Looking for a
cooking oil that’s healthy, yet doesn’t mean you have to compromise on
taste? Consider Ghee -- the ayurvedic cooking medium that’s been around
for thousands of years. It has a rich, buttery taste and aroma, and
comes with a host of benefits that are listed in the traditional
WHAT IS GHEE?
Ghee is clarified butter -- the butter oil, without the lactose and
other milk solids. The word ghee is pronounced with a hard G as in GO
and a long E as in GLEE. It is traditionally prepared by gently heating
butter until it becomes a clear golden liquid. The lactose and other
milk solids coagulate and are meticulously removed. This process also
evaporates most of the natural water content, making ghee light, pure
and resistant to spoilage.
BENEFITS RECOGNIZED IN THE AYURVEDIC TEXTS
Ayurveda considers ghee the ultimate cooking oil, with diverse
mind/body benefits listed in the ancient texts.
Absorption: Ghee is an integral part of the science of ayurvedic herbal
formulation. Since ghee is an oil, it can bond with lipid-soluble
nutrients and herbs to penetrate the lipid-based cell walls of the
body. It is stated to increase the potency of certain herbs by carrying
the active components to the interior of the cells where they impart
the most benefit.
Preservative: Ghee does not spoil easily, and actually preserves the
original freshness and potency of herbs and foods. It does not need
- * Digestion:
The ayurvedic texts say that Ghee helps balance excess stomach acid,
and helps maintain/repair the mucus lining of the stomach.
- * Mild
Burns: Like aloe, Ghee is said to prevent blisters and scarring if
applied quickly to affected skin.
- * Mind: Ghee
is said to promote all three aspects of mental functioning -- learning,
memory and recall.
- * Ayurvedic
Balance: Ghee balances both Vata (the
ayurvedic mind/body operator that controls movement in mind and body)
and Pitta (the operator that controls heat and metabolism).
Ghee has been
given the cherished title of “rasayana” in ayurveda --
pre-eminent herbs and foods that help overall health, longevity and
THE RIGHT KIND OF FAT
It is generally recognized that some fat is essential for health. A
totally fat-free diet can actually accelerate aging of the skin, nerves
and brain cells. Without an adequate quantity of the right kind of fat
in the diet, cell regeneration can be adversely impacted. Fats are
needed for efficient absorption of crucial lipid-soluble vitamins such
as A, E, D and K. The stomach lining, which protects the stomach from
the acids it secretes to help break down foods, needs fat to maintain a
healthy coating. Similarly, cholesterol in the body serves functions
that are crucial to health, such as building cell membranes, and
hormone and bile balance. It is when cholesterol is damaged by harmful
free radicals that it leads to clogged arteries and heart problems.
Ghee imparts the benefits of the best essential fatty acids without the
problems of oxidized cholesterol, transfatty acids or hydrogenated
fats. It is also resistant to free radical damage and is both salt and
VERSATILE COOKING MEDIUM
Ghee has an excellent aroma and is so flavorful that you can use half
or two-thirds as much as other cooking oils. It has a very high burning
point and doesn’t burn or smoke during cooking. It combines excellently
with a wide variety of spices. You can use ghee to sauté foods,
in baking, to deep-fry, or even as a spread.