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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Ancient Life Force

Ghee is known as a substance that gives longevity… This is because it has opposite qualities (heavy, slow, oily, liquid, dense, soft), and thus pacifying effects, to the light, dry and rough qualities of Vata dosha. It is the increase of the qualities of Vata that are synonymous with aging. Ghee, in a very sure and steady way, slows the aging process by balancing the living one.

Ghee has the quality of snigda, oiliness, and unctuousness. It is smooth, lubricated and nurturing. Ghee is thought to make the voice soft and melodious.

Ghee is Guru, heavy. It increases the qualities of Kapha and decreases Pitta and Vata, which are both light.

Ghee has the quality of mrdu, softness. In Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments, Ghee is the oil used on the eyes. In Netra Basti, a small dam is built around the eyes and filled with warm Ghee. Then, you open your eyes to its soothing softness. It seems after that treatment, that you see the world though a soft diaphanous curtain of love and loveliness.

Homemade Ghee Preparation time: 11-20 minutes (depending on type of range top and cooking pot). Sattvic, -Vata, -Pitta, +Kapha (in excess). Supplies: 1 pound of unsalted butter (preferably Organic Valley Butter), heavy, medium-sized pot, fine strainer (found in tea aisle). Directions: Put the butter in a heavy, medium-sized pot. Place pot on smallest burner of range-top. Turn on the heat to medium-high until the butter melts. Bring the butter to a nice full boil and then turn down the heat to medium-low until the butter is still boiling and continue to cook at this heat. Turn on a kitchen timer to 11 minutes (may need to cook longer depending again on your range top). Do not cover the pot. The ghee will begin to foam and sputter for a while and then begin to quiet down. You may skim off the foam (part of milk solids) with a spoon until mostly removed. It is not necessary to stir the ghee at this point, it will keep removing and separating the milk fats and solids. The ghee will begin to smell like popcorn and turn a lovely golden color. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. When these whitish curds turn a light tan color, the ghee is ready. Take it off the heat immediately, for the ghee is most likely to burn at this stage — and it burns quickly! Burned ghee has a nutty smell and a dull, slightly brownish color. The cooking time usually is no longer than 15-20 minutes, depending on the kind of pot and again the heat source. Let the ghee cool until just warm. Pour the cooled ghee through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a glass container with a tight lid. You may discard the foam and the curds at the bottom of the saucepan or my dogs love it on their dog food! Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered. It does not need refrigeration. The medicinal properties are said to improve with age. Don’t ladle out the ghee with a wet spoon or allow any water to get into the container, as this will create conditions for bacteria to grow and spoil the ghee. Remember, ghee is building to the body and tissues; butter is congesting to the channels of the body. Enjoy.

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