TAKING THE PEE
Taboos are fascinating. They’re a pointer to something surrounded by barbed wire in a society. Sometimes they exist for very practical reasons: in the Old Testament meats are divided into clean and unclean categories. There was sense in times when hygiene was less understood to simply state ‘Eat this!’ and ‘Don’t eat that!’. Understanding has advanced, and contemporary believers differ about whether to follow those older codes.
Anything to do with urine has the same kind of taboo aspect. Within Ayurveda there is a less-known realm around its health benefits called Amaroli that goes back centuries. So it’s perhaps not surprising that gomutra is used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic treatment: you’re more likely to know it as cow pee. It has antimicrobial properties comparable to the synthetic antibiotic ofloxacin. Given the drive to find alternatives to antibiotics, interest in gomutra makes sense – it was granted a patent in America in 2002 for use as a bioenhancer. It is also a great antioxidant, meaning active against chemicals that harm living cells and can lead to diabetes and cancer, among other conditions.
Ayurveda is interesting in that it sees darkness and light exist within us all. That’s a taboo way of thinking for many, but there’s rich experience to be found in embracing your inner Kali. You can do it without the goddess’s necklace of skulls or grasping an enemy’s severed head, but the imagery is potent and doesn’t shy way from death and blood. It’s part of reality, just like cow wee. Given how cows are venerated in India, is it a surprise that their urine was seen as worth exploring?
There are plenty of other places curiosity leads and wonder follows. The wonderful golden spice turmeric – known also as haldi – has well-known health applications. Even the idea that a spice could have benefits for skin thanks to its antiflammatory properties challenges those whose horizons are limited. Good scientists aren’t at all like that, but the vexation of something which crosses the line can be witnessed easily in conversations about whether pineapple belongs on pizza. Sacre bleu!
Joking aside, take a look at the ingredients we use across the Tri-Dosha range, from liquorice to neem and many more. It’ll make you look around your garden anew, and at plants and herbs you come across in the course of your week as you enjoy getting out and about more.
Until next time … Namaste