Fats have had a bad reputation for last decades but now modern medicine has begun to see the importance of good quality fats in the diet but Ayurveda has been recommending the use of healthy fats not only in the diet but also as a powerful vehicle for thousands of years. The utilization of healthy fats as a powerful vehicle is known as ‘Anupan’ in Ayurveda.
Two common types of fatty preparations in Ayurveda are:
- Ghrita (Medicated Ghee)
- Taila (Medicated Oil)
These two are widely used as potent vehicles that go deep into the tissues and body systems such as: respiratory system, reproductive system, nervous tissue, muscle tissue, blood tissue. The medicated oils and ghee help in absorption by creating low molecular fatty acids.
The medicated oils contain low molecular fatty acids. As a result, they get absorbed fast and can be used in Abhyanga (massage) for absorption of herbs through the skin.
The medicated ghees are traditionally used in a variety of ways in Ayurveda, both externally or internally.
Hence, in Ayurveda, healthy fats have immense importance. They are used to deliver herbs deep into the tissues, increase the absorption and are deeply rejuvenative.
Some of the benefits of Healthy Fats in Ayurveda:
- Cow Ghee (Clarified Butter): Ghee, also known as Ghrita has been utilized in Ayurveda for thousands of years. According to Ayurvedic texts, ghrita prepared from cow milk is superior.
- Ghee is strongly recommended in daily diet and Ayurvedic therapeutics such as Panchkaram Chikitsa or Anupana.
- Balances Pitta and Vata Doshas: Ghee balances Pitta dosha in the body. In Ayurveda, taking ghee in the afternoon is ideal especially during summer and autumn seasons. During summer season, taking desi ghee helps in calming the excess heat. During autumn season, Pitta dosha is naturally highly aggravated.
- Desi ghee when taken in evening helps in relieving Vata dosha symptoms such as: anxiety, disturbances in sleep etc.
- Taking desi ghee in the diet regularly is extremely beneficial for Vata type people. Vata type people have qualities such as: lighter, thin boned, have narrow spaces, scanty hair, dry skin, having nervous or anxious nature.
- For Digestion: Pitta dosha and digestive fire are inter-related. The substances that balance Pitta cause depletion of the digestive fire but desi ghee is an exception as it balances Pitta dosha and increases digestion strength as well.
- In a normal person, if digestion strength is a bit low, then ghee is useful in stimulating the digestive capacity but it does not help in Ama.
- For Dryness: For people suffering from extreme dry skin and dry voice in winter season, ghee along with milk helps in relieving dryness and inducing unctuousness. (Astang Hridya Sutrasthanam 16/41).
- Ghee for Newborn: In Ayurveda, 2-5 drops of ghee are advised to be given to newborn. (Astang Hridyam 1/9).
- Ghee is also advised for a lactating mother in Ayurveda as it adds nourishing qualities to the mother’s milk and fortifies milk with nourishing qualities as well. (Astang Hridyam 2/10).
Health Benefits of Oils in Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic science is incomplete without oils. Oils in Ayurveda are used for internal and external application.
Benefits of Oils according to Ayurveda: Externally, oils are used for Abhyanga (Massage). Ayurveda explains massage as one of the daily routines that everyone has to follow. Oil massage has a good effect on overall body system rather just having a local effect on the skin.
In case of Ayurvedic massage, when oil is applied directly over the target areas such as knees, the absorption and therapeutic action is quick. That’s why, extensive use of massage is recommended in number of disorders.
There are many benefits of Oil massage such as:
- It delays ageing.
- Relieves excess of Vata related disorders such as aches and pains.
- Nourishes body tissues.
- Improves skin tone and complexion.
- Induces good sleep.
- Improves vision.
What is the right time for Oil Massage?
Oil Massage is recommended early morning before taking bath. Oil massage/application can be done in the evening also as evening is dominated by Vata dosha but if massage is done in the evening, it is advisable to apply some hot fomentation after doing massage.
Thus, there is a wide description of healthy fats in Ayurveda.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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