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In alternative medicine, the term urine therapy (also urotherapy, 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. A practitioner of urine therapy is sometimes called a uropath .In the Indian ayurvedic tradition, urine therapy may be called amaroli. Another name is Shivambu Kalpa, taken from the title of the ancient text Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi. Here, shivambu can be translated as "the waters of Shiva", and refers to the urine.
History Promoters of urine therapy believe urine to have many preventative and curative powers. Some cultures have traditionally used urine as a medicine, especially India's, where it is prescribed by the Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi, which (among other uses and prescriptions) suggests massaging one's skin with aged, concentrated urine. In traditional Tibetan medicine, examination of the patient's urine is one of the main sources of information for a diagnosis.Health Through Balance: An Introduction to Tibetan Medicine, Yeshi Donden, ed. and transl. by Jeffrey Hopkins, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Pub., 2003. ISBN 812081519X. The Koryak tribe of Siberia is reported to have used the Amanita muscaria mushroom as an entheogen, and to have drunk the urine of those using the mushroom in order to experience the effects themselves. Tribesmen who could not afford the mushrooms drank the urine of those who could; tribesmen drank their own urine in order to prolong the experience; and tribesmen on trips carried their own urine with them.The plant kingdom and hallucinogens (part I), Richard Evans Schultes, UNODC Bulletin on Narcotics 21 (1969), #3, pp. 3-16. They sometimes concentrated their urine by partially freezing it and ingesting the unfrozen liquid. R. Gordon Wasson has theorized that the mythological soma of the Vedic religion was also Amanita muscaria.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".A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, John Henry Clarke, London: Homoeopathic Pub. Co., 1900-1902.Among modern celebrities, the British actress Sarah Miles has drunk her own urine for over thirty years, claiming that it immunises against allergies, amongst other health benefits. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/news-gossip/i-cant-wait-to-get-off-this-planet-1081452.html Interview with Sarah Miles in The Independent, September 2007
Modern claims and findings Urine's main constituents are water and urea. However, it contains small quantities of many hormones and metabolites,Urine Therapy, Jeff LoweClinical value of 24-hour urine hormone evaluations, Alan Broughton, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, January 2004. including corticosteroids.An Investigation into the Determination of Corticosteroids in Urine. I. The Determination of Corticosterone-like Substances, S. L. Tompsett, Journal of Clinical Pathology 6 (#1, February 1953), pp. 74-77. PMID 13034924. Urea has been claimed by some doctors to have an anti-cancer effect.Urotherapy, fact sheet at the American Cancer Society. In addition, the other chemicals in urine might have some effect if ingested. In 1997, Joseph Eldor, of the Theoretical Medicine Institute in Jerusalem, published a paper suggesting that because cancer cells release antigens which appear in the urine, oral autourotherapy could spur the intestinal lymphatic system to produce antibodies against these antigens.Urotherapy for patients with cancer, J. Eldor, Medical Hypotheses 48 (#4, April 1997), pp. 309-315. PMID 9160284.Despite these claims, there has been no research that has found drinking urine to be useful for any illness.[http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=5344349d-8fbc-446e-8ae5-03a924025f8c&chunkiid=161688 True or False: It's Safe to Drink Your Urine], fact sheet at epnet.com. Human urine is normally relatively free of bacteria, since the bladder itself is normally a sterile environment, and drinking small amounts of one's own urine is unlikely to be seriously harmful. However, the urethra does contain bacteria, and this is why many physicians ask for a urine sample mid-stream, in order to allow the first few seconds of urination to wash out the bacteria within the urethra.Urinary Tract Infections in Adults, fact sheet at the National Institute of Health, publication no. 06–2097 Urinating on jellyfish stings is a common folk remedy, but has no beneficial effect and may be counterproductive as it can activate nematocysts remaining at the site of the sting.Q: Is it true that urinating on a jellyfish sting alleviates the discomfort? If so, who figured that out?, John Ruch, Stupid Question™, June 7, 2004. Accessed on line September 13, 2007. Fact or Fiction?: Urinating on a Jellyfish Sting is an Effective Treatment,
Ciara Curtin, Scientific American, on line, January 4, 2007. Accessed on line September 13, 2007.
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