What does Ayurveda tell us about Kansa Kitchenware?
There is a spark in creation that brings so many auras in ancient wisdom such as the one transcended through Kansa Kitchenware.
Kansa the Indian name for Bell metal is a hard alloy usually a form bronze, with approximately 4:1 ratio of copper to tin. Different places call it with a different name like Assam calls it kanh while in West Bengal and Odisha, Kansa. It is widely used for cooking and eating utensils.
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The mystery of the metal has been continuously been unfolding since Bronze Age, about 3000 years ago. 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.
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In the 5th chapter and 46th verse, of famous grantha ‘Rasratnasamucchaya’, we find significant information about Kansa Kitchenware on medicinal properties and its benefits to humans.
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How is it made?
Copper and tin are heated together for 400 -700 degree Celsius to form Bronze. This molten metal is then made into sheets which are then moulded into desired shapes. Utensils are manually finished by polishing with traditional materials such as sand and tamarind juice. Designs are made by skilfully hammering a series of tiny dents into the heated metal.
Legacy of the craft
The process of manufacturing is transmitted orally from father to son. Metalwork is not simply a form of livelihood for many of the craftsmen who live marginally but carry forward the intricate craft. Their system defines their family and kinship structure, work ethic and status within the social hierarchy of the town.
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- According to Ayurveds, it enhances intellect.
- It is believed that using Kansa to eat our food and drink water from on a daily basis enhances our immunity apart from purifying the food.
- Kansa is a good conductor of heat and retains heat well, thereby keeping the food warmer and its contents richer for a longer period of time.
- Kansa utensils makes the items germicidal depending upon the type and concentration of pathogens and the medium they are in, it kills these micro organisms within a few minutes to hours of contact.
- The potential efficacy of its components improves indoor air quality.
- It is suitable for daily use because it is wear and tear resistant, bright, scratch and wrinkle resistant for decades.
- It is equally valuable even after damage as almost 90% of all bell metal alloys are recycled.
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Kansa Kitchenware has been used since the period of Samhita Kala, or as far back as we know from our recorded history. According to the descriptions given in Ayurveda Prakasha, Kansa Kitchenware is also used for its therapeutic applications.
It can be easily identified as it gives a sharp sound (Teekshna Shabdam), is soft (Mridu) and smooth to touch (Snigdha). It is slightly grayish (Eshat Shyamalam) and is clear from impurities (Shubhram/Nirmalam); and it turns red on heating (Dahe Raktam).
In our grandparents times there wasn’t even a single home without Kansa Kitchenware, lets revive the old glory back and reap benefits in the form of good health.