Ghee is revered as one of the most powerful substances in Ayurveda.
“Promotive of health, memory, intelligence, vital fire, vital essence, and nourishment, ghee is a curative for Vata and Pitta disorders.” Charaka Samhita
But to fully appreciate its benefits, it’s important to understood ghee’s Ayurvedic properties.
Ghee Ayurvedic Properties
- Rasa (taste associated with secretions in the mouth): Ghee has a sweet rasa
- Virya (the heating or cooling potent energy and effect on agni / digestive fire): Ghee has a cooling virya
- Vipaka (the post digestive effect or end result of digestion which affects excreta and the dhātus): Ghee has a sweet vipaka
- Gunas (qualities): Ghee is light, smooth, and unctuous or oily in nature
The Effects of Ghee on the Doshas
In small to moderate doses, ghee is known to be tridoshic. As an unctuous substance, it helps to lubricate the dry and rough nature of Vata. Its cooling nature helps to soothe the Pitta dosha and its lightness can benefit Kapha.
Ghee is also an effective substance for helping to prevent diseases that can emerge from imbalances among any of the doshas. These are a few examples of how ghee Ayurvedic properties can be used for healing:
- Promotes healthy memory, intelligence and wisdom by helping to regulate Vata, prana, and samana vyana
- Promotes agni and good digestion by pachaka (digestive) Pitta
- Promotes ojas and vitality through Kapha kshaya
Ghee as a Yogavahi and Anupan
Ghee is known as a yogavahi and anupan. These are terms used to describe substances that can help bring the medicinal components of herbs and spices deeper into the tissues, or dhatus, of our body.
Ghee is especially useful for this because of its inherent prabhav which lets it absorb the medicinal properties of other plants without sacrificing its own qualities. For example, ghee can absorb the sour properties of another herb without losing its own sweet qualities. This has led to ghee becoming one of the most widely-used medicinal carrier substances.
Ghee is a powerful supplement with the unique ability to pacify all three doshas. While ghee is generally recommended for just about everyone, there are a few cases in which one might be wise to minimize their use of ghee.
- If you are obese or very overweight
- If you have extreme levels of toxic buildup in your system
- If you have excessive Kapha
Overall, ghee’s Ayurvedic properties make it a powerful supplement to use in both your medicine cabinet and your kitchen.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)