Cow Urine and other Excreta as Medicine is an Insult to Humanity

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by LurkerBaba, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Do read the entire article before starting with the usual rhetoric
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    The cow is, at the least, an animal domesticated by man for help in agricultural activities.[1] Although the mighty machines now used in farming have made these animals irrelevant in agriculture, valiant attempts are being made, at least in India, to preserve the exalted position of the so called ‘second mother’ [2] or even ‘mother of the world’ [3,4].

    The stringent agitations to protect the ‘cow-mother’ [4,5] and even riots and murders of dalits for the sake of the cow,[6,7] suggest that the human life is far less important than a dead cow in this part of the world.[7] This extraordinary reverence for the cow has led to the development and marketing of many ‘products’ made from the secretions and excretions of the cow, with claims that these products may be more ‘lucrative’ than even the dairy.[8]

    ‘Cow Products’

    The list of ‘products’ developed from the milk and excreta of the cow is quite long. Panchagavyaand cow urine distillate (gau arka) are the most quoted of these preparations.

    Panchagavya is a blend of five (pancha) products obtained from the cow (gavya = from gau) – the dung, urine, milk, ghee and curd.[9,10] Three preparations of cow’s urine, namely gau-mutra asav (fermented preparation), gau-arka (or distillate) and Ganavati (or tablet) are also used as medicines.[8,11] Two US patents have also been obtained for the gau -arka [11] and this fact has been highlighted over and over again.

    Various products from the cow have been suggested as a successful remedy against more than hundred diseases, from fever to cancer.[8,11,12] Panchagavya is most reverentially used as a ‘body and soul cleanser’, following the birth or death of a family member. It has also been suggested as a medicine and more profusely as a pesticidal spray for plants and as a soil enriching manure.[10]


    Very recently, panchagavya has been suggested as a remedy for chikungunya as well.[13] Cow’s urine has been used in the preparations of hair oil, shampoo, skin cream etc.[8] Preparations like soap, nasal powder, body powder, body cream, incense sticks, tooth powder etc. have been prepared from the cow dung and recommended for medical use[8]. Probably to add sanctity to the entire gamut of these ‘medications’, it has been claimed that Indian pure breed cows have ‘immunology power’ from 90% to 98% while the cows of mixed breed have less than 40%.[11]

    The ‘evidence’:

    Curious to know about Panchagavya, I asked an Ayurveda physician about its utility. She briefed me about all the virtues of the gau mutra (cow’s urine), gau maya (cow dung) and Panchagavya, quoting the Charaka Samhita. But how can we, living in the 21st century, rely on an ancient text to justify the use of these excreta, I wondered. All these have been well studied by Charaka, she told me. May be, but the concept of biochemical molecules (and the modern biochemical analysers) and of microbes (and the means of isolating them) were non-existent during Charaka’s time, I countered. But the cow’s urine hasn’t changed since Charaka’s time, she averred. I was dumbstruck!

    Most articles on the virtues of cow’s excreta extensively quote from scriptures and the Charaka Samhita. Here are some of these arguments:

    The cow is our mother and we are her children. Therefore cow urine is beneficial.[8,11]
    Diseases are caused by imbalance of elements bile, mucous and air and cow urine balances elements.[8]
    Amongst urines, cow urine is best.[8]
    Ganga resides in the cow urine and it contains copper and gold salts, which are elixirs. It does not decay, older the cow urine, the more useful it is.[8]

    Recently a lot has been written about the patents for cow urine; one obtained on the basis of laboratory studies (on culture plates and cell lines) on the usefulness of cow urine distillate in enhancing the efficacy of antibiotics and anti cancer drugs, [14,15] and the other patent obtained for cow urine therapy.[16] There are reports of the use of cow’s urine therapy from Myanmar [17] and of a cow’s urine concoction used as a traditional remedy for convulsive seizures in Nigeria.[18] There have also been reports of studies on the cow’s urine distillate in gouty arthritis, lymphocyte and polymorphonuclear cells and carbon tetrachloride poisoning, all done on experimental animals in small numbers.[19-22] These results have been extrapolated freely and wild conclusions have been drawn about the ‘magical powers’ of the cow’s urine in treating almost all the diseases afflicting mankind today.[14,17] Even the Department of Animal Husbandry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, has published reports that seek to promote the marketing of cow’s urine as a therapeutic agent.[23]

    The facts:

    Faced with this blitzkrieg of marketing of cow’s urine and the real danger that cow’s urine and other products of cow’s excreta may be pushed into the throats of hapless patients, with active support from the govt., agencies., it is time we look into the facts.

    One need not go far to see the hypocrisy of the ‘cow urine promoters’ than have a look at the ayurveda texts themselves, extensively quoted as the primary source of support for the utility of cow’s urine as a therapeutic agent. All three major ancient texts of ayurveda, by Charaka (1st-2nd century), Susruta (3rd –4th century) and Vagbhata (7th century) mention of the therapeutic uses of beef[24,25] as well, but this fact is no where mentioned by the proponents of cow’s urine. Eating beef is a sin and drinking cow’s urine or eating its dung brings health, if these self-styled guardians of ancient Indian tradition are to be believed.

    What about the much touted patents for cow’s urine? A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor to prevent or exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the invention.[26] Nothing more, nothing less. A patent in itself cannot be the proof for the utility of any product. It is hardly surprising that while International patents have been registered for cow’s urine and its products, no such patent has been obtained from the Govt. of India. An Indian patent may not make enough and weighty news, but an international patent, on the other, helps to claim that even ‘foreigners’ have accepted the virtues of cow’s urine!

    All the studies available in the literature about the therapeutic efficacy of cow’s excreta are small studiesconducted in the labs and on animals or tissues. There are no reports of any controlled, double blind clinical studies in humans, other than some anecdotal reports and claims by the practitioners of ‘cow therapy’ and all these so called claims of research appear dubious by any scientific standards.[27] Most of these papers contradict their own claims: the claims made about the gold and copper salts in urine, for example, are not supported by the data provided by the protagonists themselves.[8,28]

    Urine is urine, the liquid waste that is filtered by the kidneys and excreted through the urinary system. It contains many solutes and biological products that are unnecessary for the living body and hence excreted and also some substances secreted by the urinary tract to facilitate this excretion. Chemical constituents of human and animal urine are almost alike.[28,29] For example, Urokinase is an enzyme secreted into the urine to prevent its clogging; today, it is extracted from human urine and used to dissolve clots in the coronary arteries in patients who suffer a heart attack.[30] Does this justify drinking one’s own urine in case of a heart attack? Far from it.

    Is cow’s urine safe for mankind? There are reports of severe adverse effects, even fatal, of drinking cow urine concoctions, further supported by experimental evidence.[31] Cow’s urine can also be a source of infectious diseases, especially leptospirosis, [32] that can spread through oral mucosa. The claim that cow’s urine and cow dung have antiseptic properties is not only baseless, but also dangerously misleading. While cow dung (and all fecal matter) is teeming with bacteria excreted from the intestines, several bacteria have been isolated from Panchagavya too.[33,34] Application of these bacteria-rich excreta onto wounds may lead to life threatening sepsis. Only those who are absolutely ignorant about such facts can daringly market cow’s excreta as antiseptics, but the tragedy is that some practitioners of modern medicine, blinded by their faiths in their ‘spiritual heads’ or ‘Mathadhipathis’ also appear to support such nonsense.

    Conclusions:

    It is clear that cow’s urine and other excreta are only the waste products rejected by the animal’s body and are similar to the excreta of other animals and therefore, there is absolutely no reason why the cow’s urine or other excreta should be venerable over those of humans beings or other animals.


    The claims of the efficacy of cow’s excreta (and their products) in the treatment of almost every disease are not supported by any evidence and there are no clinical trials reported on the use of these products in human beings. With reports available about the possible adverse effects of the use of cow’s excreta, it is shocking that such products are being allowed to be not only marketed but also trumpeted, even supported by the agencies of the govt. of India, as the ‘cure-for-all’ wonder drugs.

    Propaganda regarding the utility of cow’s excreta largely emanates from the obscurantist and Hindu fundamentalist forces and appears to be designed to condemn the ordinary human beings into ingesting cow’s excreta under the alibi of ‘treatment’ and ‘long life’. This is not surprising at all, given the several instances of the down trodden dalits forced into eating even human excreta by the same fundamentalists.[35]

    Eulogising the cow (and not buffalo and other cattle that are equally ‘useful’) as ‘second mother’, ‘God mother’, ‘mother of the world’ etc., largely because it provides milk,[11] (and hopefully not because of its excreta) raises a fundamental question about the concept of motherhood itself: Do we love and respect our own mothers solely because we have been breastfed and is motherhood only about milk?

    This entire exercise of marketing the cow’s products and promising huge economic benefits (a claim not supported by any data) of keeping the cows even after they have passed the age of secreting milk is part of the grand design to prevent the slaughtering of the cows so as to deprive the poor sections of the society from quality meat as well as some economic benefits of marketing the beef. But sustaining the livestock is proving to be very costly for the environment, with a large share of global warming attributed to the livestock.[36,37] It is time we take a rational view of all the issues involved.



    References:

    Cattle. The Wikipedia Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle
    Discover how cows have altered human life, human biology, and the geography of the world Availalbe at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/holycow/
    Subhuman Das. Indian Cows: Blessed Bovines! http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa101800a.htm
    http://www.vishwagou.org/
    Cow Protection Available at http://www.vhp.org/protectthecow.php
    Taneja N. Mangalore ‘Riots’. People’s Democracy. October 22, 2006; 30(43) Available at http://pd.cpim.org/2006/1022/10222006_nalini.htm
    Rajalakshmi TK. Slaughter of the Dalits. Frontline November 09 – 22, 2002;19(23) Available at http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1923/stories/20021122003703800.htm

    Cow Urine: Principles & Applications Available at http://www.hkrl.com/cowurine.html
    Panchagavya. Available at http://www.thereligiousproducts.com/panchagavya.html
    Natarajan K. Panchagavya: How to Make. Available at http://www.agricultureinformation.com/forums/organic-farming/15995-panchagavya-how-make.html
    Seminar on mother cow and Panchagavya. Available at http://www.goshala.com/articles/panchagavya.php
    http://www.goshalaindia.com/scientific-propeties.html
    http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news...Be+Free+From+Ailments+-+Raghaveswara+Bharathi
    Dhama K, Chauhan RS, Singhal L. Anti-cancer activity of cow urine: Current status and future directions. International Journal of Cow Science 2005;1(2) Available at http://indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:ijcs&volume=1&issue=2&article=001
    Khanuja SPS et al. Use Of Bioactive Fraction From Cow Urine Distillate (‘Go Mutra’) As A Bio-Enhancer Of Anti-Infective, Anti-Cancer Agents And Nutrients Available at http://www.freepatentsonline.com/EP1330253.html
    Jain VK. Cow Urine Therapy And Herbal Medicinal Composition With Cow Urine And Method Of Manufacturing The Same World Intellectual Property Organisation, International Patent No WO/2002/096440 Available at http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?IA=IN2001000136&WO=2002096440&DISPLAY=DESC
    Awale et al. An amazing cow’s urine therapy in Myanmar. J Trad Med. 2006;23:178-83 Available at http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jtm/23/5/178/_pdf
    Elegbe RA, Oyebola DD. Cow’s urine poisoning in Nigeria: cardiorespiratory effects of cow’s urine in dogs. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1977;71(2):127-32.
    Influence of “Divine Cow Powder” on Peripheral Tissues of Acute Gouty Arthritis Acta Universitatis Traditionis Medicalis Sinensis Pharmacologiaeque Shanghai 2007 http://www.shvoong.com/medicine-and-health/1597348-influence-divine-cow-powder-peripheral/
    Dipanwita Dutta, S Saravana Devi, K Krishnamurthi, T Chakrabarti Anticlastogenic effect of redistilled cow’s urine distillate in human peripheral lymphocytes challenged with manganese dioxide and hexavalent chromium. Biomed Environ Sci. 2006 Dec ;19 (6):487-94 http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:17319276
    K Krishnamurthi, Dipanwita Dutta, S D Sivanesan, T Chakrabarti. Protective effect of distillate and redistillate of cow’s urine in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes challenged with established genotoxic chemicals Available at http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:15602821
    Achliya GS, Kotagale NR, Wadodkar SG, Dorle AK. Hepatoprotective activity of panchagavya ghrita against carbontetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats Indian journal of pharmacology 2003;35(5):308-311 Available at http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15240774
    Sunil Mansinghka Bi Products Of Cattle – Organic Manure And Cow Urine – Medicines – Draught – Gas – Electricity. Available at http://dahd.nic.in/ch5/chap5.htm
    Jha DN. Paradox of the Indian Cow: Attitudes to Beef Eating in Early India. Available at http://www.indowindow.net/sad/article.php?child=17&article=11
    Cathy Wong Ayurvedic Foods for Your Type: How to Eat for Your Dosha. Available at http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/2/a/ayurveda.htm
    Patent. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent
    Research paper and observation. Dr. Jain’s Cow urine Therapy. Available at http://www.cowurine.com/research-paper.html
    The Main Elements of Cow Urine and Their Functions. Dr. Jain’s Cow urine Therapy. Available at http://www.cowurine.com/main-element-of-cow.html
    Putnam DF. Composition And Concentrative Properties Of Human Urine. Available at http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19710023044_1971023044.pdf
    Urokinase. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urokinase
    Oyebola DD, Elegbe RA. Cow’s urine poisoning in Nigeria. Experimental observations in mice. Available at Trop Geogr Med. 1975 Jun;27(2):194-202.
    Sharma S, Vijayachari P, Sugunan AP, Sehgal SC. Leptospiral carrier state and seroprevalence among animal population – a cross-sectional sample survey in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Epidemiology and Infection 2003;131:985-989
    Akinde SB, Obire O. Aerobic heterotrophic bacteria and petroleum-utilizing bacteria from cow dung and poultry manure World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 2008;24(9):1999-2002
    Bhat SS, Vinu AK, Naidu R. Association of Diverse Groups of Bacteria with ‘Panchagavya’ and their Effect on Growth Promotion of Coffee Seedlings. The Association for Science and Information on Coffee (ASIC): Proceedings of ASIC Conferences – 20th Colloquium : Agronomy Available at http://www.asic-cafe.org/pdf/abstract/PA224_2004.pdf
    Siriyavan Anand. India Shining with Hindu Diet: Cow urine and dung for caste hindus, Human shit and piss for dalits Available at http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/65586/48030
    Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20772&Cr=global&Cr1=warming
    Livestock’s Long Shadow–Environmental Issues and Options http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.pdf



    Cow Excreta as Medicine: Insult to Humanity | Nirmukta
     
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Well you dont need to convince me on this :D
     
  4. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    The author has backed up his data with references. So try to come up with better replies than "communist/secular/christian" propaganda
     
  5. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think one has to see the Idea of cow from a social prospective! let alone not debate like a piss drinker and what not. I have a simple Idea about why cow is revered animal in Hinduism. No doubt it gives us Milk and other byproducts but Association of Cow with Lord Krishna is assumed to be pious . As the ancient society was Herder or Nomads or Agriculture based so that has remained into Hinduism as a Mythology.As everywhere in the world Society changes but the mythology and religion remains attached to more or less original structure, there has to be a clash between New society and old culture. So best way is to balance both. Behavior takes time to change and so is culture. so ,a balance between both New Social structure and Culture has to be maintained for evolutionary change. If change is brought through revolution it might be total Failure and may be never reversed into change.....
     
  6. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Is there any proof/citations that the term 'beef' as used by Susruta or Charaka were in fact referring to cow meat not the the meat of buffalo/oxen ?

    AFAIK, no one has any problems with oxen or buffalo beef. Infact buffalos are given as bali in many temples, if I am not wrong.

    And this is in no way saying that cow pee (Go Mutra) is good for drinking. I dont believe in that. But I'm confused as to whether the article was actually written to raise an awareness about the harm in pseudo-science or an advocacy group for cow meat.


    Actually more like a Kacha ilaiah type neo-Dalit write-up blaming the manuwadis. Nothing wrong. Except for conflating the issue of drinking cow-pee with the issue of cow-slaughter. Can there exist a middle ground where we agree with science saying that any excreta is basically urea and other waste materials ingesting which will not give any health benefit and the cultural significance of the cow in the Indian society.

    Is it a neo-Buddhist advocacy website ? The site name looks so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
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  7. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    In essence you agree with the article. But feel that it's too "harsh" :D
     
  8. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    It's apparently a site by Indian atheists. (they have articles against Islam too)
     
  9. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have my view.. and generally I don't go by references. if something is beneficial and logical we should accept that just maintaining balance with the moral aspect of our culture..
     
  10. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    why I feel that today it has become a fashion that to believe in God you have to register into some kind of Religion. Why can't we believe in god without any religion?
     
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  11. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    And I find Atheist one of a kind who follow the Religion of Atheism. The day is not away when they will be registered as another Religion!
     
  12. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Is "not playing football" also a sport ? :troll:
     
  13. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^ Ya Not Playing is also a Play when you decide to Play with your Body in a negative way!! :troll:
     
  14. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    I dont have time to read all the article but in quick reply..

    The cow dung is used extensively for anti-septic treatment in medieval day and even now in villages..
     
  15. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    I was equating "not playing football" to "not following any religion"
     
  16. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    May be or many not be true unless some scientific study is done on any such properties of these materials. Even a common household "haldi" as a compound called "curcumin" is discovered as an anti-cancer agent. So, we cannot rule out anything without any scientific proof otherwise but at the same time we cannot also accept everything without any scientific study done on it.
     
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  17. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yaa I knew what you meant^^ ::pound:
     
  18. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Where is the scientific research in this regard ? He has just argued (with common sense + religious PoV), and his arguments are not based on merits (scientific tests & data) i.e. Chemical composition of Cow urine etc. etc.

    See this :- http://www.worldcow.org/Cow_Wealth.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  19. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    He was Analytic not empirical^^
     
  20. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    "Yavat jivet, sukham jivet, rinam kritva ghritam pibet"
     
  21. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nitrogenous constituents in the urine of cattle, sheep and goats - Bristow - 2006 - Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture - Wiley Online Library

    its can cause Kidney Failure for Sure!
     

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