According to Dr. Bhagyashree Zope of Santulan Ayurveda, fats are an integral aspect of our diet and traditional ghee is the best form of fat that your body can ask for. The only condition to making traditional ghee, she says, is that it must be made from fresh or pasteurised milk without resorting to shortcuts for this process (see box).
Apart from nourishing the eyes, hair and skin, the traditional ghee lubricates and cleanses the insides, including the intestines, tissues, joints and arteries. "This is because it doesn’t allow anything it comes in contact with to ‘stick’, thereby helping the organs in functioning smoothly," explains Dr Zope. Ghee also helps regulate digestion and promotes optimum metabolism. "In cases of blocked arteries, it helps remove the plaque deposited in arteries and facilitates its dissolution. It improves the ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) to LDL (bad cholesterol) and helps control triglycerides," says Dr Zope.
The traditional ghee, which is a more suitable cooking medium compared to oil due to the fact that ghee does not burn (smoke) easily, even helps reduce obesity. "If you take a tablespoon of ghee every night, followed by a few sips of hot water, it helps regulate bowel movements and improves digestion. Over time, this helps cut down body fat," she recommends.
That apart, Dr Zope advises her patients to take a minimum of four to five teaspoons of ghee a day. "In fact, heart patients should have about eight to 10 teaspoons of ghee every day if they want to increase their HDL and to bring down the LDL and triglycerides," she says.
Her patient Dr Manu Multani, 75-year-old former professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and a pioneer in nanomaterial science and technology, concurs. "I suffered from a massive heart attack in 1996 and my condition was deteriorating. Two years later, when cardiologists were giving up, I turned to ayurveda," he says. Along with the ayurvedic medicines, the doctors advised him ghee. The physicist says, "We completely stopped using cooking oil at home and switched to traditional ghee from the ayurveda centre."
Since 1998, Dr Multani has been pouring eight to 10 teaspoons of ghee over dal, rice, chapattis and cooked veggies daily. In the past 14 years, he claims he has consumed around 230 kgs of ghee. Even when the Versova resident travels abroad for his conferences, he carries his box of ghee along. And in all these years, the doctors haven’t seen his cholesterol levels shoot up, he says.
"In fact, I feel better than before. I can effortlessly climb two floors and walk for an hour without trouble. Besides, the devotion of my wife Ruby, it’s this ghee that has helped me remain hale and hearty," he smiles. Referring to the significance of ghee in Indian culture, Dr Multani says, "There’s a Sanskrit saying that says you must eat ghee even if you have to borrow money to buy it. There’s another adage in my mother-tongue Sindhi: Jeko kare na ma pi; so kare ghee (What your parents cannot manage for you, ghee does). In fact, before my heart problem, I would never touch ghee. Today, I consider it as nectar."
There are fats that kill and then there are those that heal. The traditional ghee, which your grandmother so lovingly churned and boiled at home, is clearly the latter.…/34707300_1_gh…

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