Food as medicine - 3 things to look for when you buy Ghee
By Bansi Gir Gauveda
Ayurveda places great emphasis on ghee, and strongly recommends it for daily consumption. Here we define 3 driving factors of quality for ghee for the best health benefits.
Ghee is among the most nutritious & medicinal foods for your family
Ghee obtained from Gaumata’s milk is regarded as the best among the 4 “maha snehas” (main fats) in Ayurveda. Among all the fats, it is the easiest to digest, and is considered beneficial to the human body right from birth. It improves digestion, strength, intelligence and offers a host of other benefits. According to Maharshi Charak, “Gau Ghee promotes memory, intellect, digestion, semen, ojas, kapha and fat. It reduces vata, pitta, toxic conditions, insanity and fever. It is the best of all unctuous substances.” Modern science has also recognized that Ghee is among the most nutritious fats known to mankind.
However, not all Ghee available in the market is the same. We must understand the qualities one must look for while shopping for Ghee. There are three important factors one must look for – 1) Method of preparation, 2) Gomata breed, and 2) approach towards Gomata care.
1 - Method of ghee preparation - whole milk bilona vs milk cream ghee
dairy “ghee” commonly available in the open market is not made as per Ayurvedic
procedure. It is made from milk cream, and not whole milk. As a result, it ends
up being isolated milk fat, and can potentially cause increase in cholesterol. The
ancient Ayurvedic bilona method of
preparing ghee involves churning the curd of Gaumata’s whole milk. The butter
thus obtained is heated on a slow flame to obtain ghee. Thus, ghee is the core essence of Gomata’s milk,
offering a multitude of nutritional and medicinal benefits.
In this method, approximately 25 litres of milk is required to obtain 1 kg of ghee. The smell and consistency of this ghee may also vary based on season and feed.
2 - Gomata Breed – Bharatiya vs Western, why does it matter?
Practically, Gomata breed makes a huge difference to the quality of ghee in our view. Western breed Gomata’s such as Jersey and Holstein are genetically predisposed to fall sick in Bharatiya weather conditions. They are also heavily genetically modified. This makes their products far inferior in quality compared to products of pure Bharatiya breeds. We believe that it is important to look for pure breeds, and avoid cross breeds between Bharatiya and Western breeds. We also believe that increase in illnesses due to consumption of dairy in modern times is mainly caused due to Bharatiya society moving away from pure Bharatiya breeds and ‘animal husbandry’ approach replacing the traditional vedic gopalan approach.
3 - How is Gomata cared for – Traditional gopalan vs Modern approach
There are vital differences between how Gomata is cared for between the paramparic (traditional) gopalan approach and the modern ‘animal husbandary’ approach. Under the vedic or paramparic approach, Gomata’s can generally be far healthier and happier. As a result, the products of Gomata who is looked after under the ‘Paramparic Gopalan’ approach are generally far superior when compared to products produced under the modern ‘animal husbandry approach’. Please see the following para's and table for more detailed explaination of traditional gopalan and its comparison to modern approach.
What is paramparic gopalan, and what makes Bansi Gir Gaushala ghee so special?