In India, approximately 39% of milk production is converted into ghee and butter. Ghee comprises of 98% triglycerides and 0.3% moisture. For its high calorific content, the consumers are looking for complementary or alternative products, which may either provide the same sensory profile as ghee or ghee with enhanced functional attributes. Fat, particularly ghee, has a high capacity to imbibe the medicinal components of different herbs without losing their own qualities. Exploring this concept, about 55-60 ghee varieties with medicinal attributes are mentioned in Ayurveda and many of them are used even today for treatment of various diseases [32].

Herbs contain phenolic compounds, which are considered for their high antioxidant properties. Natural antioxidants (herbs) have been utilized for preparing different functional foods, which are specifically formulated for people affected with diseases, particularly the cardiovascular diseases [50]. Anti-oxidative attribute of herbs have resulted into their increased use in various fat-rich daily products for decreasing the susceptibility to autooxidation and thus prolonging their shelf-life. Synthetic antioxidants (viz. butylated hydroxyl-toluene and butylated hydroxyl-anisole) are associated with the onset of cancer and other health problems. Moreover, consumers are increasingly demanding for additives derived from natural sources compared to synthetic-origin ingredients in food products [52]. Herbal extracts have many times higher antioxidant activity than their synthetic counterparts (viz., BHA) [23]. There is not enough research evidence on herbal ghee compared to ghee with synthetic antioxidants (Table 3.1). It can be clearly observed that the herb fortified ghee has superior antioxidant activity compared to synthetic ones.

Zegarska et al. [94] reported that ethanolic extract of sage (@ 0.1-0.2%) addition to sweet cream prior to churning resulted in lower peroxide value of butterfat during storage at ambient and elevated temperatures. Alcoholic extracts obtained from rosemary, sage, and oregano were reported to retard deteriorative processes, like oxidation and lypolisis, in butter [7]. Ozkan et al. [53] reported that incorporation of hydro-distilled extract of Satureja

TABLE 3.1 Reported Examples of Herbal Supplemented Ghee

Type of Ghee

Medicinal Plant




Buffalo ghee

Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

BHA (butylated hydroxyl-anisole)



Caraway (Carum caivil L.);

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.); and Coriander (Coriandum sativum L.)

BHT (butylated hydroxyl-toluene)


Cow ghee

Satavari (Asparagus racemosus)


Ashavgandha (Withania somnifera


Sheep ghee

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Mixture BHA; and BHT (1:1)


Ground sage (Salvia officinalis);

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)


cilicica (@ 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0% levels) in butter resulted in corresponding increase in the antioxidant activity in a linear fashion with respect to the concentration of essential oil (EO). However, no such effects were observed for sour-cream butter [7]. Addition of extracts of clove, caraway, and coriander resulted in an increase in the antioxidant activity in butter oil [5] and ghee [54]. Medicated ghee is prepared by mixing one part of herbs with 4 parts of ghee and 16 parts of liquid (water, milk, or extract of herb), and the mixture is boiled till all water is evaporated. Once the boiling is completed, ghee is clarified, cooled to room temperature, and stored in appropriate containers.

All the medicated ghee formulations prescribed in Ayun’eda are not meant for oral ingestion. Application of medicated ghee either by external or internal mode depends on the type of disease, categoiy of the herb used, and treatment period prescribed. Moreover, many medicated ghee preparations are prescribed to be used for a particular period of time rather than for regular use. Arjuna ghee was developed by adding the functional components of Terminalia arjuna for exhibiting protective activity against CVD. The product had higher oxidative stability than the ghee devoid of herb addition

[60]. Furthermore, Arjuna ghee can be used as an alternative to normal ghee in our daily diet, which is not possible for medicated ghee.


Lassi, a fermented milk beverage of Indigenous origin, is prepared by fermenting milk using lactic cultures and served in salted or sweet form with sour flavor. Owing to its acceptability in both salted and sweetened form, lassi is also often considered as most appropriate vehicle for herbal bioactives delivery. Hussain et al. [31 ] prepared functional lassi by utilizing Aloe vera herb. Combination of Lactobacillus paracasei and NCDC-60 cultures were used @ 2% for its preparation. The lassi also showed functional activity in terms of immune protective effects on mice during animal feeding trials.

Srikanth et al. [83] added Aloe vera juice into lassi for functional attributes. Addition of Aloe vera juice (@ 15% level) in lassi yielded highest sensoiy attributes. Probiotic dahi (curd) added with Aloe barbadensis Miller herb was also prepared by Desobry et al. [20]. Surprisingly, Aloe vera addition did not limited the activity of Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei L in dahi, although literature reports antimicrobial activity of herbs. Viability of probiotic bacteria was higher than 7 log cfu/ml on the 12th day of refrigerated storage.

Addition of catechins @100-2000 ppm level maintained the viability of Bifido-bacteria in yoghurt [3]. Similarly, aloin, the active component of herb Aloe vera, improved the survival of Bifidobacteria in yoghurt [61]. Bakirci [8] incorporated different herbs (viz,,Anhriscus sp., Thymus sp., Allium sp., and Ferule sp.) individually and these mixtures resulted in increased growth of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Furthermore, the authors observed a linear relationship between herb level and growth of starter culture and reported an increase in the growth of cultures with corresponding increase in the level of herb. However, no such effects was observed by Sarabi-Jamab and Niazmand [70], who reported significantly no difference (p>0.05) among the viability of Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures in control yoghurt samples and in samples exposed to different concentrations of extract of Ziziphora clinopodioides, Mentha piperita during refrigerated storage at 4°C.

Peng et al. [55] developed a technology for the preparation of de-alco- holized yogurt beverage using Hoveniadulcis and Pueraria iobata herbs. Sensorially well-acclaimed yoghurt was prepared by Hassan et al. [27] using garlic extract.

Tarakci et al. [85] supplemented different herbs in labneh (a traditional fermented beverage of Indigenous origin) and studied the associated effects on organoleptic and physicochemical attributes during storage. They found that all herbs affected the sensory attributes but to a different extent, i.e., the effect was dependent upon the herb used and each herb having a typical intensity of the effect. The authors reported that highest sensoiy scores were obtained for labneh added with dill and parsley herb. Others [13, 51] have added extracts of green tea (catechins) to fruit-flavored milk drinks, chewing gum, and biscuits. ChingYun et al. [18] prepared fermented milk using a 1 ven-fu soup (a Chinese herbal aqueous solution). Landge et al. [41] prepared shrikliand using Ashwagandha herb; and reported that addition of Ashwagandha powder (@ 0.5%) into shrikhand yielded sensorially acceptable product up to 52 days of refrigerated storage.

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