Ghee is highly revered in the Indian culture and it has been used in the medical science of Ayurveda for thousands of years. This very versatile substance can be used internally as food and as medicine or used externally as a skin moisturizer. Ghee is commonly used as an offering in puja (holy Hindu ceremony) and homa (fire ceremony). Cow ghee is an important factor in Ayurvedic cleansing therapies, while also being highly beneficial during rejuvenation therapy.
“Ghee is sweet in taste and cooling in energy, kindles digestion, good for the eyes and vision, bestows lustre and beauty, enhances memory and stamina, increases intellect, promotes longevity, is an aphrodisiac & protects the body from various diseases.”
No other substance is as widely used to prepare Ayurvedic medicines as ghee. Cow ghee is also cited as the best substance for preparing the body for Ayurveda’s internal detoxification (Panchakarma). One reason for this is that ghee is given as the best remedy for diseases due to aggravated Pitta and Vata doshas. Ghee alleviates Pitta dosha by its cold, sweet properties & Vata by its oiliness. Cow ghee is hence recommended in autumn when Pitta’s hot nature can get aggravated after summer. But there is more to cow ghee than its dosha balancing properties.
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Cow ghee is not only versatile in use, but versatile in health properties as well. Here are some of the most well-known reasons cow ghee is thought of as a holy medicine in Ayurveda.
Enhances the healing properties of herbs
In Ayurvedic medicine, cow ghee goes way beyond a dietary ingredient. Ghee is a well known catalytic agent (anupana), which has the ability to drive the healing properties of the herbs down into the deep tissues. This in turn will enhance their effectiveness & healing potency.
Powerful anti-inflammatory properties
Ghee has powerful anti-inflammatory agents which make it a essential medicine for allergies, arthritis and autoimmune conditions. Chronic inflammation can cause premature aging, swelling, pain, burning, stagnation and irritation. When left untreated, inflammation soon leads to destructive disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes & autoimmune conditions.
The most well-known health property of cow ghee is the fact that it is an amazing agent for enhancing the digestive fire (Agni). Cow ghee stimulates the secretion of stomach acids and in turn increases our ability to break down food. Ghee also removes toxins & promotes elimination, both of which will help to increase one’s overall digestive capacity.
Nourishes the brain and nervous system
Ghee is known as a “medhya” substance as it increases mental reception, intellect & memory. It is beneficial for mental & 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 cow ghee will only enhance these mentally boosting benefits.
Enhances the absorption of nutrients
Cow ghee not only helps to break down food matter, but also increase the ability of the intestinal wall to absorb vital nutrients. Since most individuals have a deficiency of these fundamental nutrients, this is essential in increases one’s health & wellness.
Increases vital Ojas in the body
Ojas is the subtle energetic force which is responsible for an energy, vitality and immunity. A person with healthy Ojas is soft, gentle, compassionate & patient. Ojas is also responsible for a healthy glow skin as well as a strong, healthy libido. Cow ghee will enhance all of these qualities when taken consistently in proper proportions.
Heals the intestinal wall
Ghee is one of the highest sources of butyrate acid, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA). This healthy fatty acid is vital in the health of the intestinal wall, as it nourishes, heals & reduces inflammation of the gut wall making it ideal for disorders such as “leaky gut syndrome”, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), 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.
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Lubricates the body, externally and internally
Ghee is a well-known treatment in Ayurveda for relieving dryness in the body, as it is oily and moisturizing by nature. Whether taken internally or applied externally, cow ghee has the ability to nourish and lubricate the tissues on a cellular level. This reduces dry skin, dry colon (constipation), inflammation & stiff joints while increasing luster, flexibility and promoting healthy elimination.
Promotes the elimination of toxins deposited in the body
Cow ghee is traditionally used to remove deep-rooted physical and mental toxins during an Ayurvedic cleanse. Cow ghee is a vital step in the preparatory phase (purva karma) of the cleanse, as well as during the cleanse itself. By taking cow 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.
Reduces the risk of colon cancer
Butyrate acid has been proven to be preventative to colon cancer (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer), as it increases the healthy bacteria in the colon, removes the unhealthy and is responsible for the growth & regulation of colon cells. Ghee in general helps in healthy elimination as well. These are all components for optimal colon health.
Essential for rejuvenation therapy
Although ghee is used to help in cleansing, it is just as vital for the rebuilding and regeneration of the tissues as well. In times of depletion, weakness & debility (including after a cleanse or illness), cow ghee is an amazing medicine for increasing energy, strength, immunity, vitality and stamina. Cow ghee can be mixed with rejuvenating herbs, mixed with honey or simply added to each meal.
Many Uses of Cow Ghee
- Cow ghee is used in Purvakarma, (early Panchakarma) where a small amount of cow ghee is taken first thing in the morning by the practitioner to oleate the internal organs and dissolve the toxic wastes in the tissues, allowing them to be carried to the digestive tract for elimination.
- It is used as a carrier or “yogavahi” for herbs and bhasmas because of its supreme penetrating qualities and thus ability to carry these substances deep into the dhatus or tissues.
- In India it is said that if a few drops of cow ghee are placed in the nostrils then nosebleed can be checked. If this is done twice in a day, then headache can be get relief.
- Cow ghee is excellent for cooking and sautéing or stir-frying. Ghee has one of the highest flash points of all oils and it is very difficult to burn. In India, it is said that food is incomplete without the use of cow ghee.
- It can be used as a bath oil. Take two tablespoons of cow ghee and mix with several drops of an essential oil of your choice.
- Cow ghee is excellent for a gargle-gandush, to improve the health of the teeth and gums.
- Ghee is a great facial moisturizer.
- Cow ghee is excellent for scrapes and both chemical and heat or fire burns. It can be used in the eyes for tiredness.