There are four kinds of fat described in Ayurveda- ghee, oil, vasa (animal fat), and bone marrow (yup, massage with bone marrow). Ghee is the best among all fat substances and thousands of formulas for medicated ghee are described in Ayurveda for the treatment of countless illnesses, especially those of inflammation.
Ghee, or oil of clarified butter, has the impurities (milk solids) removed. Ayurveda considers the milk of eight kinds of mammals (cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, elephant, mare, and woman) safe for human beings. Ghee can be prepared from these eight kinds of milk. In normal circumstances, cow’s milk ghee is best for human use. (And just when would normal circumstances include elephant ghee, anyway, you ask…)
Ghee massage is used to cure disturbances in pitta and vata. The ancient Susruta Samhita text claims ghee is good for all parts of the body, and it is the ultimate overall remedy for pitta (inflammatory) problems and is the medium (anupan) of choice for mixing medicines for these conditions.
Ghee massage is used to support the treatments of diseases, rejuvenative treatments (rasayana) and aphrodisiac treatments (vajikarana). Furthermore, ghee is said to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of sexual secretions and to enhance digestion. We do know from modern science that ghee is rich in phenolic antioxidants. It is good for the growth of all seven dhatus in the body (plasma, blood, flesh, fat, bones, marrow, semen) and is suited to people of every age.
Ghee makes all sensory organs more efficient, enhances the growth of hair, and improves the complexion and skin health. In particular, it aids in the formation of bones and facilitates the healing of traumatic injuries, including fractures. Ghee is lauded for sexual vitality and for building nerve and brain tissue. Long a favorite of yoga practitioners, it lubricates the connective tissues and promotes flexibility. The revered sage Acharya Vagbhatta describes its healing properties in the cases of burns and wounds.
Ghee’s benefits increase with its age. Aged ghee (up to a hundred years) reduces all three doshas and dispels blockages in the srotas. It treats alcoholism, fever, and vaginal pain. Since it has a special ability to clear the manovaha srota (mental channel), it used issued for mental diseases, namely epilepsy, and psychosis.
Medicated ghee, clarified butter in which herbs have been extracted (ghrita), is a famous preparation method for treating pitta conditions. For example, the well-known Brahmi Ghrita contains the popular herb gotu kola, and is applied for a broad variety of brain and nerve conditions.
To make ghee, place 1-2 pounds of butter in a saucepan on the stovetop. Melt at low heat until white curds separate and sink to the bottom. When a drop of water flicked into the pan boils immediately, the ghee is done. Decant the butter oil from the pan, discarding the curds at the bottom. Store in a clean jar in the cupboard. If kept clean and water-free, ghee needs no refrigeration.