Ghee or clarified butter is an ancient ingredient that has its origins in the Indus Valley of India. Indians and the South East Asian continent have used ghee for many years since it’s origins eons ago; circa 3000 BCE. Ghee has recently garnered the attention of the modern world. Some have even resorted to calling it “desi ghee”. For the rest of us Indians, using the term “desi” meaning “Indian”, is redundant. Since there is only one type of ghee, we call it…ghee. What we all agree on is the fact that this substance is definitely “liquid gold” – another term coined by the modern world about this ancient ingredient.
Ayurvedic Properties of Ghee
Ayurveda has many uses for ghee. Most commonly, ghee is used in cooking for any kind of doshic blueprint/constitution. This is so because ghee is tridoshic. That means it is beneficial to all of the 3 types of Ayurvedic constitutions.
Ghee also has many non-dietary uses. The most important of them all is its use topically on our largest organ – our skin. Read on to find out more.
What are the Benefits of Using Ghee Daily?
As we know by now, consistency is critical in all that we do. The same goes for using ghee in your daily life. Adding a tablespoon of ghee to your food such as on your rice, veggies, in coffee or tea, can have exponential benefits over time.
Grass Fed Organic Ghee
Only purchase organic ghee sourced from grass fed cows. While non-organic ghee might be okay in some countries that have stricter laws on cow health and feed, the U.S. has weaker regulations.
You can find organic grass fed ghee at most Indian grocers in the U.S. Organic ghee from your local grocer’s international section.
What are the Benefits of Using Ghee on the Skin?
Other than ingesting this liquid gold, you can also use ghee on your skin for the plethora of benefits. Here is a list of the top 7 benefits of using ghee (clarified butter) on your skin daily.
1. Self love
Let’s start the list of benefits with this one. Ayurveda speaks to moisturizing your skin daily in a process called Abhyanga or self-massage. This process is usually used with oils that are specific to your Ayurvedic constitution. However, since ghee is tridoshic it can be used for any of the constitutions i.e. everyone.
The act of massaging ghee, oil, or clarified butter on your skin is an act of self love. Touch is a very calming action, and providing that touch with ghee or oils is beneficial to the skin and the mental state of a person.
2. Moisturizing Your Face with Organic Ghee
Take a tablespoon of ghee and massage your face with it in a circular motion. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes and then wash off your face with a light soap and warm water. Pat dry.
It is critical to note – the ghee you use on your face should not be contaminated by other uses. Keep your “face ghee” separate. Do not use the same tub of ghee for other purposes. No double dipping either. Once ghee is contaminated, it can harbor yeast or bacteria. This is NOT something you want to add to your face.
3. Hydrate and Moisturize Your Skin with Ghee
Dry skin can be the worst. It is unpleasant to look at, itches, and advances the aging of your skin. Keeping your skin moisturized starts with your digestion. However, an additional assist is by using ghee directly on your skin.
Heat up enough ghee to a desired temp (not too hot), and apply this all over your body. Use the Abhyanga technique to help with applying it for enhanced benefits. Those who typically have dry skin can be generous. Those who have oily skin can use this sparingly.
4. Ghee Brightens Up Dark Circles!
As with #2 above, make sure that any ghee you use on your eyes is free of yeast and bacteria. Apply a few drops of ghee on top of your eyelids and your under eye, before you sleep.
Wake up and wash off as part of your daily routine. Ghee will reduce the dark circles over time.
5. Ghee for Chapped Lips
Do you never seem to have moisturized lips? Apply ghee to your lips throughout the day to keep them hydrated. Over time, your lips will look plump and will also have less discoloration.
Ghee is one of the safest ingredients you can apply to your lips with no risk if ingested. Unlike lipsticks and lip glosses that contain chemicals and toxins.
6. Ghee Corrects Discoloration
If you have hyperpigmentation in some areas of your lips or body, consistent application of ghee will reduce this discoloration. For targeted areas that need quicker turnaround time follow the steps below.
- Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder to your ghee
- Apply to affected area
- Wait 20-30 minutes
- Wash off
~Repeat often for quick results~
7. Soothes Burns and Scars
If you have burns, burn scars, scars from measles/chiken pox, or just acne scras, use a dap of ghee on these areas and feeling the cooling effect it provides. Over time, the scars will get lighter too.
Other Health Benefits of Ghee
Other than the benefits of using ghee on your body, there are also other uses and benefits of ghee in our life.
- Ghee strengthens our immunity (ojas): In Ayurveda, ghee is an anupana. An anupana is a carrier of medicinal properties found in a product (such as ghee) that are used by the body to transport the benefits of the product for body tissue development. Other than that, ghee has multiple properties that provide strength and stability in both body and mind.
- Ghee assists in improving digestion: assists in providing structure and moisture to your stomach walls, and providing moisture for the food to be broken down easily.
- Ghee also improves memory retention: similar to the effects of MCT oil on your brain and memory health.
How to Apply Ghee on Skin (Face and Body)?
The specific process for applying ghee to your face, body, or troubled areas is listed above. However, as a general rule follow the steps below.
- Heat up “enough” organic ghee to a temperature that is acceptable to your body
- Apply generously to each part of your body for full coverage
- Massage your body until the ghee is mostly absorbed
- Use short stroke for your arms and legs, and circular motions for your face, joints, and torso
- Let the ghee soak into your skin (about 30 minutes)
- Wash off with a light soap and pat dry
After about a week of this, most people will not need to moisturize their bodies post wash/shower. Your skin will start naturally retaining the moisture from the ghee.
Ghee is definitely beneficial and a healthy alternative to the many chemically infused products we use on our skin (and in our foods). Use this natural skincare for both nutrition and topically to reap the benefits of this liquid gold.
Disclaimer: As with any product, consult your doctor prior to use.
Feature photo courtesy of unsplash.com