Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2004

Janet Crane working on her mosaic paver at the 2004 OWA Retreat

The Miracle of Ghee

In August of this year, Debra Riordan, Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, presented the topic of health and healing based on Ayurvedic teachings, at the Casa Del Libro in San Francisco. During her presentation, she recommended using ghee.

Ghee is a specialized type of clarified butter which may be used as a cooking oil or condiment. When properly prepared, ghee does not require refrigeration (remember to use a clean utensil for dispensing). Ghee does not hydrogenate or burn when heated. Ghee internally nourishes all tissue levels and is especially beneficial for Vata and Pitta pacification.

Debra recommends Purity Farms ghee as a commercial brand. If however, you wish to prepare your own, here is her recipe:


a calm, meditative cook
wide mouth glass container(s)
heavy stainless steel or glass saucepan
1 pound unsalted organic butter
serving spoon or skimming
1 or 2 plates for ghee remnants
fine meshed strainer or cheesecloth
contents label


Sterilize glass container and serving spoon in boiling water for 2-3 minutes; set aside to dry. Container must be absolutely clean and dry before use.

Heat the butter gently in saucepan on low to medium setting, stirring continuously. Skim off foam with spoon into plate. Continue skimming and stirring for approximately 15-25 minutes. When the ghee starts to smell like buttered popcorn and the color turns a golden color, immediately remove the pan from the burner. (You will notice slight sediment at the bottom of the pan at this time). Stir the ghee one last time and allow to stand for 20-25 minutes. (This will allow the oil to thicken slightly for more effective separation from the sediment and foam). Pour ghee into the sterilized, dry container through the strainer or cheesecloth. The remaining foam and sediment may be mixed with brown sugar, herbs or spices and eaten as a snack with the next day. Label container with contents and date. Enjoy your homemade ghee!

For more information about Ayurvedic practices, contact Debra Riordan at 415.455.9578, or email her at

View this page in your browser