“Hugging a cow can help with a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and compassion fatigue,” says Ellie Laks, founder of California-based non-profit The Gentle Barn. “If someone needs healing, the cows wrap them in a really good hug with their necks,” Laks continues, “cows are very centred, grounded and immersed in the present time and they help us do the same.”


While the West is slowly waking up to the merits of cows as an animal with healing qualities, in India, cows have been worshipped as holy animals for thousands of years. This is reflected in Vedic Astrology, where feeding cows form part of the remedies against different doshas in a person’s horoscope. It is believed any problem present in the horoscope can be overcome by feeding a cow.

Cows and the nine planets

Each of the nine planets in Vedic Astrology has its unique relationship with cows. To appease the Sun, feeding chapati along with some jaggery on Sunday morning is recommended. This can lead the person to achieve fame and status in life.

The Moon rules over emotions and body fluids. A badly placed Moon can invite urine infections. To please the Moon, feeding cows chapati and jaggery on Mondays is recommended. This reduces the possibility of emotional problems like depression and anxiety.

Mars is the planet of aggression. A badly placed Mars can cause problems related to anger and frustration. To improve Mars, feeding wheat to cows on Tuesdays is desirable. Sheltering a calf and taking care of it will also do good. Doing so will attract wealth and resolve legal tangles in life.

An adversely placed Mercury can cause problems in communication. Feeding cows with green grass on Wednesdays will solve this. This improves chances for foreign travel and removes obstacles at work.

Feeding rice to cows on Friday pleases Venus and can remove obstacles in a marriage. Venus is the planet of luxury and relationships. Feeding the cow something sweet along with rice will bring added benefits including ensuring a steady income.

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To benefit from the good grace of Jupiter, the most benefic among planets, one is advised to feed wheat flour and banana to cows on Thursday. Doing so will remove obstacles in professional life and lead to achieving a position of respect in society.

Feeding cow roti prepared in mustard oil will appease Saturn. Feeding a black cow daily is also believed to please Saturn. This will provide respite from legal tussles and remove obstacles in the path of finances.

A badly placed Rahu can give nightmares and cause trouble in sleeping. Rahu is believed to reside in the neck portion of the cow. Experiencing the aura and smell of a cow while feeding it will eliminate the malefic effects of a badly placed Rahu. Drinking cow urine is also considered effective.

A negative Kethu can be rectified by feeding sesame and wheat to cows, preferably a brown cow. This will help a person in overcoming his fears and additions and thus improve the overall quality of life.

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Cow and Vastu Shastra

Like Vedic Astrology, Vastu Shastra also derives inspiration from Vedas. Since the cow, as Kamadhenu, is considered the most sacred animal in Vedic culture, it is natural that cows have a prominent role in Vastu Shastra as well. Kamadhenu is seen as a symbol of fertility, purity and prosperity. The statue of a cow and a calf is a common item in most traditional Hindu households.

Placing the cow and calf statue in the pooja room on Friday will bring more cheer and excitement to life. Placing the statue in the southwest corner of the pooja room on Monday will help to bring business expenses under control and thus improve the overall financial situation. To bring household expenses under control, placing the statue in the north corner of the pooja room will help.

Worshipping the cow and calf bestows the blessings of goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga upon the person. It fulfils desires and ensures worldly and spiritual success at home. Worship of Kamadhenu with the calf will help in the inflow of positive energies into the home bringing peace and prosperity into the life of the family members.

A figure symbolizing the care and affection of a mother, worshipping the cow and calf wards off all illnesses, both physical and mental, from the house. Other than the pooja room, placing the statue at the entrance of the house in the northeast direction is also considered auspicious.

Cow dung and cow milk

According to ancient beliefs, all gods and goddesses reside in the different body parts of the cow. As per this, Goddess Lakshmi is believed to reside in the dung of the cow. Goddess Lakshmi is the embodiment of wealth and prosperity. Cow’s dung is the only kind of dung which is not only impure but rather is used to bring purity by removing all kinds of impurities.

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It is a traditional practice for women in the house to smear cow dung in the courtyard and make auspicious power designs over it. Doing so ensures wealth, long life and a good reputation for the woman. Cow dung has medicinal properties and smearing helps to purify the atmosphere. Doing it regularly safeguards people in the household from all ailments.

Hindu icon Lord Krishna spent his childhood tending to cows and cleaning up cow sheds. Ayurveda describes cow dung as germicidal, nourishing, pure and holy. Cow dung is supposed to cure skin diseases by reducing blood toxins. It is customary to burn cow dung during Hindu festivals. This is done to purify the atmosphere and invite the auspicious energy of Goddess Lakshmi into the life of the people.

Cow milk is also considered extremely holy in Vedic traditions. Cow milk represents purity. Bathing in cow milk or water mixed with cow milk is considered effective in reducing stress in life. Milk is related to the planet Moon. It is the Moon which controls the emotions of a person. So, bathing in milk gives the person much more control over his or her mind.

Milk is often offered to Lord Shiva and Shivling. Doing so on Monday brings the blessings of Mahadeva into the life of the person. Bathing in milk and splashing water mixed with milk over one’s head is believed to help in negating the malefic effects of badly placed planets in the horoscope.

Cows for psychological therapy

Cow-hugging therapy is a growing trend in the western world. According to experts in the field, a cow’s warmer body temperature, slower heartbeat and mammoth size can make hugging them an incredibly soothing experience. The therapy includes caressing the cow, reclining against them and even getting licked by the cow.

Cuddling a cow releases the hormone oxytocin which inspires us to bond and promotes friendships. Nowadays animal farms in America and Europe charge people by the hour for the chance to cuddle with cows.

In India, cows have been long held as symbols of divinity and fertility. Feeding a cow is generally considered auspicious and a wholesome remedy to doshas in a horoscope. Hindus address cows as ‘go-mata’ and see them as the mother of all animals.

A cow inspires the formation of energies which help a person overcome anger and tension. Cows are considered to be a gift from gods. Taking care of a cow is considered equivalent to serving the gods themselves. Donating a cow is considered the most auspicious thing that a person can do.

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