Cow urine is the latest subject for scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in this Haryana town, credited for cloning the world’s first buffalo calf and for its research on increasing milk production of cattle.
Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties; that the liquid waste of their sacred animal can cure incurable diseases, including diabetes and cancer, when drunk raw or as a concoction.
But this is the first time benefits of cow urine, which diehard bovine buffs keep asserting, will go through intensive scientific scrutiny. Results of previous independent research lie scattered, seldom collated or substantiated.
“Yes, we have ordered a review and the scientists are collecting details related to cow urine. The papers will be submitted in 10 days,” NDRI director AK Srivastava said.
“Several researches had been conducted… Some even claim there is gold in cow urine, but we will conduct our own research.”
If results turn out positive, the research will help solve a pressing problem of stray cattle in Haryana and other BJP-ruled states, where the animal has overrun public spaces and roads.
Strays have flourished because of a strict ban on beef and cow slaughter. These animals are abandoned after they stop producing milk or become too old and feeble to pull ploughs and carts.
The move comes after Union minister of state for agriculture and farmer welfare, Sudarshan Bhagat, asked scientists at the institute last week to conduct research on cow urine, sources said.
People will not abandon cows if the urine can be used profitably, the minister had reasoned.
Scientists will find out if cow urine is useful, especially for human health, as claimed by some Ayurveda experts, including yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali.
So, is the urine of an indigenous cow superior to that of foreign and mixed breeds?
“If we get positive results in the review, we will go ahead with the research, which will only be on the urine of indigenous cows,” Srivastava said.
Dr Somvir Singh of the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) holds a similar view.
“No doubt the milk of our cows is better than those of other breeds, but we did not work on urine. Let’s see what comes out,” he said.