Ghee is made by heating butter on a low flame. After melting of butter, froth appears on top. Occasional stirring reduces the froth and the colour of the butter changes to pale yellow and then to golden giving a fine aroma. The residue settles at the bottom and clear golden, fragrant ghee is ready. It is then filtered and stored in a dry container after cooling. It has long shelf life and does not need refrigeration
In India, ghee is made from cow and buffalo milk. The reason to prefer cow ghee rather than buffalo is, cows have moderate make-up of fat. If we look at the bodies of cow and buffalo, the buffalo is more heavily muscled and a denser animal in its make-up. The ghee of a cow is in liquid form and that of buffalo is in slightly solid form.
Cow ghee is considered sacred and is offered to gods in many Hindu rituals. Ghee lamps or diyas are environmental friendly and even today most of the sanctum sanctorum of temples keep only ghee diyas but not the electric bulbs. Ghee lamp kills the bacteria and the insects around the place. The panchamrit that is offered to gods consists of ghee, milk, curds, honey and sugar. Indian scientists have discovered that cow ghee could protect us from cancer.
In early 70s people were advised to decrease the consumption of ghee as it was believed to contribute to various health problems. Gradually the intake of ghee vanished from our diets but at the same time heart ailments, blood pressure variations, blood sugar and other diseases sprang up alarmingly. A thorough research on Ghee by scientists proved it to be actually beneficial to health.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO USE GHEE IN OUR DIET FOR THE BENEFITS AS GIVEN BELOW
- Our body needs certain fats in its diet to perform vital functions including protecting the stomach wall from digestive acids, building and strengthening cell membranes and supporting nerves, skin and brain health. The fats in ghee provide these benefits without any of the trans – fats, hydrogenated or other oils.
- Studies have shown that ghee reduces cholesterol both in serum and intestine. It does it by triggering the biliary lipids.
- Ghee is known as substance that gives longetivity, increases the strength, luster and beauty of the body, improves appetite. It is known to increase intelligence and presence of mind.
- It is good for nerves and brain, helps control eye pressure and is beneficial to glaucoma patients.
- Ghee is entirely composed of saturated fats. When cooking it can be unhealthy to heat polyunsaturated oils such as vegetable oils to high temperatures as they create peroxides and other free radicals. Owing to its high smoking point ghee doesn’t burn easily while cooking. It has stable saturated bonds so it is less likely to form dangerous free radicals while cooking.
- It is said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion. According to ayurveda the ingestion of ghee is like offering the finest of fuels into the fires of digestion. It increases the digestive fire on which all nutrition depends. It does so without aggravating the elemental functioning of fire within the body.
- The older the ghee the better is its nutritional value to use in ayurvedic preparations. It is used as massage oil to join fractured bones.
- Especially old ghee is used to cure leprosy, psychiatric cases and to improve vision.
- It can even counter attack the dangers of taking poison and snake bite. For a snake bite 200gm of ghee is given and after 15 minutes hot water to drink helps bring out the poison and wash the stomach by vomiting.
- To get relief from hiccups warm cow ghee should be given for relief.
- A few drops of ghee is mixed in cow milk and given to drink, relieves excess thirst and the same taken before sleep relieves constipation.
- For bleeding nose if two drops of ghee are put in nose, it gives permanent relief from the problem. If this is done twice a day headache can be relieved.
- It also counteracts on the effect of alcohol.
Note: The above benefits are attached to only homemade ghee made with zero preservative or vegetable fats. Store brought ghee or prepared with any artificial methods will not fit in the same category as pure ghee. Eat happily but keep a tab on the amount. Everybody should take ghee according to his body constitution and the power of digestion. While taking in diet, ghee should be fresh and pure. It is advised to avoid taking ghee for those who suffer from tuberculosis, chest congestion, difficulty in swallowing, fever, indigestion, acidity and asthma.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna