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1Traditional Medicine Research  2019, Vol. 4 Issue (6): 293-304    DOI: 10.12032/TMR20190325111
Special Issue on Endocrine and Metabolism     
A systematical review of traditional Ayurvedic and morden medical perspectives on Ghrita (clarified butter): a boon or bane
Vd. Varnika Singh1, Vd. Shalini Rai1,*(), Vd. Vijay Kumar Rai2
1Department of Roga Nidan evum Vikriti Vigyan, All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India
2Department of Swasthavritta, Government PG Ayurveda College and Hospital, Varanasi, India.
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Ghrita (clarified butter), treated as the culprit of a number of diseases, has been depicted incorrectly for a long time. This review presents the complete picture in view of Ayurvedic perspective and recent researches on Ghrita to let the readers contemplate again on Ghrita.


Ghrita, also called as clarified butter in Sanskrita, has been used for more than 5, 000 years throughout the Indian subcontinent and has been an inevitable part of diet in the Indian cuisine. It has also been traditionally associated with a number of health benefits recorded in Charaka (the most ancient written text of Ayurveda dating to second century B.C.), such as promoting strength and longevity, promoting appetite and digestion, increasing cognition, etc.


Background: For long dietary guidelines, it is recommended to avoid foods rich in saturated fatlike Ghrita, also named clarified butter or ghee, which is considered as the culprit of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, etc. Contradictory to the modern medical science, Ayurveda advocated for numerous benefits of the usage of Ghrita in the judicious manner. This paper systematically reviews and analyses the scientific researches that carried out on the benefits and harms associated with the usage of Ghrita. Methods and Findings: A search over the various search engines like Pubmed, Google was made. The relevant articles and chapters from books retrieved in English language were saved to a folder and analysed for their utility relevant to the topic and the matter was presented in a systematic manner. Results: Ghrita consisted various fats (saturated, monosaturated and polyunsaturated), fatty acids, minerals, vitamins etc. And the composition of Ghrita varies along with the method of preparation. Scientific researches carried out on Ghrita plain as well as medicated have reported about the depressant effects of medicated Ghrita in gross behavioural tests, potentiated phentobarbitone sleeping time, analgesic effect and stimulatory effect on cognition. Further, studies conducted to evaluate the effect of Ghrita on the serum lipid levels showed a dose dependant decrease in the total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins, and very low density lipoproteins. Ghrita was also reported to have wound healing activity. Conclusion: The results of the study suggest the beneficial effects of plain as well as medicated Ghrita on the various components of health and break the myth associated to the exclusion of Ghrita in diet. These researches also substantiate the claims made by the classical texts of Ayurveda.

Key wordsAyurveda      Ghrita      Clarified butter      Ghee      Cardiovascular diseases      Diabetes     
Published: 05 November 2019
Corresponding Authors: Vd. Shalini Rai    
Cite this article:

Vd. Varnika Singh, Vd. Shalini Rai, Vd. Vijay Kumar Rai. A systematical review of traditional Ayurvedic and morden medical perspectives on Ghrita (clarified butter): a boon or bane. 1Traditional Medicine Research, 2019, 4(6): 293-304. doi: 10.12032/TMR20190325111


Components Values & units Components Values & units
Fats and fatty acids Mineral content
Total fats or lipids 99.48 g Calcium 4 mg
Saturated fat 61.924 g Iron 0 mg
Monounsaturated fat 28.732 g Magnesium 0 mg
Polyunsaturated fat 3.694 g Phosphorus 3.0 mg
Total omega-3 fatty acids 2966 mg Potassium 5 mg
Total omega-6 fatty acids 4606 mg Sodium 2 mg
Cholesterol 256 mg Zinc 0 mg
Vitamin content Copper 0 mg
Vitamin A 3069 IU Manganese 0 mg
Retinol 824 mcg Selenium 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 193 mcg Sterols
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg Cholesterol 525 mg
Vitamin C 0 mg Amino acids
Vitamin D 0 IU Tryptophan 0.004 g
Vitamin E 2.80 mg Threonine 0.013 g
Vitamin K 8.6 mcg Isoleucine 0.017 g
Thiamin 0.001 mg Leucine 0.027 g
Riboflavin 0.005 mg Lysine 0.022 g
Niacin 0.003 mg Methionine 0.007 g
Vitamin B-6 0.001 mg Cystine 0.003 g
Vitamin B12 0.01 mg Phenylalanine 0.014 g
Folate total 0 mg Tyrosine 0.014 g
Folic acid 0 mg Valine 0.019 g
Choline total 22.3 mg Arginine 0.010 g
Folate 0 mcg Histidine 0.008 g
Pantothenic acid 0 mg Alanine 0.010 g
Choline 45.7mg Aspartic acid 0.021 g
Lycopene 0 mcg Glutamic acid 0.059 g
Lutein + zeaxanthin 0 mcg Glycine 0.006 g
Other contents Proline 0.027 g
Water 0.24 g Serine 0.015 g
Table 1 Fat, fatty acids and non-fat nutrients contents in 100 g of Ghrita
Fatty acid distribution (%) Traditional Ghrita Commercial Ghrita
Linoleic acid 5.1 ± 0.544 6.2 ± 1.29
Arachidonic acid 0.157 ± 0.061 0.132 ± 0.037
α-Linolenic acid 3.66 ± 0.88 3.0 ± 0.7
Docosasahexanoic acid 0.083 ± 0.003 0.062 ± 0.002
Table 2 Composition of selected Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in homemade Ghrita as compared to commercially produced Ghrita
Fatty acid distribution (%) Traditional Ghrita Commercial Ghrita
Saturated fatty acid 72.4 73.2
Mono unsaturated fatty acid 18.6 17.5
n-6 5.38 6.3
n-3 3.7 3.1
n-3 : n-6 0.69 0.5
Table 3 Composition of fatty acids in homemade Ghrita as compared to commercially produced Ghrita
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