Ghee & Medicated Ghee

In Julia's Updates by Julia Somerville

The Health Benefits Of Ghee (Clarified Butter) and Medicated Ghee:

Many people view ghee as an unhealthy, fattening food product that you only find in Indian curries. However ghee has been used medicinally in Ayurvedic practice for centuries. Ghee is used as medicine by itself or as a medium for extraction, absorption and assimilation of herbs, and lipid soluble vitamins or other active principles found in food or medicine. It is known as the best lipid medium to use, due to its quality of inheriting and enhancing medicine potency, and is particularly useful to transport active principles across the blood brain barrier which is permeable only to lipid molecules.

Here are a few of the health benefits of ghee:

1) Increases Digestive Fire (Agni). Ghee stimulates the secretion of stomach acids and in turn increases our ability to break down food. Ghee also aids in removal of toxins and promotes elimination, both of which will help to increase one’s overall digestive capacity.

2) Enhances the absorption of nutrients. Ghee not only helps to break down food matter, but also increases the ability of the intestinal wall to absorb vital nutrients. Since most individuals have a deficiency of these fundamental nutrients, this is beneficial to increasing health and well-being.

3) Heals the intestinal wall. Ghee is one of the highest sources of butyrate acid, a short-chain fatty acid. This healthy fatty acid is vital in the health of the intestinal wall, as it nourishes, heals and reduces inflammation of the gut wall making it ideal for disorders such as “leaky gut syndrome”, IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Butyrate acid is balancing to the gut flora and is beneficial for reducing Candida overgrowth and other unwanted pathogens.

4) Promotes the elimination of toxins stored in the body. Ghee is traditionally used to remove deep-rooted physical and mental toxins during an Ayurvedic cleanse. It is a vital step in the preparatory phase (purva karma) of the cleanse, as well as during the cleanse itself. By taking ghee in large doses prior to the cleanse, it “loosens” the deep-rooted toxins from the tissues which allows them to be eliminated through purgation, etc. Without this, the removal of toxins will only be on a superficial level.

5) Nourishes the brain and nervous system. Ghee is known as a “medhya” substance as it increases mental reception, intellect and memory. It is beneficial for mental and emotional imbalances, as well as a depleted, sensitive nervous system. Since fat is needed in order to break the blood/brain barrier, taking brain nourishing herbs along with the ghee will only enhance these mentally boosting benefits.

6) Powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Ghee possesses powerful anti-inflammatory agents making this a necessary medicine for allergies, arthritis and autoimmune conditions. Chronic inflammation can cause premature aging, pain, swelling, burning, stagnation and irritation. When left untreated, inflammation soon leads to destructive disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune conditions.

These are just some of the benefits of using ghee on it’s own, but it becomes even more powerful when herbs are added to it.

Triphala herb – Triphala is a commonly used blend of 3 different herbs in ayurveda (Amalaki, Haritaki, Bibhitaki). It is a very popular formula since it is known to regulate bowel movement, and cleanses and protects the intestinal tract. Other well known benefits include the following:

Improves digestion
Reduces serum cholesterol
Improves circulation (potentiates adrenergic function)
Contains 31% linoleic acid
Exerts a marked cardio-protective effect
Reduces high blood pressure
Improves liver function
Has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
Expectorant, hypotensive.

Triphala can be beneficial for all 3 doshas, but contraindicated in diarrhoea, dysentry and pregnancy.

Brahmi & Gotu Kola – These are 2 herbs that are used in conjunction as they are both powerful brain tonics, and so work wonderfully with ghee.

Both brahmi and gotu kola are said to act on the crown chakra and improve meditation. Both affect the mind in a similar way by balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain and improving the three functions of the mind: learning (dhi), retention (driti), and recall (smriti).

Gotu Kola acts with a special emphasis on memory. It keeps the brain youthful and has been shown to improve senility and dementia.

Brahmi has the effect of harmonizing the neurotransmitters of the brain. It balances and co-ordinates the three functions of the mind helping to transform the learning of new knowledge, into retention, retention into recall, and recall of this knowledge to assist in other learning.

Brahmi is noted to have a more specific action in treating mental disturbances such as anxiety, epilepsy, and insanity.

Because of Gotu kola’s rejuvenative effects on the mind, it is used more as a general tonic for mental function.

Stress Reduction and Improved Immune Function
Gotu Kola seems to be better known as an adaptogen, but both herbs enhance immune function, strengthen the adrenals and aid in reducing stress. Because of their calming, balancing effects they lessen the production of cortisol and other stress hormones and reduce the emotional and mental triggers to stress related ailments.

Beneficial Effects on the Skin
The anti-aging effects of gotu kola are beneficial not only for the mind, but also for the skin. It increases the synthesis or collagen which is responsible for the skins elasticity and strength and aids the prevention of wrinkles.

Gotu kola has anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically it reduces scarring, treats burns, promotes wound healing, prevents infection, and treats other skin ailments such as, eczema and leprosy.

Both herbs improve the complexion of the skin because they stimulate the liver to flush out toxins. Brahmi is said to have more detoxifying qualities.

Brahmi is safe and often promoted for use in pregnancy. It increases fertility and sustains implantation. Gotu Kola is contraindicated in pregnancy as it can cause expelling of the embryo.

Organic Ghee, Organic Brahmi Ghee, Organic Triphala Ghee is available to here at Veda Vitality’s Shop.

Resources:

Robert Svobodo, Ayurveda: Life, Health & Longevity
C.P. Khare, Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany
Karta Purkh, Singh Khalsa, and Michael Tierra, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs
Todd Caldecott, Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life