Ghee’s role in the Ayurvedic Diet

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Introduction

Beyond being ideal for the yogi (see previous article in this series), ghee is considered nectar-like for all wishing to live according to Ayurvedic principals and maintain positive health. The final article in this series will look at contemporary scientific evidence in support of ghee in promoting health and healing. In this age of ‘fatism’, Ayurveda’s views on the wondrous benefits of ghee may appear contradictory. We must assess ghee through the Ayurvedic lens to provide rationale for it being recommended for all from cradle to grave. For example, just after birth the new baby is given both honey and ghee impregnated with mantras prescribed for this purpose in the Vedas (Ch Sa: 8/46). Charaka, an Ayurvedic master physician in ancient India, summarises:

“Cow ghee promotes memory, intellect, power of digestion, semen, ojas, kapha and fat. It alleviates vata, pitta, toxic conditions, insanity, consumption and fever. It is the best of all the unctuous substances” (Ch Su: 27/232). read more

What is Good About Ghee: Science Shows Benefits of Our Ancient Wisdom

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In my last article, I explained why many of us felt ghee was bad and why we were probably wrong. For decades we were told to avoid foods full of saturated fats including ghee because they would cause heart attacks. But the evidence from several studies says otherwise.

As a 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition meta-analysis that look at many studies and was done by researchers at Harvard concludes, the evidence linking saturated fats to a higher risk of heart attacks is not convincing. What I concluded from the science available today is that ghee is not bad per se. Let me now explain why ghee is good.

In general, a natural food that offers nutrition – in contrast to processed food fortified with vitamins but with plenty of added sugars and fats – is good. I believe that natural foods are optimal for good health because our bodies evolved over thousands of years to extract nutrition out of natural foods. In other words, our bodies developed hormones, carriers, bacterial flora and other things to get the most out of food found in nature. Most of these natural foods, such as vegetables, fruits and nuts, are grown from the earth. But some natural foods are cultivated by people. read more