Cow colostrum is a thick lemon yellow coloured secretion produced by cows for about 72 hours after the birth of a calf.
Bhatkar's recently founded Institute of Integrative Healthcare (IIHc) started research on this solution almost three years ago. "But we started focusing on the H1N1 flu only a few months ago. Our focus was on nutritional immunology inspired by Ayurveda rather than vaccine-based immunology. Different countries have different conditions, so it is vital for each and every country to look for a solution to the illness themselves," said Bhatkar.
Stressing the fact that the solution was only meant to be a supplement to the medication for H1N1 and not a replacement, Bhatkar said that it could be taken by both those suffering from H1N1 and those who want to take some kind of preventive measures.
The task force formed by the institute to conduct research on the solution include a mix of medical practitioners and Ayurveda practitioners and G T Phanse, the former deputy director of the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL). "The colostrum contains about 20 specific antibodies and it also has antibacterial properties," said Ramesh Patil, a member of the task force.
The solution has already been tried on 7,000 patients successfully during the course of the research, 20 per cent of them displayed influenza-like symptoms. "We have not been able to obtain the necessary permission to test it on those suffering from the H1N1 flu but we are in talks with various authorities including the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) who have promised to get back to us," said Bhatkar.
On being asked about the effectiveness of the solution, another task force member, Vinod Marathe, said that it starts taking effect within an hour after it is consumed. "It quickly builds up your immunity system and the effect only gets stronger. The antibodies start functioning immediately," he added. He also clarified that the solution was not advisable for those who were lactose intolerant.