Doctors warn against cow dung as COVID cure

Doctors warn against cow dung as COVID cure

The use of a cow dung-and-urine pack to ward off and cure COVID, reportedly practised in Gujarat, is not merely unproven, but could also spread the infection further, say researchers

Move over, Remdesivir, cow dung is here. At least, this is what some believers in Gujarat vouch for. However, doctors in the country are now warning against the use of cow dung to ward off COVID, said a Reuters report. Not only does the practice come without any scientific backing, but also poses the risk of spreading several other infections.

As the country gasps for survival amid the second wave of COVID, struggling to find oxygen supply, ventilators, ICU beds and lifesaving drugs, quacks have been quick to make hay. Under the guise of Ayurveda, Siddha and Homeopathy, several ‘cures’ have sprung up. These often come with nil scientific backing, trials-based evidence, or statutory warnings.

Weekly ritual

For instance, said the Reuters report, some believers in Gujarat have been making weekly visits to cow shelters to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine (gaumutra). This is believed to not only boost immunity and prevent COVID, but also cure the disease if it has already struck. Even some doctors from the allopathic stream follow this practice.

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One centre offering the cow dung therapy is the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a school that happens to be located across the road from the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Zydus Cadila in Ahmedabad, noted the Reuters report. Ironically, Zydus Cadila is currently engaged in developing a vaccine against COVID.

The visitors are first swathed in a mixture of cow dung and urine. Then, they perform certain rituals to honour the cows, and practise yoga to bolster their immunity levels. Subsequently, the report said, milk or buttermilk is used to wash off the packs.

Shocking as the practice may seem, it has several precedents. For instance, last week, Uttar Pradesh MLA Surendra Singh recommended the consumption of gaumutra to beat COVID. The BJP leader followed it up with a demonstration on video, which went viral.

Last July, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh also advocated the use of cow urine to cure COVID.


Alternative treatments many not just fail to manage COVID, but may be detrimental, too, say researchers. In a population that strongly believes in the potency of cow urine and dug, it may develop a false sense of security, Reuters quoted scientists as saying.

Additionally, it may aid the coronavirus contagion (since people, including sick ones, are gathered in groups), and also spread various animal diseases to humans.

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