Isolation of micro-organisms from components of panchagavya

Shrikant P. Gajbhiye, Vivek S Vishwe, Jayashree A, Chetan R Zope, Sunil Mansighnka, Abhay S. Chowdhary and Usha Padmanabhan

Panchagavya or Panchagavya gritha (PG) finds mention in many ancient texts in the scripts of Vedas and in texts related to the ancient Indian system of medicine Ayurveda. When literally translated from sanskrit, “Pancha” means Five and “Gavya” means substance or ingredient. In general, the term PG is used to signify the blend of five ingredients obtained from the cow namely urine (CU), dung (CD), milk (M), ghee (clarified butter, G) and curd (C). Ayurveda has mentioned that the five individual constituents of PG possess medicinal properties and can be used singly or in combination for treatment of different human ailments. On the other hand, a lot of criticism has been afforded to “cow therapy” by the western world. In this study, we decided to evaluate the microbial composition of the various components of PG and the effect of mixing them together. Our study indicates that CD and CU are heavy with a variety of micro-organisms, primarily yeast and gram positive and negative bacteria. Sequencing revealed the presence of Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, Bacillus, Escherichia, Aeromonas, Lactococcus, Acinetobacter, Macrococcus, Aspergillus and Penicillium genera from the colonies chosen from CD or CU separately or a combination of CD, CU, M, U and G. However, our study suggests that when all components of PG are combined together, they mitigate microbial growth in other components bringing down the total microbial load. Mixing them in a Cu vessel further brought down microbial load in PG to almost nil. Our study highlights the fact that PG made according to the recommendations of traditional literature retains only beneficial effects of cow therapy.

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