Fat sources of our diet and the most compatible healthy type and their effects on our health have been a point of research and discussion ofr decades now. Surprisingly we have been finding some contradictory studies about what to take, how to take, when to take, how much to take etc etc … And if we turns towards Ayurveda for an opinion about this, I must say, Ayurveda gives most convincing descriptions in various contexts about the “fat” sources or in technical terms called as “sneha” dravyas. So let’s have a very very small bird’s eye view on the same.
As all of us know, Ayurveda has been endorsing the health benefits of oils and ghees and rightly so. But that is not all. It has other fat sources to offer as well. All these fat sources belong to either plant source or animal source ( sthavara and jangama origin ). In this write up, let’s see what are the important four and their properties.
1. Ghee – well, many of us might have read a lot about the benefits it carry on our health. Also called as clarified butter in the western countries, it is extremely beneficial to our body… Charaka samhita quotes that, ghee is in general alleviating vata and pitta doshas. It is as such cold in potency… It is very important to note that ghee is very nourishing to all dhatus of the body and improves strength. It has insane capabilities to treat the insanity and psychiatric disorders. It is medhya i.e. improves intellect and boosts memory. It is important to acknowledge that ghee has very good effect on the reproductive health too. Having said all these properties, these are just general ones. Ghee is said to be,”samskarasya anuvartanaat”, which means, ghee gets the property of or acts as per it’s processing and drugs added. This property of ghee makes it multi-dimensional and heavily useful to treat almost all conditions.
2. Taila – this is a plant based fat. This is in general very commonly used in treatments and has great clinical significance…. This type of fat is said to be ushna veerya ( hot in potency). It is a very good medium for reducing vata but it keeps kapha unaffected. It is good for skin health and provides strength in general. And most importantly at last, charaka acharya says that it is good for treating yoni or female reproductive system related diseases (yoni vishodhana).
2. Vasa – vasa is nothing but the muscle fat which helps in the smooth functioning of muscles. It is generally used in the treatment of injuries, fractures, traumas, uterine prolapse and in pains related to ear and health. Vasa is also said to be, pourusha upachaya i.e good in male reproductive health. Apart from these, it can also be used by people who are used to heavy physical activities daily for better muscular strength and stamina.
4. Majja – literally known as bone marrow, it is also possessing good number of medicinal uses. It is said to stabilise and increase, strength, shukra dhatu, rasa dhatu and medo dhatu. It also increases kapha dosha. People who want bone strength can be recommended daily use of majja.
Along with these general properties, charaka acharya also mentions the right seasons for use of these fat substances. Like eg- ghee is better used in Sharad rutu (autumn), vasa and majja can be better used in vasanta rutu (madhava rutu) and oils can be used in pravrut rutu (early days of monsoon).
This was just a small introduction to the properties of fats. Let’s discuss about each of these fats in detail in the coming days. Until then,
Happy time!!! Stay tuned !!!!