Delicious Indian cuisine is incomplete without dollops of ghee or clarified butter. The holy ingredient with royal color and breathtaking flavor plays a huge role in cooking practices across India as well as a lot of other countries around the globe. It is known to be one of the healthiest forms of fat that can be consumed by human beings. But that’s not enough about ghee as the tasty substance has much more to offer to you. Surprised? Well, apart from the culinary uses, ghee can be used for taking great care of our skin and hair. You may have memories of how your mother used to feed you a spoonful of desi ghee daily during those childhood days. It is not only because the ingredient can support your health but also because it extends its benefits to your beauty. Read further to trace the reasons of using ghee for hair and skin by going beyond cuisine and how to pamper yourself with it for that purpose.
What Is Ghee?
Ghee is basically plain clarified butter, prepared from animal milk (cow’s or buffalo’s milk) products. It is a highly admired Ayurvedic remedy, which has been part of our lives for centuries. Scientists term classified ghee as anhydrous milk fat as it primarily contains fat and lacks water. During the process of making ghee, butter is simmered for a specific period of time to separate out the milk solids or fat. As the water gets evaporated completely, it leaves behind the fat with a distinctive golden-yellow color and a nutty taste. It is filtered to produce pure ghee (also called ‘desi ghee’ or ‘asli ghee’) as the final product. Though untreated butter is preferred, other ones like salted butter, spiced butter, nigur kibe (melted and refined butter from Ethiopia), etc. can also be used for this purpose. Being full of nutrition, ghee is considered as a good choice for both therapeutic as well as cosmetic uses (1).
Ghee has a higher smoke point (240 Degree C) than butter (175 Degree C). So, it can withstand higher temperatures than commonly used plant-based oils and animal fats.
Nutritional Profile Of Ghee
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Research and Technology in 2014, ghee is rich in essential fatty acids (linolenic acid and arachidonic acid), short-chain fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), antioxidants, and trace elements (iron, copper, and carotenoids). The amounts of these nutrients can, however, vary from one manufacturer to another. Typically, ghee is 100% fat with no protein or carbohydrate. In other words, every 100 gms. of ghee contains 100 gms. of fat in which 60 gms. are saturated fat only. A tablespoon of ghee has 300 IU of vitamin A and 130 calories too. and While the nutrient values of ghee are more or less similar to those of butter, the best thing about this ingredient is that it is lactose-free (2).
As ghee undergoes degradation over time, its color, aroma, flavor, and nutrtional value change significantly. Commercial ghees come infused with natural or synthetic antioxidants, which prolong the shelf life of the ingredient by minimizing degradation.
Health Benefits Of Ghee
Even though ghee contains lots of saturated fat, it is considered to be much healthier than other forms of fat available in the market. This is because the fat content of ghee mostly comprises essential fatty acids and short-chain fatty acids, which are categorized into healthy fats. While medium- and long-chain saturated fatty acids are sourced from animals, short-chain saturated fatty acids are obtained from plants. This makes them a healthier choice compared to other options. Let us have a glimpse of the health benefits offered by ghee:
- A good source of healthy fats that can be chosen by people with higher levels of bad cholesterol in order to stay healthy
- Packed with antioxidants and easy to digest, which increases the absorption of essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals)
- Rich in vitamin-soluble vitamins, which help in making our immune system stronger and keep fatal diseases away
- Anti-inflammatory properties of ghee aid in the treatment of inflammation, swelling, and redness along with the healing of wounds and burns
- Provides relief from cold and cough naturally and instantly
- Soothes eye irritation and improves eyesight
Consumption of excessive saturated fat is associated with increased levels of cholesterol in the body, which can be detrimental for the cardiovascular health in the long run.
Read Also – 10 Factors To Consider ‘Desi Ghee’ As A Plus For Our Health
Why Use Ghee For Hair And Skin?
From creams to conditioners, we are bombarded with tons of skincare and haircare products every single day. All those glitzy commercial products hold the promise of beautiful skin and lustrous hair. But replacing them with a simple natural alternative therapy like ghee can work even better. Here are 12 amazing reasons to use ghee for hair and skin:
1. Hydrates Super Dry Skin
Ghee can hydrate naturally dry to super dry skin very well. Being 100% fat, it contains all good fatty acids that are essential to induce hydration in our skin cells.
2. Works As A Face Moisturizer
Not only your body and limbs but ghee can also moisturize the delicate skin of your face effectively. Use of ghee as a face moisturizer for 2-3 times a week can make it incredibly soft and smooth.
3. Gives Bright, Glowing Skin
If you want to brighten your skin from inside out, nothing can be a better option than ghee. It basically purifies the entire system and seals in the natural moisture of the skin. Consequently, the dull, dry skin becomes healthy and glowing.
4. Prevents Aging Of Skin
Ghee is one of the best natural anti-aging solutions. It penetrates the layers of the skin and enters the tissues, thereby making the cells healthy and youthful. As a result, we can stay away from the signs of premature aging.
5. Substitutes Bath Oil
Being an excellent body massaging agent, ghee can replace our traditional bath oil too. It will give you a silky smooth skin and that too at a minimal cost.
6. Reduces Dark Under-Eye Circles
Forget spending thousands of bucks for under-eye creams or serums. Getting rid of those panda eyes becomes really easy with ghee as it comes loaded with vitamin A, E, and K as well as antioxidants.
7. Freshens Up Tired Eyes
Apart from reducing dark circles, ghee can also help in rejuvenating dull, tired eyes. The lubricating and nurturing qualities of the ingredient can make the subtle skin of the undereye area refreshed, moist, and really bright upon regular use. It can also make the exhausted eyes completely relaxed.
8. Makes Chapped Lips Smoother
As said previously, ghee can lock in the natural moisture of the skin. Hence, it can be used for hydrating dry chapped lips too.
9. Lightens Pigmented Lips
Pure desi ghee can also reduce lip pigmentation to a great extent. If you are dying to lighten your dark lips, start using this ingredient every night. Beautiful pink pout will be on your way.
10. Conditions Dry Hair Deeply
Ghee is a natural conditioner can make dry, rough, and frizzy hair healthy-looking by conditioning it deeply. Be sure that your locks will turn extremely soft and smooth.
11. Repairs Split Ends
Dry, coarse hair means lots of split ends. But with ghee, you can easily fight against this common issue.
12. Turns Hair Smooth and Shiny
Ghee improves the texture of hair drastically. It imparts smoothness, extra shine, and beautiful bounce to it so that you fall in love with your locks all over again.
How To Use Ghee For Hair And Skin?
Now, as you know the advantages of including ghee in your beauty routine, here are how to do that effortlessly
1. For Hydrated Skin
Warm up a considerable amount of ghee and apply it all over your body. Massage it thoroughly for 3 to 5 minutes and take a bath after half an hour.
2. For Soft, Supple Face
Take equal amounts of pure ghee and water. Blend them well together and apply the mixture to your facial skin. Massage it deep into the skin and wash off after 15 minutes with fresh cold water.
3. For Natural Radiance
Prepare a face mask by mixing raw milk and besan or masoor dal with an equal amount of pure ghee and apply the thick paste all over your face evenly. Wait for 15-20 minutes. Once dries out, rinse it with cold water.
4. For Youthful Appearance
All you need to do is to take a good amount of pure desi ghee and rub your skin with it. If massaged into the skin every day, it offers pretty impressive results.
5. For Silky, Smooth Skin
Combine equal quantities of ghee and coconut oil and apply the oil mixture to your skin. Let it sit for half an hour and then take a shower to reveal soft, velvety skin.
6. For Treating Dark Circles
Apply ghee liberally on your upper eyelids and under the eyes daily before going to bed. Next morning, wash it off with plain water. This treatment is very much effective in reducing dark circles around the eyes.
7. For Brighter Eyes
Take a teaspoon of pure ghee and massage it into the skin around your eyes by using the tip of your ring finger. Make sure that you apply very light pressure and wait until the ingredient is absorbed completely into the skin.
8. For Healing Chapped Lips
Pour a drop of ghee onto your fingertip and massage it into the lips gently. Leave it overnight. Your lips will be soft, supple and absolutely kissable in the morning.
9. For De-Pigmented Lips
Take a few drops of pure ghee and massage your lips with it gently. Leave it for the whole night. Wash off the next morning. Keep repeating until your lip natural color is restored.
10. For Conditioned Hair
Prepare a rich oil-blend by mixing equal amounts of ghee and olive oil or coconut oil. Give your hair a thorough massage with it for 15-20 minutes and wash off with a mild herbal shampoo.
11. For Removing Split Ends
Warm it up a little and apply to the ends of your tresses. After an hour or so, rinse with a mild shampoo and cold water.
12. For Smooth, Shiny Hair
Warm up a little ghee and apply it all over your tresses. Rinse with a mild shampoo and cold water after 1-2 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is ‘Shata Dhauta Ghrita’ In Ayurveda?
It is an age-old Ayurvedic remedy used for treating several skin conditions including dryness, acne scars, herpes wounds, burning sensation. In this remedy, ghee is thoroughly washed with water for around 100 times to create a butter-like consistency with white color and an extremely smooth texture.
How To Store ‘Shata Dhauta Ghrita’?
Shata Dhauta Ghrita should always be stored in an airtight container. It contains moisture to some extent, which can cause degradation and lead to foul smell if exposed to air constantly. Also, make sure that you do not store it for more than 5-6 months.
Can I Apply Ghee On Face Overnight?
Ghee is an absolutely natural ingredient that can benefit your skin immensely. If you leave it on your face overnight, it will repair your skin cells and rejuvenate them to give you a healthier, brighter, and smoother skin in the morning.
- “Benefits Of Clarified Butter For Your Hair: Ghee For Glossy Hair”, CureJoy.com
- “Ghee Nutrition Information“, LiveStrong.com