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The Ancient Art of Making Beneficial Ghee
Ayurvedic texts say that cultured ghee has more than 1,000 health benefits—now modern science helps explain why.
Ayurvedic cultured ghee promises better memory, intelligence, immunity, vision, vitality, virility, and digestive strength (agni), while lubricating tissues, detoxifying, supporting a radiant complexion, and contributing to a longer life.
What is Cultured Ghee?
In Ayurveda, ghee, or clarified butter, was traditionally prepared from cultured or fermented cream. This first ferment allowed beneficial lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to gobble up residual milk sugar while hydrolyzing milk proteins (casein) into smaller and more easily digested peptides. This makes cultured butter—with more gentle lactose (milk sugar) and predigested casein—easier to digest.
The cultured cream is then slow-cooked under low heat, which creates a second ferment. During this slow ferment, LAB in the cultured butter begins to multiply, making the milk more acidic. This separates the curd (casein) from the whey. The ghee maker slowly skims off the whey. This second ferment finishes the job of purifying the ghee from any remaining hard-to-digest milk solids, proteins, and lactose.
Cultured ghee also tastes more buttery, since the milk fat has been slow-cooked for longer and is more completely purified than it is in conventional ghee.
Once the cultured ghee has been prepared it is extremely heat tolerant and can be safely used for cooking or baking. In one study that assessed the safety of ghee, researchers found that heating ghee to high temperatures produced 10 times less harmful and dangerous acrylamides—organic compounds linked to cancer—than vegetable oils at the same temperature.
The Health Benefits of Cultured Ghee
In the same way cultured butter is more casein- and lactose- free than regular butter, cultured ghee is more casein- and lactose-free than conventional ghee. The benefits of cultured ghee have been well studied:
Butter naturally contains about three to four percent butyric acid, which is an important fat that supports a healthy microbiome, and intestinal and metabolic health.
Cultured ghee takes the amount of butyric acid naturally found in butter to another level. Research shows that lactic acid bacteria, which convert lactose to lactate, also convert lactate into butyric acid. This makes the two fermentations used in the process of making ghee a butyric acid factory.
Inside your gut, butyric acid is responsible for feeding colon cells, boosting immunity (70 percent of our immunity is built in our guts), and supporting healthy weight regulation, better digestion, assimilation and elimination, while maintaining a healthy microbiome.
Cultured Ghee Boosts Beneficial Conjugated Linoleic Acid
At LifeSpa, the ghee we source is always grass-fed, organic, and slow-cooked under low heat in small batches. One of the amazing benefits of grass-fed ghee is that is has been shown to have 500 times more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than ghee made from grain-fed dairy. CLA can reduce body fat deposits and improve immune function.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid found in grass-fed ghee has been shown to:
- Boost beneficial gut bacteria
- Balance Blood Sugar
- Support Heart health
- Support immunity
- Enhance healthy liver function
- Support bone health
- Support optimal weight
- Improved antioxidant activity
While grass-fed ghee has a significant amount of beneficial conjugated linoleic acid, butter also has a type of linoleic acid that is an omega-6 fatty acid studies have linked to increased heart disease if overeaten. It’s good to remember that omega-6 fatty acids come from the inside of seeds and are healthy for us. Once processed however, and then eaten in greater quantities than the healthier omega-3 fatty acids, problems start.
Research has found the process of culturing butter and ghee to convert linoleic acid into the very healthy conjugated linoleic acid. This happens during the two fermentations I outlined above—when the surge in lactic acid bacteria convert linoleic acid into CLA. Here again, we see that the bountiful benefits of Ayurveda’s ancient recipe and using cultured ghee.
LifeSpa’s Organic, Grass-Fed Cultured Ghee
LifeSpa’s organic, grass-fed, cultured ghee is a tridoshic super food. It has a sweet taste, which balances both vata and pitta. It also has a cooling energy, which makes it an exceptional aid for reducing pitta and combating inflammation. As a kapha reducing agent, you can use our ghee as a chelator to attach to fat soluble toxic material, like pesticides, PCBs, and heavy metals, through a process called lipophillic mediated detoxification. In this process, ghee acts to both soften and lubricate the deep tissues of the body, while attaching to toxic material and escorting it out of the body.
In addition to being a great detoxifying agent, ghee is considered an effective carrier (anupana) of other nutrients taken with the ghee. Ghee also has a rare and special property called yogavahi, which is when the ingestion of one substance can enhance the medicinal properties of another substance taken along with the ghee.