Forget the turmeric latte. Forgo the kombucha. The wellness drink du jour is your own pee. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, the unconventional practice results in a number of health benefits. And while it may not be served in Starbucks anytime soon, it couldn’t be easier to get hold of…
As shocking as it may sound, urophagia, the act of drinking one’s own urine, is actually nothing new. It’s been around for centuries, with advocates worldwide. In 2016, the China Urine Therapy Association had over 4000 members, and claimed that drinking urine was practiced by over 100,000 people nationwide.
The theory behind it is that when we eat excess vitamins, they come out in our pee. So rather than letting them go to waste, you put them back into your body. It’s a bit like recycling, really.
Other advocates claim that the practice is a natural medicine that boosts the immune system, calms inflammatory conditions and helps digestion. “You have to be really clean while you’re doing it,” says one advocate, who has asked to remain anonymous. “It’s an entire way of living and you have to change everything. I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee, eating meat or processed foods, and upped the amount of leafy vegetables I was eating as well as superfood powders like spirulina, flax and moringa. It’s all about maintaining urine’s natural pH, and certain foods can really upset it and make it more acidic. Because it’s so intense, I only do it as a cleanse once a year.”
In her book Your Own Perfect Medicine, Martha M. Christy, natural healthcare consultant, writes about all the various benefits of urophagia, as well as offering readers a practical guide to getting started. “Start by taking only few drops each day in order to let your body adjust gradually,” she writes. “It’s extremely important to monitor your pH levels during urine therapy because if your urine is too alkaline, it may decrease its antibacterial activity. On the other hand, if the urine is
consistently excessively acidic, urine therapy could create too
much of an acid burden in your body. If you’re too acid, decrease
acid foods in your diet and eat more alkaline foods; if you’re too
alkaline, decrease alkaline foods and eat more acid foods.”
Martha also believes the conspiracy that the modern medical community is actively trying to keep urine therapy quiet, as they wouldn’t profit from it. You do you, hun.
While claims are rife that the practice has cured everything from male pattern baldness to IBS, there’s still no concrete evidence proving it to be beneficial to health. One of the biggest concerns from skeptics is the myth that urine is sterile, when in fact, it’s not. The moment it passes through the skin, it has become contaminated by bacteria that could result in harm if ingested.
Another concern is that it actually dehydrates people – the salt content of urine requires more water to break down within the body than would be ingested. In other words, it’s like drinking sea water.
Plus, um, we’re not entirely convinced that it’s the pee that is making advocates feel so great. We’re no doctors, but surely ditching the booze, coffee and basing your diet on nutrient-rich vegetables and superfoods has something to do with it?