Cowpathy and Science Behind it
Indian cow has a unique status in the society since Vedic period and is inseparable from the ancient to the modern human civilizations of this country. Popularly described as “Kamadhenu”, in ancient literature, the Indian cow has proved it to be an “Anwartha nama” (literally true name), being a source of food, energy, medicine, fertilizer, labour and so on. The applications of the products of the cow in medicine have a long history, as the Indian system of medicine.
Cowpathy, refers to the treatment approach using cow products and has emerged as a modern branch of Ayurveda. The five important products of cow namely milk, urine, dung, ghee and curd comprise the combination called ‘Panchagavya’. Cowpathy has emerged as a new domain of Ayurveda and offers healing service to wide range of human ailments ranging from common cold to cancer.
Cowpathy is based on the ancient concept which believes that “The five elements obtained from the Cow are sacred and are medicine for the heart. They enhance bodily strength and intellect. They give long life, purify the blood, balance the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. They cure all diseases and detoxify the body.” .
Cowpathy can be seen in practice as two variant forms, cow urine therapy and panchagavya therapy, the former making use of distilled urine of the cow and the latter using panchagavya for healing purpose.
Mention and description of cow urine therapy has been traced back to “Sushrita Samhita‟ and ”Ashtanga Sangraha‟, where it has been projected as the most effective product of animal origin equipped with innumerable therapeutic properties and it enjoyed a unique status in Ayurveda as one of the prescriptions for boosting general health and various disorders . Apart from its individual application as medicine, cow urine is extensively used as adjuvant (agent for enhancing the activity of the medicine) in ayurvedic formulation and purification of medicinal ingredients from raw materials .
Panchagavya therapy involves topical application of panchagavya, oral intake of filtered panchagaya and oral intake of panchagavya ghrita. Topical application of panchagavya is especially recommended for the treatment of skin diseases. For all other types of diseases, oral intake is recommended at a dose of 50ml of filtered panchagavya mixed with 200ml of water, tender coconut water or fruit juice. This is taken in empty stomach in the morning . Panchagavya ghrita is an ayurvedic formulation of panchagavya in ghee. This is used in the preparatory procedure in the Panchakarma chikitsa in Ayurveda and also prescribed for many other illnesses. Panchagavya ghrita is recommended for oral intake at quarter to half teaspoon with warm water, before food, once or twice daily or as prescribed by the doctor/healer .
Panchagavya ghrita has been endorsed legally based on the literature (Ayurvedic classical texts and Ayurvedic Formulary of India, Part I) and its activity and safety/toxicity evaluation confirmed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), an autonomous Ayurvedic research organization of Central Government .
Science behind Cowpathy
Similar to Ayurveda, Cowpathy is also under severe criticism from several corners like learned skeptics, knowledge deficits, so called modern thinkers, and so on. However, there are enough available scientific back up to support the healing potential of cow urine as well as panchagavya. Many Universities and Research Institutes of repute have initiated and carried out commendable research to investigate the scientific footing of Cowpathy. Various centres of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Gujarat Agricultural University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar, and G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar [7; 11]. Besides many NGOs and private organizations like the Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, Nagpur and the Panchagavya Academy, Rajkot are contributing towards the research & development and extension activities of Cowpathy [11; 12; 13].
Chemical components of cow’s urine have been elucidated and reported as 95% water, 2.5% urea, and 2.5% elements, salts, minerals, enzymes, and hormones . These wide ranges of components impart spectacular healing and rejuvenating properties to the urine [15 ; 16; 17].