Why Ayurveda Loves Healthy Fats
Here’s the skinny on fats. Although fats have had a bad rap for a few decades, modern medicine has begun to see the importance of good quality fats in the diet. Ayurveda, however, has been using fats not only as a healthy part of a balanced diet but also as a powerful herb and spice vehicle for thousands of years! The utilization of fats in this way is called an anupan. Fats such as ghee, sesame oil, coconut milk, and cow’s milk are recognized as anupans and are valued for their ability to carry herbs and formulas deeper into specific tissues.
Two common types of fatty preparations are taila (medicated oil) and ghrita (medicated ghee). They are widely used as potent anupans that go deep into certain tissues and systems, such as the respiratory system, women’s lactation system, marrow and nervous tissue, adipose or fat tissue, muscle tissue, and blood tissue. These formulations enhance life, complexion, strength, and anabolism of the body.
The preparation processes of medicated oil and ghee creates low molecular fatty acids, which affects ease of absorption. Medicated oils contain low molecular fatty acids and are absorbed fast. They can be used in abhyanga for absorption of the herbs through the skin. Medicated ghees are traditionally used in a variety of ways, both externally or internally.
As you can see, in Ayurveda, we love our fats! They deliver herbs and spices deep into the tissues, increase absorption, and are deeply rejuvenative. Below is a delicious recipe that uses ghee as an anupan to bring wonderful benefits.
Dates Soaked in Ghee, Saffron, & Spices
Ghee, dates, and saffron are ojas-increasing foods. This recipe is for anyone wishing to increase their immunity and strength, as well as for anyone who is recovering from a surgery, illness, childbirth, or a stressful life experience. The spices and ghee work together to create a perfectly digestible formula for rejuvenation.
- 2 pinches cardamom powder
- 2 pinches cinnamon powder
- 36 whole dates
- 2 cups ghee
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 pinches saffron
De-pit the dates (do not soak them), cut in half, and closely pack into a quart-sized jar. Pulverize the saffron in a mortar and pestle. Liquify the ghee, and then mix in all spices. Pour over the dates. Close and shake out the bubbles. Store in cupboard (not in the fridge).
Enjoy one date per day.
There are many ways to use healthy fats as an anupan. Some formulas, such as Shatavari Ghee, infuse the herb directly into the fat base, while other recipes use nuts, seeds, or coconut oil as their healthy fat base.
However you choose to add more beneficial fats into your diet, remember you are taking part in a long, healthy tradition.