Gheelicios Ghee and Ayurveda
If you’ve ever been to our studio, you’ve probably heard the word “ghee” quite a few times! Yogis and Ayurvedic practitioners alike are all about this amazing stuff. You may find yourself asking, “what’s the big deal?”
Why it’s so GOOD!
Ghee is an important substance in any Ayurvedic lifestyle. The clean, lactose-free purified fat from our peaceful bovine friends nourishes, purifies and cleanses every part of a human. Making your own ghee has its own therapeutic and spiritually enhancing benefits. The process takes time and attention. Ghee is the closest thing to pure love we find in the material world. Imagine a well kept cow, sitting in a peaceful field, with her long amazing horns stretching to the heavens, eating grass and OMING all day. Thats where milk comes from. We further purify that distilled sunlight(milk) into Ghee. Boom. Instant pure love that you can spread on anything, even your body!
What is Ghee?
Ghee is the essence of milk, and thus, is considered to contain the essence of all plants. Ghee is more commonly known to Westerners as clarified butter. The process of clarifying the butter not only removes impurities from the food substance, but it is also purported to clarify the soul. Over slow, low heat, and a long period of time, the lactose, casein, saturated fats, other sugars and waters that naturally occur in butter are separated and easily removed from the resulting ghee.
The Magic of Ghee
The Sanskrit word for Magic or Special action is prabhava. It is said that ghee has the prabhava to nourish the deepest layers of tissue in the body immediately. The way that the layers of tissue work, based on Ayurvedic philosophy, it usually takes 40 days to begin to start nourishing the deepest layer of tissue Sukra Dhautu (reproductive system) provided that you are eating the proper foods.
Ghee also has the prabhava to take on the medicinal qualities of the herbs it’s cooked with. This is what makes ghee the perfect medicine to help nourish the deepest layers of tissue in the body. When all of the layers of tissue in the body are properly nourished, we can start to create ojas, which is our feeling of completeness. It is our immune system functioning properly. It is our vitality and stable sex drive. It is our ability to deal with anything life throws at us with out going crazy. Without ghee, it is very difficult to create ojas.
Benefits of Ghee
- The glorious golden color of ghee is symbolic of the sun’s nourishing, life-giving energy. However, unlike the hot, drying sun, ghee has a lubricating quality that fends off any brittleness and increases flexibility.
- Ghee provides the perfect fuel for agni (digestive fire) without aggravating pitta. The soft, heavy, lubricating qualities of ghee actually cool pitta and pacify vata.
- Ghee dissolves ama, and provides a lubricated channel for impurities to slide out of the body
Making ghee involves more than just putting butter on the stove. To properly make ghee, certain rituals must be adhered to. First, you and your space will need to be clean – physically and energetically. Cleanliness signals respect for the task at hand, and it also makes you feel better about everything! Bathing serves to cleanse and purify our physical bodies, while also relaxing the mind and removing fatigue and energetic blocks we might be holding onto. Since cooking food is a method to provide life and love to another being, it should be done with a reverent attitude, much like any other act of worship.
What You Need To Make Ghee –
- Organic, unsalted butter. Preferably straight out of the cow if you can get it. Cultured butter is fine.
- A big pot, preferably stainless steel or ceramic.
- A flame. Electric stoves are the enemy of ghee. If you only have access to electric, you will need to use the double boiler method.
- A wooden spoon.
- An extra bowl to hold the extracted impurities.
- Cheese cloth and a rubber band.
- Container for storage. Ball glass jars are good as they withstand heat.
What You Need To Do –
- Over a LOW flame, melt your butter in the pot. Once it is all melted, you can adjust the heat so the butter is peacefully bubbling. No energetic boiling! You will notice a white film gathering at the top of the ghee. These are the impurities we are trying to clarify out of the butter.
- Using a wooden spoon, gently scoop out this white film and set aside in the extra bowl.
- Chant the Gayatri mantra while scooping. In this way, we clarify our soul as we clarify the ghee.
When you can see through the ghee to the bottom of the pan, your butter is clarified and the ghee is finished. TURN OFF THE HEAT immediately or you will burn your ghee! Burned ghee tastes gross and is really only fit for use in a ghee candle. Wait a few minutes before you strain it so you don’t explode your container from the hot oil. Don’t wait too long though. Ghee strains more easily when it is quite warm and viscous.
Straining your Ghee –
Take the easy way and secure your cheese cloth over the mouth of your container with a rubber band. This way, you won’t burn your fingers or risk the cheesecloth falling into the clean ghee. Gently pour the ghee from the pan into your container. Wait until the ghee cools and hardens before you lid your jar.
*Always use a clean spoon with your Ghee With minimal contamination, Ghee can be used for a very long time. The smell should remain buttery and sweet. If your Ghee starts to smell pungent, or cheesy – it may have been contaminated and gone bad.
To learn the other rituals, mantras and spiritual aspects of making ghee, or to make your own, please feel free to schedule an Ayurvedic Consultation.