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Panchagavya or panchakavyam is a concoction prepared by mixing five products of cow. The three direct constituents are cow dung, urine, and milk; the two derived products are curd and ghee. These are mixed in proper ratio and then allowed to ferment. Panchamrita is a similar mixture that replaces dung and urine with honey and sugar. The mixture which is made using yeast as a fermenter, bananas, groundnut cake, and the water of tender coconut, is a potent organic pesticide and growth promoter. The Sanskrit word Panchagavya means "mixture of five cow products", and it has been used in traditional Indian rituals throughout history. It is also called cowpathy treatment based on products obtained from cows used in Ayurvedic medicine and of religious significance for Hindus. Panchgavya is also used as fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural operations.
The quality standards of Panchagavya are mentioned in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. CSIR has obtained some patents regarding Panchagavya.
Panchagavya consists of nine products viz. cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, jaggery, ghee, banana, tender coconut, and water. The cow dung and ghee are thoroughly mixed in the morning and evening, and kept for 3 days. After setting, it is mixed regularly for another 15 days, and then added to the other ingredients, and left to sit for another 30 days. Panchagavya is stored in a wide-mouthed earthen pot or concrete tank in open. Sufficient shade is usually provided. It is sometimes diluted before use.
Few studies have been performed to test the efficacy of Panchagavya as a medical intervention. Those studies which have been done have largely been of low quality. Studies concerning ingesting individual components of Panchagavya, such as cow urine, have shown no positive benefit, and significant side effects, including convulsion, depressed respiration, and death.Cow's urine can also be a source of harmful bacteria and infectious diseases, including leptospirosis.
- As a Prasad in temples
- A common usage is as a fertilizer and pesticide.Seeds can be treated with panchagavya. This was found useful in rhizome of turmeric, ginger and sugarcane and they yielded more.Helps in plant growth and immunity.
- The medicinal usage of panchagavya, particularly cow urine, is practiced in Ayurveda. Proponents claim that cow urine therapy is capable of curing several diseases, including certain types of cancer, although these claims have no scientific backing. In fact, studies concerning ingesting individual components of Panchagavya, such as cow urine, have shown no positive benefit, and significant side effects, including convulsion, depressed respiration, and death.Cow's urine can also be a source of harmful bacteria and infectious diseases, including leptospirosis.
- Proponents claim it is an antibiotic growth promoter in the broiler diet, capable of increasing the growth of plankton for fish feed,the production of milk in cows, the weight of pigs, and the egg laying capacity of poultry chicken.
- It is sometimes used as a base in cosmetic products.
- Purification after Sūtak.