Fresh cow urine may contain harmful bacteria, and is unsuitable for direct human consumption. This has come to the fore in a research conducted by Bareilly-based ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI).
According to a report in Times of India, the research also stated that buffalo urine was however more effective on some bacteria. Bhoj Raj Singh and three PhD students from the country’s premier animal research institute conducted the study on urine samples from healthy cows and bulls. They found that the samples contained at least 14 types of harmful bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli, which can cause stomach infections.
“Statistical analysis of 73 urine samples from cows, buffaloes and humans shows that the antibacterial activity in buffalo urine was far better than that of cows. Buffalo urine was significantly more effective on bacteria such as S. epidermidis and E. rapontici, said Bhoj Raj Singh, who led the study.
Singh, who heads the department of epidemiology at the institute, along with three of his PhD students conducted the research on three types of cows, Sahiwal, Tharparkar and Vindavani (cross breed), from local dairy farms between June 2022 and November 2022. Even samples from humans and buffaloes were considered for the study. They noted that “a large proportion of urine samples from apparently healthy individuals carry potentially pathogenic bacteria”.
Highlighting that there is a widespread belief that unlike fresh cow urine, ‘distilled’ cow urine does not contain infectious bacteria, he said that research is still on. However, he added that it cannot be generalized that cow urine has antibacterial properties.
Meanwhile, RS Chauhan, a former director of IVRI, questioned the research. “I have been doing research on cow urine for 25 years and we have found that distilled cow urine improves the immunity of humans and helps against cancer and covid. This particular research was not done on distilled urine samples, which is what we recommend people actually consume,” he said.