GHEE (CLARIFIED BUTTER)
Ghee (the word comes from Sanskrit, ghṛta) has several names around the world. This sattva-guṇi (“mode of goodness”) food has intellect promoting and vitalizing properties. Ghee is a sacred requirement in fire sacrifices, offered to deities through fire. It also finds use in religious ceremonies and healing procedures in Indian culture. To distinguish ghee from vegetable ghee, it is often referred to as desi ghee or asli ghee. The nutritional benefits of ghee have been in use in India cuisine since thousands of years.
Ghee is one of the highest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA which is known for its benefits. Vegetable oils lack CLA. Ghee is composed of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. It contains omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids. It provides vitamins A, D, E and K. One tablespoon of ghee contains 112 calories, 33mg cholesterol, 12.73g fat, (saturated-7.926g; unsaturated-3.678g; polyunsaturated–0.473g), 0.04g protein and 1mg of calcium and potassium.
- The elements of ghee balance aging by enriching the body thus giving longevity.
- It helps lubricate the joints, aids digestion and elimination processes, and helps alkalize the blood.
- Ghee is good for the heart since it improves the HDL levels.
- It helps detoxify cancer-causing substances by making the required enzymes available. It has a high concentration of anti-viral butyric acid that inhibits growth of cancerous tumours.
- Its rich antioxidants aid vitamin and mineral absorption from food thus strengthening the immune system.
- Ghee cooking of spices helps carry the flavor deep into the food. This characteristic makes it useful as carrier oil in herbal preparations.
- Regular ghee consumption helps detoxification of the body, keeps eyesight, muscles and tendons healthy also increasing physical and mental strength.
- The essential fatty acids in ghee assist cell communication, regulated DNA production and provide anti-inflammatory,
- Since the milk proteins are removed during the clarifying process, ghee is lactose free and thus an excellent choice for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Its low fat content makes ghee easy to digest.
- It stimulates the digestive system, aiding weight loss. Well-balanced diet and exercise are assumed here.
- Ghee is good for scraps and heat/chemical fire burns.
- It helps moisturize the face.
- It arrests nosebleeds and helps get relief from headaches.
- It helps improve dental and gum health.
- It can be added to other essential oils and used as bath oil.
- It is a very good cooking medium since it has a high burning point and does not break down in high heat.
Pure ghee can be stored without refrigeration; it has a long shelf life. Store unopened jars in dark and cool place. Open jars should be stored away from light. Once opened, they can be kept outside up to 3 months, after which they can be refrigerated for a year. Please note that ghee will become hard in the refrigerated but will soften once taken out. Use a clean, dry spoon to transfer ghee. Close the lid to avoid moisture from getting in. Unless there is no change in the appearance, flavor and smell of the ghee, it can be safely used.
HOW TO CONSUME
To remove eye makeup, dab some ghee into a cotton pad and clean the eyelid. Eyes will feel fresh and moisturized. To improve vision, rub small amount of ghee on feet soles. Ghee applied on the lips hydrates the lips and naturally protects them. Swish ghee in the mouth for healthy teeth and gums. For chemical / fire burns, apply ghee to soothe the wound. Rub ghee into cuticles for nail health. For tight, young skin and supple joints, get a ghee massage.
Add a spoon of ghee in warm water to lubricate the intestine and produce bowel movement. Before bedtime, add two teaspoons to warm milk to soothe the nerves.
To add flavor to khichdi add a tablespoon of ghee. Use ghee instead of oil for cooking eggs, popcorn, or stir-frying. Brush some ghee on the rotis or naans for nuttier taste.
Do not exceed the prescribed limit of fat consumption including ghee. In case of high cholesterol, it is advised not to consume ghee.