Ghee is great for you!

I am a sucker for healthy & home made foods, specially the ones we can make from our own kitchen supplies.

Today I am going to share one of my favorites. Its the simple process of making in ghee(clarified butter) from malai(milk cream). And it holds great benefits for your health too.

Ghee is sometimes referred to as clarified butter since the milk solid have been “cleared” from it.  Once these milk solids are removed from the butter, you are left with a beautiful golden oily substance.  Once made, ghee contains practically no lactose or casein, making it suitable for people that cannot normally digest dairy.  Many chefs prefer ghee over butter as well, since the smoke point of ghee is much higher, at about 450 degrees.

A large component of the health benefits of ghee are derived from the short-chain fatty acid, known as butyrate acid, which is present in ghee.  This vital fatty acid has been clinically proven to increase energy, heal the colon wall, prevent colon cancer and reduce autoimmune conditions, among other benefits.  Although western science is just now discovering the numerous benefits of this nutrient, these healing properties have been well-known information among Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years, and its top benefits are as below!

Health Benefits of Ghee:

  1. Increases Digestion. Ghee stimulates the secretion of stomach acids and in turn increases our ability to break down food.   Ghee also removes toxins and promotes elimination, both of which will help to increase one’s overall digestive capacity.
  2. Enhances the absorption of nutrients. Ghee not only helps to break down food matter, but also increase the ability of the intestinal wall to absorb vital nutrients.  Since most individuals have a deficiency of these fundamental nutrients, this is essential in increases one’s health and wellness.
  3. Enhances the healing properties of herbs. In Ayurvedic medicine, ghee goes way beyond a dietary ingredient.  Ghee is a well know catalystic agent, which has the ability to drive the healing properties of the herbs down into the deep tissues.  This in turn will enhance their effectiveness and healing potency.
  4. Increases vital Ojas in the body. Ojas is the subtle energetic force that is responsible for one’s energy, vitality and immunity.  A person with healthy Ojas is soft, gentle, compassionate and patient.  Ojas is also responsible for a healthy luster of the skin as well as a strong, healthy libido.  Ghee will enhance all of these qualities when taken consistently in proper proportions.
  5. Heals the intestinal wall. Ghee is one of the highest sources of butyrate acid, a short-chain fatty acid.  This healthy fatty acid is vital in the health of the intestinal wall, as it nourishes, heals and reduces inflammation of the gut wall making it ideal for disorders such as “leaky gut syndrome”, IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  Butyrate acid is balancing to the gut flora and is beneficial for reducing Candida overgrowth and other unwanted pathogens.
  6. Reduces the risk of colon cancer. Butyrate acid has been proven to be preventative to colon cancer, as it increases the healthy bacteria in the colon, removes the unhealthy and is responsible for the growth and regulation of colon cells.  Ghee in general aids in healthy elimination as well. These are all components for optimal colon health.
  7. Lubricates the body, externally and internally. Ghee is a well-known treatment in Ayurveda for relieving dryness in the body, as it is oily and moisturizing by nature.  Whether taken internally or applied externally, ghee has the ability to nourish and lubricate the tissues on a cellular level.  This reduces dry skin, dry colon (constipation), inflammation and stiff joints while increasing luster, flexibility and promoting healthy elimination.
  8. Promotes the elimination of toxins stored in the body. Ghee is traditionally used to remove deep-rooted physical and mental toxins during an Ayurvedic cleanse.  It is a vital step in the preparatory phase (purva karma) of the cleanse, as well as during the cleanse itself.  By taking ghee in large doses prior to the cleanse, it “loosens” the deep-rooted toxins from the tissues which allows them to be eliminated from the body.Without this, the removal of toxins will only be on a superficial level.
  9. Used as rejuvenation therapy. Although ghee is used to aid in cleansing, it is just as vital for the rebuilding and regeneration of the tissues as well.  In times of depletion, weakness and debility (including after a cleanse or illness), ghee is an amazing medicine for increasing energy, strength, immunity, vitality and stamina.  Ghee can be mixed with rejuvenating herbs, mixed with honey or simply added to each meal.
  10. Nourishes the brain and nervous system. Ghee is known as a “medhya” substance as it increases mental reception, intellect and memory.  It is beneficial for mental and emotional imbalances, as well as a depleted, sensitive nervous system.  Since fat is needed in order to break the blood/brain barrier, taking brain nourishing herbs along with the ghee will only enhance these mentally boosting benefits.
  11. Powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Ghee possesses powerful anti-inflammatory agents making this a necessary medicine for allergies, arthritis and autoimmune conditions.  Chronic inflammation can cause premature aging, pain, swelling, burning, stagnation and irritation.  When left untreated, inflammation soon leads to destructive disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune conditions.

How to make ghee at home:

I use buffalo milk, so I use the thick layer of malai that collect over boiled & cooled milk. I separate that using a strainer & collect it in a small container. Once my container is full enough (approximately 500 gms of cream is collected) I start my ghee making mission.

All you need to do is take a pan/kadhai, put it on medium flame, add all your collected malai in it.

After about 15 mins a thin oily substance will begin to appear on top, to make the ghee separation process faster I add a tablespoon of wheat flour, this speeds up the process. Once the residue is light brown in color, turn of the gas and strain the liquid in to a jar. And Voila! your homemade ghee is ready.

I use the remain light brown crusty leftover in my gravy dishes like paneer makhanwala and sorts. I am sure if you like cooking you will find more ways to use it!

So now go ahead & binge on some ghee ladies :p

 

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Winter skincare tips for Men.

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With so much focus on women skincare, the men are often neglected. So here we are putting the spotlight on Men and their skincare needs.
Gentlemen, we understand well that Winter can be harsh for your skin. And there is no reason for you to not look your best now.
So, it’s time to step up your regime. And no, there is nothing unmanly about making sure that you have healthy, clear skin. These simple tips and tricks should get you through the winters, which can cause havoc on your skin, making it dry and dull.

1. Lather up and cleanse: A good cleanse helps slough away the dead skin cells and dirt that stick together, making your face look dull. Preferably, use a wash with glycolic acid or any other not so drying face wash twice a day. Also, try to use an exfoliating scrub thrice a week. This preps your skin for a cleaner and closer shave with minimal ingrown hair and also unclogs your pores.
2. Moisturize: Yes, men can moisturize. No, it does not make you any less of a man. This should be the next step after cleansing, especially in winter when your skin becomes dry. Apply when skin is still slightly damp to lock in the moisture. Look for water based one if you have oily skin prone to breakouts. There are lots of new products from nivea, ponds, garnier, vaseline to choose from!
3. Shaving: Shaving in winter can be cumbersome and tiring because your hair grows out thicker; thus making it more painful to shave. Exfoliate skin before shaving, and wash your face with warm water to open up your pores. Apply a pre shaving cream or gel to ensure the skin stays moist and warm. You can also use a cream enriched with Vitamin E oil post the process. Remember, smoother the skin, closer the shave.
4. Lip service: The skin on your lips is super sensitive, and there is nothing more revolting than dry cracked lips on a cold winters day. It takes longer to repair if it gets damaged, so it’s all about protection! Use a flavourless chap stick (try carmex or Vaseline) with SPF to lock in the moisture.
5. Use sunscreen: Yes, you can get sunburnt even in winter. No matter what season it is, this step is key. Damaging rays slows down the production of collagen, speeding up the aging process. Protect your skin from the harsh UV rays using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
6. Stay hydrated: As your body is composed of more than 60% water, drinking water helps hydrate the body from inside out. Drink lots of it, hot or cold, whatever suits you. Also keep tabs on your alcohol and caffeine intake; which make you dehydrated, reversing the progress.
7. Exercise: Working out makes you sweat, purging your body of toxins that clog your pores and cause breakouts. It also boosts oxygen and blood flow to your skin, instantly making it more radiant and healthy.
8. Get good sleep: No, looking like a zombie from The Walking Dead is not a good look for you. Clocking in the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep will give your skin plenty of time to catch up with the day’s wear and tear.
9. Eat healthy: Always remember, you are what you eat. Fruits and vegetables are your friends. Variety is the key aspect here, so stock up! Each fruit or vegetable is filled with vitamins, fibre & antioxidants, which help clear and nourish your system from the inside.
10. Oil it up: in winters you require extra moisture to avoid your skin and hair from drying up. So indulge in a good olive oil massage for your whole body and scalp at least once a week. You could add some baby oil or vitamin E or aromatic oils to your base oil and enjoy the process. Its ideal in winters to soak up some sun after the massage and follow with a hot shower.

In short we hope these tips help you look your best this winter 🙂

Contributed by Saumya Chawla