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January 15, 2019

There's a social media community of people drinking, bathing in their urine for the sake of health

Here, the rundown on one area of the dark underbelly of the internet: urine therapy

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01152019_urine_sample_FLickr Maja Dumat/via Flickr Creative Commons


“Here is a group for using urine as therapy for maintenance of our body. Join us!”

So begins the introduction to a Facebook group, originated in 2011, that encourages individuals to drink and bathe in their own urine as a means of “eliminating disease.” This seemingly niche collective of “healers” became a trending topic as screenshots for such groups were leaked to the world wide web.

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Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY, the aforementioned Facebook group — home to nearly 7,000 members — is filled with proponents of “urine therapy.” 

According to The Guardian:

For those unfamiliar, it’s the ancient folk remedy of bathing in, washing with, and yes, drinking your own pee in order to “cleanse your body and eliminate disease.”

The group cites multiple excerpts of literature noting the benefits of urine therapy, including “The Water of Life – A Treatise on Urine Therapy” by John W. Armstrong, published in 1971, featuring the thoughts of two experts, Major C. Fraser Mackenzie, and Dr. W. H. White.

The believers of this group are apostolic in nature, stating: “Urine therapy opens the doors of your soul, healing every part of your being, use the knowledge you gain here wisely.”

And then there’s another group, simply known as "URINE THERAPY," which was created in 2014 and is home to just under 550 members. This group’s bio states (in all caps): "There are a lot of people around us who are suffering from disease and are not in a position to get treatment as it may be very expensive or a proper treatment not yet invented so far in allopathic/homeopathic. Here is an ancient way, in the Ayurveda, the urine therapy was put-forward for us but not yet accepted by the society as it deserved.”

The Guardian continues:

The feeds of these groups are filled with tips for those wanting to step up their therapy beyond mere drinking (“the mid-stream of the first morning urine is the most important drink of the day”), suggesting urine eye drops, enemas or douches; gargling with urine for 20 to 30 minutes, or aging urine (to concentrate the effects).

It’s worth noting that drinking urine can also put stress on your kidneys as they’re forced to process the toxins again, the New York Post reports.

The act of drinking urine is known as urophagia,  and “experts” and practitioners alike have claimed that "piss-guzzling is a legitimate cure for everything from baldness, impotence, diabetes, to cancer,” Vice reports.

People have even turned to drinking dog urine under the guise that it clears up acne. A viral video from last summer showed a woman collecting her dog’s urine with a cup and chugging it all right there in the dog park. The woman in the video explains, as Well and Good reports, “until I first drank my dog’s pee, I was depressed, I was sad, and I had really bad acne. Dog pee also has vitamin A in it, vitamin E in it, and it has 10 grams of calcium, and it’s also proven to help cure cancer.” 

Well and Good talked to NYC-based Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist, to get the lowdown on the blemish-fighting power of dog urine: 

“[T]here is no data showing that drinking your own urine will clear your acne. I personally recommend traditional acne medications. If over-the-counter options are not working, there are prescription topical or oral medications that are very effective,” Zeichner says.

And if the mental picture of people drinking urine wasn’t enough for you, the urine therapy community has spread to the visual-based platform of Instagram, where members have posted pictures of mason jars containing — not celery juice — but their urine. In fact, #urinetherapy has nearly 850 posts on Instagram. Some have even lauded urine for their ability to maintain weight they’ve lost

This is why people love the internet, right?