|Indication for ghee||Dosha/Subdosha involved||Reference|
|Promotes memory||Vata (prana, samana vyana)||Caraka, Sushruta,Vagbhata|
|Promotes intelligence/wisdom||Vata (prana, samana vyana)||Caraka, Sushruta,Vagbhata|
|Enkindles agni/digestive capacity||Pitta (pachaka)||Caraka, Sushruta,Vagbhata|
|Promotes semen/vigor||Shukra agni, apana vayu||Caraka, Sushruta|
|Promotes ojas/vitality||Kapha kshaya||Caraka, Sushruta|
|Promotes kapha/medas||Kapha kshaya||Caraka, Sushruta|
|Cures diseases of kapha/medas||Kapha kshaya||Vagbhata|
|Alleviates Vata||Vata vruddhi||Caraka, Sushruta,Vagbhata|
|Alleviates Pitta||Pitta vruddhi||Caraka, Sushruta|
|Poison||Vata, Pitta, Kapha||Caraka, Sushruta|
|Phthisis (tuberculosis)||Vata, Pitta, Kapha||Caraka|
|Upward moving Vata in alimentary tract||Vata||Sushruta|
From the above table, it is clear that ghee can be tridoshic in small doses. It has a sweet rasa, with a cold virya and a sweet vipaka with gunas or qualities being light, penetrating and unctuous [2, 4, 8, 9]. Ghee’s unctuousness makes it an excellent internal and external lubricant for treating Vata’s dryness, roughness and emaciation and Kapha’s hardness. Its cooling virya makes it excellent for placating excessive Pitta and yet, it can stimulate agni without exacerbating Pitta aggravations. Ghee also has a prabhav that allows it to take on the properties of herbs it is processed with without losing its own gunas . This means if it is cooked with a heating herb, the ghee will pass on this property without giving up its own oily, cooling properties. This makes ghee an excellent anupana and its spreading nature can take the intention of herbs in to the deep tissues. Dr. Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM calls ghee a catalytic agent or yogivahi that carries the medicinal properties of herbs it is processed or taken with in to the tissues .
Again, when pondering all the possible uses for ghee from an Ayurvedic standpoint, it would seem that ghee is like the “magic bullet” so sought after in Western medicine , however, when the subject of dietary fat arises in the American public discourse, the first questions raised invariably have to do with is ghee safe? Isn’t ghee just rendered animal fat and shouldn’t we all be avoiding animal fat in general? Isn’t ghee, being a by-product of butter, high in cholesterol?
Whenever the discussion turns to fat in the American diet, there is so much contradictory information in the public domain, a formalized understanding of fat bio-metabolism can be truly useful in understanding how ghee could be good. To that end, let us take a closer look at what fat is and how, when and why humans require fat in their diet, not only to survive, but to also lead healthy productive lives.
The skinny on fats: what’s a fatty acid and why is it essential?
- 1. Energy Storing lipids: triacylglycerolsa
- 2. Membrane Lipids (phospholipids, sphingoglycolipids and cholesterolb)
- 3. Emulsification lipids (bile acids)
- 4. Messenger lipids (steroid hormones, cholesterolb and eicosanoids)
- 5. Protective coating lipids (plant waxes)
-3 and -6 Fatty Acids:
cis and trans FAs:
Cholesterol: What is it and is it really “bad”?
What is the Fat and Cholesterol Content of Ghee?
FA Composition of 100 g ghee
|Component||Home made ghee ||Commercial ghee ||Melting Point |
|Cholesterol||178.2 mg/100g||161.7 mg/100g||148-150°C|
|Phospholipids||28.6 mg/100g||10.4 mg/100g||—————-|
|Vitamin E||305 ug/100g||491 ug/100g||—————-|
|Vitamin A||447 ug/100g||584 ug/100g||—————-|
|Butyric acid C4 SFA||4.5-6% by wt||————–||-7.9°C|
|Decanoic C10 SFA||1.8% by wt||1.3% by wt||31.6°C|
|Lauric C12 SFA||2.1 % by wt||2.6% by wt||43.2°C|
|Myristic C14 SFA||13.8% by wt||14.3% by wt||54.2°C|
|Palmitic C16 SFA||33.0% by wt||32.8% by wt||62.9°C|
|Stearic C18 SFA||11.8% by wt||12.0% by wt||69.6°C|
|Oleic C18 MUFA||30.2% by wt||30.0% by wt||13-14°C|
|Linoleic C18 PUFA||2.1% by wt||2.6% by wt||-5°C|
Biochemistry and the Doshic Effects of Ghee
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