Cows set to get a swadeshi boost
Ayurveda for cows! In a first, city researchers and ayurvedic doctors have started experimenting with ayurvedic herbs on three local cattle breeds: Amrit Mahal, Malnad Gidda and Hallikar, in the hopes of unearthing the secret to ‘swadesi’ milk.
This is being done to enhance the quality and quantity of cow milk available in the market from farm-bred cows. The project will be officially flagged-off at the National Diary Research Institute (NDRI) on Independence Day. The research is to be carried out in an area of over 40 acres at the NDRI and aims to add medicinal value to dairy products.
Renowned environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy and Dr T Venkatashamaiah, a noted Ayurveda doctor from the Kalabyraveshwara Swamy Ayurvedic Medical College and hospital, along with experts from the NDRI will begin work on August 15.
“We have had two rounds of discussions on this. The milk, which is available in the market has been the subject of wide discussion: Is it white poison? The nutrients in the milk and the way the cows are bred have been subject to long-standing debate. This research aims to address all these issues. It will focus on how herbs used on humans can be used in cattle to increase the quality of milk and also quantity. Several herbs will be used, including common ones like medhya and sthanavrudhakka,” Dr Venkatashamaiah told Bangalore Mirror.
The research includes quantitative, qualitative, and comparative analyses of ayurvedic shrubs on cattle and milk production and nutrient levels in samples under different conditions, he explained. This will be done on three local species to ensure the milk is organic, he added.
NDRI, which conducts research into dairy cattle breeding, dairy cattle nutrition, dairy cattle physiology, dairy technology, and progressive farming, is hopeful of a positive outcome.
“We hope to carry this out for over a year. If it yields the desired outcome, then it will have a long-lasting effect in the way we produce milk, which is current nutrient-deficient,” Venkatashamaiah added.
Medicinal value to replace deficient dairy products
AN Yellappa Reddy said that the feeding habits of cattle has changed with rapid loss of green cover and was in turn taking a toll on humans who consume dairy products. He called for change to revive cattle-feeding and in turn dairy products to get the rich qualities that existed in past. He said over 100 species of shrubs have been identified and will be part of the project.
“We have identified over 100 species, including tripala and brahmi, to revive dairy farming. The world is now consuming two types of dairy products classified as A1 and A2. Here you get quantity, but not quality. This research where cattle will feed on ayurvedic or medicinal plants will bring medicinal value to milk, improve memory and immunity to the end consumer.
“In the old days, cattle grazed in green pastures and wild forests and the products were nutrient-rich. Now with rapid deforestation, their feed is injected with hormones to increase quantity. They undergo tremendous pain in the process. Further some are treated for diseases like foot and mouth, and liver and bovine TB. Dairy products do have a residue of the medication, which humans consume. Hence these are deficient products.
“However when fed with medicinal herbs, it not only adds to their immunity but also adds medicinal value to the products and in turn helps humans. Hence the project is going to revive the process of gomala and gokattas, to get nutrient-rich products,” Reddy told BM.