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What Is Urine Therapy?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Urine therapy is based on ancient alternative medicinal practices prescribed in the Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi, an East Indian text that among other things suggests using urine both internally and externally to cure a variety of ailments and to promote health. Urine therapy may alternately be called amaroli, urinotherapy, urotheraphy, uropathy or Shivambu Kalpa.

The use of urine as medicine is not restricted to East Indian cultures. The Chinese may treat some cuts or wounds with an application of urine. It is commonly believed that the urea in urine can help to cut down on the sting of certain sea creatures, like the sea urchin or jellyfish. Human urine contains hormones, corticosteroids and enzymes, which might be beneficial in some cases. Urine from pregnant horses is the main ingredient of Premarin®, an estrogen replacement therapy medication.

The central belief behind this therapy is that it contains many health benefits, though the traditional medical community does not see any proof for this. A uropath, a doctor promoting urine therapy, may suggest people drink their own urine as a natural way of preventing illness, preventing cancer, to cure menstruation problems, bed wetting, asthma and over 100 other diseases. Diseases of the skin like eczema, acne, and psoriasis may be treated with topical urine.

There remain some concerns about the safety of the therapy. Most of the time, urine is sterile. Yet it is a waste product excreted by the body and may contain high levels of ammonia and other toxins. Urine may not be sterile if a person has a bladder or kidney infection. Since these are common, drinking urine might introduce infection into the stomach, mouth and intestinal tract.

Supporters of urine therapy claim there have been no reports of illness as a result of drinking one’s own urine, and that it has saved lives. This is technically true. People caught in situations where they do not have access to water can stave off dehydration for a few extra days by drinking their urine.

The majority of urine therapy claims are anecdotal and unproven, and some uses of urine are based on urban legends. It is a fact that some baseball players pee on their hands in order to toughen them. This has the opposite effect; actually they achieve the opposite effect and soften their hands. Some athletes also drink their urine as part of their diet. Given the Western cultural prejudice against urine, its unlikely that urine therapy is about to become a popular alternative to traditional cures for the conditions it can supposedly treat.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon929661 — On Feb 02, 2014

@bythewell, I want to see the scientific study that proves that this is or isn't a placebo. "Half the participants in this study were given their own urine and half were only told they were drinking their own urine and they were really given... a liquid that only tastes like their urine?"

I mean, how could you ever convince anyone they were drinking their own urine if they weren't actually drinking their own urine? Or how could you convince the other group they were drinking something other than their own urine?

I don't think a study on this is possible, mate.

By anon239110 — On Jan 07, 2012

I am taking shivambu. It's good for my skin and energy level within two months. Can anybody guide me to contact a specialist of shivambu?

By bythewell — On May 11, 2011

I have heard that AIDS can be treated with urine therapy, i.e. by drinking urine.

I don't think anyone believes it is a cure, but they claim that it strengthens the immune system and helps combat some of the symptoms of AIDs.

I have also heard that urine therapy for hair can strengthen it and prevent or reverse hair loss.

The thing is, the placebo effect can be so strong, it is impossible to tell if these claims are real or not until it has been scientifically tested. I don't think methods like urine therapy should be dismissed out of hand without testing just because it seems gross, but they should be used with real caution until they have scientific support.

After all, if you are sick your urine is more likely to be off in some way as well. And it is hard to avoid chemicals in the modern world, some of which are shed from the body through urine. So, drinking it could be dangerous.

By anon8758 — On Feb 20, 2008

I am Naturopath I treated unlimited patients with Urine Therapy and Naturoapthy in which most of all patients are healthy

I used to give lectures on Urine Therapy at various places

I have written many books on Naturopathy and Urine Therapy which are selling in market of India

I used to visit at various villages to treat patients with Urine Therapy

regards

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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