Modern science now verifies what Ayurvedic health science has said for thousands of years: Ghee has a host of health and cooking benefits and is good for the mind and spirit.
I consider ghee—a form of clarified butter—an essential powerfood. Here are a few benefits I’ve found through my years of using ghee.
Great For Cooking and Taste
1. Ghee has a high smoke point (250 °C or 482 °F).
You can cook and fry with ghee and it will not break down into free radicals like many other oils.
2. Ghee does not spoil easily so it does not need refrigeration.
Some ghee mixtures last up to 100 years.
3. Ghee is not likely to affect people with a dairy or casein intolerance.
Ghee is made from butter but the milk solids and impurities have been removed, so most people who are lactose or casein intolerant have no issue with ghee.
4. Ghee is rich in the oil soluble vitamins A and E.
5. Ghee is rich in K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – an antioxidant with anti-viral properties if it is sourced from grass fed cows.
Energy and Weight Management
6. Ghee is Nutritionally Rich Like Coconut Oil
Ghee is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed directly by the liver (like carbs) and burned as energy. Athletes can use ghee as a consistent energy source.
7. Weight Loss
The energy from these medium chain fatty acids can be used to burn other fats in the system and lose weight.
Digestion and Immune Strengthening
Ghee (unlike other oils) is rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid. Beneficial intestinal bacteria convert fiber into butyric acid and then use that for energy and intestinal wall support. A healthy body therefore makes its own form of ‘ghee’ but you can aid that greatly by consuming it.
8. Healthy Digestive Tract
Research shows that people with unhealthy digestive tracts do not produce butyric acid.
9. Healthy Immune System
Research shows that adequate production of butyric acid supports the production of killer T cells in the gut and thus a strong immune system.
10. Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer
- Researchers are using oral butyrate supplements and butyrate enemas to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
- Ayurvedic physicians have been using ghee enemas for centuries to decrease inflammation.
11. Strong Appetite
Ghee stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, thus aiding in the digestive process. Better digestion equals better health and weight loss.
Mind and Spirit
12. Molecules of Emotion
Modern research is now revealing that negative emotions have a chemical nature. This is what ancient cultures have always maintained, that the mind and body are one. These chemicals are attracted to and stored in fat. Ghee can be used to replace those fats. Plus, if used properly in a cleanse, can attract and pull out these toxins so they can be cleansed from the body.
13. Positive Food
Within Ayurveda, ghee is considered one of the most satvic foods. Satvic foods promote positivity, growth and expansion of consciousness.
14. Holy Cow
The positive subtle effects of ghee is said to come from the fact that it comes freely from cows. Cows are considered special or holy in many Hindu cultures. The milk from cows therefore contains the essence of all those energies and ghee is the essence of the milk.
15. Fry Your Spices in Ghee
Many of the medicinal properties of herbs and spices can be absorbed and transported to targeted areas of the body with ghee. This is why Ayurveda uses ghee in thousands of different herbal preparations.
You can do the same thing by frying your kitchen spices in ghee before adding them to your dishes.
Making and Storing Ghee
Ghee is made the same as clarified butter, but heated longer. Learn how to make ghee here.
The two things that will degrade ghee are water and sunlight.
- Always store your ghee in a container with a good seal in the dark.
- Ghee will last 2-3 months if you keep it in an airtight container.
- When kept in a refrigerator, without opening, ghee can last up to a year.
Don’t Be Scared of Ghee
Recipes using Ghee:
Written by Randy Fritz with Diana Herrington at Real Food For Life