Ghee, The Ayurvedic Liquid Gold
Ghee, (clarified butter) has been used in India for thousands of years. Ayurveda considers it a Rasayana, a rejuvenating and longevity promoting food, and to be the first and most complete food on earth. But milk is sattvic, peaceful, only when its quality remains pure and unadulterated. Since in Ghee the lactose and other milk solids are removed in the process, makes it suitable for lactose intolerant people.
According to the traditional Ayurvedic Texts, these are the benefits of Ghee:
1. Considered a Rasayana, because it supports the functioning of the brain, and promotes all three aspects of the mind, learning, memory and recall.
2. Increases ones immunity and vital energy (Ojas).
3. The proper amount enhances Agni (digestion fire),but too much Ghee has the opposite effect. In general, you can eat one teaspoon twice a day. Since Ghee is more flavorful than other cooking oils, a little goes a long way. If your digestion fire is low, see an Ayurvedic Practitioner to determine how much Ghee you can consume and what herbs can balance your Agni.
4. Helps to reduce excess stomach acid, and maintain/repair the mucus lining of the stomach.
5.Enhances flavor of foods, increases absorption of nutrients and pacifies all three doshas, especially Vata and Pitta. Sauteing your spices and herbs in Ghee, can help carry the lipid soluble portions of the herbs to the lipid-based cell walls of the body, where they impart the most benefit.
6. Ghee provides essential fatty acids (fats than cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from food). Ghee is the most easily digestible fat, and it contains Vitamin A and E and acts as an antioxidant.
7. From the perspective of Sadhana (spiritual practice), Ghee is associated with Sneha, the vital tissues of love. By making Ghee, we strenghten Ojas and bring our “love tissue” into a state of balance. (see recipe below)
Authentic Ghee can be made at home by using a traditional method:
Melt 1 pound organic unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat. Continue to heat the butter until it boils gently and buff-colored foam rises to the surface, stirring occasionally. Allow the Ghee to cook gently until the foam thickens and settles to the bottom of the pan as sediment. When the butter becomes clear and the sediments turn golden brown, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Finally pour the contents through a fine sieve into a jar, leaving the residue at the bottom of the pan.
Ghee is best stored at room temperature and is said to get better with age, such as fine wine. The key, however, is to always use a clean spoon when taking Ghee from the jar.