The Nectar of Holy Cow

25 July 2010

Introduction

The cow has been a divine symbol of Hinduism since eternity and revered like a mother which is not only a potent source of nourishing milk but regarded essential as a source of health, wealth and happiness. Cow urine is stated to be even more beneficial for society as a medicine for scores of ailments and for general cleanliness and purification purposes. Many references to cow urine therapy are available in ancient Hindu Holy Scriptures and Ayurved as well as other traditional system of Indian Medicine, viz., Sushruta Samhita (by Sushruta) and Ashtanga Sangraha (by Vagbhata). Many toxic substances are known to loose their toxicity after a while, if immersed in cow urine as per standard procedures.

The Virtuous Panchgavya

There seems to be an unprecedented interest in cow and cow urine in India and elsewhere recently not only by members of Indian Hindu religious groups but by scientists working across the globe in advanced areas of medical research. It is interesting to review the findings of various interest groups many of which have also been patented. While information on the type or breed of cows used for experiments on their urine is not always known, it has been claimed that for best results, urine should be sourced from native Indian cow only, which is recognisable through a hump on her back, and long fan shaped skin flap below the neck. It is also believed that the pyramid like hump serves to absorb cosmic rays from the universe. Go-vigyan Anusandhan Kendra (GVAK) (which literally translates to Cow Science Research Centre) (http://www.govigyan.com) located in Nagpur, India is known to be carrying out research programmes aimed at investigating efficacy of different medicinal products formulated through a combination of five principal products (Panchgavya) obtainable from cow from variety of breeds. Panchgavya {literally meaning five (panch) + substances (gavya)} stand for milk, curd (yoghurt), ghee (butter fat), dung and urine obtainable from cow.

Besides, GVAK, there are quite a few cow urine therapy centres now thriving in India and sustaining their business through their exclusive websites reaching a wide cross-section of population and by web-casting the experiences of erstwhile patients claiming to have been cured by this wonder therapy for a range of diseases and disorders. One such centre based in Indore, India is that of Dr Jain (http://www.cowurine.com).


It is interesting to see that nation-wide movements on cow protection and abandonment of ever increasing slaughter houses, emanating from deep religious quarters are pushing their demands behind the scientific investigations. The growing number of patents on cow urine or other related products are being seen as legitimate ground for such demands. The activities related to such a movement along with its social and religious overtones can be seen at the website of recent 'Vishwa Mangla Gou Grama Yathra (Universal Welfare - Cow Village Procession)' that toured throughout the country for more than 108 days and submitted more than 80 million signatures to the President of India demanding to bring back the glory of cow-based village institutions (http://eng.gougram.org). All such movements and institutions have raised their voices to bring back the glory of panchgavya and try to promote various therapeutic products based on it. This website also gives some interesting facts on therapeutic importance of various constituents known to be present in cow urine, which is reproduced below.

    Medicinal values of Cow urine

  • Urea : Product of protein metabolism. Strong antimicrobial agent.
  • Uric Acid : Anti microbail activity helps to control cancer.
  • Nitrogen : Diuretic, stimulates kidney
  • Sulphur : Purifies blood, increases intestinal peristalsis
  • Copper : Controls fat deposition
  • Iron : Production of RBC in blood
  • Sodium : Purifies blood, checks hyperacidity
  • Potassium : Appetizer, eliminates muscles fatigue
  • Other salts : Antibacterial, prevents comma and ketoacids
  • Carbolic Acid : Antibacterial, prevents gas gangrenes
  • Ammonia : Integrity of body tissue and blood
  • Sugar-Lactose : Heart, thirst, giddiness
  • Vitamin A,B.C,D, E : Prevent excessive thirst, infuse vigour, increase potency
  • Creatinine : Antibacterial
  • Swarna Kshar : Antibacterial, improves immunity (aurum hydroxide) acts as antidote
  • Enzyme-urokinase : Dissolve blood clot, improves heart disease, blood circulation
  • Colony stimulating factor : Effective for cell division and multiplication
  • Erythropoietin stimulating factor : Production of RBCs
  • Gonadotropin : Promotes menstrual cycle, sperm production
  • Kallikrein : Releases Kallidin which expands peripheral veins and reduces blood pressure.
  • Allantoin : Heals wounds and tumors
  • Anticancer substances : Prevents multiplication of carcinogenic cells
  • Phenols : Bactericidal, antifungal
  • Source: http://eng.gougram.org

A Delhi based outlet (http://www.godandguru.com) catering to all religious resources on global basis also sells a number of cow urine (goumutra) products through web-based marketing, viz., Goumutra Ark, Goumutra Tablets (Ghanavati), Goumutra Home Phenyl and Goumutra Mosquito coil. A Haridwar based herbal research laboratory is stated to have developed 'Gou Jal' (or Cow Water), which it hopes can be marketed as a 'healthy' alternative to Coke and Pepsi.

Patents on Cow Urine Products

Anti Cancer

One of the recent reports published in 'Pioneer' on 17 June 2010 (http://www.dailypioneer.com/263248/RSS-cow-urine-drug-gets-US-patent.html) describes of the award of a US patent for an anti-cancer drug extracted from cow urine and developed by GVAK jointly with prestigious National Environmental Engineer Research Institute (NEERI), also based in Nagpur. This patent was granted on 18 May 2010 by USPTO in favour of the applicants with no. US7718360 B2. The said patent claims that re-distilled cow urine distillate (RCUD) dubbed as 'kamdhenu ark' as a marketable product is useful for protecting and repairing DNA from oxidative damage, which is known to be a leading cause of ageing, cancer and other diseases. RCUD works against genotoxicity, a harmful action on a cell's genetic material. As per this invention, the efficacy of kamdhenu ark as anti-cancer drug has been proved beyond doubt.


Notably, this is the third US patent granted to GVAK. Way back at the turn of the millennium, GVAK teemed up with a number of other scientists to investigate the role of cow urine distillate as bioenhancer. The PCT patent (WO0232436A1) was also filed for protection in a number of other countries., viz., Mexico, France, Europe, Germany, China, Brazil, Australia and Austria besides US. While, this was hailed as a major achievement on the part of scientists who undertook the research work, it also attracted attention and appreciation of political class of Hindu interest groups that happened to be in power at that time in India. There were many, however, who did not quite agree with the scientific methodology employed and the conclusions drawn and stressed the point that mere grant of a patent does not validate the scientific facts behind such investigations. A critique on this by Dr MD Nair, a well known Indian scientist and holder of several patents himself is available online that was published in 'The Hindu' (http://www.mothercow.org/oxen/cow-urine-therapy.html). Nonetheless, such criticism has neither helped diminish medicinal properties of cow urine nor the abundant research interest surrounding it.

Anti Diabetics

As per another report published in 'Pioneer' in February, 2010 (http://www.dailypioneer.com/237106/Cow-urine-can-cure-diabetes-claim-researchers.html), a three-member team of researchers led by Dr K Jayakumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Veterinary College under Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bangalore found that cow urine contains certain molecules that can fight diabetes. The team is in the final stages of identifying the molecule that secretes insulin. While this invention is still somewhat away from seeking patent, yet the research design seems to be based on scientific methodologies as applied to drug development programmes. The anti-diabetic activity of cow urine was tested on rats with experimentally induced diabetes who showed marked difference in blood sugar levels. But in the case of diabetic rats which were not administered cow urine, sugar levels remained the same. It is not clear at this stage if the increased insulin levels in rats with administering cow urine is due to stimulation of beta cells of pancreas as is the case with currently available oral anti-diabetic agents or cow urine is stimulating the regeneration of pancreatic beta cells.


In this five-year research, the scientists have convincingly found that the cow urine has anti-diabetic properties. But the task is still unfinished; of the 360 different molecules found by the research team, it is remains to be identified the particular molecule that is most potent as anti-diabetic. Once that is identified, that should change the dynamics of diabetic treatment in future.

Other Inventions

Inspired by the above reports, we undertook to cull out and compile seemingly useful patents related to the cow urine from different sources. These have been summed up below in the Table. The readers may like to pay attention to the Chinese and Korean patents that deal with cow urine collection device and identification of protein in cow urine aimed at helping with cow pregnancy diagnosis.

Cow Urine Patents

Patent Abstract
.......................................... .....................................................
US7718360 B2 - 18/05/2010 Composition (RCUD)for protecting and / or repairing DNA from oxidative damages and a method thereof; Chakrabarti et al, CSIR, India Redistilled cow's urine distillate (RCUD) having benzoic acid and hexanoic acid components, with ammonia content ranging between 5-15 mg/L, and optionally along with anti-oxidants was found useful for protecting and/or repairing DNA.
.......................................... .....................................................
WO0232436A1 - 4/25/2002 with equivalent patents in Mexico, France, Europe, Germany, China, Brazil, Australia and Austria; Use of bioactive fraction from cow urine distillate (GO MUTRA) as a bioenhancer of of anti-infective, anti-cancer agents and nutrients - Khanuja et al, CSIR, India The invention relates to a novel pharmaceutical composition comprising an effective amount of bio-active fraction form cow urine distillate as a bioavailability facilitor and pharmaceutically acceptable additives selected from anticancer compounds, antibiotics, drugs, therapeutic and nutraceutic agents, ions and similar molecules which are targeted to the living systems.
.......................................... .....................................................
ZA200302276A - 4/28/2004 South Africa - do -
.......................................... .....................................................
US2002164378A1 - 11/7/2002 USA - do -
.......................................... .....................................................
US6410059B1 - 6/25/2002 Pharmaceutical Composition containing cow urine distillate and an antibiotic A pharmaceutical composition comprising an antibiotic and cow urine distillate in an amount effective to enhance antimicrobial effect of the antibiotic is disclosed. The antibiotic can be an antifungal agent. The antibiotic can be a quinolone or a fluoroquinolone. The antifungal agent can be azoles, clotrimazole, mystatin or amphotericin.
.......................................... .....................................................
CN201237565Y - 5/13/2009 Apparatus for full collection of cow urine; Zhijun et al, Univ China Agricultural The invention discloses a device for fully collecting cow urine, which provides a urine collection bag, and an in vitro urethra and a hopper that allows a totally closed ''pipeline'' system to be installed without any inconvenience, damage or injury to the cow.
.......................................... .....................................................
IN189078A1 - 12/14/2002; Equiv. WO02096440A1 A process of manufactiring a therapeutic ayurvedic composition; Jain Virendra Kumar, India Process of manufacturing herbal medicinal composition with cow urine in tablet form is described that comprises of various steps of mixing active ingredients in right proportion, pulverising and adding excipients, adjuvants, filler etc. and finally granulating and tableting.
.......................................... .....................................................
KR20000065910A - 11/15/2000 Pregnancy-assocaited protein isolated from cow urine; Lim Jin Kyu et al, Cell Bio Gen Inc, Korea A pregnancy-associated protein isolated from cow urine is provided which is identified by 2-D gel electrophoresis of saturated protein fractions with ammonium sulfate and of which amino acid sequence is also provided. Thereby, the efficiency of bovine pregnancy diagnosis is improved.