Since centuries metal utensils are used in India. Ayurveda also prescribes such utensils to cure various ailments as they are considered to provide innumerable health benefits. Our body needs base metals like Iron, Copper, Zinc, Tin etc for better health. In Ayurveda many metal powder (bhasma) is prescribed to cure many diseases. It is still a common practice in India to use Cast Iron and brass utensils for cooking and still we are using Brass and Bronze utensils to eat food and water stored in Copper pot for drinking.
Metals like gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, zinc etc. can be used to prevent obesity, increase stamina, cure various diseases and have great potential in both conventional and alternative medicine, like Copper and iron are two metals required for the formation and circulation of blood, beneficial for the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and bone tissue. Iron is used to treat anaemia, revitalize muscle tone and nerve tissue and has refreshing properties. In Ayurvedic medicine, these metals in the form of powder (bhasma) are usually boiled in water, oil or buttermilk and the resultant mixture can then be used. Utensils of these metals are substitute of these medicines, if use regularly.
Here are some of the beneficial properties of precious metals:
Iron helps produce red blood cells. If your body does not have enough of this mineral, you will begin developing symptoms associated with anaemia. However, in case your diet does not consist of iron, the body does naturally store 25% of the mineral to use to make more red blood cells. But 25% isn’t enough in the long run, which is why you have to incorporate a diet rich in iron. Moreover, around 70% of iron is present in the haemoglobin and myoglobin; haemoglobin is known to transport oxygen to all the tissues from the lungs whereas myoglobin is found in muscle cells and is said to make the release of oxygen possible in muscle cells.
It is worth mentioning that 25% iron of your body is naturally stored in ferritin, which is found in your body cells. In men, ferritin can store iron supplementation for three years, but for women, it stores for one year. This is why anaemia is common in women.
Iron benefits to the body includes improving cognitive function, treating anemia, supporting the muscle, aiding oxygen circulation, boosting the immune system and treating fatigue. Other benefits treating restless leg syndrome that is a result of iron deficiency, acting as neurotransmitter and helping reverse insomnia.
Iron is an essential nutrient for the growth of your body. Since it is responsible to promote the production of red blood cells, iron deficiency can lead to a number of health problems. Moreover, the deficiency of this mineral is common among women and children, but there are plenty of sources available to overcome it. Iron is also essential to provide oxygen to the organs; therefore, your body should have balanced levels of it. This way you will stay active and safe from other daunting health problems.
Why Cast Iron Cookware: Cast iron is formed by smelting iron ore or melting pig iron (an intermediate product of iron ore extraction), and mixing it with other alloys. The liquid mixture is then poured into moulds and allowed to cool and solidify. Thus Cast Iron Cookware is made. There are various advantages of using Cast iron vessels for cooking. Additional to all benefits of iron, they are basically inexpensive and have a very long life. These utensils retain heat for quite a long time thus keeps the food prepared in them for a long time. It is always advisable to cook food in iron vessel for iron deficient people, as iron gets impregnated with the food being cooked and provide the required amount of 18 mg of iron which an adult need daily. Seasoning of cast iron pots or pan is the important aspect of using them with ease. The well-seasoned cast iron pan is almost non-stick, as a hard layer of petrified oil covers the metal. The cast iron pots and pans are not coated with synthetic material which is harmful for health and as such use less oil for cooking. Cast iron cookware can be used for almost any cooking task. It can be used for frying, deep frying, roasting or even baking.
Copper and iron were probably two of the early metals worked by ancient people. Copper is a mineral and an element essential to our everyday lives. It is an essential nutrient in our daily diet. And, its antimicrobial property is becoming increasingly important to the prevention of infection. In ancient times, our ancestors even till our grandmothers followed the practice of storing water in containers made of copper to safeguard drinking water. This age-old practice referenced in ancient texts of Ayurveda is now supported by several scientific studies. Storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process. It can kill all the microorganisms, molds, fungi, algae and bacteria, present in the water that could be harmful to the body and make the water perfectly fit for drinking. In addition, water stored in a copper vessel, preferably overnight or at least for four hours, acquires a certain quality from the copper. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is vital to human health. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps neutralize toxins. Drinking 2 to 3 glasses of water that has been stored in a copper vessel is an easy way to supply your body with enough copper. According to Ayurveda, drinking copper-enriched water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps balance all three doshas (Kapha, Vata and Pitta). This also ensures proper functioning of different organs and several metabolic processes. Copper water helps the digestive system perform better, aids weight loss, helps heal wounds faster, slows down ageing, helps maintain heart health and beats hypertension, mitigates the risk of cancer, protects you from infections, regulates the working of the thyroid gland, beats arthritis and inflamed joints, boosts skin health and melanin production, beats anaemia.
Bronze is mixture of copper (Cu) and Tin (Sn). It is also known as Bell metal or Kansa in Hindi. The best proportion to manufacture utensils is 78% copper and 22% Tin. It has also been said Shudhh Dhatu in Vedas therefore it is used in worship.
Kansa the Indian name for Bell metal is a hard alloy usually a form bronze, with approximately 4:1 ratio of copper to tin. It is widely used for cooking and eating utensils. Bronze is good source of copper and tin. Ayurveda further taught us that eating and drinking from alkalinising metals like Kansa vessels has wellness benefits for our health and well being. Kansa kitchenware is also called the hands of grace. कांस्यम् बुद्धिवर्धकम् “meaning – eating in Bronze utensils enhances Intellect. By eating food in bronze pots, Sharpens the memory, blood gets cleaned increases the appetite. In any case, curds, acidic, sour things should not be taken in bronze ware as it reacts and become toxic. By cooking in bronze utensils only 3 percent food nutrients are lost. Milk always should be drink in bronze utensil.
Brass comprises of 70% of copper & 30 % of Zinc. It is also known as Pital in Hindi.. In ancient India most of the utensils were made of Brass metal. Brass is good source of copper and zinc.Cooking and eating food in brass utensils does not prompt worm infestations, cough and other respiratory Diseases. The advantage of Cooking in the Brass utensils is that only 7 percent nutrients are lost by cooking food in brassware. Zinc is a mineral that helps in building the immunity.
The Closing Note…
Therefore, types of utensils for the kitchen used in cooking or while eating have their own pros and cons. All you need to do is be a little more careful in choosing the type that’s most durable and safe for your health. The utensils that you use should help you gain the utmost advantage of what you are eating!