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In alternative medicine, the term urine therapy or urotherapy, (also urinotherapy or uropathy) refers to various applications of human urine for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, including drinking of one's own urine and massaging one's skin with one's own urine. While there is currently insufficient evidence for the therapeutic use of urine, many chemical components of urine have wide-scale industrial and agricultural use, such as urea and urokinase.
Many of the earliest human cultures used urine for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Egnatius, because he has snow-white teeth, smiles all the time. If you're a defendant in court, when the counsel draws tears, he smiles: if you're in grief at the pyre of pious sons, the lone lorn mother weeping, he smiles. Whatever it is, wherever it is, whatever he's doing, he smiles: he's got a disease, neither polite, I would say, nor charming. So a reminder to you, from me, good Egnatius. If you were a Sabine or Tiburtine or a fat Umbrian, or plump Etruscan, or dark toothy Lanuvian, or from north of the Po, and I'll mention my own Veronese too, or whoever else clean their teeth religiously, I’d still not want you to smile all the time: there's nothing more foolish than foolishly smiling. Now you’re Spanish: in the country of Spain what each man pisses, he's used to brushing his teeth and red gums with, every morning, so the fact that your teeth are so polished just shows you’re the more full of piss.
Some advocates believe that the Bible recommends urine therapy. A verse in Proverbs (Proverbs 5:15) advises: "Drink waters from thy own cistern, flowing water from thy own well." However, subsequent verses contain warnings against adultery, and advice for husbands to stay faithful; hence the interpretation of this verse as a literary device or analogy.
A Sanskrit text called the Damar Tantra, not part of core Hinduism, contains 107 stanzas on the benefits of "pure water, or one's own urine". In this text, urine therapy is referred to as Shivambu Kalpa. This text suggests, among other uses and prescriptions, massaging one's skin with fresh, concentrated urine. In the Ayurvedic tradition, which is related to the Hindu scriptures called the Vedas. urine therapy is called amaroli which when practised requires some dietary requirements such as mixing it with water to "cure cancers" and other "diseases" along with "raw food and certain fruits like banana, papaya and citrus fruits" which are claimed to be "very good in the practice of amaroli". One of the main aims of this system is to "prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life".
In Islam, drinking urine is forbidden and is considered "najasa" due to its toxicity. Islamic commentators find urine to be something that is "filth" However, scholars such as Abū Ḥanīfa have said only that "it's disliked" ("makruh" or "almost" haraam).
The French customarily soaked stockings in urine and wrapped them around their necks in order to cure strep throat. Aristocratic French women in the 17th century reportedly bathed in urine to beautify their skin.
The homeopath John Henry Clarke wrote, "…man who, for a skin affection, drank in the morning the urine he had passed the night before. The symptoms were severe, consisting of general-dropsy, scanty urine, and excessive weakness. These symptoms I have arranged under Urinum. Urinotherapy is practically as old as man himself. The Chinese (Therapist, x. 329) treat wounds by sprinkling urine on them, and the custom is widespread in the Far East. Taken internally, it is believed to stimulate the circulation".
Modern claims and findings
Urine's main constituents are water and urea; the latter of which has some well-known commercial and other uses. Urine also contains small quantities of thousands of compounds, hormones and metabolites, including corticosteroids. Pregnant mare's urine has high amounts of estrogens, which are isolated and sold as Premarin. There is no scientific evidence of a therapeutic use for untreated urine.
Urinating on jellyfish stings is a common folk remedy, however Scientific American reports that it may be counterproductive, as it can activate nematocysts remaining at the site of the sting, making the pain worse.
Use as anti-cancer agent
Urine and urea have been claimed by some practitioners to have an anti-cancer effect. It has been hypothesized that because some cancer cell antigens are transferred through urine, through "oral autourotherapy" these antigens could be introduced to the immune system that might then create antibodies.
In 1978, the Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, a longtime practitioner of urine therapy, spoke to Dan Rather on 60 Minutes about urine therapy. Desai stated that urine therapy was the perfect medical solution for the millions of Indians who cannot afford medical treatment.
Cameroon's Health Minister Urbain Olanguena Awono warned people against drinking their own urine, believed in some circles to be a tonic and cure for a number of ailments. "Given the risks of toxicity associated with ingesting urine," he wrote, "the health ministry advises against the consumption of urine and invites those who promote the practice to cease doing so or risk prosecution."
Mixed martial arts fighter Lyoto Machida revealed in an interview that he drinks his own urine. His father, Yoshizo Machida, admitted he got Lyoto to start doing that after he couldn't get rid of his cough three years ago.
Boxer Juan Manuel Márquez drank his own urine during a filmed training session for the HBO series 24/7 promoting the Marquez/Mayweather fight, he revealed that he believed the practice was of great nutritional benefit aiding his intensive workouts.
Urine therapy was used as a plot line in the fifth-season episode "Crow's Feet" of the popular television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Auto-urine drinking and meditation
Drinking one's morning urine ('amaroli') was an ancient yoga practise designed to promote meditation. The ancient Hindu and yoga texts that mention auto-urine drinking, require it be done before sunrise and that only the mid-stream sample be used. The pineal hormone melatonin and its conjugated esters are present in morning urine in significant quantities, the pineal gland secreting melatonin maximally at about 2 am, this secretion being shut off by the eyes' exposure to bright sunlight. Melatonin, when ingested or given intravenously, amongst other effects, provokes tranquility and heightened visualisation. There are high concentrations of melatonin in the first morning urine, but not in a physiologically active form. Mills and Faunce at Newcastle University Australia in 1991 developed the hypothesis that ingestion of morning urine into low pH gastric acid would cause deconjugation of its esters back to the active form of melatonin. This, they suggested, might restore plasma night-time melatonin levels. Thus, they argued, oral pre-dawn consumption of auto-exogenous melatonin, by either re-setting of the sleep-wake cycle or enhancement of the physiological prerequisites for meditation (decreased body awareness (i.e. analgesia) and claimed slowed brain wave activity, as well as heightened visualization ability), may be the mechanism behind the alleged benefits ascribed to 'amaroli' or auto-urine drinking by ancient texts of the yogic religion. Obvious experimental difficulties (particularly in constructing a double-blind clinical trial) mean that this is a difficult hypothesis to reliably test to any requisite evidence-based standard.
- Urology - Science of Urine and the Urinary & Reproductive Organs
- Urinary system - the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and the urethra
- Urinalysis - tests performed on the urine for the sake of medical diagnosis
- Urine test strip - simple tool used for Urinalysis
- Urine testing - Urinalysis to find drugs or drug metabolites in the urine
- Uroscopy - ancient forms of Urinalysis
- Urophagia - The various types of Urine consumption
- Urolagnia - Urination in Sexuality and during Sex, Oral Sex and Orgasm
- Premarin (PREgnant MARes' urINe) - one of several medical uses of Horse Urine
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- Your Teeth!, to Egnatius, poem by Catullus
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- A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, John Henry Clarke, London: Homoeopathic Pub. Co., 1900–1902.
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- Charles Julius Hempel (1859). A new and comprehensive system of materia medica and therapeutics: arranged upon a physiologico-pathological basis for the use of practitioners and students of medicine. W. Radde. p. 1100.
- unknown (1990). "unknown title". Karstenia (Mycological Society of Finland Suomen Sieniseura). 30-39.
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- Chowdhury, Prasenjit (July 27, 2009). "Curative Elixir: Waters Of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 2009-06-30.
- Cameroon threatens to jail urine drinkers, Jane Flanagan, Daily Telegraph, on line, article dated March 15, 2003.
- 'I can't wait to get off this planet', interview with Sarah Miles in The Independent, September 2007
- "ESPN.com: Page 2 : Pee is only a wee bit gross". Sports.espn.go.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- Cecil Adams (2007-03-30). "The Straight Dope". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- "O segredo do sucesso de Lyoto Machida". TATAME. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- Helwani, Ariel. "Lyoto Machida's Father Talks Urine Drinking, Then Does It Himself". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- Juan Manuel Márquez (September 17, 2009). "Juan Manuel Marquez's training diary". ESPN
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