By Dr JV Hebbar
Panchagavya’s uses range from Its uses range from plant fertilizer to medicine for schizophrenia. Pancha means five and gavya means products obtained from cows. Panchagavya is a combination of five ingredients – cow milk, curd, ghee, cow urine and cow dung (water).
Apart from its health benefits, it is extensively used as manure to improve plant growth. Cow dung contains many healthy bacteria that promote healthy plant growth (a)
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How is Panchagavya prepared?
In a clean wide mouthed vessel, cow ghee, milk, curd, cow urine and cow dung water are mixed and preserved.
Cow milk can be boiled and cooled.
Curd can be fresh or one year old.
Cow urine can be freshly collected, once collected, better to use it afresh. Godhan Ark or distillate of cow urine, which is readily available in the market can be used. If you have a distillation apparatus, you can prepare the distillate yourself and use it for Panchagavya preparation.
Cow dung is mixed with 10 parts of water, mixed and filtered. The water part is taken and added.
Once after preparing it, it is best to use it within one day or before its taste and odor starts worsening.
For a healthy person, just half to one teaspoon of it is advised everyday, on empty stomach.
For Kapha body type persons, for people with high cholesterol, obesity, asthma, repeated respiratory allergies, who are genetically and hereditarily predisposed to cancer, etc. the dose can be higher, one teaspoon once or twice a day on empty stomach. It can be taken in very low doses, based on doctor’s advice, in children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Deha shuddhikara – It cleanses and detoxifies the body, keeps the body channels patent and ensures avoidance of blockage and sluggishness.
Kapha Vinashana – Balances Kapha very efficiently.
useful in Kapha imbalance disorders such as
Feeling of heaviness, white discoloration, cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis,
excess sleep, depressed mood, lethargy, sedentary lifestyle habits
excess craving for junk foods
Sluggish mind, slow thinking, lack of decision making, severe procrastination
Excessively oily skin
Increase of oiliness – Oily skin is due to Kapha.
Itching – Pain is a Vata Dosha Symptom, burning sensation is a
Obstruction to body channels – Obstruction to the heart arteries by cholesterol leading to heart attack, is caused due to Kapha Dosha increase. Obstruction of blood vessels in the thighs due to clotting, leads to a disease called Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is a Kapha Dosha increase disorder.
Tongue coating, inability to perceive tastes properly
Stiffness of body joints, inability to move freely, inability to wake up early in the morning and exercise
Swelling, water retention, weight gain, as in case of hypothyroidism
Obesity, fat deposits on chest, abdomen, gluteal region
Rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis
Feeling sweet taste / salt taste in mouth.
Weak digestion, the intestines take a long time to digest food, seeing undigested food particles in feces
Clingy, hanging on to people and ideas
Greedy, Possessive, Materialistic
Weight gain, obesity
Mucus and congestion in the chest or throat sinuses,
Pre diabetes and diabetes
Nausea – vomiting sensation, secretions from mouth and nasal cavities early in the morning
Pale, cool, clammy skin
High cholesterol, heaviness of heart, myocarditis, myocardiopathy
Cancer, fibroid, cysts, tumors
Polycystic ovarian disorder
Shloka, Sanskrit Verses
Ayurvedic references, Remedies
Panchagavya is administered along with long pepper, Triphala, curd, buttermilk, milk for the treatment of recurrent fever (Vishama Jwara). Charaka Chikitsa Sthana, 3/304
Pratishyaya – running nose and rhinitis due to Vata aggravation, associated with thin watery discharge and pain,
Panchagavya is burnt and fumes are inhaled. Basavarajeeyam, 18th Chapter
It is an herbal ghee prepared with the ingredients of Panchagavya.
1-2 teaspoons of Panchgavya ghrita should be consumed along with 12 ml of Brahmi Swarasa for the treatment of epilepsy. Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 10/62
Mentioned for the treatment of inflammatory disorders (Shvayathu Chikitsa).
Mentioned for Snehana – high dose administration ahead of Virechana panchakarma treatment for Pandu (anemia) and Kamala (jaundice). Charaka Chikitsa 16/43
It contains more ingredients and is more effective than Panchagavya ghrita, used for the treatment of epilepsy, schizophrenia, inflammation, ascites, fluid retention, abdominal tumors, anemia and jaundice.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, 10/18-24
अपस्मारे तथोन्मादे श्वयथावुदरेषु च|
गुल्मार्शःपाण्डुरोगेषु कामलायां हलीमके||२३||
People taking it for the first time may feel nausea and aversion towards it due to slightly bad odor and taste
In people with a high Pitta and Pitta Dosha body type, it may cause burning sensation in the throat, dizziness, heartburn and increased BP. Such people may add double the quantity of ghee and milk to make it more tolerable.
Some people with normal body weight may start losing weight.
Some may feel a lack of energy and weakness.
It is always best to consume this as per the advice of your Ayurveda doctor.
In South India, many people spell it as Panchakavya or Panchagavyam
In North India, it is called Panchagavy.
Use in Alchemy Rasashastra
It is used in Abhraka Satvapatana. It is the extraction of essence from Abhraka (Mica). Reference: Rasaratna Samucchaya 2/29-33)
It is used in the Rajavarta Satvapatana – extraction of essence from Rajavarta (Lapis lazuli).
Effect on Tridosha
Milk – Balances Pitta and Vata Doshas
Ghee – Balances Pitta and Vata
Curd – Balances Vata
Cow urine – Balances Kapha
Cow dung – Balances Kapha
Overall the combination is Tridosha balancing. But the effect of cow urine is profound and over-powering. So, it tilts the formula more towards balancing Kapha Dosha.
Pancagavya Vs. Panchamrit
Panchamritham is a combination of cow ghee, curd, milk, honey and candy sugar. Read more about Panchamritham
Panchagavya is a combination of cow ghee, curd, milk, urine and dung.
Taste and nourishing effects:
Panchamritham is tastier and more nourishing.
Panchagavyam is more cleansing and detoxifying.
Use in Alchemy
Both are used in Rasashastra – Alchemy. Panchagavya is used in extraction of essence of Mica and Lapis Lazuli, Panchamrutham is used for detoxifying the calx (Bhasma) of Copper. It is used extensively in processing mercury.
Tumors and obesity
Panchagavya is more effective in treating tumors, fibroids etc. and in treating obesity, asthma etc, due to the presence of cow urine.
Panchamrita is commonly used in the Abhisheka – bathing the idols of Gods.
Panchakavya is more often consumed or sprinkled over bodies and different corners of home as a way of cleansing the home off bad spirits and negative vibes.
Panchagavya is used in preparing several medicines such as Panchagavya ghrita, Mahapanchagavya ghrita etc. wherein it is added with several other herbs, cooked and herbal ghee is prepared. Panchamrita is not seen in many Ayurvedic medicines.
Effect on mind:
Panchamritam is useful to enrich and improve the qualities of mind. Useful in low mood, anxiety, fearfulness, depression etc.
Panchagavya is useful to cleanse and detoxify mind. Used more commonly in schizophrenia, mania, bipolar disorder etc.
Effect on Dosha:
Both balance all the three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Panchamrita balances Vata Dosha profoundly
Panchagavya balances Kapha Dosha efficaciously.
Number of people whom panchamrita is suited is larger.
Panchamrita can be used daily without worrying much about adverse effects.
Panchagavyam has more therapeutic dimension to it.