Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has revealed that he drinks cow urine daily, joining a growing number of Indians who believe it has medicinal benefits – including against the coronavirus.
Kumar is considered a staunch supporter of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, which has earmarked millions of dollars for research into products using bovine waste to cure diseases like diabetes and cancer.
There is no comprehensive scientific evidence of any medicinal benefits, but several politicians from Modi’s right-wing ruling party have advocated using the dung and urine to cure coronavirus.
The 53-year-old actor was promoting his appearance on a show with British television adventurer Bear Grylls, in which they drink tea made from elephant dung in an Indian tiger reserve.
“I was too excited to be worried. I have cow urine because of ayurvedic reasons every day, so that was okay,” Kumar said on a social media live chat posted Thursday.
Many Hindus believe cows are sacred and drink its urine for medicinal benefits.
Modi’s government created a ministry of ayurveda and yoga, with Modi suggesting in June that yoga could help create a “protective shield” against the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 has infected 4.6 million people in India and killed 76,000.