Distilled urine from the female cow has become a popular product in India, fetching prices as high as milk. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the blossoming economy to funnel some $87 million into protecting India’s beloved bovines by beefing prohibitions on the consumption of cow meat, and building cow shelters, among other tactics.
According to holistic practitioners, drinking "gomutra," a Hindu word for cow urine, can reap health benefits. The findings of researchers studying the urine of the Gir cattle show that belief to have some substance. A liter of cow urine currently sells for about $1.50, and can be purchased online.
A coordinator at an Indian cow research group says there are multiple ways to prepare the "golden elixir," and that over two dozen remedies can be concocted from the substance. One cow-business owner says that one of the more difficult aspects to collecting a specimen is knowing when the animal is ready to relieve itself. "The attendants take clues from the animal’s movements and try to identify patterns in urination," he said.
Local business owners are competing with each other to develop urine-based products. The director of a company called Patanjali Ayurveda, when speaking of the company’s urine-based floor cleaner claimed, "We prepare 20 tons … a day and still can't meet demand."
An epidemiologist from the University of Sydney states that the consumption of raw urine could leave people vulnerable to a number of diseases. One farmer points out that keeping cows past their milking prime as a means to collect urine may not be cost efficient.