Across the world today, consumers’ interest in what is in their food is rising. It is rising so quickly, in fact, that hundreds of debates over organic and conventional food, pesticides, factory farming and other matters have broken out across the digital world and in old-fashioned face-to-face conversations, too. Whether people are vegan or not, the concern for obtaining healthy and quality food is burgeoning. One particular substance that is growing in popularity in the East is panchagavya.
In India, people in rural areas or those who have less access to food have turned to cow waste products to provide them with sources of energy, as well as substances to eat. Created by mixing the cow’s dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee (concentrated butter) and allowing it to sit for designated periods of time, panchagavya is a substance that, as a whole and with its individual components, has been a mainstay in Indian culture for both health and religious reasons.
Panchagavya in Indian Culture
Ayurvedic medicinal practices have hailed the benefits of cow urine and panchagavya for over 4,000 years. There is a growing number of Indians and Hindus who consume un-distilled cow urine daily. The cow is very highly regarded and revered in the Hindu way of life, and as a result, numerous by-products have been formed from the excreta of the cow.
Even though Indians have been consuming cow dung and cow urine for years, doctors and experts throughout other parts of the world, such as Dr. Donald Hensrud of Mayo Clinic, are on the other side of the fence. Sanctioned third party research has not yet been conducted or published on the health claims of cow urine or panchagavya.
Despite this, panchagavya’s various effects have been documented by Indian sources and are continuing to gain publicity. The increased traction cow urine and panchagavya have experienced can most likely be attributed to the following two sources: religious leaders throughout India and cancer patients performing research on less expensive alternatives to traditional treatment.
A Hindu priest, Ramesh Gupta, has consumed pure cow urine for a number of years and has openly welcomed newcomers to his plot where cows are kept. Many individuals battling with severe or unusual ailments are trying unprocessed cow urine; some touting complete freedom from their given disease after spending enough time consuming cow excreta. Scientist and business owner Kesari Gumat has spoken on his views that cow dung, urine and various combinations of the two have helped him in staying healthy.
While Americans might scoff at the idea of consuming cow excreta, the American high-carb low-fat diet craze might seem just as strange to an Indian citizen. Cows indeed find a very unique place to call home in Indian culture. While they are not entirely treated as gods, they are far from being sequestered, as certain “food” animals are in the U.S. For vegans, regardless of the absence of poor treatment with these creatures in India, the consumption of their waste products would be seen as inadvisable. A cow’s waste, however, does work great as a fertilizer, which is essential to growing numerous healthful and yummy plants throughout the world.
While cow urine and panchagavya are widely hailed as curative substances for a smorgasbord of diseases, an individual’s choice of consumption can be summed up in this: take part at your own risk. The claims surrounding the health boons of panchagavya and cow urine include statements about their plentiful amounts of vitamins, minerals and beneficial salts. Regardless of those who are consuming it, there are numerous other ways to obtain vitamins and minerals for one’s diet, particularly for those striving towards a vegan diet.