Across the world, India is known for its delicious and desi cuisines, which originate from various regions of India. Although North Indian cuisine varies considerably in its taste and spices used, compared to South Indian cuisine, a common ingredient in North Indian kitchen and South Indian kitchen is ghee. Ghee is coincidentally one of the essential foods used in Ayurveda. It is used in a variety of foods such as dals, sweets like halwa and laddus, rotis or breads, upma and khichdi. However, due to a common misconception that ghee is rich in fats and not suitable for people with high cholesterol, many people these days refrain from eating food that is cooked in ghee. However, the reality is quite farther than this theory. Also read The Whole Truth About Ghee
What is Ghee? How is A2 Ghee different from regular ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is created by extracting the milk solids out of melted butter. Ghee is good for health as it is a high source of healthy fats and ingredients like CLA or conjugated linoleic acid, which is said to help in weight loss. To manufacture ghee, a variety of milk sources are used, such as cow milk, buffalo milk, and goat milk. The source of the milk affects the physical and chemical properties of the ghee.
A2 Ghee is different from regular ghee as it is made from pure-bred cows, which yield high-quality, unadulterated, antibiotic-free milk. This is why A2 Ghee is also known as A2 Desi cow ghee. Usually, Gir cows are used to milk and consequently manufacture A2 ghee.
How is A2 Ghee manufactured?
To ensure that the A2 ghee produced is of the highest quality, A2 ghee is made using the traditional mechanical method or the ‘Hand-Churned Bilona Process’. Although the quantity of yield is not high using this method, the quality of A2 ghee is the best. The Vedic method follows these steps in the preparation of A2 desi cow ghee that are listed as follows:
- Set aside the milk to curdle naturally. Do not add reagents like vinegar to speed up the process. The process has to be completely natural.
- Then once curdled, the curd and water are hand-churned slowly and gently until the fats rise to the top.
- This is then slow-cooked for a long time so that the nutrients are preserved.
Characteristics and Ingredients of A2 Ghee
As A2 ghee is made from organic cows and no other ingredients or additives are added during its manufacturing process, it differs in quality from the regular ghee and has the following characteristics:
- It is yellowish in colour, which is imparted by the beta-carotenes found in A2 milk. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid and a precursor of Vitamin A.
- A2 ghee has a very strong and rich aroma and flavour and is therefore easily used in any meal. It is especially used in the preparation of desi sweets like halwa.
- A2 ghee is grainy in texture, unlike the liquidised version of regular ghee.
What are A2 Ghee Benefits?
There are numerous health benefits of consuming A2 Ghee.
- A2 Ghee benefits in Ayurveda are that it nourishes the body. It lubricates the tissues when taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It is a major source of nutrition for the body and aids in cell rejuvenation.
- Improved immunity is amongst the proven ghee benefits. As immunity depends on our gut health, ghee is good for health because it improves gut health and detoxifies our body. This subsequently improves our immunity. Besides that, ghee is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature, which further boosts immunity levels ad emphasises ghee benefits. The vitamins present in A2 ghee are beneficial for the proper functioning of key organs in our body, such as the heart, stomach and kidneys.
- A2 ghee health benefits also include anti-inflammatory effects on our bodies. A2 ghee contains butyrate supplements that help prevent inflammation of our bowels.
- Consumption of ghee improves the digestion process in our body and absorption of nutrients. A2 Ghee signals our body to secrete digestion enzymes, thereby making this one of the ghee health benefits. Due to better digestion and removal of toxins, ghee benefits include proper absorption of food by our body. Therefore, ghee health benefits also include reduced bloating, which occurs due to improper digestion.
- Ghee is good for our health as it is good for our heart health. Although it is commonly misunderstood that ghee is high in fats and therefore negatively affects our heart health, ghee benefits, in fact, include lowered cholesterol levels in our body because of the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in A2 ghee. A2 ghee benefits the heart because of its constituent, proline, which is known to strengthen heart muscles.
- Improved cognitive functioning due to regular consumption of A2 ghee is amongst ghee health benefits. This is because ghee nourishes our brain and the nervous system keeps brain cells active and healthy, thereby improving our memory retention, intellectual skills and concentration abilities.
- Another commonly known ghee benefit is that it is a rich source of nutrition for growing kids, especially babies. This is because it contains essential fats, vitamins and minerals like Omega-3 and fatty acids such as CLA, which are good for the heart and the brain. Neurological health problems like ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder occur in children who experience poor concentration and cognitive function. Foods rich in ghee can support the adequate brain function of affected children and help them tackle the disorder.
- Amongst the various ghee health benefits include A2 ghee’s high smoke point in comparison to vegetable oils. This means that even when cooked at high temperatures, A2 ghee does not release toxic fumes and preserves the nutritional value of the food being cooked.
- Amongst the ghee benefits Ayurveda include its ability to heal and moisturise our skin. A2 ghee benefits dry or burnt skin, provides a soothing effect and treats various skin disorders. As per a study published in the Indo-American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, washed ghee helps treat eczema and is good for inflammations. Besides this, A2 ghee and water can be used to relieve symptoms of ringworm like itching. This is an Ayurvedic treatment that proves ghee benefits in Ayurveda. In addition to that, the fatty acids which compose A2 ghee are useful to give us bright and glowing skin. A good remedy for dark circles includes desi ghee. This is an excellent substitute for under-eye creams in the market as it does not contain any harmful chemicals.
- Ghee is good for health for one more reason. It is excellent for our bones and reduces inflammation and degeneration of bones. In addition, A2 ghee benefits our joints when used topically during a massage by lubricating joints and reducing joint pain.
- A2 ghee benefits our body by improving our body’s metabolism and helping in weight loss by burning off stubborn fat in our body. A2 ghee is good for health as it contains all the essential amino acids which shrink fat cells. In addition to these, the Omega 6 and Omega 3 in A2 ghee help to reduce our body’s fat mass.
- A2 Ghee is a good substitute for regular ghee for people who are lactose intolerant. As A2 ghee is made of pure Loni, they do not contain milk solids. A2 ghee also contains a very minimal or negligible amount of casein, which is the ingredient that triggers indigestion in lactose-intolerant people. So, the lactose-intolerant can enjoy the flavour as well as ghee health benefits by using A2 ghee.
- Fats are essential for our body as they help our brain to develop as well as allow organs to function properly. While other food sources can contain unhealthy fats or cholesterol, A2 ghee benefits our body by providing unadulterated, pure and healthy fats. These healthy fats can maintain the health of our skin, hair, and other internal organs.
In comparison to regular ghee, the A2 desi may be more expensive. This is due to two main reasons- firstly, it uses the milk of grass-fed Desi cows whose milk yield is lower than cows that are injected with hormones and genetically modified to boost their milk yield. Secondly, A2 ghee is manufactured in extremely safe conditions and uses traditional mechanical methods to produce the highest quality ghee.
Many brands in the market boast or claim to manufacture pure organic ghee, but these can be misleading. So make sure to buy only A2 ghee, which is preferably extracted from Gir cow's milk using the Vedic extraction method. The price of A2 ghee ranges between 700-1500 INR for half a litre to one litre of ghee. So anything which costs cheaper than this is possibly not the original A2 ghee and may contain traces of adulteration.
Now that you know how important and beneficial A2 ghee is for good health, are you going to switch from your regular ghee to this pure, unadulterated form of ghee?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.