Almost 20 years ago I experienced my first neti pot. I was very sick and had to head to work so my mother insisted I do neti pot. Neti pot? What the heck was that?! Well a neti pot is a little pot which you fill with warm water and sea salt and administer a nasal rinse. Once very taboo and now available at every drugstore you can find. I felt so awful I would do anything. So my mom filled a neti pot with turmeric and a pinch of finely ground sea salt. I then cleaned both nostrils with it and voila, I felt better.
I immediately knew there was something to this Ayurveda after all. After neti came finding my Dosha. At this time my mother was enlisted in the California College of Ayurvedic Studies in a three-year course, which was followed by lab and internship. I, therefore, became privy to the wonders of this ancient East Indian science and fell in love with the results.
Ghee was an integral part of this discovery. We made ghee in our respective homes regularly and of course I now use it daily. I’m either making a tonic with it, cooking with it, and even using it topically. So here are my three favorite ways to use ghee as a tonic.
This was a gift from my beautiful mother in law, whom is of Eastern Indian decent. I’ve given this tonic to my kids, my husband, myself and almost always I feel instant relief from the common cold, cough and general uneasiness.
“Ghee is the … substance par- excellence because of its power to assimilate effectively the properties of other substances… it increases, thousand times in potency and develops manifold qualities” (Charaka Su trasthana 13/13).
Place all in a small pot, warm over burner on medium high, pour into a cup and drink or spoon out slowly. It will taste like desert and have the effect of a proper herbal tonic.
This is typically part of a longer cleanse called the Pancha Karma which is administered by a medical professional and has several different phases including:
Nasya: Cleansing of the nose, nasal passages
Vamana: Cleansing of the stomach
Virechana: Cleansing of the small intestines
Basti: Cleansing of the colon
Rakta Moksha: Cleansing of the blood
The Internal Oleation is a part of a Pancha Karma (Indian Cleanse) and is best done if you’ve led a nice light and clean life a couple weeks before. It’s simple and effective way of cleaning the gut. If you want to follow the full cleanse you can read my Ayurvedic Bikini Detox for instructions. If you do the Oleation, however, just eat very light steamed meals following for the best results. Regardless, something will happen to most. This is typically administered with a set of herbs specific to you. This recipe below is universal.
½ cup of ghee
½ cup of water
1 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon of freshly ground coriander
½ teaspoon of turmeric
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer on medium for about 20 minutes to remove the water. Watch carefully while cooking, you do not want burnt ghee. Use the recommended amount of the herbal ghee during your week of home preparation.
Internal Oleation Schedule
Day 1 – 1 teaspoons at 6-7 am
Day 2 –2 teaspoons at 6-7 am
Day 3 –3 teaspoons at 6-7 am
Day 4 – 4 teaspoons at 6-7 am
Day 5 – 5 teaspoons at 6-7 am
Day 6 – 6 teaspoons at 6-7 am
“Ghee is sweet in taste and cooling in energy, rejuvenating, good for the eyes and vision, kindles digestion, bestows luster and beauty, enhances memory and stamina, increases intellect, promotes longevity, is an aphrodisiac and protects the body from various diseases.” (Bhavaprakasha 6.18.1)
3. Catch Coffee or Chai by Fourth & Heart
I love using ghee mostly in my morning coffee or chai! Find the recipe here. By using ghee in your coffee or chai you can increase metabolism, digestion and help get that caffein really working for you while experiencing less of a crash. Instead of crashing in your day, catch you dreams that day with Catch Coffee or Chai by Fourth & Heart.
1 cup Third Street Chai unsweetened
1 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee
1 Warm the chai on the stovetop or in microwave
2 Add to blender with the ghee
3 Blend until frothy
4 Pour and enjoy
Ghee has the most healing abilities compared to other fats and is the most commonly used fat in Ayurvedic medicines because of its neutral PH and natural health aids including Butyric Acid, Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Ghee is also made up of fats our body thrives on SCFA (Short Chain Fatty Acids) and MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides). Honestly, you can’t go wrong using ghee as a supplement, as a health aid and as a cooking oil. It’s rather remarkable how we are fortunate enough to have this more commonly used in the West. I can only hope we all embrace the wonders of Ghee.