As I continue to work on my PhD I have found myself extremely interested in natural medicines, and so I decided to dig deeper into some used in India. One part of my proposal is to look at the advantages of such natural extracts or products on HIV Dementia. So, in my mini vacation to India I explored and questioned about some of the unique aspects of traditional medicine.
My first encounter with cow urine, was as I walked the streets of Bombay. There on the streets a cow was peeing and a young girl rushed for a pan and started catching the urine. I was astonished that this was occurring, and my friend and I stopped to watch. We begin wondering why this little girl felt the need to catch the urine, as with such hot conditions, the urine would evaporate. We could not deduce a logical reasoning so on my tour with Reality Tour in Bombay and also my private tour with Jaimini Shastri in Jaipur my questions were answered.
In short, cow urine is used in traditional medicine, and is used to cure Tuberculosis (TB). How? Well, they actually drink the cow urine. Now one guide said there was no processing of the cow urine and it is drank directly, while another explained that the cow urine is processed and sometimes even packaged to be sold. After a little bit of research on the internet I found that:
- It is in deed processed and can be bought bottled.
- It is not well used but there are several traditional (Ayurveda) medicine doctors who will prescribe it.
- Take 3-4 times a day, 2-3 teaspoons
- Good even if you are good health.
I searched high and low in New Delhi to be able to find and try this unique medicine, but was unable to get it. Hopefully if I ever make it back to India I can give it a try.
Clearly the cow is a sacred animal in India for the Hindu culture, so it seems only right that there are several ways cows can be beneficial out side of the actual eating of the meat (which is forbidden in their culture). Along side that little girl I saw catching the urine of the cow, was what seems like her mom scooping up the dung that was left on the sidewalk of Mumbai. Now, I could actually understand why this would be needed… not only for the cleanliness of the city, but it can also be used as fertilizer for growing crops. What we later found out is that it has 2 other important reasons.
While driving to Agra, it appeared to be somewhat of large cookies drying in the sun. As we were with our guide, he explained that the “cookies” were actually made of cow dung and are used for fueling fires. This is also used when cooking as it is a slower burning material… He did reassure us that all the areas we ate would not have used this as their source of fuel…. (mmmmm…..)
As for traditional medicine, the smell of cow dung is said to be beneficial for many reasons While our guide could not tell us the exact health reasons, the internet helped a little more on that area. It is said that the smell of cow dung is good for:
As we walked in Jaipur through Royal Gator, a dedication site of all the past leaders of Jaipur, we came across a flower. It was in a violet color as well as white. Our guide then shared with us that eating this plant is actually good for preventing diabetes. In fact, the white flower is better for the cause. He called it “Sadabahar” but later doing research I found out it is actually the periwinkle Vinca rosea.
So of course we had to give it a try. So my friend and I washed the flowers and gave it a try. Check out the video below.
Before coming to India I was actually really interested in learning about neem. In my travels to Kenya, I found out that neem can actually be used for HIV (what I do research on). I got really excited and started looking more into the beneficial aspects of neem.
Being in India opened my eyes even more to aspects of neem and how widely used it actually is. So just to give you a very short list on how neem is used, here you go…
- Wound healing
And the list goes on and on.
There are many other great natural therapies used in the Indian culture, but wanted to share some of the unique aspects people may not know about.
The question now becomes, if you had TB… would you get a bit of cow urine to be cured???
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