Ayurveda teaches that ghee and Ghruta (Ayurvedic ghee) have numerous benefits. Not only does ghee enkindle the digestive fire, it also provides lubrication and nourishment to the skin and all bodily tissues. In addition, ghee is brain food! Did you know that taking in nourishing fats such as ghee supports the health of your nervous system and brain? Here is one more reason to enjoy ghee—ghee for your brain!
The Benefits of Ghee for Your Brain
Ayurveda considers ghee to be a medhya rasayana, meaning it supports cognitive health and memory. Contemporary research confirms the value of omega 3 fatty acids in supporting brain health and further research indicates that ghruta made by the traditional method (as is done at PIOR Living!) has a higher omega 3 content than ghee produced via the industrial method.
Also, consider that the myelin sheath—the insulating layer around the nerves and spinal cord—is made of proteins and fat. Furthermore, your brain is 60% fat so you can see why good fats are so nourishing for your brain.
Vata Dosha and the Nervous System
Beyond diet, fatty acids, and building blocks, it is interesting to consider the link between Vata dosha, the nervous system, and the brain. The brain is part of the majja dhatu, or the nervous system and nerve tissue. Vata dosha has a special connection to the nervous system. Though the nerve tissue and brain is largely composed of fat which relates to Kapha dosha, Vata dosha is typically the culprit when there are issues with the nervous system(1).
Many issues of the nervous system are related to depletion, which tends to be a Vata issue. Therefore, to keep the nerve tissue and brain well-nourished and lubricated, ghee for the brain makes perfect sense!
How To Enjoy Ghee for Your Brain
So how do you enjoy ghee for your brain? There are many ways to reap the benefits of ghee. Simply cooking with ghee on a regular basis is a wonderful way to enjoy this nourishing, rejuvenating lipid. Also, you can take ghee or ghruta with special brain and nervous-system supportive herbs to amplify the effects of both the ghee and the herbs. Gotu kola, brahmi, shankhapushpi, ashwagandha, and turmeric are a few herbs that improve cognitive function and health. You can infuse these herbs into ghee or ghruta by a slow-heating process. Or, a simple way to combine the two is to add a teaspoon of ghee and a teaspoon of powdered herbs to hot water and sip as a tea.
Staying healthy means tending to more than our exterior. To stay vibrant from the inside out, we need to consider giving food to our deeper tissues, including our organic body and brain. Ghee and ghruta feed all our tissue layers, providing deep nourishment from the inside out.
(1) Halpern, M. (2012). Principles of ayurvedic medicine. Nevada City, CA: California College of Ayruveda.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.