If you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you can appreciate what I mean when I compare ghee to Windex. If you haven’t seen it, let me catch you up. Gus Portokalos, the patriarch of the Greek family in the movie swears by using Windex to heal everything—from pimples to poison ivy.
Although reality is far from that, it does beg the question: is there a universal wonder worker we can use daily for our health and well-being? Meet ghee.
What is ghee?
Ghee is also known as clarified butter since it’s pure butterfat. And as such, you don’t need to keep it in the fridge. It had a bad rap in the West despite its popularity in everyday cooking and healing in South Asia—for thousands of years. Now the Western hemisphere is starting to take notice. Its nourishing and medicinal qualities make it a clear (no pun intended) choice for managing our well-being.
What can ghee do for you?
Charaka Samhita, an ancient ayurvedic text, calls ghee one of the 4 fat types that promote “unctuousness, vitality, complexion, strength and development, and alleviating vata, pitta and kapha”. The last part is a head-scratcher to our Western brains so let’s just say it helps balance your body and mind. “Ghee is the best one because of the properties of processing… Ghee…is beneficial for rasa [plasma tissue], semen and ojas [immunity], cooling, softening and improves voice and complexion….One should not take uncting substance in weather too hot or too cold…After taking ghee one should drink hot water.”
“Those having constitution predominant in vata and pitta, afflicted with disorders of vata and pitta, desirous of good vision, injured, wasted, the old, the children, women, desiring long life, strength, complexion, voice, nourishment, progeny, delicacy, brilliance, immunity, memory, intellect, appetite and strong sense organs, and injured with burns, weapons, poisons and fire should take ghee.”#Ayurveda has been touting the benefits of #ghee for thousands of years. Find out what modern research has to say #wellness Click To Tweet
Show me the research
Coronary heart disease and psoriasis: “A study on a rural population in India showed a significantly lower prevalence of coronary heart disease in men who consumed higher amounts of ghee. High doses of medicated ghee decreased serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters in psoriasis patients. There were significant improvements in patients’ psoriasis symptoms as well. MAK-4 (Maharishi Amrit Kalash-4), a herbal mixture containing ghee, increased the resistance of LDL to oxidation in hyperlipidemic patients.”
Liver, brain and healing benefits: “Other mixtures containing ghee have shown hepatoprotective effects, antiviscular activity, effects on enhancement of memory, and enhancement of wound healing.”
Artery health: “A follow-up study showed similar results, i.e., inhibition of the oxidation of LDL in hyperlipidemic patients who ingested MAK-4, indicating it may be beneficial for preventing and treating atherosclerosis.”
Weight loss: Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a polyunsaturated fat, which seems effective for “reducing fat mass in animals…and given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
As Gus Portokolos would say “there you go!” Just remember, everything in moderation, folks! Too much of anything is not necessarily better. Two teaspoons a day is all you need.
Disclaimer: this article presents information from ancient text and modern research. You should not view it as medical advice. Consult your doctor for medical advice.
Image by © Can Stock Photo / chandlervid85