By Vicki, Local Grocery Brands Coordinator
You may have been hearing the words “clarified butter” or ghee a lot recently. Since there has been an interest in more alternative medicine approaches other than our western way, people have started to look at Ayurveda for a way to feel better in life. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient healing systems in the world, developed by the sages of India thousands of years ago. Ayur means life, and veda means science or knowledge. So Ayurveda means the science or knowledge of life… who wouldn’t want to study the science of life?
Ghee is used in Ayurveda for balancing all constitutions in a person’s body. It is made from cooking butter at a very low heat for about 20 minutes or so, which removes the water in butter, and separates the milk solids and the fat from each other. Since the milk solids are removed, ghee is also safe for lactose intolerant individuals! YAY GHEE! There are numerous benefits to using ghee; improved digestion, better immune system, support for healthy levels of inflammation and just feeling like you are an awesome human being!
We'd like to introduce you to one of our favorite Ghee's in town - Full Moon Ghee. We want to emphasize how important sourcing is, and how mindfulness is important when you are a creator AND a consumer. Full Moon Ghee is made as “an act of service to our community, our ancestors, and ourselves.” The butter comes from extremely happy cows in Lee, Massachusetts, and the ghee is made ONLY on the Full Moon (hence, the name!). Why? Read the interview to find out!
Introducing Hannah Jacobson, one of the founders of Full Moon Ghee - sharing her knowledge of life with us below.
When and how did you get the idea for Full Moon Ghee? What caused you to start making ghee? Were there any major events that led to the creation?
While studying yoga and Ayurveda at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA, I began using lots of ghee in my meals. For my 28th birthday, a dear friend gave me a home made jar of ghee and I devoured it with the awareness that it was pure medicine for the body, mind, and spirit. It wasn't until a couple of years later, when Daniel Rainwater moved to the area that we began making ghee for our friends. I attended a farmer's market for my herbal company, Sweet Birch Herbals, and had a feeling customers would eat it up! The dozen or so jars were gone within the first few hours and we knew people were hungry for healthy, local, delicious ghee. Full Moon Ghee was brought into the world in 2015 with the intention of producing the highest quality ghee made from local butter on the full moon. We infuse each batch of ghee with prayers for health, vitality, expansion, creativity, and peace.
What are your favorite health benefits of ghee? Why do you use ghee?
I use ghee because there are countless health benefits including aiding the digestive tract, increasing assimilation of nutrients, therefore boosting energy levels, lubricating the joints internally, cleansing the colon, cooling irritated mucous membranes, strengthening to the hair, skin, eyes, and it contributes to a healthy immune system. Ghee contains omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, along with vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee made from the butter of pastured cows is one of the highest natural sources of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. It also has 9 phenolic antioxidants, as well as numerous other minerals. When I eat ghee daily, I generally feel more sustained energy throughout the day.
Why is it important to you to buy locally sourced organic products? Is organic important to you?
It is important to support the local food economy not only as a consumer, but also as a producer. The core value of Full Moon Ghee is to support local dairy farms by sourcing butter from them. I try to purchase mostly local and organic products as a consumer, however organic dairy can be challenging for small farms in New England when prices of feed are more than double for organic. The organic certification process can be cost prohibitive for small dairy farms, even if they are already following organic practices. That is why we source all of our butter from High Lawn Farm in Lee, MA, a farm we trust after visiting and speaking with the farmers. High Lawn Farm grows the hay and silage for their well cared for cows. The feeling I get when I'm at the farm is pure delight. We want that uplifting energy in our ghee.
How did you have the idea to only make the ghee on the Full Moon?
Ghee is traditionally made on the waxing moon according to ancient Ayurvedic texts. While traveling in India, I asked ghee producers, grandmothers, and farmers what the significance of the moon is on the ghee. They explained that when the moon is waxing, the grass is reaching upward toward the sky. The cows eat the grass full of minerals and waters of the Earth pulled by the moon, which inevitably transfers into the milk. This theory is similar the biodynamic methods of organic agriculture drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner in 1924. To make ghee from the butter of the cow on the waxing moon is special because it infuses that expansive energy into the holy oil, which we then consume, becoming part of our bodies. When I asked, "What if it's made on the full moon?" I always got the same answer: "Making ghee on the full moon is very auspicious."
Since you are making a product that is “energetic” in nature, what do you do when the energy in you, or around you, isn’t positive at the moment?
This is a great question because it raises even another question: "What is positive vs. negative?" In my attempts to raise the vibrations around me, I try to let go of the limiting dichotomies of "good" and bad." Instead, I welcome all the sensations, no part left out. As I learned in India, before making ghee, it is important to bathe and offering gratitude to the cows, the moon, the sun, the water, the fields, the farmers, and all the elements in nature which sustain us on Earth. The time around the Full Moon can often be emotionally challenging and we wonder why we chose this time to make ghee. However, I believe the moon chose us. She is our teacher. Every time we make ghee, even when we begin from a place of suffering, our moods shift because we are remembering that the transformation that takes place while making ghee is sacred. Rituals deepen our acceptance of ourselves. Our commitment to making ghee on the full moon is an act of service to our community, our ancestors, and ourselves.
In what other ways is the moon important to us?
The Moon mirrors how the cycles of nature are within and around us all the time. We are not separate from nature. Healing takes root when we remember our innate connection to the source of all the elements: fire, water, earth, air, and wood.
Who has influenced you the most in your life?
My Mother and Father, for their steadfast commitment to unity, equality, and justice.
In what ways do you want to influence the world?
I want to reflect how deeply lovable each person is by simply being here on Earth. My offering is nourishing medicine made with intentions of healing, harmony, and peace.
Thank you Hannah for sharing your story and passion for mindfully made ghee with us! You can find Full Moon Ghee on our shelves in our healthy fats section. Just ask someone on staff to point you in the right direction!
This blog post — The Buttery Goodness of Full Moon Ghee — is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.