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Indians resort to caw dung therapy in Covid-19 fight

MAY 12, 2021 06:10 PM IST
Many doctors have warned against using cow dung to ward off Covid-19 by confirming that its properties do not give any protection against the viral infection, and could cause other infections like black fungus or mucormycosis, which can be fatal.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday commented on a video from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad which shows a group of men covering their bodies with cow dung and urine in the hope that it will boost their immunity against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Yadav attached the video shot by news agency Reuters in his tweet, and added a jibe.

“Should we laugh about it or cry,” Yadav said in his tweet.

Many doctors have warned against using cow dung to ward off Covid-19 by confirming that its properties do not give any protection against the viral infection, and could cause other infections like black fungus or mucormycosis, which can be fatal.

In the video shared by the Samajwadi Party leader, a small group of people in a cow shelter run by Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Prathisthanam (SGVP) vouch for cow-dung therapy, believing that it increases immunity against Covid-19.

People pray after applying cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy", believing it will boost their immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India.
People pray after applying cow dung on their bodies during “cow dung therapy”, believing it will boost their immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. (REUTERS)

The shelter houses over 200 cows. For the last one month, around 15 people visit it every Sunday to apply cow dung and cow urine on the body. It is then washed off with cow milk, news agency PTI reported quoting the SGVP official.

Doctors, however, do not vouch for its efficacy.

“I don’t know if this therapy would really help people. I have never come across any research which suggested that application of cow dung on the body would increase immunity against coronavirus,” Dr Dileep Mavlankar, Director of the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, told PTI.

“Cow dung is nothing but body waste. Applying cow dung and urine can never boost immunity or protect you from coronavirus. People should consult doctors and stay away from such therapies,” said Dr Mona Desai, chairperson of the women’s wing of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said, reported PTI.

Ashok Oza lies on the ground after applying cow dung on his body during "cow dung therapy", believing it will boost his immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021.
Ashok Oza lies on the ground after applying cow dung on his body during “cow dung therapy”, believing it will boost his immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021. (REUTERS)

Dr Desai said that instead of proving helpful, cow dung can pave way for other infections, including mucormycosis.

“Since cow dung also carries several fungi, they may enter into the body and infect you. I urge people to be little aware and not put their lives in danger,” Dr Desai said.

The coronavirus pandemic has wrought devastation in its second wave in India after the country posted record rise in deaths from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, pushing its total fatalities past the 250,000 mark.

People walk after applying cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy", believing it will boost their immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021.
People walk after applying cow dung on their bodies during “cow dung therapy”, believing it will boost their immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021. (Reuters)

Deaths from Covid-19 swelled by 4,205, while daily coronavirus cases rose by 348,421, with India’s overall caseload now surging past 23 million, according to health ministry data.

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