Ghee has always taken a place of pride in India whether in cooking, medicine or religion. The Charaka Samhita, one of the oldest Ayurvedic texts even says, ‘of all the oils humans can eat, the best is ghee.’
For thousands of years, ghee was prepared exclusively at home through a painstaking process involving separation of butter from milk and boiling the butter until the water evaporated. This left behind pure golden ghee with a rich aroma.
Today, we can only reminisce about that time. Some of us still carry that tradition of making ghee at home but most have given in to factory made ghee. But if you have ever tasted pure desi ghee, you would know factory made ghee is no competition to it. It just doesn’t have the flavour, taste or goodness of home made ghee.
The good news is, people are slowly waking up to the shortcomings of factory made ghee and the benefits of desi ghee. Home made or desi ghee has a number of advantages over factory made ghee. Here are some of them.
Ghee nourishes the skin
Long before there were any skin conditioners or moisturizers, our elders advised us to eat ghee because it made the skin fair and supple. So you can say ghee is the original skin moisturizer. Our elders still apply ghee to their skin and you can see the effect. People who eat ghee regularly and smear it on their skin look much younger than their contemporaries.
Ghee improves cardiac health
People who are suffering from heart issues are advised not to eat butter but there is no restriction on eating home made ghee. Ghee has a rich variety of fats which are actually good for the heart. Desi ghee is made from the milk of free-ranging cows which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce bad cholesterol in the blood while boosting good cholesterol.
Desi ghee is rich in antioxidants
Anti-oxidants fight free radicals in the body. The good news is, ghee is rich in Vitamin A and carotenoids, both of which reduce free radical formation. Desi ghee is also rich in butyric acid and conjugated linolenic acid. These combined with the antioxidant properties of Vitamin A reduce oxidative stress drastically.
Desi ghee reduces inflammation
People suffering from chronic inflammation of the gut are advised to desi ghee. This is because Desi ghee contains butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to external threats (especially pathogens). Butyric acid is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation, especially in the gastrointestinal tract..
Desi ghee is an energy booster
For a fast paced lifestyle, desi ghee is a godsend because it acts as an energy booster, helping us get through the day without fatigue. People who live a high energy lifestyle (like athletes) are also advised to add ghee to their diet. Desi ghee contains a wide spectrum of medim chain fatty acids which are processed by the liver to release energy without conversion into fat.
Desi ghee boosts the immune system
Desi ghee is a powerful immune system booster. People with compromised immune systems are advised to eat more ghee because it helps the body fight diseases and regain health and vigor. Ayurveda says desi ghee relieves blood disorders, anemia, chronic fever, colitis and peptic ulcers. It also balances tridosha (vata, pitta and kapha) and aids in detoxification.
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of night blindness. Desi ghee is rich in Vitamin A. So eating desi ghee can prevent a person from developing night blindness. Desi ghee also maintains eyesight in another way. Desi ghee is rich in carotenoids which neutralize free radicals that harm the macular cells of the eye leading to diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Desi ghee is allergen free
People who are lactose intolerant produce less of or outright lack a crucial enzyme called lactase which is required to digest milk. Desi ghee may be made from dairy (milk) but it has very little or no milk residue. It is because the dairy residue is skimmed off during the preparation process. So even people are lactose intolerant can eat ghee and enjoy the flavour of butter without suffering allergies on account of eating a milk product.
Desi ghee is good for digestion
Many ayurvedic preparations are given with desi ghee because ghee helps the body absorb the medicine better. Desi ghee increases digestive power by stimulating the secretion of digestive acids. So eating ghee helps the body absorb nutrients with more efficiency. The butyric acid in desi ghee also has a soothing effect on stomach ulcers. This is one of the reasons the sick and the aged are asked to eat ghee with their meals.
Desi ghee removes toxins from the body
Many ayurvedic cleanses are based on desi ghee. There are two types of toxins in the body- water soluble toxins and oil soluble toxins. The water soluble toxins are easy to get rid off. They dissolve in the sweat and urine and are removed from the body. But how do we get rid of the oil soluble toxins? By eating ghee. The process is called oleation. During this process, a person ingests an increasing quantity of desi ghee over a number of mornings. This pulls the oil soluble toxins out of the body cells, while encouraging the body to burn fat for fuel. The toxins can then be easily removed.
As you see, desi ghee brings many health benefits while factory made ghee comes with its own share of problems. The fact is, factory made ghee is directly extracted from milk and so it does not have the same constitution or purity of desi ghee which is extracted from hand-churned butter of the milk of free-ranging cows. It is the purest form of ghee you can buy for your family.