It is possible to treat many skin conditions and digestive disorders with the same, simple remedy. But trust me when I say that you probably are not going to like it — at least, not at first. Because the potential healing benefit comes from — get this — the practice practice of “Urine Therapy”. (Other recommendations include a good skin cream, and diet rich in phytochemicals (aka polyphenols). But here, we deal with the really weird one.
Originally published 2010
Question: What do these conditions have in common?
- Athelete’s Foot
- Celiac Disease (intestinal erosion caused by gluten)
- Common Cold
- Discolored Teeth
- Dry Elbow
- Dry Scalp
- Ear Wax
- Jock Itch
- Gum disease
- Heart burn
- Liver Spots
- Planter’s Warts
- Sinus Infections
- Skin Abrasions
- Surface Skin Wounds
- Stuffy Nose
Answer: They are all surface skin conditions.
Even the common cold, sinus infections, and digestive disorders stem from bacteria living in the mucosal lining — the “inner skin” that separates our bodies from the external world, in the same way that our “outer skin” does.
Of course, good skin depends mostly on inner health — on the right blend of omega-3 fatty acids, and limited exposure to the kinds of environmental toxins that have to be expelled somewhere — and as the largest organ of elimination, the skin is just the place to do it.
So when the skin gets out of whack, it’s important to clean up your diet. (That part of the subject is covered in Healing Modalities for Skin Conditions) But it is a long-term remedy which, while incredibly important, can take a long time to show results. In fact, even with the best of diets, your body may have a hard time catching up with the skin conditions that have come about in the meantime.
So what can you do?
It turns out that there is an exceedingly simple and effective remedy that has come down to us from ages past — one that I have found to be effective, at least with respect to dandruff and liver spots. It seems to be making a noticeable difference in the psoriasis, as well. (I’m less sure about it’s effectiveness for eczema and warts. I look forward to hearing from others who have tried the remedy.)
That remedy (I’m telling you now, you’re not going to like it) is…
(Told you you wouldn’t like it.)
My First Introduction
I first heard about the treatment in an episode of Two and Half a Men. (Really.) The dialogue went something like this:
(Incredulously) “Did you know that urine kills athlete’s foot? It’s a conspiracy! The drug companies don’t want you finding out about it!”
“Excuse me. I have to go pee on my feet.”
I heard that, and knew it was either the biggest put on in the world, or there was some truth to it. I have a bit of athlete’s foot from time to time, so the next time I had it, I peed on my foot before I took a shower. What do you know? It worked! Pretty well, in fact.
At least, I thought it worked. I figured it could be my imagination, as well. Maybe that itching around my toes wasn’t really athlete’s food. Maybe the cessation of itching was the placebo effect. Or maybe it just the fact that I took a shower, and it would have gone away in any case.
I tried it a couple of times, and it definitely seemed to help. But the third time I had a problem, I went back to using my drugstore cure, and basically set the idea aside for a while.
My Second Introduction
Then came my investigations into Tantra/Kriya Yoga, and my readings in the masterwork on the subject, Yoga and Kriya by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. That tome is a textbook on all aspects of the practice. It’s one to take with you if you’re going to be marooned on a desert isle, and need something for a lifetime practice! Each chapter is easily read, but there are many of them. So I’ve taken to browsing around until something catches my eye.
In this case, Lesson 15 caught my eye, in the section entitled Amaroli (p. 454). Why that particular section caught my eye, is anyone’s guess. After all, it was dead in the middle of a 950+ page book! I skimmed past lots of other stuff to get there.Maybe it’s because it was something I needed. Maybe it’s because I wondered what the word meant, and the first sentence gave me a definition–“urine thereby — that intrigued me enough to read further.
The lesson starts with a scientific discussion of urine’s contents, and mentions that (a) they’re beneficial and (b) they can be reabsorbed. It admits that there is no scientific proof for its efficacy as a treatment, but it references the wisdom of the ancients — which science seems to keep confirming!
That chapter talks (very gently!) about how early-morning urine is best for healing, and how you don’t want to use the first or last parts of the flow. (I have no idea if that’s really true, or why. But given that the practice is several thousand years old, I’m inclined to trust the advice until I have some reason not to. If nothing else, throwing out the first and last parts reduces the amount you’re dealing with!)
The chapter also gives a progression for easing yourself into it — always washing thoroughly with soap afterward! First, use your urine to wash your hands. Then use it to wash your skin. Taste a little, to get used to it. Use it in a neti pot to clean the sinuses. Even drink it to clean the digestive tract.
I would further refine that into the following two sequences:
- External Sequence
Wash hands. Wash body. Wash face. Wash scalp.
- Internal Sequences
1) Taste. Rinse. Rinse & gargle. Rinse, gargle, & swallow (ingestion).
2) Neti pot basic cleanse: Front nasal passages. Neti pot deep cleanse: Rear nasal passages.
3) Urine enema. (See More Information)
Do both sequences at once, or one after the other. Whichever suits. Don’t hurry. Move to the next stage only when you’re ready.
It Does Work
Okay. I held my breath, and tried it. To my amazement, the effects were pretty immediately noticeable — noticeable enough to be worth writing about, even in the early stages, applying it only to the external skin. After trying it out one morning, I felt a significant difference in the skin by that evening. After a couple of days, I noticed major differences:
- The skin is smoother, silkier.
- It’s more moisturized.
- Areas of dry scalp and dandruff are giving way to areas of smooth, healthy skin.
- Liver spots are going away.
- Dry, itchy skin is a thing of the past.
- The rosacea is clearing up.
For even better results, use baby oil after showering. Seals the pores better than anything to preserve moisture.
Unfortunately, there was a lingering smell in my nostrils, at first. Mostly because of the ammonia. But as long as I’m making progress, I’ll live with it! (Going vegetarian helps a lot. Even cutting down to one non-vegetarian meal a day made a noticeable difference — or maybe I’ve just got used to it. After a couple of weeks, I didn’t notice it at all.)
Urine turns out to be very powerful stuff. When I first put it on my scalp, there was a definite burning sensation if I left it on too long. So anywhere there is a severe problem, I suggest the following.
- Start with a very dilute solution — say, a 10:1 ratio with water.
- If you notice a difference stay at that ratio for a week or two, and then gradually move to 1:1 ratio.
- Stay at each level for at least a week.
- When you reach 1:1, gradually use less and less water, until you get to full strength.
- Do the practice no more than 2 to 3 times a week, especially at first, so your body has time to do the healing the practice stimulates. (It’s exactly like building a muscle. You work it, but then you have to give it time to recover.)
Why it Works
I’m venturing into the realm of conjecture here, but here are the things I believe are responsible for making a difference:
- Acidity – The solution is slightly acid, which makes it a bacteria killer. It’s also a mild exfoliant that washes away dead skin cells that are clogging up the pores.
- Salinity – It contains just the right amount of salt to be absorbed. (When using a Neti Pot, it takes some practice to find the right amount of salt. Too much, and it stings. Too little, and it doesn’t do any good. With urine, there’s no guesswork.)
- Minerals – It contains many minerals your skin cells can use. (It also contains toxins your body eliminated! But the skin has defenses against those. (Still, it would be ideal if it could be filtered to remove those substances!)
- Ammonia – Household disinfectant and cleaner, in the perfect concentration for safe use.
- Creatinine – A molecule of muscular energy. Weight lifters use it for recovery and to prevent soreness. Helps your skin cells to energize.
- Warm – Making a solution for the Neti Pot, the advice is always to use warm water. That way, there is no shock to the nerves, and the solution is easily absorbed. The perfect temperature, of course is body temperature.
- Perfectly Balanced – The recipe is perfectly balanced for your skin, because after all, you made it.
- Fully Absorbed – Because it’s perfectly balanced, it’s fully absorbed by your skin cells. (That’s what they do.)
- Deeply Healing – Because it’s fully absorbed, you get deep healing, not just surface healing.
In the case of psoriasis, for example, the either the acidity kills whatever microbes might be the cause, or salts and minerals provide the skin cells with the materials they need, if the real cause is a deficiency. In either case, the fact that solution is both effective and readily absorbed is the key to its effectiveness.
When the idea of a urine enema came to me, I immediately checked the web, in search of either confirmation or dire warnings. Immediately, I came across this great page on Urine Therapy. It has such a wealth of information and explanations for the mechanism of action that I’m quoting large chunks of it here. ( “~” means “I’m paraphrasing”.)
“Urine (is) 95% of water, 2.5% of urea and the remaining 2.5% is a mixture of minerals , salts, hormones and enzymes. Only urea (is) poisonous (and only when) present in the blood. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant. Drinking urine, it is not immediately put back in the bloodstream. In small amounts urea gets back into the body, it is purifying, and clears up excess mucus. Urine is entirely sterile after secretion and has an antiseptic effect.
~Soldiers, miners, travelers, and others have survived (and even thrived!) by drinking their own urine. It’s terrific practice during a fast, as well. (After a couple of days, it’s diluted to the point that it’s almost like water.)
~Morning urine is best (middle flow). The first part cleans out the passageway. The last part contains sediment. If drinking it during the day, wait until at least an hour after eating.
~Morning urine is best because: Hormones are released during sleep to ensure deep relaxation, and to maintain hormonal balance. Reabsorbing these hormones ensures that we are more rested and more balanced. It saves the body energy because it does not have to manufacture these hormones again.
“I take a shower and pay extra attention to my face and hair. Skin becomes soft and smooth, and hair clean and lustrous….an excellent remedy for dandruff, lifeless hair and even baldness and hair loss. Massage urine briskly into the scalp, allow it to be absorbed for thirty minutes to an hour, and then wash it out with lukewarm water (do not use soap or shampoo). If you do not rinse out the urine, the effect is even more powerful.”
~Many pharmaceutical companies use horse urine in their hair and skin care products.
“If toxic substances enter the body, body’s defense mechanisms are called into action (the immune system). If substances which leave the body via the urine are the same as those involved in the illness process, they can stimulate the defense system to attack and in this way fight the illness. This might explain why urine therapy has proven so helpful in treating allergies. The practice of drinking and massaging with urine allows antibodies greater access to the body, which stimulates the immune system.
“Urine therapy is most beneficial if your diet contains no alcohol, tobacco products, coffee, junk foods, or meat…If you eat healthy and consciously, your urine will contain many essential nutrients which can be reused….It is advisable to follow a vegetarian diet during intensive application of urine therapy….If you wish to keep eating meat, the best meat products are fish and fowl, free of hormones. (Also avoid refined flour, white sugar, and white rice.)
“The idea that urine is a poisonous waste product is not based upon fact. It has been scientifically proven that, besides water, urine consists mainly of minerals, hormones and enzymes which are not harm-ful to the body. The body can reuse many of these substances. Urine is simply a healthy liquid which is filtered out of the bloodstream.
“The food you consume finds its way into the blood, and therefore into the urine…What at one moment was part of the blood can be found in urine a split second later.
“Fresh urine is sterile & therefore excellent for cleaning wounds. Old urine contains ammonia & other substances which ensure that the infection & decay are combated.
“Drinking urine, like drinking salt water, accelerates the metabolism. It removes a surplus of sugar from the blood and draws out toxic substances from cells. In this way, urine therapy is a good cleansing technique. Using urine instead of salt is also more effective because urea and ammonia are organic solvents: they dissolve fats and other natural bodily secretions.
“For almost nine month, we drank our own urine in the form of amniotic fluid. This liquid was an important contribution to the development of our bodies. Drinking urine is certainly not strange. It is the foundation of our existence.
~Your own is best or, if in need, from someone of the same sex. Because “different hormones can be found in the urine from a male than in that of a female.” (That thought raises the potentially interesting prospects for “couples therapy”.)
“In the early nineteenth century, Dr. Charles Duncan conducted research into therapies with self-produced substances….(He found just tasting and drinking were effective for gonorrhea, because the body produces it’s own medications.)
“Some people recommend using the first urine after sexual intercourse. During the process of sexual stimulation certain hormones are released in the higher endocrine glands which have a regenerating effect on the body for men as well as women.
~Scientists say that 25% of the urea in the body finds its way to the intestinal tract. There, intestinal flora converts it to glutamine. (An amino acid that increases alertness, among other things. Great substitute for caffeine.) The extra supply created by urine therapy increases the glutamine level in the body (which) strengthens the immune system and specialized organs, and heals damages to the digestive tract.
That last bit means that Urine Therapy could potentially be of great value to people recovering from the intestinal damage produced by a gluten diet. (See What’s Wrong with Wheat?)
A few suggestive tidbits, gleaned from here and there:
- Once upon a time, I heard that people who engaged in this practice swore by it. (I was sure they were nuts, of course.)
- When using the Neti Pot to flush the nasal passages, the instructions say to create a mild salty solution, the same density as your tears. (In other words, create a solution that is identical to your bodily fluids.)
- A similar kind of saline solution is in the pre-packaged enemas you can buy.
- In Yoga for Health and Relief of Tension, Yogi Vithaldis recommended rinsing your body with warm water, and then rubbing the skin vigorously with your hands to dry yourself.
The skin and the intestinal tract aren’t two different things, so as much one long, connected piece of tissue. Literally, a bodily organ, just like the liver or kidneys. So rubbing it on the skin improves digestive function, and drinking it improves the skin.
Of course, rubbing it on the skin improves skin tone directly, just as drinking it improves digestive function directly. And it is that latter usage that deserves a little extra comment. (It’s hard to do! The mind needs a lot of reasons to get started. Eventually, it gets used to the practice. But until then, it needs a lot of persuading.)
One Ayurvedic technique for cleaning the intestinal tract is to drink warm salt water. You have a cup every hour or so until you get loose stools and evacuate. It works, but I can tell from experience that it’s hard to get the solution right. If it’s too weak, it goes through the kidneys. So it can take several hours until you get a result.
Urine, though, works like magic. It’s at absolutely the right concentration, and because of its other contents, it goes straight to and through the intestinal tract. After an hour or two, it’s on its way out. There’s no guessing.
It’s also more effective than plain salt water. The mild ammonia kills bugs and generally cleans things. The glutamine provides energy and restores tissues.
Because it is so good at cleaning and healing the digestive tract, it is recommended during fasting. That makes sense, because:
- Practically the whole point of a fast is to give your digestive tract a rest and let it heal.
- There are no food additives or medicines in your system, so the urine is as pure as it is going to get.
(Except for the stuff that your body is eliminating — but if it’s coming out the kidneys, it generally won’t be absorbed by the intestines. And even if celiac-induced leaky gut does allow some into the blood stream, that’s where it was in the first place, before it was filtered out by the kidneys. So the huge amount of good generally outweighs the fractional amount of bad.)
So while a water fast or a juice fast is a great idea on its own, a water or juice fast while recycling the urine is an ideal modality for healing the digestive tract.
Engaging in the practice in the morning therefore makes sense in two ways: As already mentioned, the urine contains relaxation hormones released during the night’s sleep. In addition, morning comes after the longest fast of the day — especially if you skip dinner or have only a very light snack, like fruit.
The 24-Hour Weekly Fast
Yoga texts I’ve read in the past recommend one day of fasting a week. One of the ladies at work fasts on Mondays. When I told her I used to fast one day on the weekend, she shook her head vehemently. No way was she going to miss out on eating over the weekend! That made sense. I tried fasting on a Friday, too. But by the end of the week, I was pretty tired. On a Monday, though, I’m well rested and well-fed for the weekend, and ready to give my digestive tract a rest. So I’m inclined to agree that Monday is a good day for it. But pick whichever day works best for you.
- To make it a 24-hour fast, you go from dinner the night before until dinner time the next day.
- This is the time to be drinking the urine, to heal the digestive tract. It’s also the time for enemas.
(The rest of the week, it can be used for other purposes, as well.)
- The last meal of the day before the fast should be vegetarian, so the urine is as clean and pure as possible.
A Daily Schedule
So far, these times of day seem to work best for the different practices:
Time of Day Practice Notes Middle of the night,
after several hours sleep
Brush teeth & gargle with salt water.
Rinse mouth, swallow, drink.
Brush again, rinse & gargle
Clean gums before rinsing and swallowing..
Gums, and a full-spectrum colon flush, from the top down.
(Reserve a 2nd toothbrush for it)
Final cleaning & taste removal.
Regulation toothpaste & mouthwash this time.
After rising, before showering Wash, Neti Pot Care for skin & nasal passages End of day, before dinner Enema, with Yoga Inversion
& lower belly massage
Internal cleansing. Other times of day Mouthwash & Brush
Dissolve ear wax.
The internal cleansing is vital for both energy and the skin.
The improvement in skin tone comes from removing the blockages, so things aren’t backed-up like a clogged drain pipe, causing stuff to come out the external pores because it has nowhere else to go.
The increase in energy comes from improved digestion and absorption of nutrients, combined with the re-uptake of glutamine — an energy amino — and any small amounts of caffeine. It also comes from the salt, which makes the heart beat more strongly, raising blood pressure. (So the practice may not be recommended if you already have high blood pressure.)
Follow Up Note #1
After following the daily practice for a couple of weeks, I can say that my energy level has never been higher, my need for sleep has never been lower, and my need to eat never less. I once read that Babaji Nagaraj and his disciples ate a vegetarian meal once a day. Now, I can see that happening, for two reasons:
- Indian Foods contain enough fiber to be filling and satisfying for many hours, so eating vegetarian becomes possible.
- With nutrients recycled, as they are in this practice, eating once a day becomes sufficient.
Come the late afternoon/evening, I generally have a light snack. Say a banana and water. But other than the sugar addiction (an ever present threat), I’m not feeling much need to eat!
Follow Up Note #2
Middle-of-the-night ingestion is somewhat dicey, because the increased energy tends to keep me awake. But that’s working for me. During the day, I work for a living. At night, I go to sleep as early as I can. When I wake, I have anywhere from an hour to several hours to devote to creative pursuits. Then I go back to sleep for a couple of hours, get up, and go to work.
Fortunately, I have in job in California, working with people who typically don’t get in until 10:30, and who are willing to let people follow any schedule that works, as long it’s predictable and the work gets done. That flexibility makes it possible to both make a living and also do the important work. It lets me balance my activities nicely.
In only a couple of weeks since starting the practice, the amount of sleep I’m getting has dropped from 8 or 9 hours a night to 4 or 5 (with an occasional 8-hour night, especially after exercise). I’m getting a lot of writing done at night, and I’m extremely productive at my job, as well, where I spend my time writing and programming. (That’s huge, because in the past I’ve never had much energy for creative pursuits after working all day!).
In the interests of full disclosure, several other aspects of my life are contributing to my energy level, as well. It would be interesting to do studies to find out which change is having what effect. But as a lifestyle, the combination is clearly working!
Here’s the complete collection of ingredients:
- Intestinal Cleansing & Skin Healing — Urine Therapy: Body wash, ingestion, and enema. Healing and energizing.
- Recovery from Gluten Intolerance — After nearly two years of gluten avoidance, the intestines have at last begun to heal, as evidenced by the ability to digest dairy products once again, without having a stuffy nose for days. (It could have been a coincidence, but the Urine Therapy seems to have drastically improved the rate of healing.)
See What’s Wrong with Wheat?
- Split sleep cycle — Dividing sleep into two parts, as mentioned above. Like being on “watch” at sea or in the armed forces, you sleep for short periods of time, and spend .
- Mantra — Having one or more mantras running through my head all day, and singing them whenever I can.
See Mantra Magic.
- Ipsalu Tantra Formula — A meditation practice that expands my consciousness and brings joy to my heart, each and every day. In short, it makes me blissfully happy!
See Tantra Lessons.
- Healing the Intestines
Another article on this site that describes a complete practice for repair and regeneration of the intestinal tract.
- Yoga and Kriya, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Lesson 15 deals with Amaroli, or “urine healing”. It does so gently, saying it’s something you might want to try, but understandably may not want to. All in all, it’s very well done.
- Yoga for Health and Relief of Tension, by Yogi Vithaldis
The very first book on Yoga I ever read. Still a classic. Thin, but informative. Covers almost every aspect of Hatha Yoga.
A terrific page with a wealth of information on healthy uses, with scientific evidence and explanations for why it works.
If you’re going to be drinking it, these recipes look like a good way to mask the flavor.
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