Ghee – the universal butter
Ghee is a butter melted in a special way. After the specific heat treatment for cleansing, the obtained product no longer carries the characteristics of animal fat. The healing properties of Ghee make it the most universal of all the numerous healing butters and oils in Ayurveda.
In Eastern medicine it is known as the “liquid gold” and a miraculous medicine, useful even against the appearance of cancer cells. It is believed to give some the finest solar energy to the body. Ghee is the only butter that balances all three Doshas – the biological forces in the human body that manage and control all vital processes. As is well known, according to Ayurveda, diseases occur when one of this biological forces goes out the unique equilibrium. Then disturbances occur in the functions of various organs and systems, which are managed by the specific Dosha, resulting in diseases.
Any deviation in a Dosha sooner or later leads to serious disturbances. Thus, combined diseases occur. Ghee is particularly suitable for Vata dosha /the energy of movements in the body/ because of its unique purified butter content and for Pitta dosha /energy of transformations/ because of its cool and sweet qualities.
Ghee can be used in a variety of ways and that’s why the answer to the question “What is the ghee butter?” is very broad, it covers a number of topics such as cooking, treatment, cosmetics, rejuvenation, prophylaxis, beliefs and rituals.
Cooking with this butter is extremely healthy because it does not burn and does not become carcinogenic as it is with other oils. Fatty acids in ghee are mostly saturated, with a short chemical chain and do not become oxidized upon cooking. The same applies at room temperature. This makes it useful for the absorption of nutrients from the body without toxins.
Ghee can also be taken internally – on its own, with milk, with spices and with other foods. It can also be introduced through the nose, which is used in the treatment of a number of diseases including the Alzheimer’s disease, through the natural delivery of anti-aging substances to the brain.
It is also used externally – for pouring and massages, in numerous cleansing procedures, because it penetrates deeply into the body and reaches different tissues.
What healing effects can be achieved with Ghee
Ghee is used to treat multiple diseases of different nature. This unique butter contributes to the overall improvement at a physical and spiritual level, which are perceived as one by Ayurveda. Ghee is an excellent way for the body to lubricate, internally and externally, to heal and rejuvenate, because it relaxes the tissues and organs, and helps to eliminate the toxins from them.
One of the effects of Ghee is that it nourishes the brain and the nervous system, and prevents nervous exhaustion. Its effect stabilizes the emotions, improves perception, concentration and memory, as well as the logical thinking and intellect. Here it has to be added that Ghee is also useful for the bone marrow.
In addition, it activates the digestive fire, especially in the small intestine and liver, where nutrients are processed. Since it does not have the characteristics of the animal fat, Ghee does not disturb the liver functions, but it improves them.
Another effect is stopping the action of free radicals. This generally improves metabolism, prevents the release of toxins in the digestive organs from where poisons spread throughout the body through the bloodstream, the immune system is strengthened.
The specific diseases for which ghee is used are numerous, but here we can mention colds, which are very common – chills, runny nose, cough and angina. To treat this ailments we can use a tablespoon of ghee and turmeric, or ginger and nutmeg, consumed in the evening. It can also be applied to flu, which is a viral disease.
If consumed at night it helps against insomnia. The butter is also beneficial for the treatment of ocular diseases such as glaucoma. Taking a tablespoon of ghee butter before and after eating is good against heartburn. If you have weak immunity, you can consume ghee combined with cardamom, dill, honey, nuts and dried fruits in the morning. The butter is used also to heal wounds and burns. It can also be applied in case of paralysis, hemorrhoids, migraine, poisonings, hormonal problems, epilepsy and many others.
Ghee is also widely used in cosmetics for skin rejuvenation, for example, in massage oils, in creams, conditioners and masks. In addition to the healing properties of ghee, we can also add its ability to absorb and enhance the effect of ingredients added to it without losing any of its qualities. That’s why it is an essential part of the recipes for a number of Ayurvedic medicines.
How is ghee made?
Naturally, in order to answer What ghee butter is, firsr we should say how it is made. As it was mentioned, Ghee is a cow’s butter melted in a special way. In the process of melting are removed the water, sugar, as well as some milk proteins. The resulting substance is cleansed from the harmful ingredients of animal fat, it is rich in vitamin E, which is the most powerful vitamin antioxidant.
There is also vitamin A, which has numerous benefits – for the construction of ocular retina and its functions; it has a strong disinfecting effect; supports the growth of cells, improves immunity, reproductive abilities, it is good for the bones.
Another very important and useful ingredient is the linoleic acid, which has a positive effect on skin problems, its content in the mother’s milk is extremely essential for the proper growth of the infant.
The preparation of Ghee is not difficult, but some deviations in the small details makes it not so good. The cow’s butter that will be melted should be fresh and unsalted, without additives. For about 1.2 liters of butter /big jar/ you need about 1.5 kg of cow’s butter.
Cut into cubes, it is placed in a pot with thick bottom in order to warm up on medium heat. Wait until it melts completely, then it will begin boiling and forming foam. Remove the foam until it stops forming, as each time it may be different depending on the released harmful substances. It may happen only once.
During the process, the aroma of the pot should be of milk. If another smell appears, then the cow’s butter is not of high quality because it has undergone some processing that is beyond the natural technology of its production. In that case, regardless of the final product, it will not be the Ghee.
The color is also indicative. First it is darker and slowly becomes clearer as the water boils and proteins precipitate. After twenty minutes or half an hour, the evaporation will due to the almost complete evaporation of the water.
The color usually darkens to amber, and the aroma resembles roasted nuts. Then the butter should be removed from the fire and left to cool down in order to be strained. The straining is done by attaching a filter to the neck of a clear and dry jar, and the cooled butter is gradually poured through the filter into the jar. Then the filter should be removed and the butter stays in the open jar until it is completely cooled, then it should be closed.
You should not overdo Ghee butter
As with anything, you should not overdo Ghee – two tablespoons a day are enough. It is true that the fatty acids in this butter are very beneficial, as it also contains vitamins and minerals, no carbohydrates and is low in proteins. But precisely because of the high fat content, it is high in calories – 900 Kcal/100 gr. Therefore, it is not recommended to use Ghee in large quantities especially by those who are obese or overweight, as well as by people who have pancreatic problems, acute ulcers or gastritis, cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the circulatory system, high cholesterol.
It is also possible for some people to show hypersensitivity and allergy to a specific active ingredient. Moreover, each organism is individual, with its own specifics and the concentrated butter in large quantities can cause nausea, intestinal spasms, sleepiness, respectively reduced working capacity.
Ghee butter in the Indian religious beliefs and rituals
Ghee butter is deeply grounded in the complex religious perceptions of the western man related to India. According to the mythology, it was created by the Lord of creatures and is food of the gods. It is no accident that it is made from cow’s milk – in India the cow is a sacred animal.
The thermal processing is associated with the purification and self-awareness of the spiritual beginning in man, enlightenment and awakening. Ghee has been used also as a fuel for the lamps, which again is related to the light. The religious meaning of its burning in various rituals is a symbolical elimination of the physical disease and the ignorance of the mind. in the arati ritual, the lighting of candlesticks with ghee is a symbol similar to anointing.
Ghee supports Ojas – the fine energy that is related to spirituality, the high love for God, devotion and loyalty to him. In addition, Ojas is goodness, purity, holiness, perfection. All this connects Ghee with the divinity, and according to the texts left by the sages, it helps to form the right inclinations because it increases the power of goodness and creativity, it acts as a source of fire and fills the mind with enlightenment and purity. Thus, in India, there is a comparison that Ghee is in milk, as Gods is in creation. So it’s no accident that Ghee in India is considered an elixir and is perceived as an expensive gift.