It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore...
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 96 16:38:03 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore...
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: "Rob Pike" <email@example.com>
PANJIM, India, March 20 (Reuters) -
Retired Indian Admiral L. Ramdas drinks his neat. Dr Ryoichi Nakao of
Japan likes to gargle with his each morning.
"I splash some on my face," said Coen van der Kroon of the
Netherlands. "It's a great aftershave."
They are among millions who say urine has benefits beyond the toilet
The devotees are more than a fringe group of faith healers fed up
with conventional medicine. Their ranks are growing, they are organizing
and they claim pharmaceutical makers better listen up because it is big
"Urine has tremendous political and economic implications," said
Carmen Thomas, a West German radio journalist who has written three books
on urine therapy. One of them entitled "A Very Special Juice" has sold
Some 600 doctors, scientists and therapists gathered recently in
Panjim, capital of the southwestern Indian state of Goa, for the first
World Conference on Auto-Urine Therapy.
Participants paid tribute to former Indian prime minister Morarji
Desai, who stunned the world when he disclosed that he drank a glass of
his own urine every day. He died last year at the age of 99.
Conference enthusiasts were led by G. K. Thakkar, head of India's
Water of Life Foundation who says urine cured him of amoebic dysentery
and eczema, and made him a "bold orator overnight."
Thakkar calls urine "the nectar medicine" which he claims can heal
most if not all illnesses including AIDS.
Tara Eich of Australia said she had been diagnosed with terminal
cancer. She began drinking her urine and recovered.
Claude Jacot of Switzerland put up with 50 years of sinusitis. He
began pouring urine into his nose every day and has not had a recurrence
An initiate might find urine a touch salty with a potent aftertaste,
but hardly rancid unless laced with lingering alcohol or pungent spices
from the night before.
But many sceptics hold their noses. "It is most wholesome but world
opinion still considers it most unwholesome," U.S. chiropractor and urine
therapist John Wynhausen said.
Dr R.D. Lele of Bombay's Jaslok Hospital says the urine movement
lacks solid scientific proof to back its case. But he concedes there
could be something to it.
"When 600 people gather, whether or not you like it, you are
certainly curious," he told the auto-urine conference.
Van der Kroon says urine has not always been distasteful.
In his book "The Golden Fountain: The Complete Guide to Urine
Therapy," van der Kroon says each of us floated in amniotic fluid for nine
months before being born. The fluid is made up largely of urine.
In 1747 book German author Johann Heinrich Zedler wrote: "One can
best heal injuries to eyes with honey dissolved in the lightly boiled
urine from a young man."
In the 18th century, French and German doctors used it to treat
jaundice, rheumatic disorders, gout, sciatica and asthma. Cannoniers used
to keep a bucket of urine nearby. If a hand was burned during firing, a
quick dip soothed the pain.
British convert J.W. Armstrong treated 40,000 patients between 1925
and 1944 for ailments from cancer to tuberculosis.
In the 1940s, German doctors gave urine enemas to children exposed
to measles or small pox. Today, according to van der Kroon, Eskimo women
use urine as a shampoo.
Five million Germans indulge in urine therapy, many of them taking
injections, according to Dr Johann Abele. "It has spread over Germany
like a huge wave," he said.
Retired admiral Ramdas, head of India's navy between 1991 and 1993,
first heard of the therapy in 1989 from a friend who said it cured her of
kidney and liver failure.
In perfect health but curious, he and his wife, Lalita, began
drinking a daily glass of urine. "We take a maintenance dose of one glass
a day," said Lalita, who is president of International Council of Adult
Education based in Toronto.
The 63-year-old retired admiral said he did not advertise the therapy
but quietly told navy colleagues. "There was a predictable response. They
were quizzical and very sceptical," he said. "But many started the
Ramdas, who has a daughter who drinks her urine, credits the therapy
with helping him keep up a strenuous schedule.
"There is nothing to be ashamed about. One only has to lower one's
mental barrier which is a result of brain-washing as a child. It demands
tremendous courage and will," said Ramdas.
Companies have begun waking up to urine, Thomas says.
Enzymes of America Holding Corp has developed a filter that collects
proteins found in male urine in 10,000 portable toilets owned by a
The U.S. firm is working on marketing urokinase, an enzyme found in
urine that is used to dissolve blood clots and treat heart attack victims,
van der Kroon said.
"There is an annual market of $500 million for these types of
substances," he said.
Thomas says some drugs firms have caught on. In Shanghai urine is
collected in public toilets, sold to pharmaceutical firms which extract
urokinase and then exported.
"Some firms in Europe are selling products like skin creams with ads
saying, 'With urea in it!"' Thomas said.
A Dutch firm mixes the urine of nuns with that of pregnant women to
make a potion for sterile couples, van der Kroon said.
Some say urine is the medicine of the future for billions of poor
people without access to health care.
"It is the cheapest form of medicine and you don't need doctors,"
Goan deputy chief minister Wilfred d'Souza said.
© 1996 Peter Langston