A gift from the gods: bottled cow’s urine
HINDU nationalists in India have launched a marketing exercise to promote cow’s urine as a health cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to obesity and even cancer. The urine, which is being sold under the label “Gift of the Cow”, is being enthusiastically promoted by the government of Gujarat, one of three states in India dominated by Hindu nationalists.
The urine is collected daily from almost 600 shelters for rescued and wounded cattle set up by the Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP), or World Council of Holy men, as part of a government cow-protection programme to save the country’s sacred, but often maltreated, beasts.
Advertised as being “sterilised and completely fresh” it is available for 20 rupees (30p) a bottle at about 50 centres run by the VHP in Gujerat, from 200 of their outlets in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, and at fairs and religious festivals throughout India.It also comes in tablets or a cream mixed with other traditional medicinal herbs. Demand is currently outstripping supply.
The healing properties of cow dung and cow’s urine are also mentioned in ancient Hindu texts. The research conducted by doctors at the cow-protection commission indicates that the urine can cure anything from skin diseases, kidney and liver ailments to obesity and heart ailments.
Although most Indian doctors view the medicines as eccentric, several advocates of the treatment have come forward in Gujarat, have come forward to support the doctors’ claims.
They include Vidhyaben Mehta, a 65-year-old woman with a cancerous tumour on her chest who has been taking cow’s urine for the past three years. She says she is no longer in pain and has survived in spite of medical predictions that she would die two years ago.
So enthusiastic is the Gujarat government about its cows’ urine medicines that it has asked the Indian Institute of Management to compile a database of traditional cures and verify the Hindu nationalists’ findings.The academics have also discovered that cow’s urine is an extremely effective pesticide and plant fertiliser and are now developing for human consumption new drugs that contain the “gift of the cow”.
Prof Anil Gupta at the institute said: “This isn’t just a religious thing. If it’s useful we shouldn’t stop it simply because we think it has religious connections.” excerpt from linkAdvertisements