Indian doctors warn against cow dung as COVID cure

a group of people standing in front of a building: People pray after applying cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad © Reuters/AMIT DAVE People pray after applying cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad

By Amit Dave

AHMEDABAD, India (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.

The coronavirus pandemic has wrought devastation on India, with 22.66 million cases and 246,116 deaths reported so far. Experts say actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher, and citizens across the country are struggling to find hospital beds, oxygen, or medicines, leaving many to die for lack of treatment.

a group of people standing next to a cow: Uddhav Bhatia touches a cow after applying cow dung on his body during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad © Reuters/AMIT DAVE Uddhav Bhatia touches a cow after applying cow dung on his body during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad

In the state of Gujarat in western India, some believers have been going to cow shelters once a week 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.

a group of people sitting in a pot: People apply cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad © Reuters/AMIT DAVE People apply cow dung on their bodies during "cow dung therapy" on outskirts of Ahmedabad

In Hinduism, the cow is a sacred symbol of life and the earth, and for centuries Hindus have used cow dung to clean their homes and for prayer rituals, believing it has therapeutic and antiseptic properties.


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Indian doctors warn against cow dung as COVID cure