Ghee, also known as clarified butter or anhydrous milk fat, is prepared by heating butter or cream to just over 100°C to remove water content by boiling and evaporation, then filtering out the precipitated milk solids. Ayurveda has traditionally considered ghee to be the healthiest source of edible fat, with many beneficial properties. According to Ayurveda, ghee promotes longevity and protects the body from various diseases. It increases the digestive fire and improves absorption and assimilation. It nourishes ojas, the subtle essence of all the body’s tissues. It improves memory and strengthens the brain and nervous system. It lubricates the connective tissues, thereby rendering the body more flexible.
Ghee is heavily utilized in Ayurveda for numerous medical applications, including the treatment of allergy, skin, and respiratory diseases. Many Ayurvedic preparations are made by cooking herbs into ghee. Ghee carries the therapeutic properties of herbs to all the body’s tissues. It is an excellent vehicle for transporting herbs to the deeper tissue layers of the body. Proper digestion, absorption, and delivery to a target organ system are crucial in obtaining the maximum benefit from any therapeutic formulation; the lipophilic action of ghee facilitates transportation to a target organ and final delivery inside the cell since the cell membrane also contains lipid. A study that compared different forms of herbs and herb extracts found that the efficacy increased when they were used with ghee, compared to usage in powder or tablet form.
Ghee is considered sacred and used in religious rituals as well as in the diet in India. In ancient India, ghee was the preferred cooking oil. It was considered pure and was felt to confer purity to foods cooked with it.
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