Ghee – From Silk to Oil

Ayurveda uses the oil extracted from raw milk of cows to prepare ghee. Ghee is considered a very good cooking agent. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It has numerous medicinal benefits like it improves digestion, improves excretion, cleanses liver, is excellent for liver protection, and enhances energy level and metabolism. This health supplement also helps maintain the fluid and hormonal balance in human body.

Ayurveda: Ghee originated from India and has been used for treating many diseases in Ayurveda for centuries. Ayurveda considers cholesterol as a disease-producing factor. Therefore, it treats all types of cholesterol including very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which cause heart attacks. It is also effective for treating inflammation, ulcers, infections, allergies, asthma, and weight gain. As a result of these, ayurveda uses the oil from cow’s milk to prepare ghee which is used for treating a wide range of diseases.

Ghee prevents fatty acid oxidation and reduces deposits of cholesterol in the arteries and gastrointestinal tract. The use of ghee helps to improve digestion, reduces inflammation, and removes toxins from the body. Ghee improves metabolism by removing lactic acid from the tissues and muscle. Lactic acid promotes ketosis which stimulates fat burning, boosts mental alertness and agility, and improves immunity.

Ayurvedic Benefits: Ghee provides multiple health benefits due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), a powerful immune and cardiovascular stimulant, and the presence of other important nutrients including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and niacin. Ghee is used in India for treatment of common ailments such as headaches, diarrhea, constipation, dysentery, fever, indigestion, nausea, urinary retention, swelling, tenderness, and sunburn. It is also used in many herbal preparations as a digestive tonic and to control cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Ayurvedic ghee benefits are further extended to include treating depression, fatigue, inflammation, anxiety, heart failure, poor circulation, joint and back pain, osteoarthritis, nervous exhaustion, skin disorders, and ulcers. It is also used to treat respiratory problems and as an analgesic.

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The milk derived from cow’s milk is considered the best source of ghee, although goat’s milk is also used. However, studies indicate that pure ghee from cow’s milk is the most beneficial. Ghee from sheep’s milk may result in some allergic reactions. Pure butter from Indian coconut is also good, but there may be some reactions associated with the ingestion of butyric acid, the major component of Indian cashew nuts.

Although it is difficult to derive true ghee from cow’s milk, there are several products in the marketplace which can be substituted. The fat from all types of fish is considered by ayurvedic practitioners to be an excellent source of ghee. It contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are partially digested and partially converted into a healthy fat. However, it is difficult to digest all the MCT in fish oil, so it is converted into other fats. In this case, all the fats from fish are grouped together and treated with ghee.

Some oils that are commonly used in ghee include the palm oil from palm nuts, the coconut oil from coconut nuts, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil, and hazelnut oil. All of these fats have medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), but some of them are longer chain fatty acids (LCFA), which are also difficult to digest. All of the above oils are high in cholesterol content. Ghee therefore has the ability to reduce cholesterol content, which is beneficial for the heart. Ghee is also useful for treating several other conditions including eczema, acne, diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, varicose veins, and weight problems.

All of the fats in ghee melt at a specific temperature. The temperature is established through scientific calculations using graphite and an electrical charge and is named as the melting point. The melting point of the fats varies according to the size of the molecule, the density of the substance, and the electric charge, and can range from below 100 degrees Celsius to above 500 degrees Celsius. The fats that melt at the lowest temperatures are those that are derived from plant sources, whereas the larger and denser fats cook faster and attain the highest temperature.

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