'Drink cow's urine, shower with dung': Hindu group battles coronavirus with bold bovine brew

'Drink cow's urine, shower with dung': Hindu group battles coronavirus with bold bovine brew
Is there a cure for COVID-19? Some of India's Hindu nationalists believe they have the answer.
2 min read
17 March, 2020
Hundreds of devotees gathered to drink cow's urine on Saturday [Getty]
As people around the world scramble to stem spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus, one religious group in India has opted for a more unconventional way to battle the outbreak.

Around 200 followers of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) gathered for a cow urine drinking party on Saturday in a bid to keep the new virus at bay.

Many Hindus consider cows to be sacred animals, with some attributing numerous health benefits to the animals' urine and faeces. Advocates of these claims include members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

These claims, however, have been rejected by experts who say there is no evidence that the animals' waste can cure cancer and a host of other serious illnesses.

"We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take baths in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine," said Om Prakash, one of the party's attendees.

Images from the party show groups of people gleefully gulping on the mixture of cow urine, dung, ghee and curdled milk, while others downed the substance while pinching their noses.

Devotees drank the mixture of cow's urine, ghee, curdled milk and dung [Getty]

In one photo, All India Hindu Union chief Cahkrapani Maharaj can be seen holding a spoon of the beverage beside a caricature of the coronavirus in an apparent display of defiance.

According to one cow urine vendor interviewed by India's Economic Times, a litre of the bovine beverage can cost as much as Rs 500 ($6.77), while dung goes for the same rate per kilo.

India - the world's second-most populous nation of 1.3 billion people - has reported 114 positive cases and two deaths from the virus.

The group aims to hold similar parties across India [Getty]

Most schools, entertainment facilities and tourist attractions - including the Taj Mahal - have already been closed across the South Asian nation.

India has also suspended all incoming tourists, and will bar passengers of flights from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom from Wednesday.

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