What makes aged ghee good for you?
Ghee, the superfood of India, has a long history as an important part of traditional Indian cuisine and as a vital element in Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old medicinal science. Ghee is the result of slowly simmering butter, removing the moisture, milk solids, and impurities to end up with a pure premium cooking oil. It is a shelf-stable, long-lasting oil that is so versatile that it can be used as a high-heat cooking oil as well as a body moisturizer and scalp treatment. And in fact, according to Ayurveda, ghee improves with time and its healing properties become more potent as it ages. So what is it that makes old ghee good for you?
Because ghee contains a very small amount of water, it is very unlikely that a sealed jar of ghee will go bad. An unopened jar of ghee may be stored in a dark place, away from sunlight at room temperature (think kitchen cabinet) for up to nine months. Once the jar is opened and the ghee is exposed to humidity and moisture, it should be used within six months as the introduction of moisture can create a welcoming environment for bacteria to grow.
Ultimately, though, ghee does not go bad the same way that butter does. Instead, after ghee has passed its prime, it may lose its nutty, sweet flavor, turning a bit pungent or sour. This is called Purana Ghrita, or aged ghee.
How is aged ghee good for you?
According to Ayurveda, ghee that has been stored in an airtight container for 1-10 years is called Purana Ghrita and comes with a host of unique neurological and psychological benefits and is used (in Ayurveda) to treat epilepsy, schizophrenia, and depression.
Aged ghee is also useful for the treatment of diseases of the head, eyes, and ears, as well as certain diseases related to the female reproductive system. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial and can effectively treat cough, pneumonia, and excessive phlegm as it is an effective expectorant. Topically it is used on boils, carbuncles, and burns.*
How to use aged ghee
Aged ghee can be used in a number of ways.
- Nasya – nasal drops (just make sure the ghee is not moldy at all or you may experience some irritation or discomfort)
- Tarpana – eye bath
- Abhyanga – self-body massage
- Basti – enema
- Pana – orally; the normal recommended dose is 5 drops – 2 tablespoons per day, with a glass of hot water.
How to age ghee
The first step to aging ghee is to purchase high-quality, artisan, grass-fed ghee. Keep the jar sealed and store it in a dark, dry cabinet for at least one year. Continue to store the ghee in a dry location after opening.
Ghee can be aged for any number of years and the older it gets, the more potent it becomes. In fact, according to Ayurveda, there is nothing that Prapurana Ghrita, 100-year-old ghee cannot cure!
*This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.
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