(Health Secrets) Behold the healing power of ghee! The ancient scientists, like modern scientists, were systematic observers. They organized their observations into formalized systems of knowledge. One of those systems is Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine native to India that is also a form of alternative medicine. For millennia, Ayurvedic physicians have been recommending ghee, a form of clarified butter, as a healing food that balances body and mind. Its healing power improves digestion, heals wounds, fights free radicals and boosts the immune system.
The science behind the healing power of this food lies in its essential nature as a fat. Most digestive enzymes have fat as a precursor and are fat-soluble, and ghee stimulates enzyme production, allowing food to be broken down and used more efficiently. Ayurvedic practitioners use the food as a base for herbal preparations because of its ability to penetrate the body’s lipid based cell walls quickly and evenly.
The vitamins E, D, and beta-carotene (pro vitamin A) found in ghee are powerful antioxidants and free radical fighters, which help protect cell walls. It is high concentration of butyric acid, a fatty acid that contains anti-viral properties, is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.
Ghee has anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to lubricate connective tissues in the body, which can help to improve flexibility. The immune system is strengthened by any reduction in inflammation, and reducing inflammation also speeds the recovery of wounds and heals blisters. Ghee is believed to increase intelligence and memory, rejuvenate skin and balance hormones. It is good for the lactose intolerant, as the lactose sugar in basic butter is broken down on clarification.
Ghee aids digestive health when used in place of oils and other fats, by helping to reduce stomach acid. This action tends to protect and aid in repairing the stomach lining. Ghee is effective in treating discomfort from harmful toxins and acids that build up in the digestive system. Ayurveda practitioners use ghee to treat chronic peptic ulcers and promote intestinal tract health.
Ghee is an option if you want to eliminate dairy from your diet, or you are casein sensitive. Unlike the saturated fats found in animal meats, ghee is easy to digest. Although it’s composed of 65 percent saturated fat, a significantly higher proportion than most common cooking oils, the strong flavor means that you need much less of it for cooking. It is delicious to taste, and does not go bad or oxidize on exposure to air. Ghee can be made at home.
How to Prepare Ghee
To make gee, start with a good quality organic butter. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. As the butter melts it will form a white froth on top. Simmer the butter with occasional slow stirring to reduce the froth. The butter will change color to a pale yellow. Continue cooking it on low heat until it turns golden. The ghee is ready when it is clear, golden, translucent and fragrant, with the residue settled on the bottom of the pan. Filter it through cheesecloth. It will solidify when completely cool. When Ghee is kept in an airtight container, which prevents oxidation, it needs no refrigeration and has a long shelf life. The source of the milk and the duration of boiling determine its final texture, color, and taste.
Ghee is an ideal cooking oil as it has a high smoke point of 375 degrees F. It does not burn at normal cooking temperatures and does not spatter when used for frying. It can can be kept without refrigeration for weeks due to its low moisture content. It must be kept covered, free from water contamination, and stored in a cool place. When tightly wrapped and refrigerated, it will last six months. If frozen, it will last a year.
Use it sparingly. A good guideline is one tablespoon of ghee for every four tablespoons of any other form of butter, or cooking oil.
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