Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
When it comes to Indian culinary ingredients, Ghritam (ghee, or clarified butter), is the most sacred. In fact, it becomes a medicine when you apply it externally on your chest, upper back, and limbs to melt stubborn congestion. When phlegm accumulates in the chest, it not only makes breathing a chore but also makes you feel heavy, dull, demotivated, and lethargic. Lavanya Ghritam (Saline Ghee) is a simple two-ingredient remedy that helps break the phlegmatic cough and releases blockages in the respiratory channels through sweat.
My elder sister used to massage the Lavanya Ghritam on my body when I used to have chest congestion. She has such a healing touch. After the massage, I used to request her to wrap me up like a roti-wrap (similar to a burrito) so that no air touched my body. She used to laugh and roll me up in a blanket. Those memories are as special and alive in my heart as the light of the day. I am so grateful for the presence of healing touch and heritage remedies in the family.
How to Make Lavanya Ghritam (Saline Ghee) to Melt Chest Congestion
- 2 tbsp. Ghritam, or ghee (the older the ghee, the more medicinal value it has in transdermal application)
- 2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt (fine grain)
- Mix the ingredients and warm them up.
- Once the mixture cools down, pour it in an airtight jar or bottle and secure the lid.
- Keep this jar directly under sunshine for 3–5 days to allow the salt to slowly mix up with the fat.
- After 3–5 days the mixture is ready—it is called Lavanya Ghritam.
- 1 application
- Feel free to make a bigger batch and keep it handy in your kitchen pharmacy.
- 6 months
How to Use It:
- Warm 2 tbsp. of Saline Ghee. Apply it to the chest, upper back, upper arms, palms and foot soles.
- Massage it well, until you break into a sweat.
- Cover the body with a blanket and rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- For transdermal application only
Chest congestion, phlegmatic cough, heaviness in chest due to cold and cough
Salt has the properties of breaking the stubborn phlegmatic cough and retaining warmth. Ghee has the ability to be absorbed in deeper layers of the tissues carrying the salinity within. This combination works magic in early developing years of childhood when mucosal congestion is a regular guest.
When applying the saline ghee, make sure the ceiling fan and air conditioning are off and the doors and windows are closed. The application should be done in a closed room with minimal air/wind.
This recipe has been excerpted with permission from SOMA: 100 Heritage Recipes for Self-Care by Indu Arora.
Meet Indu Arora
Indu Arora, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapist considers herself a student for lifetime. She has been sharing about Yoga philosophy, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda since 1999. She is inspired by and taught under Kriya Yoga, Himalayan Yoga, Kashmir Shivaism, and Sivananda Yoga lineages. She has studied both Yoga and Ayurveda in a traditional Guru paramapara setting.
Her teaching style is rooted in empowering and inspiring students to awaken the inner Guru. Her core philosophy is, ‘Nothing has the greatest power to heal, but Self!”
Learn more at yogsadhna.com.