Ghee and Goat Wisdom: Ayurveda's Holistic Magic

My name is Neha Thakkar and I am from Portland, Oregon. I am currently a third year student at UCLA majoring in psychology and minoring in public health. This Food Studies class has given me valuable insight into my Chinese zodiac sign, the goat, and how it relates to my studies. The goat acts as a symbol of gentleness, kindness, and peace in Chinese culture. 2024, the year of the dragon, is said to bring the goat zodiacs exciting opportunities, as well as tricky situations this year.

As a psychobiology major who analyzes the intersection of psychology and biology, I have a keen interest in studying  holistic approaches to health and well-being. My major has taught me that the mind and body are closely intertwined, and that they both must be kept healthy and nourished in order for an individual to be healthy. One of the holistic approaches with this framework that intrigues me most is Ayurvedic medicine. This approach to medicine is one of the world's oldest medical systems, and it focuses on balancing the mind, body, and spirit. Thus, Ayurvedic medicine aligns seamlessly with my perspective as a psychobiology major by recognizing the influence of both psychological and biological factors on an individual's health. To this day, Ayurvedic medicine remains one of India's traditional health care systems and as an Indian myself, I have heard a lot about it growing up so I was eager to learn about how it connects to my Chinese zodiac sign.


Delving into the framework of Ayurvedic medicine, it revolves around the Earth’s five elements: aakash (space), jala (water), prithvi (earth), teja (fire), and vayu (air). A combination of each element results in three humors, or doshas, known as vata, kapha, and pitta, which are believed to be responsible for a person’s physiological, mental, and emotional health.


I was surprised to find out that my Chinese zodiac sign, the goat, is integrated in Ayurvedic medicine in a myriad of ways, and specifically with the vata dosha. For example, a goat’s ghee is considered part of the vata dosha; the ancient texts of Ayurveda testify to the fact that ghee was considered a potent medicine. Goat ghee was administered to patients with a weak constitution, because it was easily digestible compared to cow's ghee.


Goat milk is another great source of health benefits, according to ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Because goats perform a lot of physical activity and eat pungent grass and plants, these qualities of the goat get attributed to goat milk, which in turn allows us to reap its benefits. I was also surprised to discover that goat milk is especially useful for those who have respiratory diseases. 

Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum, Ayuvedic Practitioner on the Benefits of Goat's Milk:  

Moreover, a wide range of Ayurvedic medicines contain goat milk as a key ingredient. Some examples of these medicines include Kumkumadi Tailam, which is used to treat acne, Anu Thailam, which is used as a herbal nasal oil, and Saraswata Ghrita, which is used to help treat children with certain neurological disorders. It can also be used to treat gout, in which an ointment made up of goat’s ghee, and the powder of Godhuma which contains wheat and goat’ milk. Evidently, goat products are diverse in the range of health problems that they can help treat and they offer a myriad of health benefits.


Evidently, goat products such as milk and ghee can offer a myriad of Ayurvedic health benefits. My exploration into Ayurvedic medicine has not only deepened my understanding of holistic medicine, but it has also revealed intriguing connections between this ancient practice and my Chinese zodiac sign, the goat. 



Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth | NCCIHNational Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (.gov) › health › ayurvedic-medici…,ghee%20into%20a%20daily%20diet

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