Do Indian Restaurants Sprinkle Cow Urine On Your Food?

Is this an urban myth or an ancient Hindu ritual that’s going to make you live long and prosperous? I have heard that drinking cow urine is something that’s done here in India and I see it in health product stores, but…

Do Indian restaurants sprinkle cow urine on your food? No. Cow urine is not used in food production. It does have antibacterial properties, according to some studies, and is used as medicine and a health drink. It is also used in some disinfectants, soaps, organic fertilizers, and spiritual rituals.

Yeah, it’s a little odd to see a bottle of cow pee on a store shelf here in India. Yet, you can rest easy that there are no chefs sprinkling it on your food or mixing it in with your cocktail.

Cow urine or gomutra does have a number of uses though, and I did some research to see why anyone would want to use it. What I found was actually quite surprising!

Disclaimer: The intent of this article is to answer a question that some people have. If you find this offensive, I’m truly sorry, and please discontinue reading.

Here’s a related post: 50 Reasons India is a Good Place To Visit [+7 Reasons to Avoid It!]

Do Indian Restaurants Use Cow Urine?

  • Are McDonald’s hamburgers made with earthworms?
  • Was a finger found in a Wendy’s chili cup?
  • Do Chinese food restaurants use dog meat?
  • Is KFC “chicken” actually a mutant creature called animal 57?

Who doesn’t love a weird urban myth question to pass the time sometimes? And when I read the question, Do Indian restaurants use cow urine? It seems like the perfect myth, just like these four questions above that are NOT TRUE.

This question plays off of stereotypes many people hold, that Indian people are very religious and perform odd rituals.

It also holds some truth, Indian people do respect and revere the holy cow. There also is a remedy made of cow urine found in health food stores called gomutra. Plus, some Hindus do use cow urine in some of their prayers.

However, in my research, it seems like only a minority of people use it. Most people would be just as grossed out about touching cow urine as someone from a Western country.

So… you can rest easy though that your delicious butter chicken is pee-free 🥳

What is Gomutra?

Gomutra is an Ayurvedic medicine that’s 95% water and 5% cow urine. You’re getting the minerals, salts, water, urea and other substances secreted from the cow.

Some people make gomutra with the urine of a virgin female cow. Others think it’s best with a pregnant cow. The urine of the Bos indicus breed of cows is also thought to bring you strength (it is the oxen drawing the carts with the large muscular hump behind its head versus the milk cow you’d see on dairy farms in the USA called a Bos taurus).

I hear that it does smell like strong urine, but the taste is not too bad.

You can find bottles of it at the popular health store chain Patanjali or on Amazon.

How is Gomutra Used in India?

India’s so big that I’m sure people use it for a wide range of things, however, I am seeing a few trends in its use…

A Natural Cleaner

You can find it in a small minority of soaps, shampoos, and household cleaning products. Why might that be…?

Think of what it might be like living in a small Indian village. There’s no Walmart, there’s no Clorox bleach nearby, and your annual income is around $1670 USD (as found by the World Bank in 2016).

You do have a cow though, and you already drink its milk. You make cheese and butter from its milk as well. You use the dung for fertilizer. And you grew up in a religion that honors and respects the cow as the “holy mother.”

When I think about it in this way, it makes sense that people would use what they have. AND cow urine has been proven to kill bacteria.

Cow urine has carbolic acid which is a natural (dare I say, green) disinfectant.

As more and more people in modern nations, seek out cleaning products with less harmful chemicals, maybe more and more countries will look to the holy cow. 🙂

Usually, the cleaners are a blend of ingredients, for instance, this study found that tulsi and neem were mixed with gomutra to achieve the most cleansing solution.

DO NOT WORRY: If gomutra is in your soap or shampoo it will be clearly labeled. No company is going to sneak a little cow urine into your soap without you knowing. 🤗

Religious Practices

One thing to keep in mind about religions in India and with Hinduism, in particular, is that while there are 966 million Hindus in India, the way people practice varies greatly from state to state and village to village and family to family. In the same way that there are many branches of Christianity, except even more so.

To say that all Hindus use cow urine in their religious rituals would be far from accurate. Many would probably consider it as odd as a foreigner.

For some puja (prayer) rituals, cow urine is used by some people though.

I have read that sprinkling the cow urine has a cleansing effect. I’ve also read that some people will rub it on a newborn babies belly.

An Organic Fertilizer

Gomutra is used in a common fertilizer, Panchagavya. A farmer uses nine ingredients to make it:

  • Cow urine
  • Cow dung
  • Cow milk
  • Curd or yogurt made from cow milk
  • Ghee or clarified butter made from cow milk
  • Jaggery or brown sugar
  • Bananas
  • Fresh coconuts
  • Water

Notice that all of these items you would easily have access to if you were living on a farm far from any cities in India.

If you ever watch Youtube videos about organic farmers or people living off-the-grid, you may see them using human waste from a composting toilet… so it’s not that far from that.

An Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine stretches back over a thousand years from some original Sanskrit texts. It focuses on a balanced way of living and is gaining popularity as yoga continues to gain more followers.

Cow urine is often labeled as an Ayurvedic medicine. As I was researching, I found claims that gomutra would heal a number of diseases and ailments:

  • Liver problems
  • Blood disorders
    Stomach problems
  • Fever
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Leprosy
  • Tuberculosis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • And even curing baldness

Is there actually any scientific evidence to back up these claims?

Does Cow Urine Work As a Medicine?

There are some studies that show that cow urine kills bacteria and microbes.

This study found that:

Cow urine showed remarkable antibacterial activity against the pathogenic bacteria, for which it can be selected for further studies to isolate bioactive natural constituents…

-In vitro screening of antibacterial activity of cow urine against pathogenic human bacterial strains. International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research (2011)

Therefore, it can kill bacteria and scientists should figure out what part of the urine does so they could make products from it.

Another study found that:

Urine is one of the products of a cow with many benefits and without toxicity. Various studies have found good antimicrobial activity of cow’s urine (CU) comparable with standard drugs such as ofloxacin, cefpodoxime, and gentamycin, against a vast number of pathogenic bacteria,

-Chemotherapeutic potential of cow urine. Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology (2015).

This study supports the use of gomutra in lower blood glucose in diabetic rats and was found to contain no toxicity.

Does this prove that gomutra is the cure-all we’ve all been waiting for and can rid the world of cancer?

No, probably not. Most doctors say that the evidence of gomutra curing diseases is strictly anecdotal evidence and that the claims come from pseudoscience.

There is no evidence gomutra cures cancer according to this doctor…

I think I’m perfectly comfortable in saying that I’m aware of no data that cow’s urine — or any other species’ urine — holds any promise … in treating or preventing cancer.”

Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic

On the other hand, what I found was that… cow urine does seem to have some beneficial qualities. It can kill bacteria. It can help in growing crops. It also may not be as weird as you think.


If you’re eating at Indian restaurants, you already want to be conscious of the hygiene and if tap water was used. But you can dine without worry that there is cow urine in your food.

I covered this question on my Youtube channel, and I also produced weekly videos about India. Here’s a related video and if you like the content, please subscribe 🤓

Related Questions:

Do Indians Eat Cow Poop?

No. There is a confusion between making cow dung patties that are used to cook on a stove and eating the patties straight. Cow dung is a powerful and readily available fuel in India. Over 2 billion people in the world use it.

Is There A Cow Urine Soda?

In 2009, Gau Jal (another word for cow water) was a soda drink that made the news because it contained cow urine. It never was sold and you can’t find it today though. You can find bottles of a 5% cow urine solution, yet not “soda” with sugar and carbonation.

Benjamin Jenks

Traveler, Filmmaker, and Lover of India. I've been living, writing and sharing what I've learned about traveling in India since 2018. Learn more about me here or Youtube.

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