Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Clarified butter or ghee attracted ayurvedic and Indian cuisine many centuries ago. The unique aroma and the flavor the ghee imparts has found its ways not only in culinary dishes but also in therapeutics, cosmetics, and religious rituals. According to Ayurveda, ghee is considered as a “sattvic” component and is believed to promote positivity and consciousness.
The starting material to produce ghee is milk, which can be obtained either from cow or buffalo. The milk can be converted to milk butter, cream butter, direct cream, or pre-stratification to produce ghee; the flavor and the aroma in ghee is mainly due to the fermentation process and the heat treatment of the milk derivatives when making ghee. During fermentation and heat treatment most of the water is removed and hence the end product contains very low moisture levels– making ghee shelf-stable– due to the low moisture content.
Ghee is a rich source of: fats (omega fats, trans fats, cholesterol, unsaturated fatty acids), proteins, antioxidants, fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), essential amino acids, and milk fats (conjugated linoleic acid, sphingomyelin, and butyric acid). Although ghee is made from milk, people who are lactose or casein intolerant can still tolerate ghee–mainly because the milk solids are removed during the process. The wealth of various components in ghee is responsible for the substantial health benefits.
Ghee as a best cooking oil:
The presence of medium chain fatty acids in ghee has made it superior and reliable compared to other cooking oils. Since the medium chain fatty acids are directly absorbed and processed by the liver, it is instantly burnt to supply energy. Hence it is considered as a health booster
Ghee as a wound healer:
Ghee has a composition similar to aloe vera and has shown to be an excellent wound healer. Keratinization, epithelialization, fibrosis, and collagenation properties of ghee has proven it to be a wound healer. In addition, it also enhances the tensile strength and the collagen content– makes it not only a good wound healer but also an anti-aging substance
Ghee as an anti-diabetic component:
Rich contents of antioxidants along with minerals such as magnesium and calcium have shown anti-diabetic activity. The presence of conjugated linoleic acid has also shown to improve insulin activity and protect from diabetes
Ghee as an anti-inflammatory substance:
The linoleic acid in ghee reduces the inflammatory components such as prostaglandins, interleukins, and leukotriene. Thus, decrease in such inflammatory markers can also protect from cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis
Ghee has outstanding digestive properties:
The emulsions in ghee– where the fat globules are dispersed in liquid milk medium– aids in the digestive properties. Nearly, 96% of the ghee can be easily digested. Besides, ghee has short and medium chain fatty acids, which can be readily cleaved by lipases and accelerates the digestion
Ghee as an anti-cancer component:
The richness of antioxidant in ghee helps in fighting free-radicals and helps in apoptosis (cell-death) to act as an anti-cancer agent
Ghee as an eye lubricant and eye protection:
The vitamin A content moistens the outer layer of the eyeball and also protects against blindness. In addition, the glycerides and fatty acids help in lubricating the eyes and prevent the occurrence of computer vision syndrome
Ghee as an anti-stressor:
Ghee can increase the levels of gamma-amino butyric acid and decreases corticosterone and dopamine to reduce the stress levels