Ghee is in fact a form of clarified butter. If you’ve eaten lobster or crab before, you may be more familiar with the term “drawn butter”, which is essentially the same thing, although often many people will simply melt some butter and call it drawn butter.
The process of clarifying butter is a bit more complex. The butter is melted and simmered (this process is also called “rendered”) in a pot or large saucepan until three layers form: a foamy, watery layer, which is skimmed off, a solid butter layer, and a milk solids layer. The separated butter is the clarified butter, a liquid mass of rich, golden butterfat. Chefs often use clarified butter because it will not burn during frying (this is known as a high smoking point), and possesses a more buttery flavor. The longer the melted butter cooks, the more intense the resulting flavor of the clarified butter will be.
HEALING PROPERTIES OF GHEE:
In ancientIndia, wells full of Ghee were especially for those who suffered wounds… When a surgeon cuts open a body, he only does so knowing that the body will be able to heal itself. The surgeon cannot do this. Ghee is known for the quality of Ropana- healing, and its effectiveness in facilitating recovery from wounds. In Ayurveda, when a person has a chronic peptic ulcer or gastritis, Ghee is used to heal that ulcer inside the intestinal tract. Ghee works wondrously on bedsores for the elderly or debilitated. It can be applied for broken bones and bruises. It is highly effective for all sorts of skin rashes. It is also used on burns of both fire and chemicals. Once, I accidentally got some sandalwood oil in my eye. It burned intensely and I was unable to wash it out with a variety of eyewashes. I spent hours in pain and finally I remembered to use Ghee. Almost immediately, the Ghee pacified the burning and the eye irritation ceased.
Just recently, a friend of mine who is a yoga instructor had a pressure cooker blow up in his face, giving him second and third degree burns. He immediately put some Ghee on his face and went to the emergency room. They told him that he would be scarred for life, that the burns would take several months to heal and that he should take steroids to help him (the body shuts down the production of testosterone after burns). He declined to take the steroids and continued to put on the Ghee, twice daily. After six days, he was completely healed without scarring.
Ghee increases the overall strength, luster and beauty of the sarira-the body. Let us look at a variety of ways:
Used on the skin, Ghee softens and strengthens, protects and nourishes. Up until the last generation inIndia, there used to be men who gave Ghee massages on the street. It was always the preferred substance for the skin, but since it was more expensive than oil it has come to be used only for internal purposes. For generations, Indians have used Ghee for cooking and as an added measure on top of their food and as a medicine. InIndia, medicinal ghee is passed on from one generation to the next. It was used for old and young, for new babies (Mothers inIndiawill massage their children with Ghee) and for those in the last days of their life. I massaged my Father’s body with it before he died- He loved it. Sometimes, when he could not sleep, I rubbed it on his feet and temples and it soothed his agitation. It is considered it one of the best substances for self-massage-Abhyanga.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF GHEE:
Ghee lacks hydrogenated oils and is a popular choice for health-conscious cooks as well. Additionally, since all the milk proteins have been removed during the clarifying process, ghee gains further nutritional value because it’s lactose free, making it a safer alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Clarified butter is composed primarily of saturated fat. It contains approximately 14 grams of fat per tablespoon but no artificial additives, preservatives, or Tran’s fats. Consuming large quantities of ghee is obviously unhealthy, but because of the rich flavor of ghee, it can be used sparingly to full effect, making it more suitable for low-fat diets.
A good guideline is one tablespoon of ghee as opposed to four tablespoons of any other butter or cooking oil. Ghee Health Benefits Ghee is most notably said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion, while other fats, such as butter and oils, slow down the digestive process and can sit heavy in the stomach. Although tests and research are still ongoing, it has been used in Indian medicinal practice to help with ulcers, constipation, and the promotion of healthy eyes and skin. An Indian folk-remedy for thousands of years, ghee is also said to promote learning and increased memory retention.
It is used in Indian beauty creams to help soften skin, and as a topical for the treatment of burns and blisters. In addition to ghee’s nutritional value, it is rich with antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods, feeding all layers of body tissue and serving to strengthen the immune system. A high concentration of butyric acid, a fatty acid that contains anti-viral properties, is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.