Desi ghee or cow ghee has always been the heart of all our dishes and has never failed to delight our tastebuds. But it is not known to many that the use of ghee is not only limited to the kitchen. Most people think that ghee has fattening properties and it is not good for health owing to its high cholesterol level. On the contrary, Desi ghee has a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that make your body fit and strong, moisturize your skin, conditions your hair, improve immunity and much more. So in this article, we bring to you all the possible ways ghee can be used for skin, hair and health, necessary precautions, myths and facts and much more…
WHY GHEE AND NOT BUTTER?
Ghee is made by heating or cooking butter till the time it loses all its milk solids, impurities and moisture. This is why ghee is also known as ‘clarified butter’
As ghee is a clarified form of butter, it has numerous advantages. Some of them are as follows:
- Short-chain or medium-chain fatty acids are healthy and do not affect our heart and cholesterol. Ghee contains more short or medium fatty acids than butter
- Smoke point is the temperature at which a substance breaks into harmful products and loses all its nutritional value. Ghee has a much higher smoke point than butter and hence can be cooked at higher temperatures and can still retain all its nutrients.
- Ghee is rich in various vitamins and minerals, some of which include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and some essential antioxidants too which are lacking in butter. These vitamins and minerals promote healthy well being and also protect us from various diseases and other health problems.
20 HOME REMEDIES EXPLAINING GHEE BENEFITS FOR SKIN, HAIR & HEALTH
- AS A LOTION TO PREVENT AGING
Ghee has an amazing potential of deeply penetrating the skin and its tissues and therefore effectively prevents aging by nourishing the skin cells and tissues. Its essential vitamins remove harmful free radicals from the body and retain the skin’s natural moisture content thus it acts as an anti-ageing product.
- FOR TREATING DARK CIRCLES
Desi ghee is known to work wonders for your dark circles if applied regularly as it is known to remove dryness and dryness is a major cause of the occurrence of dark circles.
- Massage the area under your eyes with a drop of ghee before sleeping every day to get effective results.
- MOISTURIZES CHAPPED LIPS
Ghee has certain fatty acids which trap moisture in your lips and thus help them to heal faster.
- Apply a little (2-3 drops) of ghee on your chapped lips overnight and they will be soft and shiny by the time you wake up.
- PROVIDES RELIEF IN COUGH
- Have a few tulsi leaves with mildly hot ghee to treat cough.
- Ghee has been used with other things such as cinnamon and ginger from the ancient period to get rid of cough and is still a very effective solution.
- Ghee with milk is another effective home remedy to treat dry cough.
- HEALS BURNS
Ghee can help you heal from inflammation, swelling or burns.
- Just mix a little turmeric powder and a paste made of neem leaves with ghee and apply it on your wounds for instant relief from the pain and irritation.
- PROTECTS AGAINST THYROID DYSFUNCTION
Ghee is known to contain specific chemical characteristics and iodine which maintain the level of the hormone thyroxin in women’s bodies and thus protect them from thyroid and related problems.
So it is advised to consume a sufficient but calculated amount of ghee every day.
- GOOD FOR DIGESTION
Desi ghee is extremely vital for digestion purposes and is the best home remedy for constipation.
Its antioxidants and other vitamins trigger the secretion of acids in the stomach which further improve our digestion
- HELPS WITH INSOMNIA
Ghee has a calming effect on your body and instantly lifts up your mood.
- To cure insomnia, apply a few drops of pure desi ghee on your feet and gently massage your skin. Follow this procedure daily before going to bed and you will definitely be able to sleep better.
- NATURALLY CONDITIONS HAIR
Its anti-oxidizing characteristics and fatty acids provide a way to deep condition your hair to make them soft and shiny.
- Massage your hair to the roots with a mixture of olive oil and desi ghee in the ratio of 2:1 and wash off with shampoo after an hour or so.
- GIVES RELIEF FROM EAR PAIN
- If you have a constant earache, warm up a few drops of pure ghee and pour 2-3 drops in your ears drop by drop. This will surely give you much-needed relief instantly.
- USE AS BATH OIL BEFORE YOUR SHOWER
- Ghee can make your skin really soft and smooth when used as bath oil half an hour before your shower.
- Mix ghee with coconut oil and apply it all over the body gently.
- You can also make a scrub by adding sugar to this mix for glowing skin.
- HELPS A LOT IN PREGNANCY
- Ghee is beneficial to prevent stretch marks and also heals cracked heels during pregnancy.
- Just mix warm ghee and a pinch of turmeric powder and apply this paste to your abdomen, hips, under your breast area and on the cracked heels regularly to avoid stretch marks and cracked heels.
- HELPS IN GETTING RID OF DANDRUFF
Ghee is rich in vitamins and minerals which remove dryness and provides moisture to an itchy scalp thus protecting against dandruff.
- Mix a few drops of lemon juice in ghee and apply it evenly on your scalp especially on the areas where there are large dandruff flakes or itchiness. Rinse your hair with a mild shampoo later and follow this procedure at least once a week to see proper results
- PROTECTS THE EYES
The presence of certain antioxidants, carotenoids to be specific in ghee helps in protecting the eyes to a great extent. Ghee prevents cataracts by disabling the work of harmful free radicals and is also known to maintain optimum eye pressure.
- Warm a few drops of absolutely pure ghee and let it cool down to your body temperature. Now slowly pour that ghee drop by drop into your eyes. To ensure it reaches all parts of your eyes, close them and roll your eyes once. Follow this procedure once or twice a week for best results.
- PREVENTS HAIR FALL AND TREATS SPLIT ENDS
Ghee gets absorbed by the roots of your hair and then improves blood circulation thus making it softer and shinier.
- For split ends and dry and frizzy hair also you can apply ghee on the tips of your hair and later wash off with a shampoo.
- STRENGTHENS BONES
The human body is not efficient in absorbing the calcium which is consumed. Vitamin K2 present in ghee effectively absorbs calcium in the body to make it full use and thus makes the bones stronger and healthier.
- BOOSTS IMMUNITY
Ghee is rich in vitamins and minerals which fight against various bacterial and viral infections. It is effective to such an extent that it has the potential to even prevent numerous forms of cancer.
- CAN BE USED AS A FACE MOISTURIZER
Ghee can give your face the radiance and glow that you are looking for in your beauty creams and lotions.
- Mix ghee with a little water and apply evenly on your skin. Do this around 3 to 4 times a week for moisturized skin
- MAINTAINS REGULAR BLOOD PRESSURE
Ghee is lactose and salt-free and thus maintains an optimum healthy cholesterol level in the body and hence controls blood pressure levels too. It is due to these low cholesterol properties that ghee is chosen over other cooking oils
- PROTECTS THE BRAIN AND LIVER
Ghee has anticonvulsant characteristics and hence fights off various liver diseases effectively. Ghee is also known to make the brain sharp by increasing memory power.
- For a calming effect on the brain or to get rid of headaches, massage your scalp with ghee for 10-15 minutes when required.
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT GHEE
- Myth: Desi ghee contains excessive cholesterol and is thus harmful to health.
Fact: Desi ghee has monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are good for health and help in decreasing cholesterol levels in our body. So we can confidently state that ghee benefits more than even sunflower oil or cottonseed oil.
- Myth: Ghee blocks arteries.
Fact: Ghee has the perfect Linoleic/Alpha linoleic acid ratio which prevents heart diseases nor does it allow the arteries to get blocked. In fact, it is healthier in comparison to refined oils as it is not heated to a great extent and therefore manages to retain all its nutrients.
- Myth: If you are allergic to butter you will be allergic to ghee too since both are made up of milk.
Fact: This is another positive point of consuming ghee over butter. It won’t cause allergic reactions because ghee is made by heating milk and all components which could affect your body in a negative way get evaporated, thus making ghee safe to consume.
- Myth: Ghee makes you fat.
Fact: Ghee contains certain acids which break down the fat particles and hence does not make you fat.
- The daily intake of fat for an individual should not be more than 10g to 15g so it is better to keep a check on the amount of ghee consumed
- If you are suffering from obesity or any cardiovascular disease it is recommended to avoid the consumption of ghee
- Homemade ghee should be preferred over others available in the market as homemade ghee does not contain any extra preservatives and vegetable fats that can harm our bodies to a small extent.
- The jar of ghee or the lid should be closed tightly to avoid any stray particles sticking to it. Also, do not seal the jar when the ghee is hot as it absorbs moisture and may get spoiled very soon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Ques1. Are vanaspati and ghee the same thing? Which one is recommended?
Ans: No. They are not the same. Vanaspati contains trans-fatty acids which are not healthy and thus should be avoided. Make sure you use pure desi ghee to avoid any health problems.
Ques2. What is RM value and what is the optimum RM value for ghee?
Ans: RM value is used to determine the adulteration content present in ghee and thus helps in checking its purity. The optimum RM value of ghee should be more than 26 or else it will be declared adulterated
Ques3. Is it necessary to store ghee in the fridge?
Ans: Since ghee is void of all milk solids, keeping ghee out can not pose a problem for a short period of time. Also, keeping the ghee container in the refrigerator for a long can spoil it. So if you wish to use the ghee packet or container for long, it is advised to keep it in a cool and dry place so that it doesn’t get rancid.
Ques4. Should pregnant women consume ghee?
Ans: Of course. Pregnant women are advised to consume ghee as it provides nutrition to both the expecting mother and the developing baby. It provides all the required vitamins and minerals for a pregnant woman’s health and also decreases the risk of birth defects in the child. This is because ghee is known to make the bones strong, so chances of disorders of the bone and spine get ruled out. Similarly, it is beneficial for boosting immunity and provides relaxation to the mind which is very essential during pregnancy.
Ques5. I am 7 months pregnant and many of my close ones have been telling me to consume excess ghee for a smooth and easy delivery? Is it recommended?
Ans: Ghee definitely provides nourishment to the body during pregnancy but too much of anything is harmful to your health and you should take special care during pregnancy. Your doctor will tell you what is the minimum and maximum amount of ghee you should consume according to your weight and body structure. Ghee intake will be beneficial if you are weak or too thin to carry a child. Otherwise, if your body weight is normal you might want to limit your intake of ghee as an excess of it will only add extra kgs to your weight which can cause you trouble after delivery. So instead of increasing the calories focus on following a balanced diet for smooth and easy delivery.