Can you imagine this scene. You visit your friend at his house and he
asks you if you’d like a drink? You reply, “Yes, thanks, do you have any
orange juice.” He replies in the positive and comes back
with your drink as well as a glass of his own that looks something like apple juice. “What’s that?” you ask, to which he
responds, “It’s my own urine.” Perhaps you are not up to speed with the latest
trends you wonder, or has he just gone crazy!? “It’s healthy,” he says, after seeing
how awkward you look. You say nothing, but feel pretty sure that
drinking your own waste cannot be healthy. Well, today let’s have a look at the topic
of urine drinking. So, there is a term for it and that term is
urophagia. The “uro” part of the word means urine
and the “phagia” part of the word means swallow. We should say that today we are not going
to talk about urophagia as a paraphilia, meaning something that gives someone sexual arousal. Sorry folks, but that’s not why we are here
today. Neither are we going to discuss people who
drink their own urine as a last resort to survive when there are no other liquids available
to drink. What we are going to discuss is people doing
this because they think it is good for them. As you will see, this is quite a controversial
topic. So when we are talking about it in this respect
people might refer to the practice as urine therapy, and this might be classified as an
alternative kind of medicine. It’s been around in many cultures for a
long time but it was popularized in the western culture in the early 20th century by a guy
named John W. Armstrong. He was what is called a naturopath. That term itself is controversial, because
it means healing with natural concoctions and remedies, but some call it pseudo-science. Whatever the case, this man promoted the use
of urine for things like stings and toothaches, and it’s said he believed in something he
read in the bible which went, “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters
out of thine own well.” He wrote a book about urine therapy and at
the start of that book you can read, “The therapy outlined in this book is an entirely
drugless system of healing. Moreover, the only ingredient is a substance
manufactured in the body, rich in mineral salts, hormones, and other vital substances,
namely human urine.” He wrote in that book that drinking your own
wee-wee can help people if they have a cold or the flu, but he listed all these other
ailments and conditions including: cancer, jaundice, gangrene, anemia, psoriasis, diphtheria,
Bright’s disease, heart disease, kidney failure, malaria, menstrual pain, colitis,
obesity, syphilis, hair loss, cataracts, asthma, glaucoma, rheumatism and arthritis. It’s said that Mr. Armstrong prescribed
urine therapy to thousands of his patients and when he got very sick himself he believed
the best course of action was a 45-day fast with nothing but water and his own urine to
drink. Apparently he got better, but before we look
at what modern science says about this, let’s look at other urine drinkers of the world
and why they do it. You might also want to know what’s in urine
that makes it so special to some people. Well, the answer is that it’s 95 percent
water. It might also contain sodium, potassium, urea,
chloride, creatinine as well as other dissolved ions, and inorganic and organic compounds,
according to one science website. But it might contain much more, according
to other researchers that spent a long time looking at people’s urine. It can be normal, or abnormal, and if abnormal
it might mean the person is sick such as he has an infection or some kidney damage. But that’s not really the topic of the show
today. Back to proponents of urine drinking. We found some articles online that told us
the practice of urine drinking happens quite a bit in India, maybe more so than other countries. In 2015 a news story told us some people there
were drinking cow urine because of the alleged health benefits, while some well-known people
in India throughout the years have come out and said cow urine or human urine is good
for health. We read this in an article in Quartz, “The
world’s first conference on urine therapy was held in Goa in 1996, and attended by around
100 people. The largest delegation from a country outside
India was Germany, which had 28 practitioners.” But then we found other stories from around
the world, such as the China Urine Therapy Association stating that urine was indeed
a miracle cure for many ailments and it might enhance longevity. It was back in 2014, but the South China Morning
Post reported that there were about 100,000 urine drinkers on the mainland. That’s not so many when you consider the
population there, but it’s not a handful either. One man said in an interview, “In these
22 years of urine therapy, I never caught a cold. My eyesight has become clearer and I don’t
have any age pigment.” In 2019 in Thailand, the Health Minister said
to the public, “body wastes must not be eaten or drunk” and she pleaded with some
Thais to end their urine drinking craze. This came after stories online showed some
people washing their faces with urine and drinking the stuff. The Thai Department of Health said this should
stop. One Thai doctor said, “If there is any benefit
in urine it would be a minimal amount of minerals that the body can’t cope with.” Some people in Thailand might have seen the
Facebook posts in 2019 of a man who claims he is never sick and that’s because he chugs
his own waste fluid. When reporters went to see him there were
bottles of the stuff everywhere, and he told them that after seeing a certain doctor he’d
been advised to take the plunge and start a course of urotherapy. One news site wrote, “Apart from drinking
it he applies it to his eyes, ears and nose and even showers and washes his hair with
it. His wife and children don’t use it apart from
occasionally using it as an antiseptic. But they don’t condemn him for his beliefs.” So, who’s in the right here, this man or
the health minister? Could some pee drinkers in India be wrong? Could those urine imbibers in China be wrong? We found some famous people who drank their
own urine, too, including the boxer who became world champion in four weight classes, Juan
Manuel Márquez. He once said, “This is something I have
been doing for the past six or seven fights, and it has given me good results.” There are also MMA fighters that have done
it and pro-football players. Brazilian MMA fighter Lyoto Machida once said
in an interview, “My father does that for a long time and bring it to us. People think it’s a joke. I never said it in the United States because
I don’t know how the fans will react. I drink my urine every morning like a natural
medicine.” Are ALL these people wrong? Is their urine doing nothing for them, or
maybe perhaps acting as a placebo and therefore helping them? Well, there are plenty of skeptics and like
the Thai minister you will find many, many people saying the same thing: IT HAS NO HEALTH
BENEFITS. One doctor told The Guardian that urine does
contain 95 percent water so yes in an emergency it might be the right spring to tap, but he
said the five percent left is the waste the body wants to get rid of. He said, “Think about it like drinking ocean
water. It’s going to dehydrate you and do significantly
more harm than good.” But if more harm than good, how come some
of those heavy drinkers report that they are in great health. To them rather than hurt them, a glass of
pee a day keeps the doctor away. Well, according to most health professionals
drinking your own pee isn’t likely going to make you very sick. It’s likely someone else’s pee won’t
do that either or else people wouldn’t take those gilded liquid showers for fun. Warning, though, it can contain harmful bacteria,
so imbibing another person’s could be a bad move. Research has shown, though, that urine might
contain traces of vitamins, hormones, and antibodies, but not in the quantity that would
help a person to have great health. Still, people persist in drinking it and believe
those who condemn the practice either don’t know what they are talking about or have more
selfish or political reasons for not supporting it. Such a group might be the Urine Therapy of
Colorado group who Newsweek wrote about in 2019. Some of those members might tell you it can
cure skin diseases or simply cure a stomach ache. One guy even said it cured his depression. It might be a case of saying, well, if it
works for you, go for it, although doctors will still tell you that urine drinking is
not the best way to treat sickness. Nonetheless, one might ask if urine drinking
is any worse than taking a regimen of, say, depression pills that have a long list of
moderate and severe side effects. We can imagine what the urine drinkers would
say to that. Finally, we go to the U.S. National Institutes
of Health, a place where you can find numerous studies on just about anything related to
health. One paper we found was titled, “The Golden
Fountain – Is urine the miracle drug no one told you about?” It discussed how the practice of downing a
glass of self-made whizz for health benefits has gone on for centuries all over the world. The author of that paper, from the University
College London, said, “Urine is sterile where it is produced in the kidney, but once
it has left the body, it is usually contaminated.” She also said this, “It is not toxic per
se. There may be rare situations where urine is
the cleanest liquid at hand to pour over a dirty wound, or the only liquid to drink when
buried under a collapsed building or lost at sea for days, but most of the time there
are better or tastier ways to improve one’s health.” She just doesn’t think it is worth it. And we found other health professionals that
said the same, that it has no health benefits and there is a risk of it being infected. One other thing that a doctor told the BBC
was this, “When you drink urine, it will eventually come back out again and be much
more concentrated, which could lead to gut problems. The kidneys will have to work hard to filter
out all the excess again, putting strain on them.” So it seems that while there are quite a few
people around the world that swear urine drinking is good for them, ultimately the real health
professionals are pretty much all in agreement – don’t drink your urine, at least not with
the goal of getting any real positive health impacts. We could do a “I drank my own urine for
a month” challenge but we are not sure if our writer would like this challenge and of
course we don’t want him to fall ill. We found some evidence online that in survival
situations some people in the U.S. military have drunk their own pee, but the military
advises its personal not to do that. You might have seen Bear Grylls do it on TV
but we looked at what the experts say and they will tell you that drinking pee will
just make you more dehydrated. Bear Grylls just wants to entertain you. We did find one man who had managed to filter
his pee. He wrote this on a survival website: “I tried the filtration method of digging
a small hole, urinating in the hole, placing an empty soup can in the middle of the hole,
and using saran wrap over the hole to drip some of the water into the center. I got more water from collecting it from my
tent tarp in the morning dew.” This guy added that his pee didn’t exactly
taste good. Have you tried it or would you ever? Tell us in the comments either why or why
not. Now go watch “Crazy Things A Doctor Removed
From Inside Person’s Body.” Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.