Tuesday, May 21, 2024

They drink cow urine.. a philosophy not practiced by thousands in India

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Despite studies that talk about the harms of drinking cow urine, a large section of Indians who believe in the philosophy of Ayurveda still believe that it has many benefits over the years.

Cow urine has long been touted as having a range of health benefits by practitioners of Ayurveda, a holistic system of alternative medicine that draws its teachings from the Hindu Vedas and can trace its roots to India for more than 2,000 years.

Ayurveda, a combination of herbal medicines, medicated oils and minerals, as well as adherence to a strict diet and the practice of yoga and meditation, is considered pseudoscience by many in the West.

But according to a 2017 report, at least 77% of Indians use Ayurvedic products, and this number is expected to increase after the coronavirus pandemic, reports the British Telegraph newspaper.

Ayurvedic products

The industry is worth £7.8 billion, and a Google search reveals a handful of major Ayurvedic companies promoting their products.

Patanjali, India’s largest ayurvedic company, sells a bottle of cow urine medicine for 50p, promising to “control eczema, diabetes and cancer”.

Another brand, Easy Ayurveda, offers customers detailed instructions on how to use urine drips to benefit a variety of conditions, from leprosy to asthma.

Corona treatment

During the second wave of coronavirus in India, several members of Parliament from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party advised their members to drink cow urine to avoid contracting the virus.

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Critics of Ayurveda agree that the compounds and drugs used in ancient practice play an important role in modern medicine today.

As early as 300 BC, there are records of Indian Ayurvedic physicians using the seeds of the velvet bean plant to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Reuters

14 species of bacteria

A recent study conducted by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) revealed 14 types of harmful bacteria in urine samples from healthy cows.

Research has also found Escherichia coli in cow urine, according to the British Telegraph.

The IVRI findings may not come as a shock to many scientists and doctors around the world, but they have again raised questions about India’s poorly regulated Ayurvedic profession and the belief that it does more harm than good.

The cough syrup caused dozens of deaths

Control is a key issue across the Indian health sector, with at least 70 children in The Gambia and 20 in Uzbekistan dying last year after consuming a cough medicine allegedly made in India, which applies not only to Ayurveda but also to the pharmaceutical industry.

India’s pharmaceutical and ayurvedic industries are among the few with manufacturing success in the country, and there is little political will to implement quality control tests or publish studies critical of the industry.

Reuters

But in 2017, a Right to Information request found that nearly 40% of Ayurvedic products tested by the Indian government, including many sold by Patanjali, were substandard.

The products have been found to contain toxic levels of heavy metals including lead, pesticides, insecticides, industrial solvents, antibiotics and steroids.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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