Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has revealed that he drinks cow urine every day for ayurvedic reasons.
The actor, who is currently shooting in Scotland for his upcoming film "BellBottom" with Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta Bhupathi, joined British adventurer and host Bear Grylls for an Instagram Live, to talk about going on a jungle adventure with him.
When Huma asked Akshay how he convinced himself to drink elephant poop tea on the show, Akshay said: "I wasn't worried. I was too excited to be worried. I have cow urine because of ayurvedic reasons every day, so that was okay."
Soon after Akshay Kumar made the revelation, hundreds of his fans were Googling to see if cow urine actually had medicinal properties.
Photo: Google trends
For long, there has been a debate on whether cow urine can actually magically cure a number of diseases, like cancer or even coronavirus. In fact, several Indian politicians have recommended drinking cow urine if they want to ward of the novel coronavirus.
Don't believe us? Here's a recent example.
In July 2020, West Bengal BJP President and Lok Sabha MP, Dilip Ghosh, said that cow urine can cure coronavirus.
"If I talk about cows, people fall sick. I tell them a donkey will not understand the worth of cow. This is India, the land of Lord Krishna and here cows are God, we worship. We will have cow urine to stay healthy. Take ayurvedic medicine and don't worry," said Dilip Ghosh.
Now we do not know if Akshay Kumar has been drinking cow urine to fight coronavirus, but for those wondering, here's what we know - cow urine cannot miraculously cure diseases, there's no scientific evidence to prove it does yet.
Back in April this year when the coronavirus pandemic was in its initial phases, fake news and WhatsApp forwards also suggested something similar - that cow urine can strengthen immunity and fend off the virus.
But a group of scientists on a warpath to fight the fake news infodemic, debunked all such claims.
Not just coronavirus. There have also been claims that cow urine, or gaumutra, can cure cancer. Well, to put it clearly and simply, it does not.
In 2018, Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor Medical and Pediatric Oncology, told News18 that he had seen many "gullible patients fall in to the trap of consuming cow urine and then losing their lives.
“No, cow urine does not prevent or cure cancers. There is no scientific evidence available to prove this. My fellow oncologists and I are yet to see a patient who exclusively consumed cow urine to be cured of cancer," he had said back then.
In February, various government agencies issued a call for research proposals on "cowpathy" - that is, treatment using cow urine. It urged Indian scientists to come up with ideas on how cow urine can be used to treat diseases like diabetes or cancer, how it can be used to benefit agriculture or even in the form of hair shampoo and oil.
According to Sciencemag, this led to an outrage in the science community in the country with over 500 Indian scientists writing an open letter to the government asking them to withdraw the call for proposals. The scientists said that this is purely unscientific and a waste of public money especially when other (and more significant) research in the country was facing a crunch.