In This Article
What’s the Best Kind of Ghee?
Ayurveda describes ghee as a rasayana (longevity tonic) and attributes more than 1000 health benefits to it. In fact, the Vedic texts referred to ghee as the “navel of immortality and the tongue of the gods”. However, not all ghee products are created equal—Ayurvedic ghee should be cultured for maximum benefits. Undergoing two fermentations can completely change the ghee’s chemistry responsible for health benefits.
5 Ways Cultured Ghee is Superior
Today, it is rare to find cultured ghee. Most ghees are mass-produced, grain-fed, and made quickly with high heat and ultra-pasteurized grain fed. At LifeSpa we have successfully sourced organic, grass-fed, small-batch, slow-cooked cultured ghee. I have written a prior article citing the science on the difference between cultured (fermented) ghee and conventional ghee, and the difference is remarkable. Here is a quick summary of my article:
- Cultured ghee boosts the gut-health-promoting and immune-boosting butyric acid in ghee by converting lactate to butyric acid during the two culturing ferments.
- The process of culturing butter and ghee converts linoleic acid into one of the most heart-healthy and weight-friendly fats, called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
- Vat-pasteurization of the milk used in LifeSpa’s Cultured Ghee is slowly heated to 145 degrees F, which is hot enough to destroy the pathogens while allowing the beneficial bacteria to survive. Conventional pasteurized milk is heated to over 300 degrees F, which damages and denatures the proteins while killing the beneficial bacteria.
- The majority (60-80%) of a jar of LifeSpa’s cultured ghee is made with milk from cows that produce A2 beta-casein milk instead of A1 beta-casein milk. A2 beta-casein is considered easier to digest and healthier than milk from A1-producing cows.
- LifeSpa’s cultured ghee is made from cows that graze on a natural blend of young grass, wildflowers, weeds, and matured grasses in the fall and winter that have gone to seed or grain.
Under the Hood of Cultured Ghee
Ghee offers many great health benefits in addition to its high amounts of butyric acid and CLA. It is a source of many other vitamins and nutrients. Here is a quick rundown of some of the additional noteworthy benefits that ghee provides:
- Omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, found to support heart health and cognitive function.
- Vitamins A, D, E, and K, make up the foundation of our skin, hormones, and metabolic function.
- Nine phenolic antioxidants protect the body from the proliferation of undesirable bacteria.
- Numerous other minerals support enzymatic processes.
- Uniquely different than butter, which damages under high heat, ghee has a very high flash point of 485°F, making it one of the best oils to use for cooking.
- The full spectrum of short, medium, and long-chain fatty acids (SCFAs, MCFAs, LCFAs)—both unsaturated and saturated. These fatty acids support a healthy intestinal lining while feeding beneficial bacteria.
Note: SCFAs, like butyric acid in ghee, is used immediately by the body for energy and do not have to be broken down by bile to be digested and utilized. MCFAs require minimal digestion and LCFAs require much more digestion by the liver and gallbladder.
See also Ghee, Stem Cells, and Cholesterol
The Top 10 Benefits of Cleansing with LifeSpa’s Cultured Ghee
In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a tool for detoxifying the body. Cleansing with ghee helps to improve the strength of the digestive system and improve the function of the body’s detox pathways. Cultured ghee can ramp up the benefits of a cleanse. Here are the top ten reasons to cleanse with cultured ghee:
1. Ghee Helps the Body to Use Fat as Fuel
During the oleation (oil saturation) process of an Ayurvedic cleanse, ghee is ingested as the first meal of the day for 4-7 days. Additional food throughout the day is very low in fat or devoid of fat. The ingestion of ghee triggers the flow of bile to break down the longer-chain fats in the ghee. This is in part used by the body as fuel, helping to reduce hunger. The no-fat diet during the day keeps the body in fat metabolism, which initiates the detox of fat-soluble toxins stored in the body’s deep tissues. As the dosages of the ghee increase daily, liver and bile sludge are purged out of the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. Once in the intestines, the soluble fiber in kitchari (rice and bean soup), which is the main food source during an Ayurvedic cleanse, attaches to the bile and escorts the toxic bile to the toilet. The flushing of bile forces the liver to manufacture new bile which is needed to strengthen the liver and digestive function.
2. Ghee Supports the Detoxification of Pesticides and Preservatives from the Deep Tissues of the Body
As mentioned above, ingested ghee can attach to and remove fat-soluble toxins from the body. This is a process called lipophilic-mediated detoxification. In one study, participants underwent seven days of ghee intake alongside a diet similar to the Colorado Ayurvedic Cleanse. Compared to the control group, the researchers recorded a whopping 48% decrease in nine types of environment-polluting PCBs (toxicants) and 58% reduction in eight types of pesticides in the participants.
See also Cleansing: The Ayurvedic Difference
3. Ghee Supports a Healthy Microbiome
The primary short-chain fatty acid in ghee is called butyric acid. It supports the growth and proliferation of healthy bacteria in the large intestine. Much of the healthy fiber that we eat directly feeds microbes in the gut. In turn, gut bugs including Clostridium butyricum convert fiber into butyric acid. Yes, many of the bugs in your gut are making their own ghee—or, at least, the active ingredient of ghee.
4. Ghee Supports Gut Immunity
The digestive system is the seat of our immunity—and gut immunity controls 70% of the body’s immune system. The butyric acid in ghee supports an optimal gut environment for a healthy intestinal immune response, while also providing fat as fuel to the cells of the large intestine. Studies show people with unhealthy digestive tracts do not produce butyric acid. Such a deficiency can compromise immunity. A lack of butyric acid in your gut can weaken the lining of the colon and disturb the healthy balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria. Butyric acid supports the essential functions of digestion: the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste.
5. Ghee Supports Intestinal Health
Cultured ghee’s high content of butyric acid has also been found to combat intestinal distress and discomfort. It does this by supporting a healthy response to inflammation in the intestinal tract. In Ayurveda, taking ghee internally through ingestion has been practiced successfully for thousands of years to support intestinal health. Studies have found that butyrate enemas (basically ghee enemas) can also be effective for many intestine-related health issues.
6. Grass-fed, Organic Cultured Ghee has More Conjugated Linoleic Acid
When made from the organic butter of pastured cows, ghee is one of the highest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Research shows that grass-fed cows can produce up to 500x more CLA than grain-fed cows. CLA found in cultured ghee has been shown to support healthy bones, blood sugar, and liver function by boosting the body’s natural antioxidation response.
7. Ghee Supports Heart, Weight, and Immune Health
Conjugated linoleic acid in ghee has also been shown to support heart health, healthy weight and metabolism, and a proper immune response while under stress.
8. Ghee Supports Healthy Mood via the Gut-Brain Connection
The short-chain fatty acids in ghee have been found to govern the healthy proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Studies have linked gut health to stable moods and the ability to handle and tolerate stress. Ayurveda describes the gut as the seat of the vata (nervous system) and links gut health to emotional stability and a healthy nervous system. In Ayurveda, toxic emotions, called mental ama, are stored in fat cells and therefore detoxified along with fat-soluble toxins through oleation with ghee.
9. Ghee Boosts Stem Cells
Stem cells are the body’s progenitor cells that build new cells, repair cellular damage, and fight aging and degeneration. In Ayurveda, such agents are called rasayanas. Ghee is classified as a rasayana because butyric acid has been shown to increase the production of mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow. In another study, butyric acid was shown to enhance the production of new, healthy fat cells. This study also showed butyric acid had the ability to increase stem cells beneath the skin, supporting a healthy microbiome on the skin.
10. Ghee Boosts Nutrient Absorption
Ghee supports a healthy intestinal environment that in turn supports most organs and organ systems in the body. These organs and organ systems require the proper absorption of macro and micronutrients to thrive. Ghee has long been heralded as a bio-enhancer, which is a substance that boosts the bio-availability of other nutrients ingested as food or as herbal supplements. In Ayurveda, these are known as anupaans, which means vehicle. Ghee is an important carrier of hard-to-assimilate nutrients across the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
Ready to Cleanse with Ghee?
The Colorado Ayurvedic Cleanse is our premier ghee cleanse experience. It’s 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 Kaya Kalpa Stem Cell Cleanse.