The Truth About Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Growing up, I was one of those so-called 'forward' teenagers who followed the latest trends and craze. Being an Army Officer's daughter added fuel to the fire.
As a kid, I was healthy. My diet consisted mostly of home-cooked, balanced meals prepared with love by my mom and we ate out only once in a while. But I slowly fell into the trap of the latest health fads. I completely stopped having ghee at the age of 14. (For those of you who don't know, ghee is clarified butter which is prepared by simmering butter or ideally, churned from cream. It's a liquid form of fat with a high smoking point). I thought having ghee would make me gain weight and I wanted to stay thin like most girls in their teen years.
Little did I realize, that stopping ghee for a period of about 10 years during my growth years would have an adverse effect on my health. It eventually caused me:
Excessive dry skin
Extremely frizzy, scanty and dry hair
These never seemed to be a problem in my mid to early 20's since at that age most of life was about looking good; so who cared about anything else other than the hair and skin! And I thought that's how my body was. But I also always wondered what happened to my beautiful thick, black, long, hip-length hair; my supple, lustrous skin which I had as a child.
Upon starting Ayurvedic studies, I found out the numerous health benefits of ghee. Ghee is considered THE BEST FORM OF FAT according to Ayurveda (which is one of the oldest medicine systems in the world and stems from the Vedas).
Now for those of you who are thinking "fat"!!! Yes, it's an absolute myth and a misconception that fat is bad for the human body. In fact, fat is one of the most essential ingredients needed for a healthy brain, body & intellect. Fat lubricates the body and is needed by the brain. It combines with the blood tissue to form cerebrospinal fluid per Ayurveda and we all know how essential the proper functioning of the brain is for our life! Fat provides strength to the body as well as bones. It also nourishes the ligaments and tendons.
Having talked about fat; let's come to Ghee now. The reason Ghee is highly praised in Ayurveda and immensely beneficial for human body is because:
It's the lightest form of fat which the human body can digest. And anything which can be digested & assimilated well, lends itself to being used by the tissues and cells.
It's 'sookshma' (subtle) quality allows it to deeply penetrate the tissues and allows it to enter the minutest channels of the body which other forms of fat or other nutrients find it hard to enter.
Ghee is the only form of fat which has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and nourish the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain which is responsible for memory and intellect of an individual. (So moms if you want to have kids with higher intellect, please do feed them ghee: max 1 tsp at lunch and dinner depending on age.. no overdosing please!)
Also, ghee lubricates the bodily channels and mind you there are 72,000 of them per Ayurveda.
Ghee lubricates the digestive system and thus helps easy passage of food and bowels.
It improves digestive power and is great for people with hypermetabolism or those who feel hungry too soon.
It's great for the plasma and building the semen due to its aphrodisiac properties.
It has a cooling and soothing effect on the body.
The health benefits of ghee are countless. It's excellent for promoting longevity, intellect, memory, sperms, bones, complexion, voice, luster, sense organs, nourishment & digestion. I hope I have provided enough insight to spark your interest and curiosity about Ghee.
On a closing note, I especially want to say to all the teenagers out there (esp. those who love to follow the latest craze blindly as I used to); please value and respect what you already have. We do not even realize that we have gold in the form of Ayurveda and interestingly, there's growing interest world-over about the eternal & universal wisdom of the Vedas; be it Ayurveda, Yoga or spirituality.
So, do value what you have. Enjoy Ghee! Prefer traditional foods over nutritionally deficient pizzas, burgers, and shakes! Don't try to fit in. You already have a place in this world which is perfect! All you have to do is to just embrace, accept and love yourself and see the world embrace you for who you are!
Priyanka Agarwal - Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant; Health & Fitness Blogger; Health Coach; Founder of Vedic Sanctuary: Health & Wellness;
May the wisdom of the Vedas shine upon your soul..