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Ghee- as food & medicine

Ayurveda is the most ancient, continuously practiced healthcare discipline in the world. In ancient ayurvedic literature, a number of references are available with regard to the testing of drugs and food on animals, for evaluating their safety, before administration on human beings; ensuring their wise use. As per Ayurveda,Ghee, specifically cow’s ghee, is something to be taken from Day One of human life. Though the quantity differs with every person, it is one among the 10 food substances mentioned in the classics as essential to be included in the diet. It is also an essential ingredient in any Ayurvedic formulation.

Benefits of Ghee as per Ayurveda:

· Improves intelligence

· Memory, ingenuity and stability

· Maintains digestion both intra and extra cellular

· Increases longevity

· Improves sexual vigor

· Good eyesight

· Retains youth

· Perhaps, it’s the only food that can maintain cell integrity by balancing the structural and bio chemical integrity. Thus the electrolyte imbalance happening in people especially during a hot summer can be prevented.

It’s ideal for children, to grow up to be strong.

It is also ideal for those suffering from emaciation or any health hazards as a result of fire, poisoning, insanity, or any unhealthy practices.

We can scientifically evaluate the properties of ghee and further, decide, whether the facts mentioned in the classics are real or not.

Contrary to perceptions, Ghee is the lightest lipid—it’s lighter than any other fat or oil. In smaller amounts, it helps to kindle the digestive fire, enhances digestion- it clears all the chronic troubles of indigestion and bloating.

When you take some food, no matter how nutritious, it will not give you the required nutrition, unless it is fully digested and absorbed into your body. You are what you digest and not what you eat. Seasoning with ghee locks the moisture of food consumed, helps in proper and full digestion, ensures the maximum nutrient uptake to every cell of the body. Human cell membrane is made of lipoproteins and all lipid soluble particles will be easily absorbed into the cell. Ghee soluble substances have the ability to pass the blood brain barriers and placental barrier. So target site can be reached soon, effective and even distribution to the whole body is ensured.

Daily intake of ghee helps in retaining moisture of the skin. Ghee normalizes the skin ph and sebum secretions. It helps to ward off infections and skin allergies. It tones the skin and ageing is arrested.

Ghee helps to improve both the quantity and quality of blood, which can be measured and also felt by the improvement of your overall health and skin complexion.

At a cellular and biochemical level, it stabilises the cellular functions by normalizing the level of all secretions and hormones involved, energy transmissions are regularised, as also cell- to- cell communication. The functions within a cell are regularized. It normalizes the release of energy and maintains a proper body heat. Medicated ghee has the ability to remove those high lipid and sugar levels, any blocks or even extra growths within or outside the cells.

Ghee has many unbelievable and amazing healing properties especially when it comes to the nervous system. In the classics a majority of the central nervous disorders are treated with lipid and alcoholic preparations, because these are the only two substances which can reach the brain. Similarly it also crosses the placental barrier and reaches the fetus in the womb. Almost any disease or malfunction affecting the nervous system can be treated using different ghee medications.

Ghee can be used for seasoning your normal food preparations and the total dose can be restricted to 5ml per day for a healthy man, with different dosage and usage patterns for every individual. Even the type of ghee whether medicated or non- medicated differs with every person.

For a healthy person ghee is essential to maintain his body just the way water is essential. Ghee does cause cholesterol if not absorbed properly, but the damage is much lesser than your normal oils. Once a proper digestion is maintained, ghee does not cause any adverse effect on your body. Even the quantity of HDL or good cholesterol can be maintained by a wise usage of ghee in your diet. Ghee is very essential to maintain the lipid membrane of cells especially the brain tissues, the lack of which results in diseases with memory loss like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s. Absence of brain cell integrity even causes several mania, depression and seizures -all of which have an increased prevalence in the present era.

Ghee obtained from cow s milk is considered the best. Ghee has potent qualities, where it cures intoxication, epilepsy and all diseases of the head, eye, ear and sexual organs. It cleanses and heals wounds.

There are plenty of formulations where ghee is an active ingredient. Ghee is also added into many preparations essentially as an ingredient of all Ayurvedic rasayanas (now considered as life savers, life sustainers and life promoters). Some usually used medicated ghee includes –

Indukantham ghrtam - increases the overall immunity. For a general and specific prevention

Kalyanaka ghrtam – administered for kids and elderly, also pregnant women who are seeking a good brain supplement along with other health benefits

Dadimadi ghrtam- mainly advised for improving the quantity and quality of blood, it also improves skin texture and complexion

Triphala ghrtam – for the well-being of sensory organs and functions

Ghee must not be given to those with respiratory troubles, especially when the quantity of phlegm is high. It can be used after a week of curing the disease.

Ghee is used as an internal medication, not usually applied externally other than for healing wounds, burning, itching and dryness. It is taken orally as well as used as an ingredient for some medicated enemas.

By: Dr.Neethu Sen, M.D (Ay)

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