GHEE – THE SUPERFOOD
According to Ayurveda Ghee is the one medicine that can be used for everyone. Ghee is considered to be a satvic food. Satvic foods are food which promote good health, positivity and personal growth.
Ghee is the essence of milk, after milk is churned into cream/butter and then heated it becomes ghee, the pure essence of milk. The milk solids from the butter are removed during the clarification process, and since only pure fat remains, it can be stored without refrigeration for years at a time without going bad.
Ghee is sweet, mild, light, penentrating , has a cold virya (energy) and a sweet vipak (the taste post digestion). It is tridoshik (calms all the three doshas) is small quantities. Is cooling nature calms vitiated pitta but it still stimulates the agni (digestive fire) and helps in digestion. Ghee is used so extensively in Ayurveda as a anupan (with the herbs) or in large doses during the purvakarma of the Panchakarmas (body cleansing process) because of its Yogavahi nature which means it ghee absorbs these nutrients and helps them reach the correct part of the body tissues where they are most required.
It is known to help build Ojas which is created by the body through the proper digestion of food, it is the concentrated essence of all the dhatus (bodily tissues). When we have healthy ojas, we have a strong immune system and the ability to withstand stress. Thus, if the body is feeling weak and depleted or emotional feelings of fragility and sensitivity are coming up, Ayurveda would recommend building ojas through the diet. Some of the main foods that build ojas are raw, whole milk, almonds, dates and of course, ghee.
NOW FROM THE MORDERN ASPECT –
One cannot live without the intake of fats. Healthy fats from ghee, in the form of omega-3’s or 6’s, keep our joints lubricated, skin and hair lustrous, insulate our bodies, provide protection for our internal organs, boosts our ojas (immune system and mental strength), power our brains, lower cholesterol and prevent acute and chronic disease.
Why is Ghee so Special?
Ghee is made from butter. The primary fatty acid in ghee is butyric acid. Butyricacid or butyrate, is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that the intestinal tract thrives on. It helps to protect the integrity of the gut wall lining.
A healthy gut makes butyric acid. When we eat healthy fiber our gut microbes convert the ingested fiber into butyric acid. The cells of the colon use butyric acid as one of their main sources of energy and their main way to support the health of the intestinal wall. Butyric acid is also known to heal internal wounds, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. It also strengthens the colon, and promotes regular elimination patterns.
Research has shown that patients with unhealthy digestive tracts do not produce butyric acid and have other low levels of fatty acids or related oils. This is why ghee can be an amazing way to heal the gut.
Ghee has Vitamins A, E, D and K. Vitamin A is essential in keeping eyesight strong, while Vitamin E has powerful antioxidant and hydrating effects, Vitamin D keeps our bones healthy and Vitamin K supports heart health. These vitamins also assist in proper functioning of the immune system.
Many oils have a low smoke point, at which they break down and form free radicals. Free radicals are harmful agents that cause all sorts of diseases and deterioration in the body, right from ageing to cancer. Ghee has a high smoke point (250 °C), so it doesn’t break down into free radicals while cooking.
Ghee triggers the release of gastric acid, which results in better digestion and increased appetite.
Ghee contains medium-chain fatty acids which the liver can absorb directly and burn immediately, making it a healthier source of energy than most of the carbs we eat today.
Ghee is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that protects against plaque, cancer and diabetes.
Ghee is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
The butyric acid in ghee also promotes immunity, by increasing the production of killer T cells in the gut.
Doctors are now using butyrate supplements to treat inflammatory conditions, so ghee is a better anti-inflammatory option, since it is natural.
Difference between Cultured and Regular Ghee –
Ghee is made from milk cream/butter, and cultured ghee is made from yogurt made from cream or store bought cultured butter to make things easy.
Ghee has all the micronutrients and antioxidants of butter but without butter’s water, milk protein (casein), and lactose. Many people lack valuable enzyme in their digestive system, resulting in a common digestive problem known as lactose intolerance/milk allergy. I’ve met many lactose-intolerant people who do not react to the cultured ghee. The cultured ghee helped them repair their gut damage.
THINGS NEEDED TO MAKE GHEE-
- Cultured Organic Grass fed Butter
- A heavy bottom sauce]\A spoon to stir
- A fine mesh strainer
- A clean dry glass jar to store the Ghee
METHOD OF MAKING GHEE-
Add the butter to a large saucepan over a low flame and let it melt. This should take around 12-15 minutes.
A layer of white foam will appear over the surface skim it off with a spoon. Let the butter simmer and bubble away for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to scrape off the sides although there is no need to stir the bottom of the pan.
You will notice big bubbles on top which will eventually disappear and the butter will become more translucent. You need the milk solids to settle so you can see the layers.
Finally you will see the ghee foam one last time this is when you know the ghee is ready. Skim off any additional foam that collects over the top and turn the heat off.
Let it cool a bit and then strain and store it in the pantry, there is no need to refrigerate Ghee as it has a very long shelf life.