Utilising the indigenous knowledge system shared by a farmer from Gujarat, a poly-herbal and cost-effective medicine has been developed to treat mastitis, an infectious disease of dairy cattle.
Mastitis is a common infectious disease, which affects farm productivity due to fall in milk quality, thus impacting income-generating activities.
The treatment of infected animals with antibiotics poses a public health hazard. “Indigenous knowledge systems can offer a more sustainable alternative, and their scientific evaluation is necessary to integrate these medications in the health care system. Continuous expansion in development of technologies and products is required towards management of mastitis with minimal use of antibiotic therapy,” a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology said.
To this end, NIF, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which reinvigorates indigenous technologies based on farmer’s wisdom, has identified this unique herbal composition shared by a farmer from Gujarat for control of mastitis among farm animals. A gel preparation has been developed for topical application over the affected udder surface, and a patent has been filed for this composition shared by the farmer Becharbhai Samatbhai Devgania.
It was found that the medication could minimise Somatic Cell Count (SCC) and improve the udder health. The Somatic Cell Count is a parameter noted globally, and efforts are fine-tuned in reducing the SCC in milk at standard limit.
The polyherbal medicine reduced inflammation which is detrimental to the udder. This critical analysis of the indigenous knowledge system led to the development of value-added commercial product Mastirak with the support of industry partner Rakesh Pharmaceuticals, which is currently manufacturing and distributing it in different parts of the country.
Dairy owners in eight states of the country — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh — have benefited by adopting the Mastirak-antimastitis herbal medication. It has reduced the use of antibiotics and helped in the cost-effective management of the disease.