Andhra Pradesh

Pandemic fuels demand for spices

Even as the coronavirus continues to take toll, the demand for traditional spices that help boost immunity has substantially gone up.

The spices with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties are being used like never before by the people who are doing everything possible to prevent the infection.

The sale of ‘sonti’ (dry ginger), ‘lavangalu’ (clove), ‘miriyalu’ (black peeper), ‘dalchina’ (cinnamon) and turmeric among others has seen an increase since the outbreak of the virus, the shopkeepers say.

Out of stock

The dry ginger has run out of stock at many shops. “Dry ginger powder, which was available at ₹25 for 50 gm before the pandemic has now gone up to ₹45. There has not been any increase in the prices of the other spices, though the demand for them has gone up,” says Giridhar, a grocery store owner at MVP Rythu Bazaar.

Many outlets dealing with wellness products are of the same view. “We have run out of dry ginger stock. Though the overall business has suffered owing to the pandemic. Customers, however, are buying spices in more quantities. The sale of millets has dropped, but honey, which we procure from Sirohi district in Rajasthan, is in high demand,” says Bandaru Naresh of Sumaja Eco-Wellness which has outlets at Seethammadhara and Pandurangapuram.

Some NGOs selling spices are taking alternative routes as their outlets remain closed. “The high demand for scvpices has not yielded much as we cannot open our stall at the Araku Museum owing to lockdown. However, I have been supplying items to our acquaintances on demand,” says Devullu Pachari, secretary of Sanjeevani, an NGO.

However, he says that the NGO has sold 80 kgs of dry ginger, 250 kgs of black peeper, 50 kgs of mustard seed and 400 kgs of turmeric powder since March. “The parcel service launched by the APSRTC has come to our rescue. Dry ginger which was sold at ₹450 a kg earlier is now available at ₹650 a kg,” he adds.

Apart from the spices, consuming ‘kashayam’, a concoction of various spices and herbs, is gaining ground. “Kashayam is being increasingly used to boost immunity and prevent respiratory tract infections,” says Sarat Pendekanti of Akshayadhatri Farms at Nandyal in Kurnool district.

How to make ‘kashayam’

“Once can powder dry ginger, turmeric, black peeper and cinnamon stick should be powdered and boil the mixture with water. Care should be taken to avoid over boiling as it reduces the effect. The concoction should be consumed in an empty stomach early in the morning. One should not consume anything except for water for 30 minutes after drinking the concoction,” he says.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 3:39:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/pandemic-fuels-demand-for-spices/article32243940.ece

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