In India cow is a revered animal and is often referred to as Gou-Mata or the Cow Mother. And this love and respect for the holy cow does not come without any reason. Every product from cow including its dung and urine have been used in daily lives of people in Indian sub continent since ancient times. Gou-Daan or Gifting/Donation of the cow was considered as one of the biggest act of kindness as cow is also a source of livelihood. But the biggest contribution that the Indian breed (desi) cow has been making is in the field of agriculture. Cow waste is one of the best manures and soil enhancer which is used in organic farming widely. A lot of different liquid fertilizers and foliar sprays are made using cow waste all across India. Panchagavya/Panchakavya or Panchagavyam/Panchakavyam is not just one of them, it is the king among them all. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetic products.
Though Panchgavya is available commercially in Indian market, we prefer to make our own. This is because not only we want to control the quality, Panchagavya is also super easy to prepare.
Panchagavya can be loosely translated as ‘Five products of cow’. As the name suggests it uses five products from cow and a few more natural ingredients for the fermentation process. Here is what you need to prepare this magic potion. Note that all the cow products must be from desi cow variety.
- Fresh Cow Dung – 5 kg
- Cow Urine (need not be fresh) – 3 liter
- Cow Milk boiled and cooled (not refrigerated) – 2 liter
- Fresh Cow Curd – 2 liter
- Cow Ghee – 500 gms
- Well ripened Bananas – 12
- Black organic jaggery dissolved in 3 liters of water (Alternatively use sugarcane juice of the same volume) – 500 gms
- Fresh Tender coconut water – 3 liters
- Fresh Grape Juice – 2 liter
- Take a wide mouth plastic, clay or wooden container. Do NOT use a metal container. Make sure its clean and sun dry it for a day or two to sterilize it.
- Mix the cow dung and ghee in the container using a wooden stick. Again do not use any metal here. Stir in clockwise direction in a rhythmic motion. Then stir in anti clockwise direction. Do not mix vigorously. It will kill the beneficial microbes in cow dung.
- Cover the container using thick cloth to protect it from insects. Leave this mixture for three days. Keep it away from direct sunlight and rain. Give it a stir once in the morning and once in the evening. Twelve times in each direction works well.
- On the fourth day slowly stir in all other ingredients. Make sure you are mixing them in while stirring the mixture in a single direction slowly.
- Leave this to ferment for 15 days. Give it a stir once in the morning and once in the evening.
Your Panchagavya is now ready to use. Store it in a place away from direct sun and rain. Keep it covered and give it a stir two times a day. If you follow these guidelines you can store this concoction up to 2 months.
How to use Panchagavya
To use Panchagavya dilute it with 30 parts water and it is ready to be used as a liquid fertilizer. To use it as a foliar spray filter the liquid using a cotton cloth to separate out the waste. If you do not filter it your spray nozzle will be blocked.
As a fertilizer we use it once every two weeks during normal growth of a plant and once a week during flowering and fruiting. As a foliar spray we use it on a weekly basis. We have noticed that when Panchagaya is sprayed all pests disappear and start to make an appearance after about a week’s time. Hence we spray once in a week. Spraying should be done early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Plants and leaves should be dry when you spray Panchakavya. You can spray it between 8-9 AM on a normal day in the morning. In the evening spray about an hour before sun set. Do not waste your Panchagavya on rainy days.
Benefits of Panchagavya
The benefits of Panchagavya are numerous. It is indeed a magic potion for plants. You’ll notice a few things about your plants when you start using Panchakavya.
- It keeps pests away from your plants.
- It helps develop bigger and better leaves and stem.
- Plant canopy and root system becomes denser.
- Yield is better in quantity and quality.
In our garden we use Panchakavya in addition to other cow waste based liquid fertilizers like Amrut Jal and Jiwamrita and have been consistently getting splendid results. Even our kittens like to slurp Panchagavya. We believe their extraordinary growth and health is due to Panchakavya. Though this still needs to be proven, the benefits of Panchagavya for your plants will be there for you to see when you make your own and use it.