Panchagavya or panchakavyam is a concoction prepared by mixing five products of cow and used in traditional Indian rituals. 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". 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.
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.
“It's an insult to science,” says Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, a biologist and former director of the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India, who has reviewed the panchagavya literature. In the few papers he has found, the authors “had absolutely no inkling of what scientific research is.”
“Our ancient seers were profound thinkers for their period but they never had the experimental backup that would let them test their ideas objectively,” says Mayank Vahia, an astronomer and science historian at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. “There is much to be proud of in India's past without manufacturing facts.”
- 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
- Dhama K. et al., Panchgavya (Cowpathy): An Overview, International Journal of Cow Science, 2005:vol 1:issue 1
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Results of the experiments show that both "cow's urine" and nicotine cause excitement in low doses and cause convulsion and/or death in higher doses. Both also depress respiration.
- "Leptospiral carrier state and seroprevalence among animal population – a cross-sectional sample survey in Andaman and Nicobar Islands".
- Sanjay Kumar (03 Mar 2017). Science. 355 (6328): 898. doi:10.1126/science.355.6328.898 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6328/898. Check date values in:
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- "Mandala Pooja". Guruvayoor Devaswom. Retrieved January 2014. Check date values in:
- "On a Panchakavya mission". The Hindu. Guntur, India. 27 July 2004.
- Garg, Uttara. "Panchagavya - the magic combination". www.greenmylife.in. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Nelson, Dean (February 11, 2009). "India makes cola from cow urine To millions of devout Hindus, it's the real thing: a cola made from the urine of India's sacred cows.". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- Andrew Buncombe (21 July 2010). "A cure for cancer – or just a very political animal?". The Independent. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Panchagavya and Andrographis paniculata as Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoter on Broiler Production and Carcass Characteristics" (PDF). International Journal of Poultry Science 5 (12): 1144-1150, 2006. Asian Network for Scientific Information. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Modified Panchakavya to boost plant and animal productivity". The Hindu. India. 5 June 2003.
- "Panchagavya: low cost organic input for both crops and animals". The Hindu. India. 4 June 2009.
- "STUDY ON PANCHAKAVYA - AN INDIGENOUS FORMULATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE GROWTH PROMOTION OF CROSSBRED PIGS" (PDF). INDIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL RESEARCH. Agricultural Research Communication Centre. 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Kishore Biyani to launch Panchagavya cosmetics and health remedy products in Big Bazaar". Economic times. Mumbai, India. 16 September 2011.
By Adarsh K Lal