The Totally Recycled Beverage
Is it the next health craze?
Published November 5, 1999 in Whoa!

I'm a Pee Fiend! A Urophile! A Pissy Fanatic!

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... by Hank Hyena
... in the Whoa! section
... from November 5, 1999

I converted so easily. Just this morning, my nostrils were sneering at a murky glass of bladder-beverage that I poured out of my penis. "Do it," I scolded myself. "Transcend the stench; it's cheaper than aspirin." Boldly, I chugged three gulps of my piddle -- yeech! My esophagus bucked disagreeably... My pee is too hot and salty! It's icky!

In Details magazine, Brian Eno suggested that urine tastes "like a Sauvignon." Inspired by this, I transferred my pee to a wine glass; I added three ice cubes, stirred in honey, and chilled for 10 minutes. Voila! Down my gullet it dribbled, with nary a gag! My headache -- which had tormented me for 14 hours -- miraculously vanished!

An hour later, my weenie whizzed out another half-cup of the golden elixir. I lathered this batch on my mug, like cologne. Ugly moles were drowned. Wrinkles were soaked. The last ten drops I applied to my hemorrhoid and my bald spot -- not necessarily in that order. Sure, I smell like a Greyhound toilet now -- but why pay for a face-lift when I can splash piss on my face free of charge?

Swimming in the yellow river isn't a trendy fad. Au contraire, it's "one of the oldest health secrets used all over the world in many different eras," claims Gerard Derex, a French "urine therapist." Hindus have sipped piss for 5,000 years; their "Amaroli" method is regarded as "regenerative." Mahatma Gandhi believed urine-guzzling "purified his soul," and Moraji Desai (India's Prime Minister from 1977-1979) proudly drank a glass every morning until his death at age 99.

Urine also leaked into Chinese medicine. Imperial doctors recommended it for sore throats and stomach and tongue ulcers. The Chinese Association of Urine Therapy, headquartered today in Taiwan, promotes pee as "effective against almost all illnesses," from cancer to athlete's foot, eye infections to asthma, snake bites to AIDS and depression, etc. Eskimos, other Native Americans, and Gypsies all traditionally imbibed their own crotch-juice.

In Japan today, an estimated 2 million citizens chug their own pee before breakfast. New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom are all fervently flushing it down their throats. In Germany, a 1998 book entitled The Golden Fountain sold over 100,000 copies in its first year. The author, Coen van der Kroon, became a urine advocate when his severely infected toe was saved from amputation by a cloth compress soaked in his piss.

Celebrity boosters include British actress Sarah Miles and the previously mentioned Eno. Pop star Janet Jackson also "horses around" with piss, but her spray is an entirely different animal. She injects female horse urine into her nasty self five days a week -- filly fluid is prescribed by her healer ("Sister Rebbie") as a diet drug. Ox urine was utilized by 18th century Chinese, and the urine of a 10-year-old boy is considered an auspicious provider of "yang" energy -- but generally, one's home-grown brew is seen as the only medicinal concoction.

What is pee, in molecular terms? Is it scientifically super-potent, or dangerous to devour?

Unlike feces, "urine is sterile, unless you have an infection," claims Dr. J. D. Wallach, author of Let's Play Doctor! Piss is a 95 percent-water fluid that contains uric acid, proteins, and urobilogens -- waste products from our red blood cells. Microbiologist Lynn Bry, MD, believes that "a healthy person drinking their urine ... should come to no harm," if their toxin-removing kidneys are properly functioning. But most traditional medical practitioners promise no miraculous results from gulping piss.

Urine therapists guarantee everything, of course. Piss, they claim, has "biochemical, bioelectrical, and vibratory information" that gives swillers "deep decontamination ... It clears up dead tissue from old diseases ... It cleans our body of chemical and medicinal poisons ... It restarts immune defenses ... It stops, very effectively, the process of psychosomatic reaction."

What do I think? Hmmm... I've been burping up dirty-underwear-odor all afternoon now, but my headache has vanished, my melanomic mole seems subdued, my hair appears thicker, and my 'roid feels a trifler smaller. It would be weirdly wonderful if our own flesh provided a self-pharmacy -- that's why I'm blasting down another big tall wicked glass of "Eau de Wee-Wee" right now!

Hank Hyena is a columnist at Sfgate and a frequent contributor to Salon.