Updated: Nov 19
Have you ever heard of Ayurveda's "Golden Liquid"? It is a must-have in any Ayurvedic kitchen.
It is very rich and full of nourishment and can transport your food's nutrition to deep tissues.
But have you ever wondered why Ayurveda recommends this liquid to everyone? Well, I am going to try to explain that in this post.
But first of all, let's answer the question what is ghee or clarified butter?
What is Ghee?
Ghee is clarified butter; this means that organic grass-fed butter is gently melted until the impurities of butter have been melted away. When it has been simmering long enough, you will get three layers. A sticky coating on the bottom, a beautiful clear golden liquid in the middle, and some white froth on the top. Once these layers have separated, the golden liquid is passed through a fine cloth or sieve to remove all the impurities.
Ghee has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for cooking and therapeutically to nourish and heal the body from the inside out and the outside in.
What are the benefits of Ghee?
There are so many benefits to Ghee that I will not go into all of them.
In general, Ghee is good for:
Nourishes the entire body
Creates Ojas (the essence of immunity and life)
Transports nourishment of your food and herbs to deep tissues
Supports the movement of toxins (ama) and other wastes out of the body through the digestive tract.
Lubricates joints, nervous system, digestive tract, etc.
Ghee as part of cleansing
Ghee's notable cleansing benefits support the expulsion of toxins in the body and are an essential part of Ayurvedic cleansing rituals like "Panchakarma." But ghee is also used during a kitchari cleanse.
How to use ghee
You can use ghee in many ways; in cooking as an alternative to butter or other cooking oils. At the end of the cooking process, you can add a dollop on every plate when you haven't incorporated it in the cooking process. But ghee is also used medicinally as a carrier for herbal formulas. It is said that ghee transports the herbs to their destined tissues. During panchakarma treatment, ghee is also used to remove stagnated energy from specific places like the eyes, lower back, or heart.
How to make ghee
Making ghee is quite simple, but it does require your attention and dedication as this will enhance the quality and purity of the batch. To make a nice batch of ghee, you will need about 500g to 1kg of organic grass-fed butter (about 1-2 lbs). To me, grass-fed butter sounds a bit funky, as if the butter was fed grass. But it just means that the cows that produced this milk just ate grass.
You will need:
500g to 1kg of organic grass-fed butter (about 1-2 lbs)
A large pan with a thick bottom will produce heat slowly. You don't want to use aluminum.
A "cheese" cloth or thin sieve (or both)
Airtight glass jars to keep the ghee fresh
Place the butter in the pan and turn the heat on low.
Gently bring to a simmer. You want it to simmer. When you turn the heat too high, you will have the chance of it splashing out of the pan.
Simmer until you start seeing three layers. The bottom layer sticks to the bottom of the pan, the middle layer of clear golden liquid, and the frothy top layer.
When you see these three layers, your ghee is ready. Turn the heat off and leave for a couple of minutes to settle down a bit.
When the ghee has settled down a little, pour it through the cloth or sieve into your glass jars.
Keep the ghee in a dark cabinet. Make sure not to place it in a fridge. And only use clean utensils to scoop out ghee otherwise, it will grow mold. Ghee can be kept for a very long time. In India, they have very expensive ghee that is over 100 years old and is said to have great medicinal qualities.
When you have done this process correctly, your ghee should look a bit crumbly when it has cooled.
Enjoy it in your cooking/baking, as a dollop on every plate, with your herbs, or in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning to get your stool moving.