Our bodies are exposed to a barrage of toxins, day in and day out, and we probably do not even realise it. When we eat, breathe, touch or pretty much do anything, we inhale, ingest or absorb harmful toxins that can affect every part of the body, the brain in particular.
These toxins can build up over time and get deposited deep into our tissues, leading to various health issues, including emotional stress. Ayurveda has for centuries used cow ghee as a vehicle for cleansing the body of its toxins through the process of Panchakarma. While this is a detailed process that usually extends over a period of 28 days, and involves oil enemas, herbal purgatives, vomit therapy and ingestion of hot, medicated ghee over a period of one week, a simpler detox using just pure cow ghee can be done at home.
Before we get into the method, let’s talk a bit about why you should use ghee to cleanse your system.
Why is Pure Ghee an effective cleansing agent?
Ghee has the ability to penetrate deep into tissues and cells, making it a favorite carrier substance in Ayurveda. Medicated desi cow ghee, i.e. ghee infused with medicinal herbs is used to target tissues, channels and systems for healing purposes, and ghee as such is used for lubricating the intestinal tract.
What makes ghee an effective cleansing agent is its ability to pull out stubborn fat-soluble toxins hidden deep inside tissues and cells, and flush them out of the body. Ghee also triggers fat metabolism, i.e. it makes the body burn its own fat by increasing oxygen consumption.
More specifically, ghee helps detox in the following ways –
- Getting old bile out and new bile in: The liver creates bile, a greenish-yellowish fluid which aids in the absorption and digestion of fats, and fat-soluble vitamins, in the small intestine. The bile produced by the liver is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder, and when bile stays in the gallbladder for too long it can turn into thick, viscous gallbladder sludge. Ghee helps the gallbladder flush out old bile and stimulates the liver to produce new bile, thus preventing old toxic bile from being reabsorbed.
- Flushes toxins out: As mentioned earlier cow ghee has the ability to penetrate minute channels in the body, and do away with obstructions easily. This enables it to easily spread into tissues and get quickly absorbed. When cleansing with ghee, it saturates the tissues, forcing all the fat-soluble toxins out of the cells and pushing them into the intestines for removal from the body.
- Helps keep intestines healthy: Ghee is a superfood rich in butyric acid, which is a short-chain fatty acid that provides nourishment to the cells in the intestines, reduces inflammation, and helps protect the integrity of the gut wall. In fact, microbes in the intestines themselves create butyric acid from fiber that we eat. People with unhealthy digestive tracts do not create enough butyric acid and ghee can help support intestinal function all the more in such cases.
- Makes hardened tissues, soft: Melted ghee that is ingested during the process of cleansing has the ability to penetrate and lubricate tissues, thus softening the hardened tissues in the body.
- Burns fat, keeps you energetic and happy: When cleansing with ghee, it is consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This, coupled with a non-fat diet that is to be followed, sends the body directly into a state of fat metabolism. This leads to burning of fat, which in turn leads to higher energy levels and reduced stress.
How to detox at home with ghee
A ghee cleanse is essentially a process of oleation wherein warm melted cow ghee is ingested daily morning, in increasing amounts, and the body is kept on a low fat diet. The ghee needs to be consumed on an empty stomach, and you can take up to 2-3 tsp a day, followed by a few sips of warm water. You can plan to do a 3 day detox over any weekend. Here are a few things to follow during a ghee detox –
- Eat easy to digest foods – Avoid fatty foods during a ghee cleanse, and stick to light on the stomach foods such as steamed vegetables, khichari, fresh fruits, lentil and vegetable soups, millets, quinoa, pumpkin and fennel seeds etc. Also avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, fried foods, meat, processed/packaged food etc. Eating a simplified diet aids the process of detoxification by helping the body to direct its efforts towards mobilising and eliminating accumulated toxins.
- Hydrate – it is extremely critical to stay hydrated during a detox, so that waste and toxins that get pulled out of their hiding places by ghee, can be easily flushed out of the system. While drinking around 8 glasses of water a day is good, you can also try drinking ginger tea (without milk added) which can help boost the digestive system.
- Massage your body with ghee – along with internal ingestion of ghee, it is also important to massage your body externally, preferably also with ghee. Massaging with warm ghee helps increase circulation, stimulates internal organs, aids detoxification by moving lymph fluid, and also assists in the elimination of impurities from the body. Massage daily for 15-20 minutes, starting with your feet and working your way up. A ghee massage session should be followed by 5-10 minutes of rest and a nice warm shower.
- Exercise – this is an important activity during a ghee cleanse. Exercising for at least 20 minutes each day, helps generate heat and sweat, which in turn helps detoxify the body by removal of toxins through the skin.
- Meditate – A detox with ghee also aids in the release of emotional toxins, i.e. not so happy memories and negative emotions that are stored in fat cells too. You may experience an upheaval in emotions during a ghee cleanse as a result, and meditation can help you stay calm and centered.
At the end of the detox, you will be left feeling rejuvenated and energised, with increased mental and emotional clarity. It is important to make sure that you gently ease back into your previous routine and eating habits post a detox. However, those suffering from heart issues, diabetes or any such health conditions, should consult a doctor before attempting a detox using ghee.
Apart from being an effective detox agent, ghee has several other health benefits because of which you should consider including it in your daily diet. Make sure you buy pure grass-fed cow ghee or A2 cow ghee, which contain maximum nutrients and are most beneficial for your health.