Ayurvedic DietDairy Products

Ghee (Clarified Butter) in Ayurveda

Ayurveda describes four types of fats in which Desi Cow’s Ghee is considered the best. Nowadays, Desi Cow’s Ghee is rarely or not available. Therefore, we recommend eating oilseeds and nuts instead of ghee to fulfil the healthy fat requirement in the body. Let’s discuss what ayurveda says about Desi Cow’s Ghee.

Note: Ghee is on our restricted food list. This article is only for information – what ayurveda says about ghee. We recommend plant-based ayurveda and whole food plant-based diet.

Selection of Cows for Milk & Milk Products

Ayurveda also recommends the selection of cows for a milk product. Here are a few important points for selecting the cow for milk:

  1. A cow should be healthy. The cow should not suffer from any mental and physical disease.
  2. If a cow is moaning, you should not accept milk from that cow.
  3. A cow should not be forcefully impregnated. Reproduction should be natural and acceptable to the animal.
  4. The calf should be alive. If the calf is dead or killed, milk from that cow produces agony, disease (especially heart and mental diseases), misery and suffering in people who drink or eat dairy products made from that cow’s milk.
  5. Even if a calf is not killed, but die due to natural cause, you should not accept milk from that cow. This milk produces the same mental suffering in people like mother cow.
  6. The calf should stay with the mother. You can accept leftover milk after the calf is fully satisfied.

Diseases Caused by Milk & Ghee

If you accept milk from unacceptable cows (as explained above), milk, butter, ghee and other milk products from such cows cause the following diseases:

  • Heart Diseases.
  • Mental Diseases.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Inflammatory diseases.
  • Loss of immunity.
  • Obesity.
  • Thyroid disorders.
  • Infertility.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Autism.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Uncertain Agony.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Many other diseases.

You can see the rise of numbers of these diseases according to current statistics. It happens because of the rise of animal agriculture on the industrial level instead of house cows.

In ancient times, house cows were receiving great love from people. House cows were well-respected and well-treated. Nowadays, cows are just a part of agriculture and milk-producing machines.

Ghee Benefits

Ayurveda describes the benefits of Ghee made from acceptable desi cow’s milk.

शस्तं धी स्मृति मेधाग्नि बलायुःशुक्र चक्षुषाम् । बाल वृद्धप्रजा कान्ति सौकुमार्यस्वरार्थिनाम् ॥ ३७ ॥ क्षत क्षीण परीसर्प शस्त्र अग्निग्लपितात्मनाम् । वात पित्त विषोन्माद शोषा लक्ष्मी ज्वरापहम् ॥ ३८ ॥ स्नेहानामुक्तमं शीतं वयसः स्थापनं परम् । सहस्रवीर्य विधिभिर्घृतं कर्मसहस्रकृत् ॥ ३९॥ (Astanga Hridaya, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 5)

  1. Ghee improves intelligence, memory, retention power, digestive fire and strength.
  2. It is good for reproduction, eyes, children and old-aged people.
  3. It improves fertility, complexion and voice.
  4. In cases of diseases, it helps in wasting of the body, lung injury, herpes, injuries due to sharp objects and burns.
  5. It is useful in Vata and Pitta diseases.
  6. It is also helpful in poisoning, insanity, tuberculosis, and fever.

If ghee is prepared as explained in classical texts, it can be kept for 1000 years. Old ghee is used to treat several health conditions.

मदापस्मारमूच्च्छायशिरःकर्णाक्षियोनिजान् । पुराणं जयति व्याधीन् व्रणशोधनरोपणम् ॥ ४० ॥ (Astanga Hridaya, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 5)

Old ghee is useful in the following health conditions:

  1. Alcoholism.
  2. Epilepsy.
  3. Fainting.
  4. Diseases related to the head and brain.
  5. Ear disorders.
  6. Uterine disorders.
  7. Wounds (external use).

Ayurvedic Properties of Ghee

RASA (Taste)MADHURA (Sweet)
GUNA (Main Quality)GURU (Heavy), SNIGADH or SNEHA (Unctuous or Oily)
VIRYA (Potency)SHEETA (Cold)
VIPAKA (Resultant)MADHURA (Sweet)

Dosha Karma

IncreasesKapha Dosha
PacifiesVata Dosha and Pitta Dosha
SuitableVata Body Type and Pitta Body Type
UnsuitableKapha Body Type and Kapha Disorders
Ama Dosha EffectSuitable for Nirama stages of Vata and Pitta Dosha. Unsuitable for Sa-Ama stage of all doshas.

Ghee Contraindications

In the following health conditions, ghee should not be taken:

  • The blockage of blood vessels
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol, triglycerides).
  • Heart diseases due to poor lifestyle or sedentary lifestyle
  • Heart and blood vessel diseases due to increased kapha and obesity.
  • Obesity.
  • All kapha disorders.

Note: Acceptable ghee can help in heart diseases that occur due to increased and aggravated Vata and Pitta dosha. However, these doshas should not be aggravated due to the blockages caused by Kapha dosha and Ama Dosha.

Recommended Ghee Amount

Ayurveda does not describe a specific daily amount. Ayurveda does also not state anything about its regular consumption. Ayurveda states taking ghee in the appropriate amount that you can digest easily without affecting other food intakes.

How much do we recommend?

According to our Dietary Guidelines, the acceptable daily amount of extracted fats and oils is as follows:

ConditionAllowable per Week
No exercise/physical workNil
30 minutes of exercise/physical work daily35 ml per week
60 minutes of exercise/physical work daily70 ml per week
90 minutes of exercise/physical work daily105 ml per week

Ghee also comes under the provision of extracted fats and oils. You should follow the above recommendations for total weekly intake of extracted fats and oils including desi cow’s ghee.

We also recommend variety. Therefore, you should eat ghee in a half amount of above-recommended table or as explained below:

ConditionGhee AmountOil Amount
No exercise/physical workNilNil
30 minutes of exercise/physical work daily17.5 ml per week17.5 ml per week
60 minutes of exercise/physical work daily35 ml per week35 ml per week
90 minutes of exercise/physical work daily52.5 ml per week52.5 ml per week

In addition to the above, we recommend taking oilseeds and nuts for healthy fats in the amount explained in our Dietary Guidelines.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh (B.A.M.S., M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants) is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with Ayurveda (including Herbal Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Diet). Ayur Times is an initiative of his efforts to bring quality information on Indian Medicine with the highest level of relevancy and scientific evidence.
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