Panchagavya or panchakavyam is a mixture used in traditional Hindu rituals that is prepared by mixing five ingredients. The three direct constituents are cow dung, urine, and milk; the two derived products are curd and ghee. These are mixed in proper ratio and then allowed to ferment. The Sanskrit word panchagavya means "five cow-derivatives". When used in Ayurvedic medicine, it is also called cowpathy.[1]

Scientific studies[edit]

Proponents claim that cow urine therapy is capable of curing several diseases, including certain types of cancer, although these claims have no scientific backing.[2][3] In fact, studies concerning ingesting individual components of panchagavya, such as cow urine, have shown no positive benefit, and significant side effects, including convulsion, depressed respiration, and death.[4] Cow's urine can also be a source of harmful bacteria and infectious diseases, including leptospirosis.[5]

Panchgavya is also used as a fertilizer and pesticide in agricultural operations.[6][7] Proponents claim that it is a growth promoter in the poultry diet, that it is capable of increasing the growth of plankton for fish feed,[8] and that it increases the production of milk in cows, increases the weight of pigs, and increases the egg laying capacity of poultry.[9][10] It is sometimes used as a base in cosmetic products.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Of 'cowpathy' & its miracles".
  2. ^ Nelson, Dean (11 February 2009). "India makes cola from cow urine To millions of devout Hindus, it's the real thing: a cola made from the urine of India's sacred cows". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  3. ^ Andrew Buncombe (21 July 2010). "A cure for cancer – or just a very political animal?". The Independent. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  4. ^ Oyebola, DD; Elegbe, RA (1975). "Cow's urine poisoning in Nigeria. Experimental observations in mice". Trop Geogr Med. 27 (2): 194–202. PMID 1179485. Results of the experiments show that both "cow's urine" and nicotine cause excitement in low doses and cause convulsion and/or death in higher doses. Both also depress respiration.
  5. ^ "Leptospiral carrier state and seroprevalence among animal population – a cross-sectional sample survey in Andaman and Nicobar Islands".
  6. ^ Dhama K. et al., Panchgavya (Cowpathy): An Overview, International Journal of Cow Science, 2005:vol 1:issue 1
  7. ^ Arvind Kumar (1 January 2005). Environment & agriculture. APH Publishing. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-81-7648-921-8. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Modified Panchakavya to boost plant and animal productivity". The Hindu. India. 5 June 2003.
  9. ^ "Panchagavya: low cost organic input for both crops and animals". The Hindu. India. 4 June 2009.
  10. ^ "STUDY ON PANCHAKAVYA - AN INDIGENOUS FORMULATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE GROWTH PROMOTION OF CROSSBRED PIGS" (PDF). INDIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL RESEARCH. Agricultural Research Communication Centre. 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Kishore Biyani to launch Panchagavya cosmetics and health remedy products in Big Bazaar". Economic times. Mumbai, India. 16 September 2011.