Amaroli - Is Drinking Urine Safe?


#1

Believe it or not, there is a growing trend among yogis of daily pee drinking, the consumption of one’s own morning urine. Those subscribing to this trend of enjoying a fresh pee beverage, or amaroli, mention its “natural healing” and its ability to cure many diseases as primary motivating factors.

The oldest text from the Indian subcontinent encouraging the use of amaroli in healing dates back hundreds of years. Known as the [I]Damara Tantra[/I], it gives a detailed description of how to use urine therapy, sometimes mixing it with specific herbs or minerals to cure disease.

Of the three texts traditionally seen as teaching manuals of Yoga, the [I]Hatha Yoga Pradipika[/I] is the only one that mentions it.

HYP 3:96 – [I]“Discard the beginning of the stream of water because it has too much bile. Discard the end of the stream because it is worthless. Wholly enjoy the cool, middle stream. This is amaroli…”
[/I]
According to some modern teachers of the Yoga tradition, amaroli is a practice that should be continued today for optimal health. Drinking urine has become increasingly popular as the new wave of Yoga enthusiasm continues to grow and as many enthusiasts reach back in time to learn the traditional ways.
[B]
Reports of Health Benefits from Amaroli[/B]

Proponents claim amaroli as practiced in the modern day is a panacea that cures almost everything. Martha M. Christy wrote [I]“Your Own Perfect Medicine,”[/I] a book often cited for its thorough job of revealing the “truth” about the health benefits of urine therapy. Of the book of her predecessor, John Armstrong, she says, “One thing lacking in Armstrong’s book is scientific evidence…” Christy dedicates an entire chapter to all the research she could find on the merits of drinking urine.

Here are the flaws with the science Christy lays out:

  1. [B]Case studies of urine therapy within old medical journals are cited as proof.[/B] Case studies are just anecdotes published by doctors. Today, anecdotes can be found all over the web attesting to the health benefits of pee drinking. Anecdotes can’t be trusted. Why? Because they don’t consider the placebo effect. Doing or receiving anything that is difficult or disdainful, like a saline shot in the buttocks with a big needle, is likely to elicit a placebo response. In medical research, regardless of the treatment studied, there is an average 30% healing result in the placebo limb of a trial. So what’s wrong with inducing a placebo response from urine therapy? Better is better, right? Not really, not when there are toxic substances in the sugar pill or shot – like there are with amaroli.

  2. [B]Most claims for health benefits from amaroli come from studies of the components of urine, like urea for instance.[/B] Removing and studying the effects of one constituent of urine, like urea, and then generalizing those effects to the entire fresh solution used in urine therapy is disingenuous. There’s a lot more stuff in urine than urea. Those other things can be toxic. While urea, the primary component of urine, is used in skin creams and pharmaceuticals like Ureaphil, it is the isolated chemical that is used therapeutically.

  3. [B]Studies of urine applied to cells in a petri dish aren’t the same thing as studies of people drinking pee as they do in amaroli.[/B] Christy cites studies on the tuberculosis and cancer cell killing effects of urine on groups of cells in a dish, but that ignores what happen to the rest of the body when people drink urine. We are whole organisms, and the whole organism must be taken into consideration. In a petri dish, you can’t see the effects of metabolism. You can’t see the effects on all the many kinds of normal tissue within the human body. It’s removing a tiny piece of the jigsaw puzzle and then declaring that you can see the entire finished picture.

  4. [B]Some of the studies of amaroli use a small quantity of urine injected beneath the skin or a few drops placed under the tongue.[/B] While advocating drinking a couple of ounces of urine every morning, the most recent scientific literature Christy cites on urine therapy for the treatment of allergies employs only a minute quantity of urine given in specific ways. The claim for efficacy with allergies is that drinking antibodies found in urine will boost the immune system by re-circulating those little soldiers. Antibodies administered in the hospital have to be injected into veins. If taken by mouth (rather than given sublingually or by injection as in the cited research) the digestive juices of the gastrointestinal tract destroy antibodies before they are absorbed and able to make it to their targets.

[B]Is Drinking Urine Safe?[/B]

NASA recently spent $250 million for a processor that makes urine on the space station safe to drink. That’s a lot of money, and it doesn’t include all the decades of expensive research that have gone into figuring out how to do it. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Why would they spend that kind of dough if drinking urine was safe and healthy?

One of the best ways to answer the question of toxicity is to take a look at what happens when your kidneys stop functioning. Doctors help patients by placing them on dialysis machines for four hours three times a week to mimic the kidney’s filtering function. Patients with kidney failure live a lot longer with dialysis, but they still die of toxicity from their kidney failure. One reason is that all the body’s toxins aren’t filtered efficiently by the artificial dialysis machine the way they are by our own amazing natural filter. Medicine hasn’t yet figured it all out.

Kidney failure isn’t urine therapy. Assuming the kidneys function properly, they can efficiently remove again anything you put back in with a pee beverage. Those onerous little toxic substances will go round and round in a loop. It’s more work for your body to have to get rid of them over and over.

Some of the normally excreted toxins recycled through the body with urine therapy are so elusive and complicated that they don’t even have names yet, but there are other more well-known toxins that are in urine also. Pretty much everyone knows about bisphenol A, the widely disseminated compound in plastics, even baby bottles, that’s been linked to reproductive and neuro-developmental problems. According to a 2009 report from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), almost all Americans have some of this chemical in their urine. The kidneys have done their job of filtering it out. The average level in the CDC report was 2.6 micrograms per liter in adults, but levels as high as 18.1 micrograms per liter were found. In order to excrete bisphenol A, the body has to link it to glucuronide which makes it less toxic and more easily urinated, but there are intestinal enzymes that cleave the protective bond. Thus, after drinking urine, bisphenol A will get reabsorbed in its active and toxic form.

Arsenic, indisputably a toxin, is found in the urine of almost everyone in concentrations up to 93.1 micrograms per liter in adults. It occurs naturally, but we’ve increased the amount of our exposure drastically by burning coal and by using arsenic as a wood preservative.

Pesticides are found in urine, too. The organochlorine pesticides are converted by the liver into new substances in an attempt to make them less toxic, but a less toxic form isn’t always produced. 2,4,6-TCP is a metabolite that’s found in the urine of most people, and it’s been linked to leukemia, lymphoma, and liver cancer.

There are many more toxic substances in urine, too many to name here. It makes sense. After all, the job of the kidneys is to filter out and remove harmful substances our bodies have been unfortunate enough to acquire through ingestion, absorption and inhalation.

When it comes to amaroli, our world is not the same as the one of yogis long ago. Drinking urine in the early morning hours may have helped their meditation through recycled melatonin and supplemented an inadequate diet with recycled vitamins, but environmental pollutants and synthetic chemicals add a dimension of toxicity in the modern world they did not have to consider. Amaroli, or drinking urine to promote health, is not a wise practice for the yogis of today.

About The Author:
Kathleen Lea Summers, MD, PhD is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and a board certified Internal Medicine physician. Visit theYogadr.com to learn more about amaroli and the integration of Yoga and medicine for a holistic approach to healing.


#2

“When it comes to amaroli, our world is not the same as the one of yogis long ago. Drinking urine in the early morning hours may have helped their meditation through recycled melatonin and supplemented an inadequate diet with recycled vitamins, but environmental pollutants and synthetic chemicals add a dimension of toxicity in the modern world they did not have to consider. Amaroli, or drinking urine to promote health, is not a wise practice for the yogis of today.”

One thing that is often forgotten is that the content of one’s urine and it’s quality is going to be a mirror reflection of one’s own life, and the way one maintains one’s own system. For the majority of people who are engaging in all kinds of things which generate toxins and impurities in one’ system - smoking, eating meat, drinking large amounts of alcohol, certainly one’s urine is going to be impure. The technique of amaroli was never prescribed as a method for the average person, but for the yogi. And the yogi maintains one’s system in a way which is absolutely different than that of the average person - much of the work involved in the expansion of consciousness through the yogic sciences is to purify and consecrate one’s system so that it may become a receptive vessel for transformation. And if one is practicing something like amaroli without the proper understanding - it can create severe damage to one’s system. This is why the technique had always been transmitted secretly from master to disciple - first to ensure that the disciple has already gone through some work in the purification of the mind and body, as well as to ensure that the technique is performed in the proper way. It is not merely the drinking of urine. Depending on one’s own relative situation - one will have to drink the urine at a particular time, with a particular quantity, at times in a particular way. So most of these “scientific” reports as to why amaroli is not effective is not based upon a scientific attitude - because one is just studying the average person on the street, and the technique is not intended for the average person.


#3

Seems like a very bad idea to me.
Urine is WASTE…yuck…drinking waste…If your kidneys are working as they should then they are getting rid of waste…and keeping back anything that is not waste…

Your kidneys work to remove the urine from your body…why put it back in?
If you are healthy and your kidneys are functioning and you have water to drink it seems like a waste of time to put into your body something that your body just got rid of… why stress your elimination systems by putting waste back in?
Unless you have no water at all do not drink your urine…


#4

Hmm, this certainly is news to me.

I never knew Amaroli was prescribed in Indian scriptures. Then again, my knowledge of Indian scriptures does not extend beyond the Puranas.

As Amir said, I guess the body of a Yogi functions differently, in terms of resilience, sustainability, and so forth. For example, some Yogis have been known to take high doses of LSD and not feel a thing.

Other than that, I don’t know what purpose it would serve to a Yogi to drink his urine…


#5

Apparently urine has certain medicinal properies. I know Ayurveda use cow urine as one of the ingrediants in some special medicine.


#6

“For the majority of people who are engaging in all kinds of things which generate toxins and impurities in one’ system - smoking, eating meat, drinking large amounts of alcohol, certainly one’s urine is going to be impure. The technique of amaroli was never prescribed as a method for the average person, but for the yogi. And the yogi maintains one’s system in a way which is absolutely different than that of the average person - much of the work involved in the expansion of consciousness through the yogic sciences is to purify and consecrate one’s system so that it may become a receptive vessel for transformation.”

I’m grateful for AmirMaroud’s comment as it gives me a chance to respond to a line of reasoning cited by many yogi friends of mine who practice amaroli daily.

First, yogis who can levitate, disappear and be in 2 places at once like those in Autobiography of a Yogi can drink their urine. They are beyond the reach of physical and material limitations. Most of us aren’t there.

Many yogis I know, who cite their yogic purity as a reason why amaroli is okay for them, are avid detox-ers. It can’t be both ways. Either you are energetically beyond the effects of environmental toxins because you are an advanced yogi or you are not.

While most of us yogis do our best to live a simple, natural lifestyle devoid of chemical contaminants, avoiding all of them is not possible. Eating organic, drinking pure filtered water, living in a pristine rural environment, and practicing Yoga certainly help a great deal, but it’s not enough. Environmental toxins are in the air we breath, the water in our wells and rivers (and all are not removed by water purification), and the food we eat. They are off-gassing from carpets and furniture. Smoke stacks are pouring arsenic and mercury into the air. Toxins are in vehicle exhaust, fabrics, phones, and they’re even coming from the computers we are working on now. Here’s a great read about toxins in people by a National Geographic reporter. They’re everywhere and in all of us, really.


#7

[QUOTE=theYogadr.;59793]
While most of us yogis do our best to live a simple, natural lifestyle devoid of chemical contaminants, avoiding all of them is not possible.
/…/
They’re everywhere and in all of us, really.[/QUOTE]

Kathleen, thank you for bringing this up! Very interesting read.


#8

I’m practicing it for the past five months, it has healed my allergies that manifested as vasomotor rhinitis and asthma attacks.

Traditional medicine and homeopathy failed. Amaroli worked.

I gave up animal protein (dairy) for producing an eligible shivambhu. The first one early in the morning tastes too strong, but the rest aren’t bad.

Regards


#9

“First, yogis who can levitate, disappear and be in 2 places at once like those in Autobiography of a Yogi can drink their urine”

Have you ever levitated, disappeared, or been in two places at once ? If you have not, I would not accept anything whatsoever which has yet to enter into ones direct perception. One also has to understand that much of the language of the yogic sciences comes from a culture which has been heavily symbolic and has used imagination as a means to preserve certain truths. If, reading certain yogic texts, you happen to come across a statement which says that by performing a certain technique the yogi transcends death and old age, this should not be interpreted literally. It simply means that at the level of ones consciousness, one has moved beyond ones physical limitations. Or if you really believe that Shiva has several arms, a third eye, and dances this universe into existence and out of existence, then one is simply being foolish.

“like those in Autobiography of a Yogi”

As Parahamsa Yogananda was speaking on behalf of his tradition, he has to state things in a way which supports his tradition rather than anything which has to do with Truth. It is impossible for the physical body to levitate, just as you can never get the sun to revolve around the Earth, one cannot change the laws of nature.

“They are beyond the reach of physical and material limitations. Most of us aren’t there.”

If you think they are beyond physical limitations in the sense that they no longer have to breathe, or that they no longer bleed when cut, then that is not the state of a yogi. Like everybody else, one has to walk on ones feet and, if there is nuclear warfare, his body too cannot survive. To be beyond physical limitations does not mean that you have destroyed them, it simply means that they no longer function as a hindrance for your freedom, at the level of your consciousness you are birthless and deathless. Though the body may decay and rot, ones original nature remains untouched.

As far as amaroli is concerned, you do not need to come to some kind of superhuman state to practice it, or withdraw yourself from the society. All that is needed is to do enough sadhana to purify your system. That can be done anywhere.


#10

“Your kidneys work to remove the urine from your body…why put it back in?
If you are healthy and your kidneys are functioning and you have water to drink it seems like a waste of time to put into your body something that your body just got rid of… why stress your elimination systems by putting waste back in?”

There is nothing dirty about the kidneys, it is their function to filter and purify. Unless your kidneys are infected, provided you are living a healthy way of life and have been practicing sadhana, there is no possibility of getting an infection of any kind. Certainly it is “waste” if you consider the simple fact that it is being released from the body. But it is waste in the same way that a seed which falls from a fruit is waste. It is not waste in the same sense as feces, which is not a material which is filtered, nor is it the function of the intestines to filter it.

There is another factor to consider, which is not so much related but is significant. That even to consciously become inflicted with sickness can in fact strengthen the bodys capabilities to heal itself. In something like aghora yoga, the disciple will eat feces and eat the raw flesh of human corpses. And many times he will become sick, but that is the whole point. Eventually over time, combined with practice, his body develops an immunity. Such methods are tremendously dangerous - but they do work if done properly.

The body has tremendous healing capabilities in its own nature, but those potentials remain hidden from the average person because they are largely initiated by the mind. Different states of consciousness have different potentials and different effects on the body, and the abilities of the body to heal itself in a tremendous way becomes possible once one activates certain aspects of ones unconscious, which are there in everybody, but remain hidden from ones perception. Both the mind and the body do not nearly function to their full potential, and this is simply because man has not made an effect to bring his system to optimal functioning.


#11

[QUOTE=panoramix;59815]I’m practicing it for the past five months, it has healed my allergies that manifested as vasomotor rhinitis and asthma attacks.

Traditional medicine and homeopathy failed. Amaroli worked.

I gave up animal protein (dairy) for producing an eligible shivambhu. The first one early in the morning tastes too strong, but the rest aren’t bad.

Regards[/QUOTE]

My severe allergy issues were resolved when I eliminated dairy, wheat (basically gluten free), introduced sinus irrigation twice a day, down a few supplements each day; quercetin & bromelain, asana also helped, irrigate first then do asana. I work (day job) with several people the last 30 years who drank the ?water of life? as they would say, I can?t get past the thought and their breath smelled funny, they appeared to be healthy into their 70?s now?


#12

ah yes well this is my understanding.

Much of what is commonly called scripture is written for both the general populace and the ‘initiate’

Ya folla?

Take the Bible for example. It is a common text and many read it. The ‘uninitiated’ may read a passage as a nice story - or moral teaching - or as some gobeldy gook. The initiate may read the same passage as something completely different.

This is true of the Gita, and from what i’ve seen many yogic shastras, compendiums and whathaveyous.

I am unfamiliar with the KORAN and there is much of the King James that I have yet to read.

I believe this verse/sloka within the HYP falls under the category of ESOTERIC.

But hey you know what - if it floats your boat - Enjoy!

Bottoms up!


#13

My entire body and mind is repulsed by the idea of drinking urine. I’m going to trust the revulsion instincts as deep wisdom and avoid drinking urine or feasting on defecation.


#14

“My entire body and mind is repulsed by the idea of drinking urine.”

That is simply a psychological phenomenon, just as another may drink it and not feel any repulsion whatsoever. And if you have such deep aversion - then perhaps that is the very reason why you should become involved in the act and move your conditioning.


#15

No chance Jose.


#16

Gather courage and will, and step outside of your comfort zone.


#17

[QUOTE=AmirMourad;59914]Gather courage and will, and step outside of your comfort zone.[/QUOTE]

You seem like a guy who does a lot of things without understanding why.


#18

I have pointed these out before. I will do it again just so that Amir’s garbage does not get mistaken as wisdom:

If, reading certain yogic texts, you happen to come across a statement which says that by performing a certain technique the yogi transcends death and old age, this should not be interpreted literally. It simply means that at the level of ones consciousness, one has moved beyond ones physical limitations. Or if you really believe that Shiva has several arms, a third eye, and dances this universe into existence and out of existence, then one is simply being foolish.

One is equally foolish to mistake mythology for technical descriptions in Yoga texts which mention clearly that hunger and thrist can be ended if one practices a certain yoga technique. There exists plenty of accounts of yogis throughut yoga lore who have demonstrated these abilities.

As Parahamsa Yogananda was speaking on behalf of his tradition, he has to state things in a way which supports his tradition rather than anything which has to do with Truth. It is impossible for the physical body to levitate, just as you can never get the sun to revolve around the Earth, one cannot change the laws of nature.

Nope, Yogananda was talking about his life. Hence why it is called an autobiography. These are events that happened in this life. You are accusing him of being a liar without having any proof in your hand to show he is lying.
Secondly, while it is certainly impossible for the sun go around the earth(as a result the earth would fall out of orbit) levitation is certainly not impossible:

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~ulf/levitation.html

CHICAGO ? U.S. scientists have found a way to levitate the very smallest objects using the strange forces of quantum mechanics, and said on Wednesday they might use it to help make tiny nanotechnology machines

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,478664,00.html

Levitation has been elevated from being pure science fiction to science fact, according to a study reported today by physicists.

In earlier work the same team of theoretical physicists showed that invisibility cloaks are feasible.

Now, in another report that sounds like it comes out of the pages of a Harry Potter book, the University of St Andrews team has created an 'incredible levitation effects? by engineering the force of nature which normally causes objects to stick together.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts.

Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.

[/quote]

You were saying? :wink:


#19

[QUOTE=FlexPenguin;59901]My entire body and mind is repulsed by the idea of drinking urine. I’m going to trust the revulsion instincts as deep wisdom and avoid drinking urine or feasting on defecation.[/QUOTE]

It’s a cultural issue. The urine of a healthy, detoxed man is a clean, nutritious, healing substance.

Even animals naturally do it, look:


#20

Sarva,

"You seem like a guy who does a lot of things without understanding why. "

I would not even be using any technique unless I understood it’s nature, nor would I even be speaking of the matter unless it was out of my own direct experience. The technology of yoga is not a mere child’s play, and unless one has thorough understanding of one’s inner workings, most of these methods can only damage oneself. Our system is very complex, and every aspect of one’s being is interconnected in such a way that it is impossible for any change to happen in any one part without it influencing all of the other parts. It is simply that I do not agree with your approach of clinging to one’s knowledge. The moment one clings to anything whatsoever, one has become prejudiced, one loses all clarity of vision. That is why what is absolutely needed is an eye which is capable of seeing without liking or disliking, without neither attraction nor aversion, without a finger for or against. Unless you come to a thorough understanding that all of our words and descriptions are inadequate in coming to know of things as they are - they it is going to be impossible to understand what I am saying.