Urine therapy

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"Cow's urine used as a medical treatment in India: a sick man is held over a cow's hindquarters, so that the cow's urine streams onto his face." — Wellcome Images (Bernard Picart, c. 1730)
Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Clinically unproven
Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? (2 Kings 18:27)
My response is always, why not eat dog pee?
—Professor Philip Stark on urban foraging for edible weeds[1]

Urine therapy is an alternative medicine that is precisely what the name implies but is often euphemised to urotherapy or uropathy. It involves using human urine for medicinal or cosmetic purposes. These include drinking your own urine and massaging your urine into your skin — although the latter is apparently a tried-and-tested method by fire jugglers to toughen their skin against heat. In the usual alt-med manner of substituting historical claims for such tawdriness as clinical evidence, advocates point to Egyptian writings back from about 1,000 BCE.[2]

Urine therapy (amaroli) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine.[3] Amaroli was supposedly practiced by Gandhi, and was practiced by former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai.[4] In 2009, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist group in India, developed a cow urine-based soft drink that was alleged to cure various diseases.[5]

Human urine has also (rarely) been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Sedimen Urinae Hominis, or Ren Zhong Bai 人中白).[6][7][8] Animal urine is also in the Chinese Materia Medica, including that of sheep, oxen, horses, asses.[8]

Urine therapy was described in England in the 1548 treatise The Urinall of Physick by Robert Recorde.[9]

Some "theory"[edit]

Urine therapy postulates that reintroducing the patient's own urine into their body strengthens their immune system, in a similar way that vaccines work. It also "clears up excess mucus." They claim that if one mixes potato and sulfur powder with heated old urine, it helps prevent hair loss. One can also allegedly treat throat inflammations by gargling one's own pee.[note 1] Fresh urine also alleviates trembling hands.[note 2] Nine days of drinking one's own urine even cures scurvy![10]

Oh, and it cures cancer. But only in Mexico.[11] And why not Ebola while we're at it?[12][13] If you're looking for bad medicine, urine luck. OK, enough of this bull urine…

Urine is a waste product. Fresh urine is largely — but not completely — sterile.[14] A urinary tract infection or being left out for too long can make it less sterile. So, go ahead! Take the piss. And smell the wee. Of course along with water, urine also contains chemicals which the body has decided it had better remove from circulation, and putting it back through the system again is not really a particularly sensible action, since it makes your kidneys work overtime. The US army says that it is rather salty, and should not be consumed as it will only dehydrate you and make you sick.[note 3] Although that doesn't stop British adventurer and TV star Bear Grylls from drinking his own pee, so much so that no less than Barack Obama felt compelled to ask him about it.[15]

Drown the gay away (in urine)[edit]

The neo-Nazi group Occupy Pedophilia (which doesn't go after so-called pedophiles, but rather goes after gay and bisexual men) uses "urine therapy" (i.e. pouring urine over the head of an individual and filming it) in order to drown the gay away, presumably?[note 4]


Urea, CO(NH2)2, is one of the main compounds contained in urine, and is used as a moisturizing cream, but is synthesized for pharmaceutical use, not extracted from the urinals at cosmetic plants.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. Meat Loaf actually did this when he lost his voice in 1980 — his songs are now golden oldies!
  2. Which can be an effective way to get urine all over them.
  3. And we'll take their word on that.
  4. This is most likely another form of their sickening and degrading public humiliation, but certain sources describe it as an alleged "urine therapy".


  1. Cal professors on the hunt for edible, nutritious East Bay weeds
  2. How to Become a Uropath (eHow.com)
  3. Drink To Your Health
  4. Could Morarji Desai have been right?
  5. India makes cola from cow urine
  6. "The Treatment of 75 Cases of Pediatric Oral Thrush with the Sweet, Cold, Protecting Yin Method" by Wang Le-ping, Shang Hai Zhong Yi Yao Za Zhi (The Shanghai Journal of Chinese Medicine & Medicinals), #5, 1994, p. 22
  7. A Handbook of TCM Pediatrics: A Practitioner's Guide to the Care & Treatment of Common Childhood Diseases by Bob Flaws, Blue Poppy Press, 2009, page 102.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chinese Materia Medica: Animal Drugs by Bernard E. Read (1931). Peking Natural History Bulletin. Based upon the "Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu" [Bencao Gangmu] by Li Shih-Chen [Li Shizhen].
  9. The Urinall of Physick by Robert Recorde (1548).
  10. This paragraph is all from Complete Guide Urine Therapy (universal-tao.com).
  11. Urotherapy (American Cancer Society)
  12. Stopping Ebola — The Ayurvedic Approach… Water With Life — How To Cure and/or Curtail Ebola Virus Infection… by T. R. Shantha (October 18th, 2014) Bolen Report (archived from January 7, 2015).
  13. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink, quackery-wise, at Ebola by Orac (November 3, 2014) Respectful Insolence.
  14. Urine, Once Thought Sterile, Has Its Own Microbiome
  15. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/bear-grylls-better-drink-my-own-piss
  16. https://web.archive.org/web/20161220010342/https://thecosmetist.com/urea-cosmetics-pee/