Ayurveda's Most Treasured Ingredient: Ghee
With references such as Tongue of the Gods and Navel of Immortality, it’s easy to see the importance of ghee in Vedic literature. Ghee is an Ayurvedic kitchen staple that will transform the way you cook. Ghee is a form of highly clarified butter, it is made through the process of melting butter to separate into liquid fats and milk solids. Once separated, the milk solids are removed creating the golden substance we know as ghee. This process also makes ghee have a lower lactose content than regular butter. Ghee has traditionally been used the same way you would use any kind of oil or butter. Ayurvedas most beloved ingredients can be used both internally for health benefits and externally for skin health.
Why ghee is liquid gold
“Ghee promotes memory, intelligence, agni, ojas, Kapha, and medas. It alleviates Vata, Pitta, poison, insanity, inauspiciousness, and fever. It is the best of all fats, is cold, madhura rasa, madhura vipaka, has 1000 potentialities and so, if used properly according to prescribed methods, exerts 1000 types of action”
- Charaka Samhita
Ghee contains a fatty acid called butyrate acid, which plays an essential role in digestive health. Ghee is most known for its lubrication qualities. It is one of the few ingredients used during a panchakarma cleansing ritual. This Ayurvedic cleanse is done with the turning of the seasons in order to reset and detoxify your body. Ghee plays an important role in lubricating the internal organs so that any stagnant toxins (or ama) can be released. According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora: "Ghee consists of fat-soluble vitamins, which aid weight loss. Ghee also plays a key role in balancing hormones and maintaining healthy cholesterol. Ghee also has a high heat point, which prevents it from producing free radicals that damage cell function."
Ghee Face Mask
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp turmeric
Apply to face and wash off after 20 minutes with warm water and a washcloth.
Yes, it really is as simple as that! This ghee face mask is packed full of antioxidants and helps to tonify the skin. The fats in the ghee help to extract toxins in your pores and turmeric helps to alive any inflammation in your skin.
Tridoshic Ghee Spicing
In Ayurveda, if something is tridoshic, it means that all three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are in harmony. One way to bring all doshas into balance is by spicing your ghee with ingredients that pacify all three doshas.
Place 1 cup of Ghee in a bowl, mix in
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tbsp Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Ginger
Store in an airtight jar.
You can use this ghee in traditional Ayurvedic dishes like kitchari and dhal or any time you are roasting or sauteing your foods.
Somatic Practice With Ghee
During a cleanse using ghee, you can try doing a somatic meditation to awaken your internal organs and feel into your body systems that are promoting the clearing of toxins.
Sit comfortably on your Bennd meditation cushion:
- Count to 5 and inhale, then count to 5 and exhale
- Count to 6 and inhale, then count to 6 and exhale
- Continue this pattern until you get to a count of 10 for each breath.
Once you feel fully relaxed, release your breath and feel into your heart space. Simply start to notice your heartbeats and the way your heart feels, without any judgment or control.
Then begin to feel into the right upper side of your body where your liver resides. Is there any sensation here? If so what is it?
Begin to feel into the upper left side of your body where your stomach resides. Is there any sensation here? If so what is it?
Finally, feel into the midline of your body where your large intestine, small intestine, and reproductive organs are. See if you can feel any sensations here as well.
Relax each one of your organs and allow them to be nourished in order to achieve their highest function. Send gratitude to your body for keeping you safe and healthy.
When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and notice if your body sensations have changed.