Akshay Kumar Drinks Cow Urine: Fact Check on Medicinal Claims

Mind It
4 min read

Akshay Kumar revealed he drinks cow urine for ayurvedic reasons in a conversation with adventurer Bear Grylls.

Kumar is slated to appear in an episode with Grylls, and during an Instagram live to promote his film “BellBottom" with Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta Bhupathi, Quershi asked him how he geared himself up to drink elephant poop tea, reported News18.

“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.”
Akshay Kumar

The healing properties of cow urine have been much debated, but scientifically there has been no evidence that drinking cow urine can cure diseases.

Let’s break it down and hear from the experts.


Fact Check 1: Can Cow Urine Cure Diseases, Specifically COVID-19?

In the beginning of the pandemic, Swami Chakrapani, president of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, asked world leaders to drink cow urine and skip meat to beat coronavirus.

These perils of wisdom were offered during a 'gaumutra party' he had arranged to tackle the threat of COVID-19.

Earlier, a BJP legislator from Assam had offered cow urine and cow dung as the miracle cure. Suman Haripriya claimed that the remedy to the virus may be ‘gaumutra’ (cow urine) and ‘gobar’ (cow dung).

FIT spoke with Dr Sumit Ray, a Senior Consultant, Critical Care Medicine, who said that there are no scientific studies to support these claims.

“Scientifically, cow dung and cow urine are excreta from an animal’s (mammals) body, which is being thrown out. Unlikely to have any benefit to another mammal such as human beings. There are no scientific studies or evidence to show that cow urine or cow dung has antiseptic properties. It is not going to benefit us in any infections, including this coronavirus. Comments like these only add to the unscientific and irrational information that is spread!”
Dr Sumit Ray

Dr Pooja Kohli, Vice President of Ayurveda Growth, NirogStreet, told FIT that although Ayurveda texts describe eight types of animal urines that may be used in medicine, there is no evidence to say that these can be of any use in treating the coronavirus, especially because the scientific world is still trying to understand the relatively new disease.

“The only advise from Ayurveda is to boost the immunity as a part of prevention.”
Dr Pooja Kohli

Besides, a definitive treatment for COVID-19 is still underway - the entire world is eagerly awaiting a vaccine.

Fact Check 2: Can Cow Urine Cure Cancer?

Bharatiya Janta Party’s candidate from Bhopal and Malegaon blast accused, Pragya Thakur claimed in an interview that a mixture of cow products helped her cure her breast cancer. We did a fact check.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women in India and accounts for 14 percent of all cancers. India has perhaps the worst mortality rate when it comes to a type of cancer that is very treatable if detected early. For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India.

Lack of attention towards their own health, delayed diagnosis and low access to healthcare means women reach for help when it's already too late.

Making this situation worse is myths, fake news and unscientific claims sold as cure by our leaders.

A lot of chatter around cow urine’s antimicrobial properties keeps doing the rounds. But oncologists and scientists say there is simply no scientific study done to support these claims.

Fact Check 3: Can Patting a Cow Help Reduce Blood Pressure?

Pragya Thakur says patting the cow from the back towards the neck helps cure your blood pressure. Mind you, not when you do the same thing from front to back - that is soothing for the cow and for you.

When the action is from the back to the front, it’s uncomfortable for the cow. But the cow takes that discomfort just so you can be cured of your blood pressure.

FIT reached out to Dr Ashok Seth, a leading cardiologist and head of Fortis Escorts Hospital for a comment.

“Well, we do believe in and support Ayurveda and other traditional medicine that is based on science. But one should no rely on hearsay, unproven myths and home remedies, specially when not giving treatment can harm people.”
Dr Ashok Seth

“Hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc. are serious diseases and require proper scientifically proven interventions,” he added.


Fact Check 4: Can Close Proximity to a Cow Cure Tuberculosis?

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, in one of his recent speeches, 'advised' that massaging a cow can cure breathing problems and treat tuberculosis (TB).

TB is one of the leading causes of mortality in India. It kills more than 300,000 people in the country every year. And no, no amount of patting a cow can treat TB.

The National Health Portal of India defines tuberculosis as an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air by a person suffering from TB, and it is estimated that a single patient can infect more than 10 people in a year. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the strongest risk factor for tuberculosis among adults. Tobacco use, malnutrition and alcoholism are other reasons that could contribute.

India reports the highest number of TB cases in the world. But it is curable, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests Directly Observed Treatment Short (DOTS) as the internationally recommended strategy for controlling TB.

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