‘Drink the waters of thine own cistern…’
The Book Of Proverbs 5.15
‘It is the spiritual dimension to Amaroli (Urine Therapy) that I believe to be the most important. By drinking your own urine….a miraculous transformation takes place. Your attitude to yourself changes; you start to really care for yourself, to love yourself. And this is the first vital step towards self-healing in the fullest sense of the term….It (the practice of Amaroli) belongs to all of us and is as old as time….’
Swami Pragyamurti Saraswati, from the foreword to
The Golden Fountain by Coen van der Kroon
(Swami Pragyamurti quoted above was my teacher and she has worked tirelessly with people living with AIDS in London and South Africa…..her recommendation of choice is Amaroli for boosting immunity.)
It is somewhat peculiar that the most ancient literature extant on the subject of Urine Therapy comes from India, and is supported by Ayurveda, especially given that this is a country where most of the orthodox population will choose to bathe the whole body as a ritual ablution if they so much as touch a drop of what is considered to be a contaminating fluid. And yet, chief amongst their multitudinous deities, Lord Shiva, and his wife Parvati, are recorded in theShivambu Kalpa Vidhi, (which is part of a 5000 year old scripture known as the Damara Tantra), as being deep in conversation about the unequalled merits of the miraculous practise of drinking your own urine.
In Sanskrit, Urine Therapy is known as Amaroli, which derives from the root word Amara, which means ‘Immortal’. Parvati, devoted wife of Shiva, could not understand how, in spite of his austerities and severe spiritual practices, her husband could always look so youthful and well, and how, as the aeons passed them by, he always seemed to be so vigorous. She pressed him to tell her the reason, but he refused, saying it was a secret. She resorted to all manner of wifely subterfuge, such as burning his dinner and refusing to talk to him, but he was not for turning. Eventually, falling back upon the last privilege of the manipulator, she withheld sex. Because the universe is created and maintained due to the conjugal interaction between these two lofty creatures (or so they say) the earth and all things beyond it in the vast reaches of the cosmos were thus threatened with imminent annihilation. Shiva saw sense and conceded. He admitted to Parvati that the secret behind his unceasing health was his regular consumption of his own urine, and the resulting scripture outlines the practice.
‘Shivambu (urine) is like a divine nectar. It dispels disease and old age…..one should drink one’s own urine quite willingly and cheerfully. All the ailments subject to from the very birth will be completely cured…all miseries will evaporate….He who massages his body at least once a day with Shivambu (urine) will be full of strength and bravery…keep it a secret. Do not tell anyone.’
Extract from Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi.
Most people’s primary objection to drinking urine is that they imagine it is a dirty waste product. This is completely untrue. Urine is simply recycled blood, filtered through the nephrons of the kidneys, and it is completely sterile, unless and only rarely if there is specific infection in the bladder or the tubes.
The kidney’s functions are to maintain the body’s intricate chemical, water and salt balance. On the other hand, it is the liver that removes waste from the blood, passing it through into the gut, via the bile, and from the bowel it is evacuated, along with unabsorbed fibrous material, as faeces. This is the body’s only waste product (and even this product is of tremendous value –Humanure is the way of the future for gardeners, as the Chinese have known for ages).
Urine, as opposed to being a dirty waste product, is quite literally teeming with potentially valuable substances, from hormones, and enzymes and proteins, and salts and minerals.
There are three books that I recommend on the subject of Amaroli – The Golden Fountain by Coen Van der Kroon, The Water of Life by John W. Armstrong and Amaroli by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
In these books it is freely admitted that there has not, to date, been adequate scientific research done to prove, without fear or favour, that Urine Therapy has an undisputed place in nature’s pharmacopoeia. Nonetheless the stories told between the covers of those books are impressive, the deluge of correspondence and case studies of people who have been cured of everything from cancer to melancholia are persuasive, and it cannot be contested that, apart from being incredibly cheap, it is a cure as old as time.
Every ancient culture knew and used urine to cure its ailments. Something that is ineffective simply does not survive for that long in folk memory.
Meanwhile, the components of urine are being scientifically investigated, albeit individually, as extracted substances, for their possibilities in the treatment of disease.
There is a company in America, for example, that collects male urine through its countrywide distribution of portable toilets for the purpose of extracting growth hormones and insulin, and also in order to collect the base material for the manufacture of Urokinase, an enzyme that is being used to dissolve blood clots, and treat cardiac patients. It is a million dollar industry happening right under your nose, (so to speak).
Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgi, has isolated a substance in urine called 3-methyl-glyoxal which has been proven to destroy cancer cells.
Likewise a Dr. S. Burzynski has isolated Antineoplaston, another cancer-fighting peptide, in urine. Urea itself, which is the largest component of urine after water, has been injected in saline solution around tumours because of its remedial properties.
Other cancer inhibitors found in urine include H-11, Retine, DHEA, and Uric Acid. Babies operated upon in the womb display remarkably well-healed scars. The amniotic fluid in which they float is primarily composed of their own urine and is postulated as being the root cause of their skin’s healing ability.
Cosmetic companies have long known the value of Urea in treating the skin, though they often use urea derived from animal urine. Similarly human urine contains Allantoin, another substance widely used in beauty creams. Why not use your own? It is the same urea and allantoin, and just as effective as when it is presented for your consumption in an expensive branded tube or bottle.
The author Armstrong, mentioned above, wrote his book because he no longer wished to keep secret a cure that he had found so efficacious in the treatment of all conditions across the board. He eventually concluded that he did not even need to diagnose the illness, just simply apply the remedy. He was an extraordinarily devoted practitioner, often massaging his patients for hours with their own urine. He insisted that in order to be successful the treatment aught to be intensive, especially if the disease was severe. Therefore he advised fasting in conjunction with consumption of all urine produced, other than that which was saved to be aged for a couple of days and used for massage.
It is interesting to note that his (Armstrong’s) findings, which were being consolidated around the time of the Second World War, fell into abeyance just as the war produced, of horrific necessity, advances in antibiotics and the use of other chemical medicines. Funding dried up and interest waned amongst the scientific communities in a medicine that was so freely available and one that was therefore unlikely to ever be used for monetary gain.
Nonetheless Armstrong, the naturopath who had cured himself of advanced Tuberculosis, continued successfully treating many patients who had been declared beyond help. He had withheld publication of his findings because he had not yet had the opportunity to cure leprosy, but relented because of a simple absence of leprous patients. Since the publication of his book the Bethany Colony, a Christian hospital in India, established for the treatment of leprosy, has claimed cures with the use of urine therapy. There is an old adage in medicine that operates alongside and perhaps even transcends empirical evidence – ‘Who Heals is Right’.
In spite, however, of any miraculous claims on behalf of Amaroli non-medical people are simply not going to convince the scientific community without valid trials and research and this is understandable. Double-blind cross-over clinical trials have not yet been conducted on Amaroli.
Proceeding, however, on the basis that there is much more under Heaven and on Earth than we will ever understand we will look later on at the overall possibilities as to why Amaroli may be useful for balancing an upset body and mind.
Amaroli is offered primarily as a treatment for physical ailments. There is not much literature about its efficacy for mental ailments, although in Der Kroon’s book there are quotes from Terry Clifford’s book Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and Psychiatry (Samuel Weiser Inc. 1984) where she says
‘Urine was extensively used as a medication in Ayuvedic medicine, especially for the mentally ill.’
Clifford notes that ‘urine…has…been found to contain substances that act as powerful mental and emotional tranquillisers without any of the side-effects of manufactured chemical tranquillisers.’
So, in the absence of overly much empirical proof and research, why might Amaroli work? Several theories are offered in various publications.
It might be because there is the potential for the re-absorption of nutrients, thus recouping energy, although this is not likely to be advantageous on a large scale. We are, in general, well enough nourished.
It might be because there is the potential for the re-absorption of hormones. This is more interesting, because it could prove to be a way for the body to conserve precious energy and redirect it towards healing. A lot of hormones, being large molecules or proteins, would be destroyed or broken down by the enzymes and acids in the digestive tract, but this would not affect the smaller non-protein molecules, like the sex hormones, adrenal hormones and thyroid hormones. The other larger-molecule hormones could be reabsorbed through the skin. It only takes a tiny amount of any given hormone to exert a huge influence on the body and moods. Note the spasm of fear that occurs after the secretion of tiny amounts of adrenalin. Note the changes that occur prior to menstruation in many women’s demeanour. There is research that claims that Melatonin, a hormone found in urine, has a calming effect on the nerves. Also, in relation to hormones and as something of an aside, it is claimed that the urine produced directly after sex contains hormones secreted from the higher endocrine glands, which have a rejuvenating effect on the body and are therefore particularly valuable.
It might be because of the salt content of urine. Salty solutions remove mucus deposits in the body. Salty solutions encourage healthy bowel activity. Salty solutions draw out sugars and toxins from the cells. In short, salty solutions cleanse and detoxify the bodies systems, and allow for good health to re-establish itself.
It might be because there is potential for the re-absorption of enzymes. Again enzymes, like hormones, are powerful little devils and require vast amounts of energy to be created within the body. Re-absorption, if proven, could allow for the re-channelling of the bodies energy into essential and deep-rooted repairs.
It might be because of the potential for the re-absorption of Urea. Some of the body’s generally meandering Urea is converted in the liver into a powerful healing agent called glutamine. Glutamine is involved in the construction and maintenance of specialised tissues in the body, such as in the brain and small intestine. It heals internal ulcers. It has a strengthening effect on the immune system. Urea itself has an effect on the brain and central nervous system, and is used in surgical operations to temporarily shrink the brain. The smaller doses of urea re-absorbed through drinking urine may also bring about a certain reduction in the pressure in the brain and spinal cord, which certain chiropractors have claimed as being responsible for its healing potential. Urea has other potentially powerful affects within the body, including possible anti-cancer properties. It is a substance that warrants further scientific research by those seeking solutions to the ailments which assail the tribe of homo sapiens.
It might be because of urines antiseptic or germicidal effect. Ammonia, salt and urea are important here. Certainly, if all else fails, and you could never be induced to allow a drop of the amber nectar pass your lips, please make use of it externally where its miraculous healing properties can manifest before your very (sceptical) eyes.
It might be because of its diuretic effect. Drinking urine tends to result, almost paradoxically, in a greater flow of copious clear-coloured urine. It is as if the body is stimulated to ‘wash’ itself out. Accumulations of toxins, such as the uric acid, which is at the root of gout and rheumatism, are shifted. When re-ingested they are dealt with by the liver which moves along wastes. The over-all theory is that the kidneys are flushed and the bloodstream is purified.
It might be because of an immunological effect. If urine is toxic, as its detractors argue, then imbibing the toxins may stress the body’s defence systems in a beneficial manner. This is the logic behind the practice of inoculation. However the immunological effect is also rooted in a homeopathic theory of like curing like, or at least stimulating the body to deal more effectively with imbalance at a subtle root level. Studies suggest that the presence of antigens (substances which causes the body to produce antibodies) and antibodies themselves, in urine, stimulate the body’s immune system.
It might be because of the psychological effect. It could be that the shock of finding yourself to be actually quaffing your own urine allows for the breakdown of repressed neuroses, faulty thinking patterns, and conditional beliefs and limitations that have been leading you inexorably to states of fear.
‘Applying your own bodily substances in an attempt to heal can lead to a considerably broadened outlook on the intelligence and power of the body, and can increase your appreciation and love for yourself as a physical and spiritual being.’ ( pg. 71 of The Golden Fountain.)
And finally, urines healing potential might be because of the transmutation theory, as put forward by Coen van der Kroon. The basic theory here is that urine may contain a ‘holographic’ picture of the body’s fundamental condition, and that by drinking urine you are providing the subtle energy in the body with the information it needs to restore balance. This theory also proposes that the body is capable of transmuting certain substances in the body into other more helpful ones.
It is also proposed by some that urine is a ‘vibrational’ medicine, owing to the presence of salt crystals, and its well-organised molecular structure. This is a new emerging theory of wellness that you can explore and research under your own steam.
In order to practise urine therapy, for best healing potential it is advised that you consume the mid-stream flow of your first morning urine.
The first part of the flow cleans the tubes and the latter end of the flow contains settled particulates that may not be of much advantage.
This mid-stream fresh urine is also the urine you can use for gargling, neti and massage.
You can ‘age’ the urine for the purpose of massage for a few days in dark-coloured glass containers, which do not need to be closed, or ceramic containers if you prefer.
If you want to consume more than your morning brew then just stick to the mid-stream rule.
Sip rather than gulp your urine.
You can fast for a couple of days on pure water and urine to remove intransigent conditions.
If you are using prescribed or recreational drugs do not drink your urine, although you may try massage.
Do not discontinue any medicines without the advise of your physician.
Anyone suffering from serious diseases of heart, liver or kidneys should not practise amaroli.
Do not consume urine that contains pus.
If you are pregnant do not use the first morning flow.
What you eat, drink or otherwise ingest will affect the taste of the urine, so it is up to you to decide what delicacies you wish to forego.
Amaroli may result in a ‘healing crises’, such as increased bowel movements, rashes, bad breath, and tiredness. See how it goes for you, and if anything becomes intolerable or an unbearable aggravation to already frazzled nerves, then reduce or desist entirely from the practice.
….and in case you’re wondering….
In your wee you will find,
In no particular order of importance,
And amongst other things……..
Phosphor, sulphur, calcium and magnesium,
Iron, copper and zinc,
Nitrogen and urea,
creatine, guanidine, choline, spermine, dopamine,
leucine, lycine, alanine,
IgA, IgG, IgM,
Urokinase, alpha-amylase, protease,
Lysozyme and xylose,
ribose, fructose, lactose, raffinose,
B1, B2, B6, B12,
Nicotinic and ascorbic acids,
Gonadotropin, prolactin, oxytocin,
Thyroxin, insulin and cortisone,
Testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone.
DHEA, H-11, Interleukin-1,
All that remains to be said is – Cheers.