To recover from our most grotesque outcomes of industrialization, her help is needed. Critical help. Her प्रसाद is गंगा स्वरुप. She can wash our sins selflessly. Our crimes of polluting जल,वायु & जमीन.
All this is possible if we save and protect her. Time is running fast. If she is not protected as early as possible, recovery from possible collapse would be much slower than expected.
Bioremediation of Pharmaceuticals, Pesticides, and Petrochemicals with Gomeya/Cow Dung
Use and misuse of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and petrochemicals by man is causing havoc with nature, as they persist as such or as their toxic metabolites. These pollutants bioaccumulate in environment, and they ultimately reach man through various means. They are hazardous because of potential toxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and genotoxicity. To rejuvenate nature, remediation methods currently available are usually expensive and might convert one toxic pollutant to another. Bioremediation methods use naturally occurring microorganisms to detoxify man-made pollutants so that they change pollutants to innocuous products that make soil fertile in the process. Taking cue from Ayurveda, Gomeya/cow dung is used as an excellent bioremediation method. Thus, utilizing freely available cow dung as slurry or after composting in rural areas, is a cheap and effective measure to bioremediate the harmful pollutants. Yet, more research in this direction is warranted to bioremediate nonbiodegradable, potentially toxic pollutants.
What is Bioremediation?
Bioremediation is the use of naturally occurring microorganisms or genetically engineered microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) by man, to detoxify man-made pollutants . Earthworms are capable of bioaccumulating heavy metals in their body tissues especially chloragocytes, and their intestinal microflora has the capacity to detoxify most of the pesticides. Earthworms are good additions to enhance the activity of natural and cheap composts to detoxify the environment. Microorganisms have a unique ability to interact both chemically and physically with a huge range of both man-made and naturally occurring compounds leading to a structural change to, or the complete degradation of the, target molecule.
3.1. Vedic Literature
Ayurveda is one of the life sciences of the Vedic Indian period. Panchgavya Chikitsa is a part of Ayurveda (i.e., therapy with cow products, namely, milk, curd, clarified butter, urine, and dung). It is one of the main principles is that the world is made up of a combination of the five basic elements—ether, earth, air, water, and fire with a harmonious blend in the human body, flora, and fauna alike.
Susruta (one of the pioneers of Ayurveda) mentions that the human body is made up of these five basic elements in a delicate balance—Asimnchhaste panchmahabhut sharire samvaiym purusheh etyuchyte.22 (Sushruta Samhita 1 )
Susruta also says that when this delicate harmonious balance is interfered with, there would be disease in the world. Bhutebhyo hi param kinchinnasti chinta chikitsite.8 (Sushruta Samhita 1 )
Nature has made various natural mechanisms by which all waste are biodegraded naturally leaving no toxins in the environment, thus they do not harm the environment in any manner.
4. Gomeya/Cow Dung
According to Ayurveda, Gomeya/cow dung is not a waste product, but it is a purifier of all wastes in the nature . When spread over urban and rural waste in solution form (1:10–1:25 solution), it biodegrades the waste in time. It is a “gold mine” due its wide applications in the field of agriculture, energy resource, environmental protection, and therapeutic applications.
Cow dung is a cheap and easily available rich source of microflora. Though cow dung has been used in several studies, but the breed of cow has not been mentioned. As per Indian Vedic scriptures, cow dung obtained from Indian indigenous cow/Bos indicus/Zebu breed is better than that of other newer breeds. Ideally, the source of cow dung as per Ayurveda should be from a healthy Zebu cow, fed upon healthy diet of pastures including various natural herbs and which has been reared hygienically.
Shranivartan vrtya ne nivartan vrtya Bhumyachshrtrsm prdishstabhyam ena ne vrtya (Rigveda 10, 19, 8 )
Rigveda advises man to let the cows graze freely in the meadows in all the four directions everyday without any restrictions.
Taking cue from Ayurveda, Gomeya/cow dung acts as an excellent bioremediation method. It is cheap, a economically viable option and is locally available in the rural areas of India. Much more exhaustive studies are required to bioremediate the active pharmaceutical agents especially the ones which are nonbiodegradable and persistors in nature. Thus, the adverse effects of these chemicals on flora and fauna can be minimized for a healthy and safe future. These effects can be further studied and validated as per modern research methodology.