Beyond… A Journey Within

Swati Singh

Ghee–Nature’s Gift

Published on New York Spirit

ghee_in_ayurveda

While scrolling through the internet, I noticed an article which stated how to prepare ghee (clarified butter) from supermarket, unsalted butter at home. Sorry to say but this is not what ‘ghee’ is! How can you make a natural product by heating a chemically-processed food? I have seen my grandma preparing it by using cream from cow or buffalo milk. She stores the cream for ten days in the refrigerator and then makes butter and ghee from it. Every month, the selfish me, goes to grandma to collect some love and some ghee.

Ayurveda is all in praise for ghee. Our body absorbs ghee in a very gratifying manner; allowing food to be fully assimilated and helping nutrients to nourish all seven layers of tissues in the body.

Ayurveda regards ghee as an essential food for the body, skin, mind, good digestion, and for balancing all body types. It is believed to increase aptitude, improve memory, and has anti-aging properties. It removes dryness on every part of the body from chapped lips to cracked heels. It is also used before starting the pancha-karma kriya(detoxification treatment).

It escalates ojas–the energy in charge of life, health, and overall well-being of an individual–in both body and mind. It is considered sattvick, which has a pure effect on body, mind, and spirit. It is therapeutic, and when given mixed with other herbs, is much more beneficial as it penetrates and gets absorbed easily in our body.

Ghee is considered pure and auspicious. Ayurveda has a practice called abhighara where we put a dash of ghee on our food before eating, signifying that ghee cleanses the food. Trust me, apart from making it pure, it makes food much more delicious.

Ghee is not only a part of food and therapy, but Hinduism spiritual rituals as well. The small lamp, diya, which is lit during daily prayers, uses cow’s ghee as fuel with a wick. It is believed that cow’s ghee has the highest sattvick frequency and thus creates high vibrations where it is lit. The light from this lamp illuminates the mind and helps our journey towards wisdom and greater understanding of life. Similarly in yagya (or hom or yajna)–the ritual where sacred mantras are chanted along with offerings made to fire–ghee is poured into fire after every mantra. The effect of yagya is very strong and can be felt by each person who attends it. It also purifies manipura (Solar plexus) and anahata (Heart) chakras.

Now, these can be considered as religious or spiritual beliefs which you may or may not follow depending on your heart’s connect; nonetheless, ghee is rich in nutrients and is better than cooking oils as it doesn’t form free radicals which are too harmful for us.

How to introduce ghee in our lives

Cook with ghee instead of vegetable oils. The food will taste better and would assimilate better giving you better immunity.

Massage your body with ghee before bathing during the winter. You can add cloves to it while melting it for aroma.

To benefit spiritually, light a lamp with wick dipped in cow’s ghee at dawn and twilight at your spiritual altar or near a plant. Gaze at the flame for few minutes. This practice is beneficial to your eyes, mind, and spirit.

How to make ghee at home

Start with cow or buffalo milk–it’s best to have one which directly comes from the animal. When you boil and refrigerate it, there will be a thick layer of cream that sets on top. Keep collecting this cream in another bowl. Cover it with a lid. After collecting it for ten days (from at least ten liters of milk), it is time to make ghee. Put the cream– it will be a mixture of hard and soft cream–in a thick-bottomed wok or pot. Heat the wok on a low flame and keep stirring it intermittently. It will begin to melt the cream. After few minutes of stirring, the liquid will start separating itself from the solids which will start turning brown. After around ten minutes, switch off the heat. Let it cool down a bit. Strain the liquid, pushing it down through the brown solids–and your ghee is ready. Do not over heat it or else it will have a burnt taste. Do not let the cream to spoil–you can smell it to test. If it smells sour or foul, it is not usable. Do not fail to stir, either. Cow’s milk ghee will be yellowish; buffalo’s milk ghee will be pure white in color. It can last for over a year.

With ghee’s spiritual and physical wonders, it’s a must have in your kitchen as well as to benefit you in your earthly journey.

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2016 by in Ayurveda, Uncategorized and tagged , .

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