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Urine therapy – Traditional Use in East & West

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Urine therapy has been practiced for thousands of years and has merely fallen a bit into obscurity in the last century.

However much urine therapy may seem to be unorthodox and perhaps revolutionary, it does not introduce anything new or original.

It has been known throughout the centuries both in the West and in the East.

Especially within yoga and tantra tradition the use of urine has been kept alive.

It served partially as a real ‘therapy’, a method to cleanse the physical body of impurities, but also as a way to further spiritual growth.

As such it should be considered more as a spiritual practice or lifestyle.

Very illustrative in this sense are the following remarks:

Swami Satyananda Saraswati states in ‘Amaroli – The Way of the Yogi’, the preface to the book Amaroli (Amaroli is the practice of ingesting ones own urine):

“I am fully acquainted with the topic of amaroli and have had personal experience with its use.

Of course, I did not use it for therapy but in order to perfect vajroli kriya (a technique of washing the bladder) and I am convinced that those who want to perfect vajroli will have to go through the process of amaroli.

Since 1943, right up to 1978 (date of publication of the book Amaroli), I have never seen bad results from the use of amaroli, either in therapy or for vajroli.

Just recently a very ill gentleman approached me and asked me my opinion on amaroli.

I suggested that he try it for himself and see what happens.

Now, two months later, he has recovered completely.

From the healing point of view, if amaroli proves to be less dangerous than the therapeutic use of drugs, synthetic hormones and various other assorted chemical substances, if it proves less corrosive and nutritionally harmful than Coca Cola and 7-Up, if it is less dependence-producing and intoxicating than alcohol, less distasteful than eating gelatin, manufactured from the hooves and tendons of animals, then I am sure it will be a boon to humanity.

I personally feel that we must state the facts on amaroli in as straightforward, clear and direct a manner as possible.

Then mankind may just possibly find that there are many other benefits hidden in the science of amaroli than originally believed.”

From: Amaroli, S. S. Saraswati, Bihar School of Yoga, Bihar 1978, out of print

Urine therapy in the West

Some time ago, attention was drawn to an article in the reputable English weekly journal The New Scientist.

It was about the research done by two Australian scientists into drinking morning urine by Indian yogi’s and its possible positive effect on meditation practice.

The hypothesis is that this might be due to a hormone found in morning urine called melatonin.

Apart from these effects within meditation context, the use of urine is very practical as far as curing all kind of ailments and diseases is concerned.

This practice has been known all over the world and in many cultures.

The Greeks and Romans were acquainted with the use of urine as a medicine.

But also later in history there are many references to urine as being helpful to combat illnesses.

A good example can be found in a major German encyclopaedia (Johann Heinrich Zedler’s Grossen Vollständigen Universallexikon, 1747), in which the author offers the following tips concerning the use of urine as medicine:

  • “Useful substances can be found in human as well as animal urine… Human urine has strengthening and curative characteristics concerning many deficiencies:
  • “For example, a mixture of potato and sulphur-powder, mixed with heated, old urine helps against hair loss. One should rub this mixture into the scalp; this slows down loss of hair.
  • “One can best heal injuries to the eyes with honey dissolved in the lightly boiled urine from a young man. One should wash the eyes as often as possible with this fluid.
  • “All kinds of throat inflammation can be helped by gargling with urine to which a bit of saffron has been added.
  • “Trembling hands and knees can be helped by washing and rubbing one’s own warm urine into the skin directly after one has urinated.
  • “In the beginning stages of dropsy, one should drink one’s own morning urine on an empty stomach for a prolonged period of time. This also helps against jaundice.”

In this century it was the Englishman John Armstrong who was the urine therapy pioneer with his work and with his book The Water of Life, famous both in West and East.

Armstrong realised that the powerful medical world entertained other ideas about the usefulness of urine.

Even so, he was exceptionally persistent in his conviction and enthusiasm concerning urine therapy, probably because through urine therapy, he cured himself of tuberculosis which had been declared ‘incurable’.

A long and agonising journey

Armstrong began urine therapy after a long and agonising journey in which doctor after doctor proved unable to cure him of his TB symptoms.

On the contrary, his condition only worsened. He decided to try urine therapy for two reasons.

First of all, a quotation from the Bible stimulated his curiosity: “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well” The Book of Proverbs 5:15.

Secondly, he had childhood memories of his mother smearing urine on his face which was swollen from a bee sting, and of his grandfather treating animals with urine.

Recently, a lot of books have been published on urine therapy, especially in Germany, and some of those books have been written by regular doctors.

This shows that there is a development towards a little bit more understanding and acceptance from people working within the regular medical field.

The authors of these books show, just like Armstrong did, how versatile the application possibilities of urine are.

It works wonders in many minor problems and diseases such as ear- and eye infections, burns and bruises, allergic conditions (hay fever), fungus infections of the skin, warts, etc..

But it also can help the immune system to cope with more serious conditions such as chronic colds, flu, stomach problems, bronchitis, etc..

Furthermore it has proven very helpful in the treatment of a number of very serious, immune related diseases, such as chronic and severe allergies, asthma, cancer, M.E. and AIDS. In these cases it did definitely not always lead to long term healing results, but it often alleviated symptoms to considerable extent and sometimes indeed resulted into remarkable improvement of the dis-eased condition.

Urine therapy and yoga tradition

Let’s go back to the Indian history, where even much older texts describing the practice of urine therapy are available.

A presumably 5,000-year-old document has been found which describes the practice of urine therapy in different respects.

In this document, there are many references to herbs and medicines still used in present day Ayurveda.

This document consists of 107 verses (slokas), is called Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi (‘the method of drinking urine in order to rejuvenate’), and is part of a document called Damar Tantra (The entire text can be found in Chapter 7 of The Golden Fountain).

Shivambu literally means the water of Shiva, the highest god in the Indian pantheon.

The name Shiva means auspiciousness.

In India, at least among urine therapists, one often speaks of drinking Shivambu, which simply means drinking the water of auspiciousness.

They also sometimes jokingly refer to it as ‘Morarji Cola’, as India’s former prime minister Morarji Desai used to practice urine therapy.

He openly advocated this therapy and said India would be well off when more people would use this extremely inexpensive and effective way of treatment.

These are the opening verses of the Damar Tantra text, in which the god Shiva begins to speak with his wife Parvati:

Verses 1 – 4:

“Oh Parvati! (The God Shiva speaks to his wife Parvati.) Those who practice this method can enjoy the fruits of their meditation and this method. For this, certain actions have been recommended along with certain types of utensils. The Shivambu is to be drunk from pots made of gold, silver, copper, brass, iron, tin, glass, earth, bamboo, bones, leather, or a bowl made of plantain leaves. The urine should be collected in any one of the above mentioned utensils and should be drunk. However, earthen pots are the best for use.”

Practical instructions are given on how to collect and ingest urine, and advice on what is best to eat if you drink your own urine. It has to be kept in mind, however, that this document was written for those who practice yoga, work intensively with their body and soul and adapt their food to this lifestyle. Nevertheless, the following verse contains some helpful general guidelines for everyone who uses urine therapy.

Verse 5:

“The follower of the therapy should avoid pungent, salty ingredients in his meals. He should not over-exert himself. He should follow a balanced and light diet…”

Urine was equated with a divine drink which had the power to exterminate all kinds of illnesses and ailments. The following verse suggests that physical purification is connected with a life of meditation.

Verse 9:

“Shivambu is a divine nectar! It is capable of abolishing old age and various types of diseases and ailments. The follower should first ingest his urine and then start his meditation.”

As said before, drinking urine is not the only way to apply urine therapy. A number of verses discuss the importance of massaging with urine. For example:

Verse 48:

“Shivambu should be applied to the whole body. It is exceptionally nourishing, and can relieve all ailments.”

Verse 87:

“Oh Parvati! If he massages his body thrice a day and night with Shivambu, his countenance will be shining and his heart will be strong. His body and muscles will be strong. He will float in pleasure.”

This last text is special because it connects physical purification with purity of spirit and state of mind. Verse 87 is an especially good example of this belief. The hormonal component seems to have a positive effect on the state of mind. Various people with whom I have spoken felt noticeably more emotionally stable, high-spirited and vital after they started urine therapy. Probably this partly has something to do with the aforementioned hormone melatonin.

Other ancient texts which are part of the religious and spiritual heritage of India also contain fragments about and refer either to urine therapy or to ‘amaroli’ (‘nectar of immortality’). A few examples:

Hatha Yoga Pradipika 3;96-97:

“In the doctrine of the Kapalikas, amaroli is the drinking of the midstream, leaving the first for it is too pungent (too much bile) and the last, which is useless. He who drinks amari, snuffs it daily, and practices vajroli, is said to be practicing amaroli.”

Gyanarnava Tantra, Chapter 22:

“After realizing the exact knowledge of dharma and adharma, every aspect of the world becomes holy – stool, urine, ovum, nails, bones, are all holy things in the sight of that person who has explored mantra. O Parvati, different deities are living in that water from which urine is made, then why is urine said to be contaminated?”

Harit, Chapter 1 on Urine:

“Human urine is basic, bitter and light. It destroys diseases of the eyes, makes the body strong, improves digestion and destroys coughs and colds.”

Bhawa Prakasha, Verse 7, Chapter on Urine:

“Human urine destroys poison, properly used it gives new life, purifies blood, clears skin troubles, is sharp in taste and contains many salts.”

Yoga Ratnakar, Mutrashtakam Verse 11:

“Human urine controls bile in the blood, destroys worms, cleans intestines, controls cough and calms nerves. It is sharp in taste, destroys laziness and is an antidote to poisons.”

Related articles

Medical Research into Urine Therapy

The Simple Use of Ones Own Urine

Precautions In The Use Of Urine Therapy

Transmutation and the Healer Within

Complete Guide to Urine Therapy

Water First Medicine Second

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