The Wonders of Ghee

 ghee

 

Ghee is held in the highest regard by the Ayurvedic tradition. It is understood as a medicine in it’s own right and as a vehicle to carry herbs deeper into the body. Here we will look at the virtues and benefits of this great medicine and also explain how it can be easily made at home.

 

In the kitchen, ghee is one of the best oils for cooking as it has a very high burning point and having a teaspoon of ghee with your meal will help to increase HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol. Ghee is very different from butter being far less heavier on the body and mind. In the making of ghee, the ‘impurities’ are burnt off – the water content evaporates and the lactose solids and cholesterol sink to the bottom. It is so pure that it doesn’t need refridgerating! And ghee that is aged becomes more medicinal. There are certain recipes that start with 100-year old ghee!

 

 

The Virtues of Ghee

 

Enkindles the digestive fire

Nourishes all seven tissues

Improves absorption and assimilation

Calms pitta

Reduces vata

Increases ojas (vital essence and immunity)

Rejuvenates the body

Carries herbs deep into the tissues

Oleates the tissues

Lubricates connective tissue

Helps make the body flexible

Helps stimulate the liver to produce fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K

Benefits the eyes

Clears poisons

Bestows lustre

Prolongs life

Increases intelligence

Strengthens the brain and nervous system

 

It is balancing to all three doshas but should be used in moderation by those who have high cholesterol and avoided by those with high levels of toxicity.

 

 

nandibull

 

 

How to Make Ghee

 

One must use unsalted butter and it’s best to find a butter that is from pasture-fed cows.

Depending on how many bars of butter you have it may take 20 mins for two 250g bars to 40 mins for four 250g bars.

Now, there are many ways to make ghee. This is the method I have found to produce the best ghee.

 

You’ll need:

A saucepan (if it has a heavy base that’s best but don’t worry if not)

Organic unsalted butter

Glass jar (for pouring in finished ghee)

Sieve (optional)

Spoon (for stirring)

 

Melt the butter on a medium heat.

Once it’s all melted put on a low heat so that the ghee is ‘rolling’ as opposed to ‘bubbling’.

I give it a stir at this point just to make sure the bars of butter are completely dissolved.

While you’re beginning your ghee journey it’s good to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Don’t cover the pot. Some people discard the foam that sits on the top of the ghee while it’s being cooked but there’s no need.

Now depending on how much butter you’ve used as I said earlier, to know if your ghee is ready there are a few signs:

-The smell will go from baby-sweet to popcorn.

-The ghee will have turned from opaque to a transparent, golden colour and at the bottom the lactose solids will start to turn from whitish to brown.

Depending on how ‘caramely’ you like the taste of your ghee you can turn the heat off at the level of brown you desire. I go for a light-mid brown. If you go black or if the finished ghee has a strong nutty smell you’ve burnt it and as it goes deep into the tissues you don’t want to ingest that. So for those beginning their ghee journey stay on the light side : )

When you’ve found you desired cook, turn off the heat and let it sit for a while to cool down as it’s very hot right now! After 30 mins or so the foam that will have rested on the top at the end of the cooking will now have been reabsorbed by the main body of the ghee. This is good as this part contains ojas and is highly medicinal.

Pour (through a sieve if you like) the ghee into dry, clean jars. Discard the solids at the bottom. They should not be eaten. I lightly cap the jars and try not to move them while the ghee sets. If I’ve made the ghee in the evening then it’ll be set by morning. (In warm countries it stays liquid.) Then I cap it properly and put it in the cupboard.

It is crucial that there is no water in the jar or on the spoon you use as this will lead to the ghee going off.

 

As well as being used as food ghee can be used as a base for medicinal ointments and creams, can be applied to the eyes in certain treatments, placed with a dropper into the nasal cavity as well as used as a fuel for ghee lamps using a wick made from cotton.

 

 

So, let the quest for the perfect ghee commence!

Jai!

 

 

baba with cow