Cow dung becomes a cure-all in India
By Rahul Bedi in New Delhi
(Filed: 16/03/2005)

India's main opposition party, the Hindu nationalist BJP, has begun selling medicine and cosmetics made of, among other things, cows' urine and dung.

A stall offering a selection of potions and lotions containing five cow products - urine, dung, butter, milk and curd - opened earlier this month at the BJP headquarters in Delhi and is now doing brisk business.

The cow-dung medicines are 'very good, very effective'
Marketed under the brand name Goratna or "jewels of the cow", the medicines are supposed to cure a variety of illnesses and ailments such as cancer, constipation, diarrhoea and diabetes.

The best seller so far has been "kamdhenu ghanvati" - a multi-purpose pill that the stall manager, Manoj Kumar, claimed was a "one-stop" cure for liver diseases, diabetes, haemorrhoids and asthma.

"More and more people are visiting the stall as news of its opening spreads," he said.

"It's very good, very effective," a BJP official, S P Sharma, said after buying a cream he claimed helped his daughter get rid of pimples.

According to Purushottam Toshniwal, the general secretary of the co-operative that makes the products, Goratna manufacturers followed "solid scientific processes" based on ancient Indian herbal remedies, known as Ayurveda.