India is internationally recognized for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, originating from different regions of the country. While there are distinct variations in taste and spice usage between North Indian and South Indian dishes, ghee is a common ingredient in both culinary traditions. Interestingly, ghee holds significance in Ayurveda, being considered an essential food item. It is used in various preparations such as dals, sweets like halwa and laddus, rotis or breads, upma, and khichdi. However, there is a prevalent misconception that ghee is high in fats and unsuitable for individuals with high cholesterol, leading many to avoid ghee-based dishes. In reality, this belief is far from accurate.
Also Read: The Whole Truth About Ghee
What is Ghee? How is A2 Ghee different from regular ghee?
Ghee, a form of clarified butter, is produced through the separation of milk solids from melted butter. It boasts favourable health benefits due to its rich content of beneficial fats and constituents such as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), reputed for aiding in weight loss. The production of ghee involves utilizing various milk sources, including cow milk, buffalo milk, and goat milk, which impact the physical and chemical characteristics of the final product.
A2 Ghee, distinct from conventional ghee, derives from purebred cows recognized for yielding high-quality, untainted, and antibiotic-free milk. This specific variant, also referred to as A2 Desi cow ghee is commonly manufactured using Gir cows for milking and subsequent production.
How is A2 Ghee manufactured?
To ensure the production of the highest quality A2 ghee, the traditional mechanical method or the 'Hand-Churned Bilona Process' is employed. Although this method may not yield a high quantity, it guarantees the superior quality of A2 ghee. The Vedic approach involves a series of steps for the preparation of A2 desi cow ghee, which are as follows:
- Allow the milk to naturally curdle without the addition of any accelerators such as vinegar. The process must remain entirely natural.
- After curdling, the curd and water are carefully and gradually hand-churned until the fats separate and rise to the surface.
- Subsequently, the mixture is slowly cooked for an extended duration to ensure the preservation of nutrients.
Characteristics and Ingredients of A2 Ghee
A2 ghee distinguishes itself in terms of quality from regular ghee due to its manufacturing process, which solely involves organic cows without the addition of any other ingredients or additives. This distinction is reflected in the following characteristics:
- Its color is yellowish, a result of the presence of beta-carotenes derived from A2 milk. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid compound and serves as a precursor to Vitamin A.
- A2 ghee possesses a highly robust and aromatic flavor, making it a versatile ingredient suitable for various culinary applications, particularly in the creation of traditional desserts such as halwa.
- Unlike the homogeneous consistency of regular ghee, A2 ghee exhibits a granular texture.
What are A2 Ghee Benefits?
There are several health advantages associated with the consumption of A2 Ghee:
- In Ayurveda, A2 Ghee nourishes the body by lubricating the tissues when consumed on an empty stomach in the morning. It provides essential nutrition, aids in cell rejuvenation, and supports overall well-being.
A2 Ghee is known to improve gut health, which in turn enhances immunity. It acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, further boosting immune function. Additionally, the vitamins present in A2 Ghee contribute to the proper functioning of vital organs such as the heart, stomach, and kidneys.
- A2 Ghee possesses anti-inflammatory properties due to its butyrate content, which helps prevent inflammation in the bowels.
- Consumption of A2 Ghee improves digestion and nutrient absorption in the body. It stimulates the secretion of digestion enzymes, leading to better digestion and elimination of toxins. As a result, it promotes proper absorption of food and reduces bloating caused by poor digestion.
Contrary to common misconceptions, A2 Ghee is beneficial for heart health. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol levels, and its constituent proline strengthens heart muscles.
- Regular consumption of A2 ghee enhances cognitive functioning by nourishing the brain and nervous system, resulting in improved memory retention, intellectual skills, and concentration abilities.
Ghee is a valuable source of nutrition, especially for growing children, due to its essential fats, vitamins, and minerals like Omega-3 and CLA fatty acids. This nutrient composition supports heart and brain health, making it beneficial for children with conditions like ADHD that affect concentration and cognitive function.
- A key advantage of A2 ghee over vegetable oils is its higher smoke point. This means that even at high cooking temperatures, A2 ghee does not produce harmful fumes and preserves the nutritional value of the food being cooked.
- Ghee offers multiple benefits in Ayurveda, including its ability to heal and moisturize the skin. A2 ghee effectively treats dry or burnt skin, soothes various skin disorders, and has been shown to assist in the treatment of eczema and inflammation according to research published in the Indo-American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. A combination of A2 ghee and water can also provide relief from the symptoms of ringworm. Moreover, the fatty acids present in A2 ghee contribute to healthy and radiant skin. Desi ghee serves as a natural alternative to commercial under-eye creams, devoid of harmful chemicals.
- Ghee promotes bone health by reducing inflammation and degeneration, and its topical application during massages lubricates joints and alleviates joint pain. It is a beneficial addition to maintaining healthy bones and joints.
A2 ghee enhances body metabolism, promotes weight loss by targeting stubborn fat, and contains essential amino acids that reduce fat cells. The presence of Omega 6 and Omega 3 in A2 ghee further aids in reducing body fat mass.
A2 ghee is a suitable substitute for regular ghee for individuals with lactose intolerance. It is made from pure Loni and does not contain milk solids, making it a safe option. With minimal or negligible amounts of casein, the ingredient responsible for indigestion in lactose-intolerant individuals, A2 ghee allows them to enjoy its flavor and health benefits.
- A2 ghee provides our body with pure and healthy fats, which are essential for brain development and proper organ function. Unlike other food sources that may contain unhealthy fats or cholesterol, A2 ghee offers unadulterated fats that maintain the health of our skin, hair, and internal organs.
A2 desi ghee may be more expensive than regular ghee due to two reasons.
Firstly, it is derived from the milk of grass-fed Desi cows with lower milk yield compared to hormone-injected and genetically modified cows.
Secondly, A2 ghee is manufactured using traditional methods in safe conditions to ensure the highest quality.
Many brands claim to produce pure organic ghee, but this can be misleading. Only purchase A2 ghee, preferably extracted from Gir cow's milk using the Vedic method. The price of A2 ghee ranges from 700-1500 INR for half a litre to one litre. Cheaper alternatives are likely not authentic A2 ghee and may contain adulteration.
Considering the importance and health benefits of A2 ghee, are you planning to switch from regular ghee to this pure and unadulterated form?
Also Read: Amazing Gir Cow Ghee Benefits in Ayurveda
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.