SHIVAMOGGA: With a vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic still months away, households are digging into their spice boxes and brewing kashayas (a herbal concoction) to boost immunity. And with the AYUSH department, ayurvedic and even allopathic doctors suggesting that different spices be included in daily food, many are queuing up in front of ayurvedic stores and shops selling spices.
It’s no surprise that there is now a sharp rise in the prices of some spices while piper, a herbal medicine used widely for respiratory problems and to clear phlegm, is unavailable in many places. While the cost of Ashwagandha powder has increased from Rs 25 to Rs 50 for 50 gm, pure turmeric now costs Rs 40-50 for 100 gm. The price of Kalonji seeds and other spices, too, is on the rise. “People who have never consumed ‘kashaya’ have now included it in their diet and consume it to keep their immune system at its best,” say AYUSH doctors.
Ratnakar, director of Vipra Multipurpose Souharda Cooperative Society, said in the last 22 days, they have sold 228 packets (100 gm each) kashaya powder besides piper (hippali), Ashwagandha powder and root; clove, Kalonji seeds, black pepper, Jeshtamadhu, dry ginger and cardamom among others. P7
‘People are back to home remedies’
“We have run out of stock of piper. We tried to get it in the local market, but it is not available there too. Ashwagandha and Jeshtamadhu in root form are in great demand for preparing kashaya at home,” Ratnakar said. Many people are consulting ayurvedic doctors on how to prepare kashaya powders at home, while some depend on traditional makers of kashaya powder. “The powder we prepare has Ashwagandha, turmeric, baje, piper, black pepper, cumin seeds, dry ginger and other spices,” said Anantha, who makes kashaya powder. “Now, people are back to relying on home remedies. Many have started preparing the powder on their own, which is a good trend.”
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Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has endorsed a ‘papad’ brand claiming that eating it will create anti-bodies that will help fight Covid. In a video, he vouches for the papad’s corona fighting ability. P7