Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar revealed that he drinks cow urine every day for ayurvedic reasons. Well, he’s not the first one to make headlines for the same.
But aren’t we curious to know how Kumar came about to make these claims? Does drinking cow urine actually have any health benefits? Let’s find out.
The fourth prime minister of India Morarji Desai was one of the primary connoisseurs when it came to urine consumption. He attributed his longevity to drinking urine - which he called "the water of life".
While Desai promoted drinking his own urine, Yoga guru and Patanjali founder Baba Ramdev went on record to say cow urine should be acceptable to Muslims too as something used for treatment because it is sanctioned in Quran.
For those unversed Patanjali makes products like soap and floor cleaner that claims to have cow urine as one of its ingredients.
And while that might still work as a good sales pitch, some have gone too far in claiming that its oral consumption can help cure diabetes, skin diseases and the novel coronavirus.
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha organised a full-fledged Gaumutra Party and the members of the right-wing organisation drank it, in a bid to "neutralise the effect of coronavirus".
The members of the group believe that the cow urine could save people from the deadly pandemic.
One member also went on to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also drinks it. He further said that they are going to send it to US President Donald Trump.
Not to mention, Amazon also sells “pure and fresh” cow urine for Rs 199.
If you thought that was peak bizarre, ISKCON or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness used sanitisers made of distilled Goark (cow urine) when they ran out of the alcohol-based sanitisers.
Parijata Devi Dasi of the ISKCON Communications team said "Cow urine has been granted US Patents No. 6,896,907 and 6,410,059 for its medicinal properties, particularly as a bio enhancer, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-cancer agents.”
Coming to Akshay Kumar, who is currently shooting in Scotland for his upcoming film "Bell Bottom" with Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta Bhupathi, joined British adventurer and host Bear Grylls for an Instagram Live, to talk about going on a jungle adventure with him.
When Huma asked Akshay how he convinced himself to drink elephant poop tea on the show, Akshay said: "I wasn't worried. I was too excited to be worried. I have cow urine because of ayurvedic reasons every day, so that was okay."
While the actor cited “ayurvedic” reasons, there is no scientific evidence when it comes to the benefits of drinking cow urine.
Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor Medical and Paediatric Oncology, told News18, "cow urine does not prevent or cure cancers. There is no scientific evidence available to prove this. My fellow oncologists and I are yet to see a patient who exclusively consumed cow urine to be cured of cancer."
Not to mention, when government agencies called for research proposals on "cowpathy" – a treatment using cow urine, 500 Indian scientists wrote an open letter asking to withdraw the same.
To conclude, there is no clear evidence of benefits from drinking cow urine, and therefore the choice of consuming it remains subjective.