Urine therapy refers to use of one's urine to maintain health, to prevent or cure sickness, to enhance beauty, or to promote meditation and spiritual enlightenment. Urine has been ingested, injected, or applied topically.
Urine therapy can be traced back as far as 5,000 years to early civilizations such as the Aztecs, ancient Egyptians, ancient Chinese, and Native Americans. It is believed that the origin of this practice comes from certain religious rites among Hindus, where it is called amaroli in tantric religious traditions. Medically, urine is referred to as "plasma ultrafiltrate." Advocates of urotherapy claim that this treatment is effective for dry skin, cancer, and numerous other diseases and disorders.
Research has revealed components of urine such as urea, hormones, and enzymes. Many of these components have been commercially isolated and marketed. For example, urokinase (an enzyme that promotes the break-up of blood clots) is used in drug form and sold as a thrombolytic for unblocking coronary arteries. Furthermore, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone are the active components in Pergonal, a drug used to stimulate fertility in women. Urea is used in several creams to promote healthy skin.
Current researchers are investigating urotherapy in the treatment of AIDS and cancer.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
There is insufficient evidence from clinical studies to support the use of urine or urea in the treatment of liver cancer. Additional studies are needed to make a firm recommendation.
An oral urea preparation (carbamine) has been used in peptic ulcer therapy. However, there is insufficient evidence from clinical studies to support the use of urine or urea in the treatment of peptic ulcers. Additional study is needed to draw any firm conclusions.
Some evidence suggests that urea may help prevent and treat sickle cell crises in addition to helping eliminate complications. However, there is no definitive evidence from clinical studies to support the use of urine or urea in the treatment of sickle cell anemia. Additional study is needed in this area.
* Key to grades
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use B: Good scientific evidence for this use C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work) F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)
Tradition / Theory
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with known allergies or hypersensitivities to urine or any of its metabolites.
Side Effects and Warnings
Common adverse effects of urine therapy may include diarrhea, itch, pain, fatigue, soreness of the shoulder, and fever. These side effects may last three to seven days or up to six months. Aged urine may be caustic on the skin.
Urine therapy may be unsafe when used in children, individuals taking medications that are excreted in the urine as unchanged or active metabolites, individuals with gastrointestinal problems, or pregnant women. Avoid in patients who have urinary tract or kidney infection because the urine will contain bacteria.
The Damar Tantra, an ancient Sanskrit work, says that fresh urine will cause muscle wasting when left on the skin if the urine has not been boiled down to one fourth its volume (vs. 49 of the Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi in the Damar Tantra).
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding because urine contains excreted hormones.
Mills MH, Faunce TA. Melatonin supplementation from early morning auto-urine drinking. Med Hypotheses 1991;36(3):195-199.
Padzik H, Paszko Z, Pronaszko A. Purification of pituitary gonadotropins from the urine of women after menopause and trials of separating luteinizing from follicle stimulating hormone. Arch Immunol.Ther Exp (Warsz.) 1969;17(5):655-673.
Pariser S, Katz A. Treatment of sickle cell trait hematuria with oral urea. J Urol 1994;151(2):401-403.
Sevcik J, Masek K. The interaction of immunomodulatory muramyl dipeptide with peripheral 5-HT receptors: overview of the current state. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1999;21(3):227-232.
Treatment of sickle cell crisis with urea in invert sugar. A controlled trial. Cooperative urea trials group. JAMA 5-27-1974;228(9):1125-1128.
Many drugs are excreted in the urine as unchanged or active metabolites. Urine consumption may increase the amount of these drugs. For example, melatonin in the urine may interact with antidepressants or antipsychotics. Melatonin may also interact with sedative/hypnotic agents and may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Many drugs are excreted in the urine as unchanged or active metabolites. Urine consumption may increase the amount of these drugs. For example, melatonin in the urine may interact with herbs and supplements with antidepressant or antipsychotic effects. Melatonin may also interact with sedative/hypnotic agents and may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs and supplements. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
There is no proven safe of effective dose. Fresh urine from midstream of the first urine flow of the day has been used. Urine has been taken in small amounts (such as a few drops in some water and increased to 20 drops) placed under the tongue morning and night over the course of three days. No food is advised at least half an hour after drinking. Aged, boiled or fresh urine has been used for washing or massaging.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe of effective dose for urine therapy, and use in children is not recommended.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.