Urine therapy is the use of one's urine, internally or externally, to heal wounds or alleviate disease symptoms and/or for overall well-being. It is also called uropathy, auto-urine therapy, amaroli, or shivambu.
References to the use of urine for medicinal purposes can be traced to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Aztec, and Hindu histories. Proponents also point to Proverbs 5:15 in the Old Testament of the Bible: "Drink water from thy own cistern, and the streams of thy own well."
As an integral part of the ayurvedic tradition of yoga, urine therapy is known as amaroli. Ayurvedic yogis are encouraged to drink their own urine between 4 and 6 A.M. in the morning in the belief that the hormones ingested will facilitate a meditative state.
The rationale of the therapy is that urine is a byproduct of blood filtration, not excess water from consumed food and liquid. In fact, the medical term for urine is plasma ultrafiltrate. Blood filled with nutrients passes through the liver where toxins are filtered out and excreted as solid waste matter. This purified blood then travels to the kidneys where any excess elements form urine and are then eliminated from the body. As urine passes through the urethra, it is a sterile solution. Ninety-five percent of it is water; the remaining five percent is a combination of urea, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones, proteins, and antibodies. Urine therapy advocates argue that the presence of these nutrients are proof of urine's medicinal powers.
Urea is an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent that forms when the body balances its ratio of sodium chloride to water. Urea is often used to make ointments and lotions for its properties of reducing inflammation and ability to kill bacteria. It can be duplicated under laboratory conditions by dissolving calcium cyanamid in water, and then heated under high pressure to produce a compound of urea and calcium hydroxide.
Urine therapy has been touted as a remedy for a long list of ailments, including multiple sclerosis, colitis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, hepatitis, hyperactivity, psoriasis, eczema, diabetes, herpes, mononucleosis, and adrenal failure. It is a commonly used treatment for snakebites and bee and jellyfish stings. Childhood illnesses such as acute flu, colds, viral infections, mumps, chicken pox, and allergies are also said to be alleviated by urine therapy. Urine is an ingredient in Pergonal, a fertility drug, and in pharmaceuticals used to dissolve blood clots.
Urine therapy can be applied internally or externally. For internal use, a sample of the morning's first urine is collected in a sterile container. Using a clean medicine dropper, the patient places an amount between one to ten drops under the tongue. Usually, one to five drops are applied on the first day; 5-10 drops on the second day; 5-10 drops on the morning of the third day, followed by 5-10 drops that evening.
In homeopathic urine therapy, drops of urine are diluted in quantities of distilled water. Drops of the dilution are placed under the tongue hourly until a noticeable improvement in illness or the temporary worsening of the condition occurs. Then drops are applied at lengthening intervals for three days.
Only fresh urine should be used when taken orally. The genital area should be washed before collecting a specimen. The best time to collect urine is first thing in the morning, and collecting the sample mid-stream. Individuals should refrain from eating for a half hour after ingesting the urine.
For external use, new or old urine can be applied. Old urine has a higher ammonia content that is more effective on skin such rashes as eczema and psoriasis. To store urine for later use, one should pour it into a dark glass bottle and close it tightly. Keep the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least four days.
A small amount is applied to the affected area with a cotton ball or pad. Continue massaging 5-10 applications to the area until it is soaked. Tape a clean, soaked pad to the area for several hours. The urine can also be sprayed onto the skin. For cosmetic purposes, fresh or 1-2 dayold urine can be lightly massaged into the skin or added in small amounts to moisturizing cream. Some practitioners recommend avoiding the use of soap or lotion after applying urine to the skin. Dryness can be alleviated with sesame oil.
Injections of urine are not advised. One of the key components of therapy is the gradual introduction of urine into the body. The abrupt introduction of urine into the bloodstream could exacerbate possible side effects.
Because any food, liquids, drugs, and/or medications consumed will affect the urine, an examination of one's diet is recommended before starting urine therapy. Keeping a daily nutrition journal will help to chart the body's reaction to different foods and the body's digestive patterns. High consumption of meat, for example, is thought to elevate the body's acid levels, particularly just before fasting or undergoing an intensive regime of urine therapy.
Users of urine therapy often keep regular measurements of their acid and alkaline levels, glucose levels, and blood pressure. Monitoring the body's acid and alkaline is accomplished by keeping track of the pH level in the saliva or urine. The ideal pH range for saliva is 6.4 to 7.2; below 6.4 too acidic, above 7.2 too alkaline. Urine pH normally varies from 5.0 in the morning to 8.0 in the evening.
Glucose tests measure the level of sugar in the blood, by millimoles per litres (mmol/l). Normal levels range from 4 to 8 mmol/l during the day, with the lowest levels occurring in the morning and higher measures occurring after meals.
At-home testing kits for pH levels, glucose levels, and blood pressure are available in most stores that carry over-the-counter (OTC) medical products.
Urine that will be taken orally should never be heated or boiled. On the other hand, some advocates suggest that boiled urine is best for massage purposes. Boiling should be done in a stainless steel pot.
Proponents are divided on whether or not pregnant women should practice urine therapy. Some believe that it is beneficial for both the mother and the growing fetus. Others advise against it. Because of the fertility properties of urine, birth control pills may be less effective.
Several pre-existing conditions preclude the use of urine therapy. Heavy smokers and people taking therapeutic or recreational drugs should not use their own urine. Those suffering from bladder infections or venereal disease are also advised against ingesting their urine.
Side effects can include headache, diarrhea, itch and rashes, pain, fatigue, soreness of the shoulder, and fever. An increase in symptoms of the specific illness may also occur. These symptoms can last from a week to six months. Starting the therapy with small doses can alleviate some of these side effects.
Research & general acceptance
Much of the current research is based on anecdotal evidence from users of urine therapy. Nonetheless, its popularity is growing worldwide. The first World Conference on Urine Therapy was held in 1996 in India. Two more conferences were convened at three-year intervals: in 1999 in Germany and in 2003 in Brazil. In the United States, urine therapy advocates cite the works of John W. Armstrong, The Water of Life: A Treatise on Urine Therapy, Martha M. Christy, Your Own Perfect Medicine, and Coen Van Der Kroon, The Golden Fountain.
Although components of urine are extracted to create a number of topical creams and fertility drugs, the drinking of urine is not generally accepted by the Western medical establishment. Dr. Andrew Weil, a noted physician, self-healing expert, and author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine, posits that reports of positive results experienced by users have more to do with placebo effects than with the actual healing properties of urine. According to Weil, treatments that elicit negative emotional charges can be result in benefits when the treatment "mobilizes attention and belief." In other words, adhering to urine therapy in spite of one's loathing for it increases its placebo effect.
Training & certification
No training or certification is required.
Christy, Martha M. Your Own Perfect Medicine. Mesa, Arizona: Wishland Publishing, 2000.
Bouaravong, Natalie. "Urine Therapy" Berkeley Medical Journal Issues [cited June 18, 2004]. <http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~issues/fall02/urine.html>.
Chinese Association of Urine Therapy. 72 Wu Kon Lio Road, Wuku Industrial Park, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, Republic of China. 886-2-22988446. <http://www.everlifepharm.com/urine/>.
"Urine Therapy." Biomedx.com/ [cited April 13, 2004]. <http://biomedx.com/urine/>.
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