Ghee, (or Ghruta) is an important part of a Vata-Balancing diet and Ayurvedic lifestyle. Ghee has amazing benefits for the Vata Dosha including lubrication of tissues and calming effects for the body and mind.
Why is Ghee so Great for Vata Dosha?
Vata Dosha is comprised of the air and space elements meaning this dosha has qualities of dry, light, mobile and rough. Ghee brings an opposite effect to these qualities. It’s moist, unctuous, heavy, and smooth, which brings balance, immunity and health to Vata.
Benefits of Ghee for Vata Dosha
Some of the benefits of ghee for the Vata dosha include:
- Increases ojas, and fuels capacity for tejas and prana, helping to improve immunity, clarity and overall well-being.
- Delivers fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, including Omega 3s, butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), as well as trace minerals, benefiting the joints, bones, tissues, brain and entire body.
- Increases agni, the digestive fire, for better absorption and digestion, which Vata types struggle with.
- Aids digestion and the downward motion of Vata in the body; aiding with elimination of toxins and waste.
- Nourishes expectant and breast-feeding mothers; the sweet nature increases all body tissues and strength.
- Fuels brain function and mental health.
- Keeps skin and hair healthy and lustrous.
In addition, ghee is considered an anupan or anupana. Anupans help carry nutrients and medicinal substances deeper into our body’s tissues. When ghee is eaten with foods or taken with herbal medicines, it increases absorption and enhances the effects of the nutrients.
How Vatas can Incorporate Ghee in their Lives
Ghee is an amazing oil to cook with because it has a high burning temperature and infuses a delicious butter flavor to dishes. Add ghee to your pan with spices to release their aromatic powers. You can also apply ghee right onto your bread and use it in baking! Ghee is a versatile addition to your kitchen; try using it with stewed apples, kitchari, on your rice or toast, and as a base for cooking vegetables with spices.
Another way to incorporate ghee into your lifestyle is by topical application to the skin. Ghee hydrates dry skin and helps dark circles under the eyes. One can also use ghee in abhyanga, self-oil massage, especially during Vata season (late fall to early winter) for hydration and nourishment; as well as in hair masks for moisturizing. Even those without Vata in their constitution can benefit from using ghee when in Vata season or Vata age.
Ghee can be found in most grocery stores or online grocers. You can also make your own ghee from grass-fed, unsalted butter. Whether you make your own or purchase from a shop, make sure the company works in harmony with nature to ensure the highest level of benefits and source of prana.
Alexa Bull is an Ayurvedic Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Aromatherapist based in Brooklyn.