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In a nutshell: Urine therapy is drinking your own pee in the belief that it is good for you.

Urine therapy is using your own pee to make you healthy or beautiful. Millions of people around the world drink their own pee or apply it to their skin. They do this even though there is no scientific support for the belief that there are chemicals in pee that can improve health or beauty.

We don't know how or why such a practice started, but we think it began with some religious rites among Hindus in India. We know it began before science could study what is in pee.

toilet fountainDrinking pee has been practiced for thousands of years In India, especially by "holy men." One Chinese news agency reported that more than three million Chinese drink their own pee in the belief it is good for their health. In Japan, many women bathe themselves in pee, thinking it will make their skin look and feel nice. In 1998, Germany held the Second World Conference on Urine Therapy.

Pee is said to cure just about anything, yet the scientific evidence does not support this belief. We know what is in pee. We know that there are small amounts of some good stuff in pee, but the amounts are too small to do any good. We also know that some of the good stuff in pee, like vitamin C, is there because the body didn't absorb it since it already had enough of it and can't store any extra. Even the bad stuff in pee, like urea, (which can poison you in high doses) is there in such small amounts as to be harmless. So, while drinking pee isn't likely to cause you any harm, it isn't likely to do you any good either.

Pee is produced by the kidneys when they filter blood. The bladder stores urine. When you pee, you are emptying your bladder. The kidneys have millions of nephrons which filter toxins, waste, water, and salts out of the bloodstream. Pee is slightly acidic. The kidneys regulate blood acidity by excreting excessive alkaline salts when necessary. Pee is usually yellow or clear, depending on a person's health and diet. Pee is 95% water. The other 5% consists mostly of nitrogenous wastes, which is why pee usually has an ammonia-like odor. The main bit of nitrogenous waste in urine is urea, a product of protein decomposition. Urea is, among other things, a diuretic: it will make you pee.

In addition to uric acid, ammonia, and creatine, urine consists of many other waste products in very small quantities. Being a waste product does not mean that a substance is poisonous or harmful. It means that the body cannot absorb the substance at the present time. We might think of urine as leftovers from a meal that our body is throwing away.

I suppose you could say that people who drink pee are recycling their food and drink, but they are kidding themselves if they think they are improving their health or beauty.

Last updated 02-Aug-2011

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