Ghruta, which is also known as Ghrta and Ghrita, is an incredibly important and revered ingredient in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Ghruta has been used for thousands of years and can provide people with a wide range of health benefits.
But first, you may be wondering: What is Ghruta?
The term Ghruta originates from the Sanskrit word ghrta, which means ‘clarified lipid,’ or ‘clarified fat.’ In esoteric language, the ‘clarity’ of ghruta actually refers to ‘illumination,’ such as that which can be provided by consuming sustenance from holy Indian cows.
Ghruta is produced using a multi-step, hand-crafted process that has been used traditionally in Ayurveda for millennia.
The creation of Ghruta begins with free-range Indian Gir cows, whose prominent hump harnesses solar energy, illuminating the organs and fluids with gold-bearing rays. Once the cows give cues to their handlers, the golden milk is (kshira) drawn. Over the following week, the kshira is cultured (dadhi) and separated, at which point the butter (navnita) is further cultured, boiled and separated to create Ghruta (clarified lipid).
The result is a nutrient-rich ancient food that nourishes the body, mind, and spirit.
Ghruta vs. Ghee
Many people are quick to use the terms ‘ghee’ and ‘Ghruta’ synonymously, but these substances are very different. Both are clarified lipids, but Ghruta is prepared very differently.
Ghruta is also made from Indian Gir cows, which are quite a bit different from the Jersey cows that produce much of the world’s ghee. Physically, Gir cows produce a much easier-digested form of protein; spiritually, they are revered as potent vessels for the energy of the sun.
Though they may share a lot of the same properties, Ghruta is generally a more complete, healthier, and pure substance than ghee.
Ghruta Health Benefits
One of the most powerful health benefits of Ghruta is its ability to enhance the body’s agni. Agni is often referred to as the digestive fire. It’s involved in metabolizing all substances that come into the body – not just nutrients from food, but prana from the air we breathe and the sunlight that we absorb. Those with strong agni are able to assimilate more life force and prana, ensuring good health and vitality.
In addition, Ghruta builds ojas, which is the subtle essence that gives tissues strength and endurance. Ojas is one of the most important energetic substances in the human body because it influences all aspects of health and well-being. It’s responsible for our vitality, vigor and virility, and improves the function of all bodily systems.
Some of the ways Ghruta improves health with regular consumption include:
- Boosting Immunity
- Stimulating Detoxification
- Enhancing Reproductive Health
- Fostering Cardiovascular Health
- Strengthening Bones, Joints & the Skeletal System
- Supporting Hormonal Health & the Endocrine System
- Improving Cognitive Function
- Nourishing the Skin, Hair & Nails
- Restoring Balance to the Doshas
Uses for Ghruta
In addition to its general health benefits, Ghruta has a number of other important uses. For one, it’s the most widely-used substance for the preparation of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s considered an anupan, or carrier substance, as it possesses an incredible ability to help draw the medicinal properties of herbs deeper into the body.
Ghruta is also useful for:
- Netra tarpana
- Oil pulling
- Wound healing
- Aiding seasonal transitions
How much Ghruta should I have?
The serving size of Ghruta depends on your use for it:
- For general health and wellness, simply take 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon on an empty stomach in the morning or evening. Using Ghruta in the morning will soothe the nerves. Using it before bed can encourage restful sleep.
- If you’re using Ghruta to boost your agni so that you can better digest and absorb nutrients, it’s wise to consume 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Ghruta on an empty stomach 15 to 30 minutes before meals.
- For cooking, replace your butters with Ghruta and use it as a cooking fat, spread, or dressing. Ghruta can also be added to coffee, tea, smoothies, or soup.
- To use Ghruta as an anupan for medicinal formulas or for detoxification, it’s best to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Where should I buy Ghruta?
There are a few important factors to consider when buying Ghruta. To ensure it’s high quality, Ghruta should be from organic, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free cows. Pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics contribute to ama build up, which can decrease the effectiveness and purity of a substance.
In addition, it’s best if Ghruta comes from Gir cows. Gir cows are believed to be capable of harnessing the illuminating energy of the sun. They also produce easier to digest proteins than Jersey cows, which produce much of the world’s dairy and ghee.
It’s also important that Ghruta comes from cows that are grass-fed or pasture-raised. Cows which have not been grass-fed and pasture-raised will have fewer nutrients and an inferior composition of fatty acids.
Ethical sourcing is another contributing factor of high quality Ghruta. In Ayurveda, the quality of ingredients are not just evaluated by their chemical composition, but also by their energetic nature. Ingredients that are fresh, organic, and cultivated with integrity will have higher life force. Therefore, you want to be sure that you buy Ghruta from ahimsa (non-violent) farms in which the cows are milked by free will and not by force.
Ghruta should also always be packaged in glass jars for maximum freshness and purity.
Lastly, high-quality Ghruta should be made according to Ayurveda traditions to ensure maximum potency.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)