A growing cult of Hindu worshippers in India believe that drinking fresh cow urine will help prevent cancer.
Hindus believe the cow to be a sacred animal and claim that the urine has divine healing properties.
Jairam Singhal is a firm believer in its health benefits and has been drinking it for over a decade.
“I had diabetes, but ever since I have started drinking cow urine, my diabetes levels have been under control,” said the 42-year-old.
“Someone told me drinking cow urine is good for health.
“We have had cows here for over 12 years now, so first thing in the morning we take cow urine and drink it.”
In the north Indian city of Agra, dozens gather at the cow shelter of DD Singhal to have a fresh glass of cow urine.
“Lots of people come here. And of late, the numbers have been rising. We all gather in the morning and drink fresh urine that Mother cow offers us,” Singhal said.
“Just a few years ago, there would hardly be anyone interested in taking cow urine from our shelter.
“But today lots of people come to our cow shelter. There are cancer patients sometimes – they want to see the benefits of cow urine.”
Many say the recent increase in the number of people drinking cow urine can be attributed to campaigns run by spiritual leaders.
Followers of the cult claim cow urine can successful be used to cancer, diabetes, tumours, tuberculosis, stomach problems and much more. They also claim that drinking cow pee is the only solution for treating baldness.
“Only two things are pure in this universe, in this world. One is the water from the Holy Ganges river and the other is urine from mother holy cow,” Ramesh Gupta, a Hindu priest, said.
“Cow urine has been mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures. No one can doubt the good effects it has on the human body. It is a divine gift from God.”
Followers like Gupta, however, insist that urine from every cow cannot be beneficial.
“The cow, whose urine one has to drink, should be a virgin – she must not have delivered a calf. Also, the urine is to be collected just before sunrise – that urine has the best effect,” he said.
However, there are people who oppose the claims made by preachers.
“People keep saying all kinds of things about cow urine, but we don’t mind. People don’t know what this is. They have never experienced the taste of cow urine or its effects, so how can they judge it,” Singhal said.
“It is just a matter of time before people realise the utility of cow urine.”
He is now eyeing to cash in on the growing trend and has plans to start manufacturing cow urine products and selling them on a commercial scale.
“We can manufacture eye drops, medicines for stomach ailments, toothpaste, bathing soaps, herbal powdered medicine, among other things, from cow urine,” he said.
“Many cow shelters are manufacturing these products. There is a lot of demand for these products. They have good sales.”