Enhance Herbal Absorption with Fats

Digestion and Fat Metabolism

Ayurveda places significant emphasis on the importance of fats to boost the effectiveness of herbs. Central to Ayurvedic medicine is the concept of Agni, or the digestive fire, which is essential for health. Agni metabolizes food, and fats - referred to as 'Sneha' in Ayurveda - serve as a potent source of energy that promotes slow and complete digestion, aiding in the absorption of nutrients and herbs.

Fats are prized in Ayurveda for their Snigdha (oily) quality, which moistens and nourishes the body tissues. This property is crucial not just for maintaining physical health but also for allowing herbs to penetrate deeper into the body, thus enhancing their healing properties.

How it works

Fats significantly improve the delivery of herbal medicines by increasing the solubility of many herbal compounds that are lipophilic (able to be dissolved in or absorbed by fats.)This increases their absorption through cellular lipid layers and even across the blood-brain barrier, boosting the overall effectiveness of the herbs.

For instance, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, dissolves in fats, enhancing its bioavailability when ingested with substances like ghee or oils, thereby amplifying its beneficial effects such as reducing inflammation and combating oxidative stress. This is one reason in cooking, that turmeric is first cooked in oil or ghee, before being added to the other ingredients.

In addition, this is also why we often recommend taking our Authentic Shilajit with a fat and why we include grass-fed ghee in our Authentic Chyawnprash.

Traditional Ayurvedic Fat-Based Herbal Formulations

In Ayurvedic tradition, there are numerous methods of preparing herbs with fats to enhance their absorption:

  • Ghritas: These are ghee-based formulations where herbs are infused into ghee.
  • Tailas: These oil-based concoctions often use oils like sesame or coconut as bases for infusing herbs, commonly used for skin application, where the oil acts as a medium to transfer the herbs' properties through the skin.

How to Incorporate Fats to Enhance Herbal Absorption

Here are a few ways Ayurveda recommends to incorporate fats to gain the maximum benefits from herbal remedies…

  • Ingesting Herbs with Fats: To enhance herbal supplement absorption, include fats like nut butters or oils in your diet.
  • Herb-Infused Cooking: Cooking herbs in fats such as ghee or coconut oil helps release and enhance the bioavailability of their active compounds.
  • Herbal Ointments: Mixing herbs with oils for topical use efficiently delivers their benefits directly through the skin, ideal for alleviating pain and improving skin health.

Ready to get cooking with some healthy fats?

Check out these easy and healthy recipes.