Coronavirus: Is drinking cow urine any help?

India has had relatively few confirmed cases of coronavirus – but there’s been plenty of misleading advice on how to tackle it.

BBC News been fact-checking some of the most prominent examples.

Cow urine and dung

There is a long tradition in India of promoting cow urine and dung as traditional remedies for various diseases.

And an MP from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Suman Haripriya, has suggested they could be used against the coronavirus.

BJP MLA Suman Haripriya

FacebookCow dung has many benefits. I think it can kill the coronavirus. Cow urine can also be useful.Suman Haripriya
BJP assembly member

There have been previous studies into the potential anti-bacterial properties of cow urine.

And a Hindu nationalist group has held a cow-urine drinking event in the capital, Delhi, to promote its use for tackling the virus.

But Dr Shailendra Saxena, of the Indian Virological Society, told BBC News: “There is no medical evidence to show that cow urine has anti-viral characteristics.

“Moreover, using cow-dung could prove counter-productive as bovine faecal matter could contain a coronavirus which might replicate in humans.”

Alcohol-free hand sanitiser

Alcohol-free 'cowpathy' hand sanitizers on Amazon

As well as cow-dung soap, Cowpathy has been selling alcohol-free hand sanitiser with “distilled cow urine obtained from indigenous cows” online since 2018.

Currently out of stock, the product page says: “Due to high demand, we are currently limiting the purchase quantity per customer for this product to maximize access for our customers.”

Meanwhile, Ramdev, a yoga guru on a popular Hindi news channel, has suggested making herbal hand sanitisers at home.

He also said consuming a concoction of ayurvedic herb giloy, turmeric and basil leaves could help prevent coronavirus.

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