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Health benefits of ghee (clarified butter) - A review from ayurvedic perspective

Authors:
  • Yuvaraja's College

Abstract and Figures

Ghee is identified as valuable natural source of food which has several health benefits entirely beneficial to the human population. It is one of the popular ingredients in the Indian diet and takes prevalent position in the dairy industry market. The focus of the present review paper is the demonstrated and potential health benefits associated with the consumption of ghee. Consumption of ghee in an adequate amount, imparts various health benefits such as binds toxins, enhances complexion and glow of the face and body, an amazing rejuvenator for the eyes, increases physical and intellectual stamina etc. in addition to imparting sustaining energy.
IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72
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Review Article
Health benefits of ghee (clarified butter) - A review from ayurvedic perspective
Sindhuja S1, Prakruthi M2, Manasa R3, Shekhara Naik R1, Mahesh Shivananjappa1,*
1Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, Yuvaraja’s College, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
2Central Food Technological Research Institute, India
3Dept. of Biochemistry, JSS College for Women, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
ARTICLE INFO
Article history:
Received 01-09-2020
Accepted 19-09-2020
Available online 28-10-2020
Keywords:
Ghee
clarified butter
conjugated linoleic acid
cardiovascular health
wound healing
Ayurveda.
ABSTRACT
Ghee is identified as valuable natural source of food which has several health benefits entirely beneficial
to the human population. It is one of the popular ingredients in the Indian diet and takes prevalent position
in the dairy industry market. The focus of the present review paper is the demonstrated and potential
health benefits associated with the consumption of ghee. Consumption of ghee in an adequate amount,
imparts various health benefits such as binds toxins, enhances complexion and glow of the face and body,
an amazing rejuvenator for the eyes, increases physical and intellectual stamina etc. in addition to imparting
sustaining energy.
© 2020 Published by Innovative Publication. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)
1. Introduction
Ghee (butter oil) is one of the most popular traditional dairy
products in India. Since Vedic era, it has been used for
religious rites, cooking, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes.1
The importance of ghee in Indian diets has been recognized
from prehistoric days because of its excessive nutritive
value, pleasant aroma, and textural properties. It is made
from butter, cream, or milk of numerous animal species.2
Ghee is viewed as an energy-rich food and rich in essential
fatty acids (linolenic acid and arachidonic acid), fat-soluble
vitamins, and growth-promoting factors.1
Ghee mainly consists of fatty acids, saturated fat,
monosaturated fat, poly saturated fat, trans fat, omega fatty
acids, cholesterols, vitamin A, B, D, K, E and very less
amount of water.3Ghee contain eessential fatty acids and
fat-soluble vitamins which cannot be synthesized in our
body, are supplied by ghee.4The milk fat components like
CLA, sphingomyelin, butyric acid, other lipids having anti-
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address:mayavishiva@gmail.com (M. Shivananjappa).
carcinogenic potential are also supplied by ghee.5It contains
antioxidants like Vitamin E and beta carotene (600 IU)
besides other nutrients like phospholipids, diglycerides and
triglycerides.6
Cow Ghee is recognized to be digested 96% which
is very best as compared to all different vegetable or
animal supply fats.6Ghee is nutritionally more reliable to
other oils/fats due to the fact of its medium chain fatty
acids content, which are absorbed directly by the liver
and burned to supply energy. 7It is fairly shelf stable
due to low moisture and natural antioxidants contents.8
Lactose or casein intolerant have no difficulty with ghee
because of removal of milk solids and impurities most
human.9Due to characteristic of short chain fatty acids
content, ghee has been accepted universally as best fat to
other fats, which are accountable for its better digestibility
and anti-cancer properties.7Different scientific findings
recommend that the characteristic flavor of ghee and a
mixture of biofunctional compounds make it appropriate for
consumption by individuals of all ages with many health
benefits 1.
https://doi.org/10.18231/j.ijnmhs.2020.014
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Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72 65
Ghee & Ayurveda has very closed relationship since
thousand years. Cow Ghee is excellent for balancing Vata
(air) and Pitta (fire) related doshas (humors).6It is an
excellent base for preparing Ayurvedic medicines, due to
the fact ghee has different ability to attain each and every
organ, tissue with in short period, which help to transport
medicine without any change called as “yogawahi” action
in Ayurveda. 3In Ayurveda, ghee is placed under most
sattvic foods and which help to promote positivity, growth
and growth of consciousness. Cow ghee is applicable in
all internal body mechanisms and cconsidered in ayurveda
as ’amrita’(nectar). It had several health benefits such as
slows the aging process, enhances the body immune system,
facilitates the bowel movement, improve the health of
the teeth & gums, prevent chronic cough issues and also
disorders of eyes.10
Ghritas are medicated ghee or ayurvedic formulations of
lipid based, in which decoction or the paste of the crude
drug, boiled with the ghee so that the active components
of drugs get transferred into ghritas.11 In Ayurveda, Ghee
is recognised to be the healthiest alternative of edible
fat, when the nutritive value is being considered, as it
possesses beneficial properties and enable positive effect
of herbal drugs added to it in the preparation of medicated
ghee.12 Digestion, absorption and transport to target organ
system are crucial in obtaining the maximum benefit
from any formulation.6Lipophilic nature of Ghee helps
entry of formulation into the cell and its delivery to
mitochondrium, microsome and nuclear membrane.13,14 A
study that compared different varieties of herbs and herb
extracts observed that the efficacy elevated when they had
been used with ghee, in contrast to usage in powder or tablet
form.15
Ghee is heavily utilized in Ayurveda for several medical
applications, inclusive of the therapy of hypersensitive
reaction skin and respiratory diseases.6Consumption of
ghee imparts various health benefits such as binds toxins,
enhances complexion and glow of the face and body,
a great rejuvenator for the eyes, increases physical and
intellectual stamina etc. in addition to imparting sustaining
energy. 7The anti oxidant properties of ghee help to forestall
neurological diseases & increase HDL level of the blood
and reduce LDL level of the blood.3CLA isomers are
considered as antiobesity, antiatherogenic, anticarcinogenic
and antidiabetic components.16 Butyric acid is a ordinary
modulator of gene function.17 It acts as anticarcinogen by
regulating cell growth and inducing cell differentiation in a
wide variety of neoplastic cell lines.18,19
In spite of its numerous health benefits, over the past
few years, ghee has obtained unflavourable publicity due
to its high cholesterol content and saturated fatty acid
contents.20 However, it is vital for good health up to
some extent, consuming it beyond the limit might also
show detrimental health effects. The American coronary
heart affiliation recommends limiting the consumption of
saturated fats to less than 7% of energy to reduce the threat
of cardiovascular disease.21
Diagram 1: Flow diagram for the manufacture of ghee by
different methods7
Table adopted from the works reviewed by Achaya
(1997) 9.
2. Nutrient composition of ghee
Ramesh carried out to analyze the chemical and nutritive
value of the ghee residues and the entire analysis revealed
the moisture, crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract,
nitrogen free extract and total ash contents of ghee residue
have been 12.10, 19.86, 3.49, 47.12, 25.63 and 3.90 per
cent, respectively. Fatty acid profile of ghee residue revealed
that the palmitic acid registered the highest (38.88) among
saturated fatty acids and the oleic acid accounted for the
highest proportion (25.15) among unsaturated fatty acids.
Linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and decosahexaenoic
acid content of ghee residue were 2.02, 0.79, 0.36 and
0.25 per cent respectively. Amino acid profile of ghee
residue revealed that the lysine and methionine, content
were 0.99 and 0.61 per cent, respectively. Threonine and
arginine levels are observed to be at 1.44 and 0.76 per cent,
respectively. The glutamic acid recorded the absolute best
proportion (5.26), while cystine registered the lowest share
(0.35) among amino acids in ghee residue. He concluded
that ghee residue is a wealthy source of fats, protein,
unsaturated fatty acids and amino acids.23 Current studies
66 Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72
Table 1: Gross Composition of Ghee
Component Quantity
Cow ghee Buffalo ghee
Fat 99.0-99.5% 99.0-99.5%
Saturated fat 46%
cis-monoene 29%
trans-monoene 7%
Diene Polyene 13% 5%
Triglycerides (triacylglycerols)
SSS 42% 49%
SSU 42% 39%
SUU 14% 11%
UUU 2% 1%
Diglycerides (diacylglycerols) 4%
Monoglycerides (monoacylglycerols) 1%
Unsaponifiable matter
Cholesterol 300 mg
Lanosterol 9
µ
g 1001
Lutein 4
µ
g 1001
Squalene 60
µ
g 1001
Vitamin A 9
µ
g 1001
Vitamin E 28
µ
g 100 g1
S= saturated, U= unsaturated.
S= saturated, U= unsaturated.
Table 2: Fatty acid composition of differently branded ghee (% weight) 22 .
Fatty acid Reten.time
(Sec.)
Aarey
Dairy
Gokul
Dairy
Nakoda
Dairy
Gits Nova Dynamix Home
Desi
Loose
Desi
Small chain saturated fatty acid (SFA)
Butyric acid (C4) 3.602 5.95 10.01 8.99 31.35 7.51 10.21 9.72 5.95
Caproic acid (C6) 5.444 2.34 2.87 3.64 11.18 3.75 5.23 2.86 2.34
Caprylic acid
(C8)
7.577 1.22 1.15 1.61 4.07 1.56 2.19 - 1.22
Total 9.51 14.03 14.24 46.50 12.82 17.63 12.58 9.51
Medium chain saturated fatty acid (SFA)
Capric acid (C10) 10.232 2.48 2.98 2.66 5.84 2.51 12.96 7.72 2.48
Myristic
acid(C14)
16.903 8.84 11.54 12.18 7.78 11.30 12.33 12.45 0.09
Total 11.32 9.43 14.84 13.62 13.81 25.29 20.17 2.48
Long chain saturated fatty acid (SFA)
Pentadecanoic
acid (C15)
18.370 2.19 1.87 2.80 - 2.83 1.49 - 0.23
Hexadecanoic
acid (C16)
20.665 23.70 22.84 27.16 14.78 28.77 29.79 38.70 43.56
Stearic acid(C18) 26.219 9.67 11.37 10.45 1.44 11.17 - 2.32 -
Arachidic acid
(C20)
23.036 0.69 0.72 0.95 - 0.79 - - 0.18
Total 36.23 36.80 41.36 16.22 43.56 31.28 41.02 43.97
Total SFA 57.06 60.26 70.44 76.34 70.19 74.10 73.77 55.96
Monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)
Cis Palmitoleic
acid (C16:1)
20.226 2.15 2.75 2.09 0.74 2.46 2.12 2.09 -
Trans Oleic acid
(C18:1)
25.481 19.20 22.54 20.65 3.15 18.38 16.22 17.82 47.69
Cis Oleic acid
(C18:1)
16.745 0.79 0.93 0.82 0.66 0.76 1.48 - 2.05
Total 22.14 26.22 23.56 4.55 21.50 19.82 19.91 49.74
Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72 67
have published that ghee residue additionally incorporates
natural carbonyls, lactones, and FFAs apart from its
nutritional and antioxidant properties20.
2.1. Vitamins
Ghee is an important source off at soluble vitamins like
vitamin A, D, E & K.24,25 In that vitamin A and E which
are antioxidants. Vitamin A is known to be present in two
forms; one is an ester and carotene which is converted
in to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A keeps epithelial
tissue of the body intact; keeps the outer lining of the
eyeball moist and prevents blindness. The studies carried
out on laboratory animals reveal that vitamin E is essential
for normal pregnancy, birth and breast milk production.
Vitamin D is known to play an important role both in lying
down of calcium and phosphorous in the bones and also
in the greater absorption of these elements from the diet.
Naturally it is of special importance to children and for
pregnant women for the development of skeleton of young
ones.26
Naveed Ahmad utilized the fluorescence spectroscopy
for the characterization of buffalo and cow ghee along with
the detection of their adulteration. Spectroscopic analysis
confirmed the presence of vitamins A, B12, D, E, K and
CLA in buffalo and cow ghee. The emission bands at 380
and 390 nm represent spectral signatures of vitamins B12,
D and K, at 525 nm characterize beta-carotene, and at
440 and 490 nm depict CLA and vitamin A. The spectral
signatures of vitamins revealed that cow ghee contains
relatively higher concentration of vitamins B12, D and K
as comparedto buffalo ghee. Similarly, buffalo ghee has
relatively higher concentration of CLA and vitamin A.
The presence of vitamin E was confirmed in appreciable
concentrations in both ghee types. Consequently, the
presence and absence of beta-carotene, CLA and vitamin
A can be used as biomarkers to differentiate buffalo and
cow ghee. Spectroscopic analysis and PCA model have
successfully demonstrated the detection of adulteration of
6 blind samples.27
2.2. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
CLA is formed as an intermediate during the
biohydrogenation of linoleic acid by using linoleic
acid isomerase from the rumen bacteria Butyrivibrio
fibrisolvens28 or from the endogenous conversion of t-11,
C18:1 (vaccenic Acid), some other intermediate of linoleic
or linolenic acid biohydrogenation, by 9desaturase in the
tissues.29 Milk fat is richest natural source of CLA which
comprises of an average 4.5 mg CLA/g of fat.30 CLA is
considered as an integral biologically-active compound
of food due to its tested anticarcinogenic, antiallergic and
anti-inflammatory properties.31,32
Kathirvelan studied the impact of conjugated linoleic
acid enhanced ghee on the antiatherogenic properties and
antioxidant enzyme system in Wistar rats. Female Wistar
rats of 21 days had been taken and fed with soybean diet
as Control, low CLA diet and high CLA ghee diet were
given for 35 days for inspecting antioxidative enzymes
and sixteen weeks in case of antiatherogenic study. Lesser
cholesterol and triglyceride levels were determined in the
liver and aorta of high CLA fed rats than in these of the
other groups. Therefore, the results showed CLA not only
inhibited benign type tumours but malignant tumours as
well. Histopathological research of liver verified normal
hepatic cords with portal triad in the excessive CLA ghee
fed by rats whereas fatty degeneration of hepatocytes
containing fat vacuoles was seen in the liver of the other
groups and reported the antioxidant and antiatherogenic
properties of the high CLA enhanced ghee suggest that high
CLA ghee can be used as a potential food for decreasing the
chance of cardiovascular diseases.33
2.3. Wound Healing Properties
Hema Sharma have studied the impact of selected
formulated five variants of topical application forms
materials (flax seed oil, cow ghee, Amalakifruit extract,
Shorearobusta resin and Yashadabhasma) on functional
status of skin and tissue regeneration capacity in wound
healing models by measuring collagen estimation, wound
contraction and breaking strength of the skin. Which
had been chosen primarily based on the leads from
Ayurvedic literature and concluded that can be beneficial
in wound contraction, enhancement of tensile strength
and augmentation in hydroxyproline content or collagen
content. These properties together make this combination
for anti-aging activities which is particularly good for skin
health.34
Sathish HS chosen Jathikalpa ghrita; a fortified mixture
of drugs chosen to study about the efficacy of this ointment
by way of clinical and experimental methods. Innovative
combination of drugs having recuperation property was
once formulated and assigned name as Jathikalpa ghrita
(Medicated ghee). Total 110 patients have been registered
in the existing trial. In Group A, out of 75 patients, 8
discontinued and in Group B, 5 patients discontinued out
of 35. Most wounds had been of anal region (65.45%) that
got operated for Piles, Fissure, Fistula & many others and
Adhishtana of vrana was Twaka (97.27%), Mamsa (91.81%)
and Marma (62.72%). In Group A, 52.3% cases wound
was healed in 16-20 days while in GroupB it took 26-30
days (51.72%). Average healing days discovered in Group
A was 20.98, whilst in Group B it was 22.43. By Pearson
Correlation test (2-tailed), in Group A result indicated a
significant correlation (0.01). Complete recuperation was
observed in 49.25% of Group A and 47% in Group B,
marked healing was seen in 37.71% in Group A and 50% of
68 Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72
Group B. The consequence confirmed proportion of wound
contraction of trial drug used to be rather extensive when
compared to control group. Jathikalpa ghrita is effective in
healing of suddhavrana. jathikalpa ghrita is a strong wound
healer drug.35
A study on wound healing activity Aegle marmelos
leaves and cow ghee confirmed recovery in buffalo. The
effects produced by using cow ghee and topical application
of a combination of Aegle marmelos leaves extract in wound
contraction, wound closure, surface area reduction of wound
and tissue regeneration at the wound site have been studied
and the wound healing activity was found substantial and
was healed completely in 8 days.36
Nandanwar et al, consider the cow ghee containing
formulation of Aloe vera for wound healing potential,
showed that desirable keratinization, epithelization, fibrosis
and collagenation indicative of good healing process
in histological examinations. The consequences were
same with Framycetin sulphate cream (1% w/w) which
predominantly shows antimicrobial action. Incision wound
for tensile strength, excision wound contraction and
histological observations of regenerated tissues had been
used to check out the healing potential of the formulation
and concluded that the gel promotes recovery of incision
and excision wounds rationalizing its usual declare.37
2.4. Cow ghee intake and its relation with diabetes
The function of Cow ghee in prevention and treatment
of Diabetes as a dietary complement was reviewed by
Kumar Ravi. In that overview it suggests that specific
components of Cow ghee are inversely associated with
Diabetes and its use in applicable quantity may be beneficial
in preventing and treating Diabetes and its associated
complications. Potential defensive constituents in Cow
ghee includes carotenoids, Vitamin A, D, E (antioxidants),
Mg and Ca. all these substances have shown antidiabetic
activity. 38 Animal studies have verified many helpful
result of ghee, inclusive of dose-dependent decreases in
serum total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, very low
density lipoprotein, and triglycerides; decreased liver total
cholesterol, triglycerides, and cholesterol esters; and a lower
level of non-enzymatic induced lipid per oxidation in liver
homogenate.39 Odd chain fatty acids like Pentadecanoic
acids and Heptadecanoic acid are synthesized only in the
rumen of ruminants. . Inverse association were found from
intake of milk products, whereas relationship to HDL
cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I tended to be positive.
They have positive effect on cardiovascular system and
associated with reduced risk of Diabetes.40,41
Cow ghee is a very good source of Conjugated Linoleic
Acid (CLA). CLA has proven antidiabetic effect in animal
research due to complex regulation of the genes vital
in reducing adiposity, improved insulin action and signal
transduction in skeletal muscles.42 Dwievedi et al indicates
that consumption of 10% Cow ghee in diet had a positive
effect on serum lipid profile. Cow ghee contains Linoleic
acid which decrease inflammatory mediators such as
leucotrines, prostaglandins and interleukins. The potential
of ghee to lower the levels of Arachidonic acid metabolites
decrease secretion of leukotriene is also recommended in
preventing the complications of Diabetes such as CVD,
Atherosclerosis etc.20
2.5. Ghee helps in digestion
Cow Ghee is recognised to be digested 96% compared to
all distinctive vegetable or animal source fats. Dispersion
of fat globules in the aqueous phase of milk forming an
emulsion is the reason behind the excellent digestibility of
milk fat. Other dietary fats have to be emulsified by bile,
pancreatic enzymes, and intestinal lipases before they can
pass through the intestinal wall but milk fat are absorbed
directly. Additionally, milk fat contains short and medium-
chain fatty acids, which are absorbed easily than long- chain
fatty acids. The short chain fatty acids involving ester bonds
are more easily cleaved by lipases. Due to digestibility
the milk fat act as a valuable dietary constituent for the
treatment of many diseases.43–45
Kumar et al, determined unlike other oils ghee contains
butyric acid; a short chain fatty acid which gives distinct
flavor and help in digestion.46 Beneficial microorganism
in intestinal which convert fiber into butyric acid and use
that for source of energy and intestinal wall support.47
Studies have confirmed that people with unhealthy digestive
tracts do not produce butyric acid. Research suggest that
the production of killer T cells in the gut get adequate
support from production of butyric acid and as a result
strong immune system.48
2.6. Management of childhood epilepsy (apasmara)
Ramchandra et al reviewed concept of medicated ghee on
management of childhood epilepsy. Epilepsy is a disorder
of central nervous system in which brain activity becomes
abnormal causing seizures by the neurobiologic, cognitive,
psychological and social consequences of this condition.
Ghee contains vitamin A, D, E and K. Vitamins in which A
and E are anti-oxidant and are useful in preventing oxidative
damage to the body & brain.He concluded that most of
the components have anticonvulsant activity through one
or other mechanism.49 There are number of synthetic
drugs available for treatment of Epilepsy/Seizure disorder;
but having major disadvantage of their chronic side
effects. There are many drug preparations are described in
Ayurvedic literature by Acharyas Snehakalpana inthe form
of Ghee/Oil and the Ghritkalpanain which ghee is boiled
with various medicinal plants is one of these.50,51 Therefore,
treatment with the various medicated ghee (Ghritkalpanas)
along with the standard synthetic antiepileptic drugs should
Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72 69
be considered a valid therapeutic option for children with
seizure disorders/epilepsy (Apasmara).49
2.7. Cardioprotective Activity
Hari sharma et al investigated the impact of 10% dietary
ghee on microsomal lipid peroxidation, as well as serum
lipid levels in Fischer inbred rats to investigate the impact of
ghee on free radical mediated techniques that are implicated
in many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease.
Results confirmed that 10% dietary ghee fed for 4 weeks
did no longer have any large effect on levels of serum
total cholesterol, but triglyceride levels increased in Fischer
inbred rats.52
Research on Maharishi AmritKalash-4 (MAK-4), an
Ayurvedic herbal mixture containing ghee ingested MAK-
4 for hyperlipidemic patients up to 18 weeks confirmed
no impacting on levels of serum cholesterol, high density
lipoprotein, LDL, or triglycerides. MAK-4 forbids the
oxidation of LDL in these patients. The facts available in the
literature do not support a conclusion of dangerous result of
the moderate consumption of ghee in the general population.
Due to excessive usage of vanaspati which contains 40%
trans fatty acids, insulin resistance, psychosocial stress and
altered dietary patterns are the reason for rise of CAD
in Asian Indians. Research findings supports commended
effects of ghee outlined in the historic ayurvedic texts and
the therapeutic use of ghee for hundreds of years in the
ayurvedic system of medicine.53,54
Bendsenet al. reviewed the association of trans fatty
acids and the risk of coronary heart disease concluded that
the consumption of ruminant trans fatty acids in between
amounts like 0.5 and 1.9 g day1has no significant effect
on the risk of coronary disease.55
2.8. Anticancer Activity
Rita rani and vinod kansal investigated the impact of feeding
mixture of cow ghee and soybean oil on 7, 12-dimethylbenz
(a)–anthracene (DMBA) induced carcinogenesis and
expression of cox-2, and peroxisome proliferators activated
receptors-
γ
(PPAR-
γ
) in rat mammary gland to check
anticancer potential of cow ghee. In the DMBA (a
carcinogen) treated groups, the animals fed on soybean
oil exhibited higher tumor incidence (65.4%), tumor
weight (96.18g) and tumor volume (6285 mm3) than
the rats entirely fed on cow ghee (26.6%, 1.67 g, 1925
mm3, respectively). when cow ghee was used as feed as
compared to feeding with soybean oil, which exhibited a
latency period of 23 weeks. They concluded that dietary
cow ghee opposed to soyabean oil attenuates mammary
carcinogenisis induced by DMBA; and the impact is
mediated by decreased expression of cyclooxygenase
-2 and improved expression of cyclooxygenase -2 and
increased expression of PPAR-
γ
in the former group.56
2.9. Hepatoprotective Activity
Achliya et al, investigate the hepatoprotective activity of
Panchagavya Ghrita in albino rats to wards CCl4brought
about hepatotoxicity. With the help of serum marker
enzymes the degree of protection was measured.
Panchagavyaghrita @150–300 mg/kg/dpo recommended
prevention of CCl4 induced elevation levels of serum
glutamate pyruvate transaminase, serum glutamate
oxaloacetate transaminase, acid phosphatase, and alkaline
phosphatase. The outcomes had been compared with
standard drug Silymarin. A histological study compared
and verified the hepatoprotective activity of Panchagavya
Ghrita of liver from different groups.57
2.10. Eye Lubricant Activity
Cow ghee is very useful for computer vision syndrome
(CVS). The Goghrita contains 98% glycerides and some
fatty acids which has lubricating property beneficial for
reduction of the symptoms of CVS. It contains vitamin A
3500/100gm. Vitamin A is accountable for the moistening
of the outer lining of the eyeball and can prevent blindness.
It also contains beta-carotene and Vit E Which has
antioxidant activity. So Goghrita eye drops (aschyotan)
may become effective treatment for Computer vision
syndrome.58
2.11. Antistress Activity
Antistress activity was evaluated with Panchagavya ghrita,
along with ethanolic extract of Aloe babadens using
tail suspension model in mice alprazolam as standard.
The combination found significant antistress potential as
compared with the control and standards which was
revealed by GC-MS studies. The combined action of
panchagavya ghrita and aloe extract was trait to the increase
in the levels of gamma amino butyric acid and decreased
plasma corticosterone level and dopamine.59
2.12. Benefits of ghee in ayurveda
Cow milk ghee is essentially desired for Ayurvedic
applications. Cow milk ghee is regarded as good for eyes,
light in digestion and strength-giving. It will increases
virility and appetite. The medicinal value of ghee also
depends on the storage period of ghee. For external utility,
old ghee is preferred over new ghee.60 Ayurvedic literature
has reported about 50–60 types of medicated ghee. Only
Herbs, pastes or decoction of herbs are added into cow
ghee and later given to patients for diagnosing the condition
of diseases. All fat-soluble therapeutic components of the
herbs are retained in ghee. Different methods of preparation
and suitability of distinctive ghee with the specific process
have been reviewed by investigators.61 Selected examples
of the medicinal use of herbal ghee are as follows:60
70 Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72
1. Amrutprash for anti-aging;
2. Ashokaghrita for leucorrhoea;
3. Kaghrita for leucorrhoea;
4. Kalyanghrita for madness
5. Arjuna Ghrita for heart disease.62,63
6. Dhatri is the main ingredient of Dhatryadi Ghrita.64
Where ghee acts as the base and is recommended for
the treatment of various CNS disorders.65
7. Vachadi ghrita and its ingredients are proved to
possess Nootropic, Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant,
Antiepileptic, Antipsychotic, Antistress, Antioxidant
, immunomodulatory, Anticancer, Cardioprotective,
Hepatoprotective and many different therapeutic uses
which are still to be explored.66
8. Ashwagandhaghrita for GI disorder Its manifold uses
include treatment of patients suffering from breathing
difficulty, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer for general
strength during and after chemotherapy, immune
system problems, insomnia etc.63
9. Samhithas ghee has good action on intellegence,
memory, digestion, long life, improving vision
&complexion, antiinflammatory action, cooling action,
detoxification and good supplement for malnutrition.19
10. Satavari ghrita is antispasmodic agent and diuretic
which helps strengthening the patients to overcome
the effects of chemotherapy during the treatment of
cancer. It strengthen the immune system - also has
many other known health stimulating properties for
women andgood for AIDS. It is also reported to
have immunostimulant, anti-hepatotoxic, antioxytocic
activities, antioxidant, and anti-diarrheal activities.63,67
11. Brahmi as herbal ghee form is used in Ayurvedic
medicine. Brahmi is considering as nervine
rejuvenative. Which helps to strengthening the
immune system, mental function, nervous disorders,
epilepsy etc.63
3. Conclusion
The present review briefly describes the potential health
benefits associated with ghee. Ghee has been considered
superior to other fats due to the fact of the presence
of characteristic short chain fatty acids, carrier of four
fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and essential fatty
acids such as linolenic acid and arachidonic acid.
It is considered as a healthy fat because of Anti-
diabetic, Anticancer, Antistress, Eye lubricant activities,
Hepatroprotective, Cardioprotective, and Wound healing
properties. Cow Ghee is also utilized in Ayurveda for
various medical applications. Ayurveda suggests different
treatment protocols for different ailments using medicated
ghee manufactured with different herbal extracts. Ayurvedic
ghee like Amrutprash, Arjuna Ghrita, Ashokaghrita,
Ashwagandha ghrita, Kaghrita, Kalyanghrita, Vachadi
ghrita etc has got numerous health benefits with great
acceptability. Currently, ghee is recommended as a healthy
food by fitness studios, yoga centers and health stores
4. Source of Funding
None.
5. Conflict of Interest
None.
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Author biography
Sindhuja S Student
72 Sindhuja S et al. / IP Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Health Science 2020;3(3):64–72
Prakruthi M Project Assistant
Manasa R Assistant Professor
Shekhara Naik R Head
Mahesh Shivananjappa Assistant Professor
Cite this article: Sindhuja S, Prakruthi M, Manasa R, Naik R S,
Shivananjappa M. Health benefits of ghee (clarified butter) - A
review from ayurvedic perspective.IP J Nutr Metab Health Sci
2020;3(3):64-72.
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