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Urophagia is the consumption of urine. Urine was used in several ancient cultures for various health, healing, and cosmetic purposes; urine drinking is still practiced today,[1] though there is no proof of it providing health benefits. In extreme cases, people may drink urine if no other potable fluids are available, although numerous credible sources (including the US Army Field Manual) advise against it. Urine may also be consumed as a sexual activity.

Reasons for urophagia[edit]

As an emergency survival technique[edit]

Survival guides such as the US Army Field Manual, the SAS Survival Handbook,[2] and others[3][better source needed] generally advise against drinking urine for survival.[4] These guides state that drinking urine tends to worsen rather than relieve dehydration due to the salts in it, and that urine should not be consumed in a survival situation, even when no other fluid is available.[4] While some people in dire straits have drunk their urine, whether this actually helped or hindered their situation is unclear.[citation needed]

In one incident, Aron Ralston drank urine when trapped for several days with his arm under a boulder.[5] Survivalist television host Bear Grylls drank urine and encouraged others to do so on several episodes on his TV shows.[6]

Folk medicine[edit]

In various cultures, alternative medicine applications exist of urine from humans, or animals such as camels or cattle, for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, including drinking of one's own urine, but no evidence supports their use.[7][8]

Sexual practice[edit]

Some people are sexually aroused by urine, which can include the drinking of their own or other people's urine.

Health warnings[edit]

The World Health Organization has found that the pathogens contained in urine rarely pose a health risk. However, it does caution that in areas where Schistosoma haematobium is prevalent, it can be transmitted from person to person.[9]


  1. ^ Picturedesk (2018-09-20). "After Reaching 18 Stone, This Woman Resorted To A Traditional Native American Lifestyle Which Includes Drinking and Washing With Her Own Urine". Media Drum World. Retrieved 2021-12-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Wiseman, John "Lofty". The SAS Survival Handbook. p. 42. Warning: Urine and sea-water. Never drink either – Never!
  3. ^ "Equipped to Survive – A Survival Primer". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Water Procurement" (PDF). US Army Field Manual.
  5. ^ Mark, Jenkins (August 1, 2003). "Aron Ralston – Between a Rock and the Hardest Place". Outside. Archived from the original on August 12, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  6. ^  • Thistlethwaite, Felicity (February 26, 2015). "Stars vomit profusely after drinking their own urine on Bear Grylls: Mission Survive". Daily Express. Archived from the original on March 1, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2022.  • Loughrey, Clarisse (December 18, 2015). "Obama refused to drink his own urine on Bear Grylls, 'It's not something I'd make a habit of'". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 9, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2022.  • Singh, Anita (May 31, 2014). "Bear Grylls: Kids, please don't drink your own urine". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  7. ^ Why You Definitely Shouldn't Drink Your Own Pee, Gizmodo, 22 Oct 2014
  8. ^ Maxine Frith (21 February 2006). "Urine: The body's own health drink?". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  9. ^ Schönning, Caroline. "Urine diversion – hygienic risks and microbial guidelines for reuse" (PDF). World Health Organization. p. 13. Retrieved February 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]