Drinking your own urine? There’s a Facebook group for that

Urine-therapy enthusiasts say drinking pee is a panacea, not a foul way to start the day

Does drinking pee work? “Better than you could imagine!” says one Facebook group. Photograph: E+/Getty

Does drinking pee work? “Better than you could imagine!” says one Facebook group. Photograph: E+/Getty

 

One benefit of being part of a social network with more than a billion members: there will be thousands of people who share that “one in a million” interest. Facebook is a haven for those with rare diseases or niche interests, one capable of supporting two separate groups of more than 5,000 proponents of “urine therapy”.

That’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 groups, which recently splashed on to the wider internet thanks to screenshots leaking out to Reddit and Twitter, make plenty of enthusiastic claims about the efficacy of urine in treating all manner of maladies.

“Does it work? Better than you could ever imagine!” says the home page of the 4,965-member group Urine Therapy. Another group, Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY (6,697 members), goes further still to claim that it “opens the doors of your soul, healing every part of your being” – but not without urging caution. “Use the knowledge you gain here wisely,” it warns. “It can change your life if you choose to allow it to.”

It is hard to imagine how regularly washing in wee wouldn’t change your life –if only by freeing up huge chunks of your social calendar.

The groups are awash 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 ageing urine (to concentrate the effects).

The community has spread to Instagram, with advocates alternating artful posts of mason jars containing carrot and celery juice with artful posts of others containing pee.

There is no scientific evidence to support the practice, which exists today as a hybrid of Indian folk remedies and pseudo-science promoted by a British crank, John W Armstrong, in the 1940s. One of the bases for his book, The Water of Life, was a fairly literal reading of Proverbs 5:15: “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.”

Far be it from us to go against the word of God and Facebook groups, but: do not do this. Leave the waters in your cistern. We have taps now. – Guardian

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