You’ve probably heard about ghee and its amazing health benefits. In this article, learn what this Ayurvedic nectar is, how it’s made, why the body loves it, plus my top 10 reasons to cleanse with ghee.
Cleansing with Ghee
An Ayurvedic cleanse would not be an Ayurvedic cleanse if it did not call for ingestion of melted ghee. New research may prove this ancient Vedic cleansing technique to be even more credible than we originally thought!
As it turns out, microbes in the gut actually produce their own ghee constituents, making ghee a familiar and welcome substance in the body.
Click here to navigate to the list of top ten reasons to cleanse with ghee.
What is Ghee?
Ghee is ubiquitous in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. An aromatic substance that is solid at room temperature and melts into a liquid as it warms, ghee is made by boiling off milk solids from unsalted butter, leaving only golden oil behind.
Ghee has a very high flash point of 485°F, making it one of the best oils to use for cooking.
In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a carrier for the nutrients in herbs and to lubricate the intestinal tract and all the tissues inside the body. During an Ayurvedic cleanse, it is used as the preferred vehicle for oleation, the process of ingesting increasing amounts of oil over a series of mornings.
Oleation with ghee actually helps pull stubborn fat-soluble toxins (water-soluble toxins usually flush out in the urine) out of the cells3 and triggers fat metabolism, a process where the body begins to burn its own fat for fuel.
I’ll talk more about the role of ghee in Ayurvedic detox in just a bit. First, let’s take a short dive into the molecular makeup of ghee:
Ghee’s Active Ingredient (Also Made in Your Gut!)
Let’s start with butter, the raw material from which ghee is made. The primary fatty acid in butter is called butyric acid, so named because it was first discovered in butter. Butyric acid, also known as butyrate, is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that the intestinal tract thrives on, as it helps to protect the integrity of the gut wall and then some!1
Ghee yields an even more concentrated source of butyric acid than butter. But there is another source of butyric acid: the busy beneficial microbes in your gut.
How the Gut Bugs Make Ghee + What They Do with It
Much of the healthy fiber that we eat directly feeds microbes in the gut. In turn, the gut bugs convert this fiber into butyric acid, the primary ingredient in ghee. Yep, many of the bugs in the gut are making their own ghee, or at least the major component of ghee.4
Colon cells use butyric acid as their preferred source of energy and their major agent for supporting health and integrity of the intestinal wall.1
Studies show that having enough butyric acid in the gut is no laughing matter:
- Research has shown that patients with unhealthy digestive tracts do not produce butyric acid, and have low levels of fatty acids or related oils in the gut.1
- Interestingly, butyrate enemas (basically ghee enemas) and other related treatments are now being used for many gut-related health issues.2
In Ayurveda, taking ghee internally through ingestion and ghee enemas (Ayurvedic oil enemas are referred to as basti) have been done successfully for thousands of years to support intestinal health and function.
Here is just another way the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has been proven by modern science. That is not to say that, just because something is ancient, we should all do it.
It does, however, encourage us to look deeply into techniques that have lasted thousands of years and find the science behind them. Oftentimes, the research provides fascinating insight and explanation.
Ghee Health Benefits: A Goldmine of Nutrients
While ghee is one of the highest food sources of butyric acid, it is also packed with:
- Full spectrum of short (SCFA), medium (MCFA) and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), both unsaturated and saturated
- Omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids
- Vitamins A, D, E, and K
- One of the highest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid (ghee made from organic butter of pastured cows)5
- Nine phenolic antioxidants
- Numerous other minerals
SCFAs, like butyric acid in ghee, are used immediately by the body for energy and do not have to be broken down by bile to be digested and utilized, while MCFAs require minimal digestion and LCFAs require much digesting by the liver and gallbladder.
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This may also be why our gut bugs love butyrate so much that they make their own—the cells of the colon use it instantly for energy!
Benefits of a Ghee Cleanse
When many think of cleansing, they think of a juice cleanse, eliminating sugar, dairy, and wheat from the diet, or fasting.
Ayurveda takes a different approach, instructing to take increasing amounts of melted ghee each morning for a series of days coinciding with a non-fat diet.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Cleansing with Ghee
- Flushes old bile from the body.
- Stimulates liver to make new bile, so 94% of old toxic bile is not reabsorbed.6
- Scrubs intestines of toxins and bad bugs.
- Supports primary source of energy and immunity for gut cells.1
- Supports health of beneficial gut bacteria that make butyrate.1
- Lubricates and softens hardened tissues.
- Pulls stored fat-soluble toxins and molecules of emotion out of the body.3
- Encourages fat metabolism and weight loss.3
- Supports stable mood and energy levels.
- Supports the body’s natural defense mechanisms against bad bacteria and overgrowth.1
Ghee Health Benefits
Swap Old Bile for New
An Ayurvedic cleanse with ghee involves ingesting it daily at increasing dosages to force the gallbladder to flush out its bile—which is often thick and viscous—and stimulate the liver to make new bile.
Bile acts as an intestinal scrub, and in concert with the butyric acid from ghee, supports health of the gut wall and microbes who manufacture butyrate all along it.
Soften Hardened Tissues
Ghee has a saturating effect on the body. During a cleansing period of taking ghee daily, the oil penetrates the soft tissues, lubricating and softening the hardened tissues of the entire body.
Pull Toxins Out of Hiding Spots
Ghee has a lipophilic effect on other fatty acids and fatty toxins, acting as a chelating agent to pull stored fat-soluble toxins out and put them back into the intestines for removal.
Molecules of emotion, which are also lipophilic and store in fat cells, can also be pulled out of their hiding places using this method.
Burn Calm, Stable Fuel
During a cleanse with ghee, the diet is classically one that excludes other fats. Ingesting ghee first thing in the morning forces the body directly into a fat-metabolic state.
By not having any fat in the diet during the cleanse, the body quite naturally stays in a fat metabolic state. This allows for burning of fat, a detoxification effect as mentioned above, and an experience of stable energy and mood.
The ancient wisdom of using ghee for cooking and cleansing may provide needed butyric acid that helps support the health, integrity, and function of the gut wall with extended benefits throughout the entire body.
Ready for Your Ghee Cleanse?
The Colorado Cleanse is our ultimate ghee cleanse experience, a two-week detox and digestive reset for the body, mind, and emotions.
If you’re looking for something shorter, start with our four-day Short Home Cleanse.
If you’re an experienced cleanser, check out our new Kaya Kalpa Stem Cell Cleanse.