Decorated cows stand near the site of French carmaker Peugeot's new manufacturing unit during its ground breaking ceremony at Sanand in the western Indian state of Gujarat November 3, 2011.Reuters

Researchers at Lucknow-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have found that cow urine distillate (commonly known as Kamdhenu Ark) can help in the treatment of cancer and various other infections, Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday. 

AYUSH stands for ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homeopathy.

The minister said that scientists at CSIR collaborated with Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, Nagpur, to study the effectiveness of cow urine distillate as anti-cancer agent.

He said the study has revealed that the cow urine distillate can be used as anti-infective and anti-cancer agents because of its antioxidant and bio-enhancing properties.

"Cow urine distillate was found to possess the property of bio-enhancement of an anti-cancer natural agent 'Taxol' (paclitaxel) which is produced in microscopic amounts by the Yew tree (Taxus spp.). Cow urine distillate, besides enhancing the killing activities of different antibiotics on bacteria, could also enhance the cell division inhibitory activity of paclitaxel against the breast cancer cell line MCF-7," Naik said.

The white crystalline precipitate, which was obtained from cow urine, showed properties as effective as that of cow urine distillate. 

The minister added that a U.S. patent on the new research has also been received. He said that the AYUSH ministry has no plans to seek funds from the government for the research that aims to develop cancer medicine from cow urine. 

"Public and private research institutes may seek grant from the Government under various schemes of the ministry of AYUSH," the minister said.

India has got U.S. patents for four drugs derived from cow urine, with one of them available in the markets, according to the Hindustan Times.

The Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 guides the regulations for manufacturing, quality control and sale of ayurvedic drugs in India.

The government is also mulling to make clinical trials of ayurvedic drugs necessary before they enter the market.