It helps eliminate chemical residues in food, say villagers
Hundreds of families in villages along the Chittoor district-Tamil Nadu border say they are a happy lot with perfect health thanks to the shift in their cooking style from metallic vessels to clay cookware.
It all started five years ago, when a Siddha and Ayurveda practitioner Yesupadam Babu (60) of Balreddikandriga hamlet of Uttukottai taluq in TN, bordering the Nagalapauram mandal (Chittoor district) started spreading the message of “clay cookware”, as an effective measure against diabetes and kidney ailments. Before taking up the campaign, Mr. Babu and his spouse Ribka (52) practised cooking in clay vessels, and the dining set included even the small items like tea cups and spoons. Over 2,000 families in Uttukottai (TN) and Nagalapuram, Rajulakandriga, Vajra Kandriga, SS Puram (Satyavedu Assembly constituency in Chittoor district) have shunned cooking in metallic vessels. Huge clay pots would be used for hot water for bath.
A couple of years ago, on the request of the villagers of the Nagalapuram mandal, Mr. Babu and his family relocated to the Rajula Kandriga hamlet, establishing their home christened Bhairava Ashram. All those who reach Mr. Babu for medicine, predominantly for diabetes and kidney ailments, would get the first advice: “Love food made with clay cookware.”
Onslaught of ailments
The Ayurveda practitioner believes that the onslaught of kidney ailments and diabetes and several serious problems such as cataract and arthritis had become unmanageable only after the widespread use of metallic vessels. “Till three decades ago, a majority of the rural side depended on clay cookware. The element of metal started its invasion into the kitchens rapidly along with urbanisation.” The clay cookware would help a great deal in eliminating the chemical residuals from the food. “By putting a checkmate to chemical residuals in food, a patient can effectively control the impact of debilitating ailments. In this state, intake of medicine of any path, either allopathic or Ayurveda, will have positive results,” he says.
Varadarajan, a trader from Chennai and regular visitor to Mr. Babu’s ashram, said his family had shifted to clay cookware a year ago. “By following the new cooking style strictly, I found gradual improvement in kidney functioning, and the frequency of dialysis sessions has also come down.”
Ms. Ribka Babu, who teaches the patients about handling the cookware, says: “Handling clay cookware is like meditation. When using steel vessels, one can be casual or careless. But clay material needs caution. The entire concentration would be on the cooking patterns: from cleaning to using them and restoring them to shelves. This in turn works in naturally reducing the high blood pressure levels and various tensions and stress factors,” she says.
Following heavy demand for clay cookware, traders from Ambur in TN periodically visit the border villages selling the products like hotcakes.