Panchgavya (Cowpathy): An overview
Panchgavya is a term used to describe five major substances, obtained from cow, which include cow's urine, milk, ghee, curd and dung. All the five products possess medicinal properties against many disorders and are used for the medicinal purpose singly or in combination with some other herbs. This kind of treatment is called Panchgavya therapy or cowpathy. It is a system of medicine just like as homeopathy, allopathy or naturopathy. The ancient ayurvedic literature (Vir Charak Samhita, Sushrut, Gad Nigrah) suggests a number of pharmacological applications of the substances obtained from Panchgavya. These substances are abundantly used in Ayurveda for treatment of several disorders such as leucoderma, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, renal disorders, dietary disorders, gastrointestinal track disorders, acidity, asthma etc. These remedies seem to be potent anticancer and anti HIV agents. Recently the cow urine has been granted U.S. Patents (No. 6410059 and 6896907) for its medicinal properties, particularly for its use along with antibiotics for the control of bacterial infection and fight against cancers. The Panchgavya products also show many other applications viz. excellent agricultural applications in the form of biofertilizers, vermicompost and biopesticides, which improves soil fertility and provide food grains free from the health hazards of using chemical fertilizers/pesticides. A systematic work needs to be carried out on chemical nature, biological activity, microbiology and pharmaceutical aspects and mechanism of bioactive compounds in Panchgavya. In the past due emphasis has not been given to the cow therapy which needs attention of scientific community.
Cowpathy, Panchgavya, cow urine, milk, dung, ghee, curd.