Anti-Cancer Activity of Cow Urine: Current Status and Future Directions
Cow urine has a unique place in Ayurveda and has been described in ‘Sushrita Samhita’ and ‘Ashtanga Sangraha’ to be the most effective substance/secretion of animal origin with innumerable therapeutic values. It has been recognized as water of life or “Amrita” (beverages of immotality), the nector of the God. In India, drinking of cow urine has been practiced for thousands of years. It is an important ingredient of panchgavya, a term used to describe five major substances (urine, milk, ghee, curd and dung), obtained from cow. All the five products possess medicinal properties, and are used singly or in combination with some other herbs against many diseases, even those not curable by allopathic treatments. This kind of alternative treatment, termed as ‘panchgavya therapy’ or ‘cowpathy’, has been reported to be beneficial even for dreaded diseases like cancer, AIDS and diabetes. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine from India routinely use cow urine as a remedy and the medicines made from it are used to cure several diseases. Improvements have been shown or reported with those suffering from flu, allergies, colds, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial/viral infections, tuberculosis, chicken pox, hepatitis, leucorrhoea, leprosy, ulcer, heart disease, asthma, skin infections, aging, chemical intoxication etc. Cow urine can kill the number of drug resistant bacteria and viruses. Recently the cow urine has been granted U.S. Patents (No. 6896907 and 6,410,059) for its medicinal properties, particularly for its use along with antibiotics for the control of bacterial infection and fight against cancers. Through extensive research studies a cow urine distillate fraction, popularly known as ‘ark’, has been identified as a bioenhancer of the activities of commonly used antibiotics, anti- fungal and anti-cancer drugs. Thus it can promote and augment the bioactivity or bioavailability or the uptake of drugs in combination therapy and reduce the dose and duration of treatment. These milestone achievements highlight the beneficial role of cow urine in treating bacterial infections and cancers and that cow urine enhances the efficacy and potency of therapeutic drugs. During the past few years cow urine therapy has provided promising and authentic results for the treatment of cancer, a deadly malady which is being faced by the mankind and the incidences of which are ever increasing in the current scenario of changed lifestyle and food habbits along with exposure to predisposing factors of carcinogens such as tobacco chewing, smoking, alcohol intake, environmental pollutants, occupational health hazards etc. Anti-cancer potential of cow urine therapy has been reflected by several case reports, success stories and practical feed back of patients for the treatment of cancer. Cow urine enhances the immunocompetence and improves general health of an individual; prevent the free radicals formation and act as anti-aging factor; reduces apoptosis in lymphocytes and helps them to survive; and efficiently repairs the damaged DNA, thus is effective for the cancer therapy. Experimentally it has been proved that among all sorts of urines, the urine of the Indian cows is most effective. Seeing the potential use of indigenous cow urine in several ailments including even the cancer, the use of Gomutra (cow urine) of indigenous breeds of cattle should be promoted extensively. However, scientific validation of cow urine therapy is required for its worldwide acceptance and popularity. This review highlights the anti-cancer activity of cow urine and the strategies for promoting its vital medicinal potential and prospectives for the benefit of mankind with the view that cow urine therapy needs immediate attention, promotion, and wide popularity and proper support of the scientists, researchers and clinicians to strengthen this alternate low cost therapy having no side effects, as generally observed with chemotherapy and radiation therapy being followed for curing cancers, and thus inspire confidence in the public about its good virtues.