Ghruta is one of the most important Ayurvedic substances. It is a clarified lipid, similar to ghee. It has a wide number of uses and is considered one of the most effective compounds for creating herbal formulations.
Ghruta also has a number of potent medicinal benefits on its own. This article will explain a bit about Ghruta and some of the most powerful medicinal benefits that you can experience if you begin to use Ghruta.
Ghruta? Ghee? What’s the difference?
Ghruta is a form of clarified fat that differs significantly from ghee. Though many people think Ghruta and ghee are identical, they are not. There are a number of key differences:
- Ghruta is made specifically from the milk of the Indian Gir cow. The milk of this cow possesses different physical and spiritual properties. Physically, Gir cows produce a much easier-digested form of protein; spiritually, they are believed to be potent vessels for the energy of the sun. It is believed that they can pass on this illuminating energy to humans through the gift of their milk.
- Ghee can be made by simply heating butter and straining it. Ghruta is produced using a more complicated, multi-step, hand-crafted method that has been used traditionally in Ayurveda for millennia.
- In some cases, ghee has been shown to increase cholesterol levels. Ghruta is known to reduce levels of cholesterol.
As you can see, there are a number of differences between the two substances. Though they may share a lot of the same properties, Ghruta is generally a more complete, healthier, and pure substance than ghee.
The benefits of Ghruta are also fairly similar to the benefits of ghee. However, when one is using Ghruta, they can rest assured that they will be using the most potent, powerful, and holistic form of clarified lipid available in Ayurveda.
Benefits of Ghruta
These are some of the most powerful benefits that you can experience by beginning to use Ghruta.
One of the most important ways Ghruta impacts the body is through the digestive system. Ghruta boosts the body’s agni, which is the Ayurvedic term for ‘digestive fire,’ but the term covers more than the assimilation of nutrients from food (although ghruta is known to aid in this directly by stimulating the secretion of stomach acids to improve the breakdown of food and enhance nutrient absorption).
Besides helping the assimilation of nutrients, agni also fuels ojas and tejas, and encourages the absorption of ethereal nutrition: prana, absorbed from sunlight and air. Ghruta is able to help encourage all forms of agni to function at their best.
The Rig Veda, an ancient collection of Sanskrit hymns, even states:
Streams of ghee caress the burning wood.
Agni, the fire, loves them and is satisfied.
Ghruta also lubricates the digestive system to maintain and repair the mucus lining of the stomach while delivering butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that inhibits the growth of bad bacteria and fuels enteric cells. This improves the overall functioning of the digestive system and – according to Ayurveda – proper digestion is essential to our wellbeing and longevity.
Immune & Lymphatic Systems
A person’s ojas is believed to be involved in their overall health, vitality, and well-being. Those with a high ojas are said to have more life force than others, and are less likely to develop diseases or immune problems.
Ghruta can help to restore ojas. In this sense, it is believed to be a strong immune booster.
Pure ojas is believed to be yellowish in color, have a sweet taste, and to smell a bit like fried rice – all qualities that this ethereal substance shares with Ghruta. This is further confirmed by the well-known Ayurvedic ideology that ‘like increases like’.
Ghruta is also believed to aid the lymphatic system by encouraging the movement of lymph fluid.
Ghruta can be very useful for helping the body excrete toxins. Ghruta increases rasa within oneself while penetrating the body’s tissues. As a result, ghruta dislodges toxins (ama) and drains them into the gastrointestinal tract for elimination.
During an Ayurvedic detox regiment known as Panchakarma, a person will take larger doses of ghee internally every morning to prepare themselves for the purging process. They will be given daily Ghruta massages to help encourage the release of toxins from fatty tissues.
Panchakarma has been shown to help speed up the elimination of at least 14 different fat-soluble toxins. These toxins would normally remain in the body for quite a while, since the body is most efficient at removing only water-soluble toxins.
Ghruta is known to be useful for helping to improve the health of the reproductive system.
Fertility is dependent on a healthy body and mind. Ghruta helps prepare the body for conception by delivering nutrients, providing energy and keeping illnesses at bay. It also uniquely increases cholesterol, which is essential for the production of sex hormones that are critical for fertility.
Ghruta infused in Brahmi is often prescribed to pregnant women to aid in the mental development of their unborn child.
In addition, some Ayurvedic remedies recommend that men with low libido rub Ghruta directly onto their genitals, and that women who are hoping to strengthen their reproductive tissues rub Ghruta on their pelvic region.
Cardiovascular Health & Circulatory System
Ghruta is known to help improve cardiovascular health by regulating blood glucose and reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. This is because Ghruta can increase the range of vitamins soluble in fat, like Vitamin E, preventing the oxidation of LDL. It also increases the secretion of biliary lipids.
Ghruta promotes strong bone and joint health by delivering healthy fat–soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K. It can also help the body absorb calcium.
Our adrenals and our endocrine system overall require a healthy source of fat to function well. Ghruta can help to ensure the proper functioning of these systems by supplying that fat.
Furthermore, by acting as a nerve tonic, Ghruta can help reduce discomfort caused by overactive adrenals.
Integumentary System (Skin, Hair, Nails)
As a potent regenerative agent, Ghruta is also known to help speed up healing from wounds. It does this by promoting the growth of new, healthy cells.
Ghruta is most often mixed with substances like beeswax, honey, and various medicinal herbs depending on the type of wound that is being treated. Different recipes can be used to treat open gashes, scrapes, burns, and other types of injury.
Ghruta is particularly effective at treating burns because of its ability to help manage excess Pitta.
Ghruta is known to enhance the health of the nervous system. This can lead to enhanced mental and cognitive abilities. In fact, Ghruta is often one of the main ingredients found in tonics and supplements developed by Ayurvedics to help restore or enhance cognitive health.
One of the reasons for this is because of Ghruta’s characteristic sweetness. Sweet tastes are believed to nourish nervous tissue and the brain, enhancing cognitive ability and communication between nerve cells. In addition, the antioxidant properties of Ghruta help prevent damage of nervous and brain tissues.
Ghruta can also be useful for specifically managing a number of mental health conditions. Ghruta has been prescribed in Ayurveda for things like anxiety, depression, dementia, and even epilepsy.
Aged ghruta, which is generally more bitter and possesses more of a heating quality, is believed to be useful for helping to remove mental blockages. This could be useful for helping to remove trauma or barriers preventing one from seeking treatment.
Allergies & Respiratory System
In addition to lubricating and nourishing important respiratory organs, like the lungs, Ghruta can be applied in the nasal passageways through a practice called nasya. This can prevent the buildup of toxins, pollutants and allergens.
In fact, nasya with Ghruta has become so popular in Delhi that it is recommended to prevent toxic buildup from high levels of airborne pollution.
One of the most interesting benefits of Ghruta is its ability to help improve the health of the eyes. It is used to build strength and repair damage done to the eyelid, the tear ducts, and the extraocular muscles.
You can use Ghruta both internally and externally for this purpose. One of the most popular formulas used for helping to treat eye disorders is known as Mahatriphalaghrita. This formula, which is comprised of ghruta, fresh milk, and thirteen different medicinal herbs, can help enhance the health of the eyes.
Alternatively, one can put a drop of liquid Ghruta in the eyes every night before bed to help strengthen the eyes or soothe any discomfort associated with eye problems.
In addition to the numerous benefits Ghruta has on the systems of the body, it’s also important to note that Ghruta is rich in butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which decrease inflammation and have been linked to the prevention and treatment of cancer. Ghruta also contains medium chain triglycerides that help the body achieve optimal weight.
Ultimately, Ghruta is a powerful medicinal substance with a vast array of health benefits that nourish your mind and body.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)