Indian doctors stressed that no scientific data proves that cow dung is effective in curing COVID-19. They also warned of the risks in spreading other diseases and making health conditions worse due to the practice.
In India, where the number of confirmed infections has reached 22.7 million, some believers have been going on weekly visits to cow shelters “to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine in the hope it will boost their immunity against, or help them recover from, the coronavirus,” as per Reuters.
Doctors in India are warning against the practice of using cow dung in the belief it will ward off COVID-19, saying there is no scientific evidence for its effectiveness and that it risks spreading other diseases https://t.co/Zu6Avvw3iU pic.twitter.com/Jjzc5pNqVG— Reuters (@Reuters) May 11, 2021
While waiting for the unusual mixture to dry, they “hug or honor the cows at the shelter and practice yoga to boost energy levels. The packs are then washed off with milk or buttermilk.”
Gautam Manilal Borisa of a pharmaceuticals company said that even some doctors are doing the same thing. “Their belief is that this therapy improves their immunity and they can go and tend to patients with no fear,” she explained, adding that it also helped him overcome the virus in 2020.
Health experts have emphasized, however, that going for alternative coronavirus treatments can bring about a false sense of security and even worsen health conditions. Dr. JA Jayalal of the Indian Medical Association said that the aforementioned practice “is based entirely on belief.”
“There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products—other diseases can spread from the animal to humans,” he added.
In the same report, Reuters stated that cow is considered a sacred symbol of life and earth in Hinduism. And due to its believed “therapeutic and antiseptic properties,” Hindus have long used cow dung for prayer rituals and home cleansing.