Cow Dung, Urine Not A ‘COVID-19 Cure’: Indian Doctors
Doctors in India have issued a warning stating that there is no scientific evidence regarding ‘cow dung’ as an effective cure to protect against coronavirus, as it can risk spreading other diseases.
India is on the top of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic with 22.66 million cases and 246,116 deaths reported so far. According to experts, actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher. Citizens countrywide are suffering badly due to lack of hospital beds, oxygen, or medicines, leaving many dying.
Some believers have been visiting cow shelters once a week to spread cow dung and urine on their bodies in the hope it will boost their immune system against the coronavirus in the state of Gujarat in western India.
In Hinduism, the cow is considered as a ‘sacred symbol’ of life and the earth, and cow dung has been used by Hindus for centuries to clean their homes and for prayer rituals, as they believe that it contains therapeutic and antiseptic properties.
"Even doctors come here. As per their belief, this therapy improves their immune system and they can check patients with no fear," stated Gautam Manilal Borisa, an associate manager at a pharmaceuticals company. According to him, the practice helped him recover from COVID-19 last year.
Since then, he has been a regular visitor of the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school run by Hindu abbots. It is located just across the road from the Indian headquarters of Zydus Cadila, which is preparing its COVID-19 vaccine.
As the believers have to wait for the dung and urine mixture on their bodies to dry, meanwhile, they hug or honor the cows at the shelter, and also practice yoga to increase energy levels. The packets are then washed with milk or buttermilk.
Doctors and scientists across India and worldwide have constantly warned regarding practicing alternative treatments for COVID-19, as they can give rise to a false sense of security and worsen health problems.
"No scientific evidence exists that can prove that cow dung or urine boost immunity against COVID-19, it is total as per one’s belief," stated Dr. JA Jayalal, national president at the Indian Medical Association.
"There are also several health risks involved in consuming these products as many diseases can be transferred from the animal to humans."
Other concerns are also there as the practice could increase the spread of the virus as it involved people gathering in groups. Madhucharan Das, in charge of a cow shelter in Ahmedabad, stated that the number of participants has been limiting by them.