Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has said he drinks cow urine every day, which a growing number of Indians attribute to therapeutic powers, especially against the coronavirus. The famous actor is said to be a staunch supporter of the party of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The latter allocates millions of dollars to the promotion of research on products using the urine or dung of this animal, held sacred by the Hindu faithful, to fight against diabetes or cancer or to make toothpaste. Yet, no extensive scientific study has validated these alleged healing properties.

Akshay Kumar , 53, was taking to social media during an online debate to promote a TV show with British adventurer Bear Grylls . In this show, the two men drink elephant poop tea in an Indian tiger reserve. “I was not worried,” Mr. Kumar told actress Huma Qureshi during the conversation. “I drink cow’s urine every day for Ayurvedic reasons so it was good. “
Many Hindus drink cow’s urine for its alleged health benefits. Members of Mr. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have even advocated the use of urine and cow dung against the coronavirus. The Hindu nationalist organization All IndiaHindu Mahasabha held a protest in New Delhi in mid-March to promote this drink against Covid-19 disease.

Mr. Modi’s government has a ministry dedicated to yoga and traditional medicines such as Ayurveda. In June, Mr. Modi suggested that yoga could help build a “protective shield” against the coronavirus. India has 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and the disease has killed 76,000 people there.