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Afr J Med Med Sci. 1983 Mar;12(1):57-63.

Cow's urine concoction: its chemical composition, pharmacological actions and mode of lethality.


A review of current information on the composition, pharmacological actions and mode of death from cow's urine concoction (CUC) toxicity is presented. The concoction is prepared from leaves of tobacco, garlic and basil; lemon juice, rock salt and bulbs of onion. The latter items are soaked in the urine from cows which acts as the vehicle in which the active principles in these constituents dissolve. Over fifty chemical compounds have been identified in CUC. The major compounds it contains are benzoic acid, phenylacetic acid, p-cresol, thymol and nicotine. The chemical composition and pharmacological cations of the individual components of CUC are also reviewed. Observations of CUC poisoning in man and experimental animals showed that the main effects of CUC are severe depression of respiration, cardiovascular system, the central nervous system and hypoglycaemia. These toxic effects acting singly or in combination are believed to be the cause(s) of death from CUC. Management is geared towards correcting these adverse effects.

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