By Dr JV Hebbar BAMS, MD (Ayu), PGDPSM
The supernatant thin, watery part of the ghee is called the scum of ghee. It is used extensively in Ayurveda to treat bleeding, pain, hiccup, dry cough, Panchakarma complications, migraine etc.
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ghṛtamaṇḍo ghṛtoparistyānabhāgaḥ| Chakrapani commentary on Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 18/155
घृतमण्डो घृतस्योपर्यच्छो भागः|
ghṛtamaṇḍo ghṛtasyoparyaccho bhāgaḥ|Dalhana commentary on Sushruta Samhita, Nidanasthana, 16/11.
Ghrithamanda is the supernatant, clear, unctuous liquid of ghee.
Take the freshly prepared ghee in a wide mouthed vessel. Leave it undisturbed for a few hours. Allow the dense viscous part to settle at the bottom. Collect the supernatant part (10-20% of the top layer) gently. This is the scum of ghee.
madhuraḥ – sweet
sara – eases movement of fluids and contents in body channels, eases bowels
yoni śrotra akṣi śirasāṃ śūlaghno – relieves pain in vagina, ears, eyes and head
basti nasya akṣipūraṇeṣu upadiśyate – Used for enema, nasal drops, eye drops, Tarpana etc. procedures.
Ghrutamanda is very similar to ghee, slightly drier, minute, thinner,
varṇya – promotes skin health, glow
drava – thin, less viscous
laghu: tīkṣṇo – light to digest, deep penetrating, enters deep into body channels
dīpanaḥ – promotes digestion strength
śukravṛddhikṛt – promotes semen, sperm production
Dhanvantari Nighantu mentions bitter taste.
In case of bleeding hemorrhoids or bleeding from the gut due to adverse reaction of Panchakarma, scum of ghee (Ghruthamanda) is administered as enema. References for this are given below. This indicates that scum of ghee acts as coolant and styptic. It balances Pitta dosha.
It is administered as nasal drops. This indicates that scum of ghee balances Vata Dosha.
It is administered as nasal drops, as paste, orally and also as enema.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 26th chapter, Trimarmeeya Chikitsa Verse number 232
In case of eye disorder with Vata aggravation, leading to severe pain in and around the eye region, orbital pain, Ghritamanda is mixed with ginger and rock salt. A thick paste is prepared and applied externally around the eye region.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 14th Chapter – Arsha Chikitsa, Verse 224
कोष्णेन वातप्रबले घृतमण्डेनानुवासयेच्छीघ्रम्|
koṣṇena vātaprabale ghṛtamaṇḍenānuvāsayecchīghram|
In case of bleeding hemorrhoids, if bleeding doesn’t stop and there is aggravation of Vayu, then the patient will have symptoms such as – bloating, lack of flatus, feces will be hard, rough and brownish, red blood with frothing will appear. Patient will have pain the hip, anal and abdominal regions.
In such a condition, patient is given instantaneous fat enema (Anuvasana Basti) with the help of Luke- warm Ghrtamanda (Upper portion of the ghee). 60-100 ml is usually used for this purpose. This helps to relieve the dryness, release the flatus and stop the bleeding.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 17th Chapter, Shloka 132
सुखोष्णं घृतमण्डं वा सैन्धवेनावचूर्णितम्। नावयेत्
sukhoṣṇaṃ ghṛtamaṇḍaṃ vā saindhavenāvacūrṇitam| nāvayet
For the treatment of hiccups and breathing difficulties, supernatant liquid of ghee is heated to lukewarm, mixed with rock salt and administered as nasal drops.
Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 18th Chapter, Kasa Chikitsa, Verse:155
शूने सवेदने मेढ्रे पायौ सश्रोणिवङ्क्षणे| घृतमण्डेन मधुनाऽनुवास्यो मिश्रकेण वा||१५५||
śūne savedane meḍhre pāyau saśroṇivaṅkṣaṇe| ghṛtamaṇḍena madhunā’nuvāsyo miśrakeṇa vā||155||
In case of Kshayaja Kasa, cough due to tissue depletion, as in case of chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis, if there is swelling and pain in penis, anal and groin region, fat enema – Anuvasana basti is administered with scum of ghee and honey or ghee with oil (Mishraka Sneha).
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 21st chapter, Visarpa Chiktisa, Verse 94
If the herpes is caused due to excessive aggravation of Vata, Rakta and Pitta, then the Physician should sprinkle (Seka Chikitsa) frequently with
the scum of ghee
or cooled milk
or cooled decoction of Licorice
or the cooled decoction of Pancha-Valkala.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 26th chapter, Trimarmeeya Chikitsa, 197, 199
Mrudvikadi churna – Raisins, kutki, ginger, black pepper, long pepper, Triphala churna are mixed with scum of ghee. This is used for gargling or kept in the mouth for a few moments to relieve throat disorders, pharyngitis and laryngitis.
An herbal powder called Peetaka Churna, prepared with Manashila, alkali of barley (Yavakshara), haratala, rock salt and tree turmeric bark is mixed with scum of ghee and honey. It is applied locally in the oral cavity or used for gargling to treat throat disorders.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 28th Chapter, Verse 123
Bala (Sida cordifolia) and bael root are boiled in milk, filtered. It is added with scum of ghee and cooked till only ghee part remains, filtered. 12 – 24 ml of this ghee is used as nasal drops to treat the aggravated Vata Dosha afflicting the head, leading to migraine, sleeplessness, neuralgia etc. symptoms.
Charaka Samhita, Siddhi Sthana, 6th Chapter, Vamana Virechana Vyapat Siddhi, verse 84
If Vamana or Virechana treatment goes wrong and leads to bleeding, then scum of ghee is used for administering fat enema – Anuvasana basti.
Sushruta Sahmita, Chikitsa Sthana, 34th chapter Vamana Virechana Vyapat 13, 16
In case of excess virechana, leading to bleeding, fruit of Gambhari, ber fruit, Durva grass and nut grass (Usheera) are boiled with milk, added with Ghrita manda and Srotanjana (aqueous extract of tree turmeric), allowed to cool down and given as enema (Asthapana Basti).
In a person with soft bowels (Mrudu koshta), with low digestion strength, if Virechana is administered with excessive dry, saline, strong medicines, it leads to aggravation of Vata and Pitta and severe itching in anal region (Parikartika). Here, Cold water should be sprinkled on anal region, milk should be administered orally and fat enema should be administered with Ghritamanda or Yashtimadhu oil.
Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 5th Chapter, Mahavata Vyadhi Verse 12
A warm paste (Pradeha) prepared with scum of ghee mixed with milk, sandalwood, Musta, Shatavari, dill seeds, licorice etc. herbs is applied externally to treat Vata Disorders associated with neuropathy and pain.
Sushruta Samhita, Uttaratantra, 18/7
Ghritamanda is used for Tarpana eye treatment.
Sushruta Samhita, Uttaratantra 40/149
In case of dysentery, black gram, cooked with ghritamanda, sprinkled over with black pepper powder is administered as a diet.
Ghritamandam, Ghruthamandam, Sarpimanda, Sarpirmanda, Ajyamanda