Ghee, also known as ghruta, is a wonderful medicine for new mothers. It helps support the mind, body and spirit of new mothers as they transition into a new life-phase.
As with any transition – and what a transition becoming a mother is – in order for it to be supportive and seamless, it needs to be cushioned. And this is what ghruta or ghee can do for new mothers: swaddle their body and mind with unctuous buoyancy and vitality.
What are the qualities of Ghruta and Ghee?
Ghee, or even better, ghruta, is the most revered fatty substance in Ayurvedic medicine. Its qualities are: sweet, soft and unctuous so great for treating vata. As well as being cold in potency, so perfect for mitigating pitta. (It is not recommended when there is excess ama in the system (toxicity lining the channels and circulating the body), or sama pitta, which is pitta disturbance caused by ama)).
In terms of the dhatus or tissue levels, it helps treat rasa (the body’s most pervasive tissue: which its circulating fluids and lymph), majja (bone marrow and nervous system), shukra (ovum and semen), and ojas (the cherry on top of the tissues, the nectar and droplets of “gold” that protect, immunise and make a person’s immunity shine).
So why is Ghee and Ghruta good for new mothers?
New mothers, during their pregnancy, birth and breast-feeding, are giving giving giving to another being. In order to keep giving, their cup needs to be kept full.
1. The process of growing a baby takes a lot out of the system of a mother. The child feeds on the rasa dhatu or circulating fluids of the mother while it’s growing. This rasa dhatu is the mother’s mainstay, the basis of her vitality, and when it becomes diminished, so does she. Ghee helps nourish the rasa dhatu, as well as keeping it buoyant and flowing. This in turn, feeds the baby in utero.
2. Once the child has been born, vata dosha can become imbalanced in a new mother. The seat of vata (the pelvic cavity and lumbar spine area) is the area that grows and births the baby. There is so much action that takes place here, imbalance is a given, which needs to be brought back into balance as soon as possible. It can otherwise turn into anxiety, uncontrolled emotions and dry coldness and constipation in the system. Ghee and Ghruta can help treat this.
3. The updhatu or secondary tissue of rasa dhatu is breast milk. To support the new mother in creating ample nourishing breast milk, the rasa needs to be well formed and healthy. Ghee can make sure of this.
4. New mothers are at the mercy of little sleep at the beginning of their child’s life, and their nervous system therefore needs support and nourishment. This is what ghee, or even better, ghruta can supply.
How to take the ghruta or ghee
- Take one teaspoon first thing in the morning, followed by warm water
- Ghee is a great anupana or vehicle for many medicines such as triphala, brahmi and Shatavari, which can be of further support to new mothers, but I recommend speaking to an Ayurvedic practitioner to be prescribed these medicines and understand their qualities and timings.
- Ghee is the most wonderful substance for massage, and no one needs a massage like a new mother. It penetrates the skin and lubricates the system, helping chill the sympathetic nervous system and bolster the parasympathetic nervous system. I would recommend rubbing a little warmed ghee around the area at the base of the spine.
- Ghee can also be massaged on to the soles of the feet, to relax the body and mind, and help the new mother sleep.
By Selina Van Orden