other ailments. Old ghee is believed to have healing powers on external application. Ayurveda recommends mediated ghee for many diseases. The varieties of mediated ghee include gudchi ghrita, Triplala Ghrita, Vasa Ghrita for fever, and Panchakola Ghrita, Nagara Ghrita, Chitraka Ghrita (processed ghee) for abdominal disorders, piles and other ailments. Mahatiktak Ghrita is ghee with the medicinal powers of many herbs and is used for skin diseases and acidic problems. Old ghee is also good for tridoshas. Ashwagandha Shatavari ghee is advised for fall season while Dashamoola ghee is for winter and Mahasudarshan ghee for summer. Ghee intake is not recommended for people with high cholesterol, diabetes or toxic condition.
Shata Dhout Ghrita (100 times washed ghee) is a chemical free and natural ingredient for a skin cream for glowing skin. The ghee after a washing of 100 times is transformed into a cool soft cream. It can can be used as a medicine for skin conditions like eczema or even for aging, wrinkling, dry skin and so on.