Last night as I lay in bed I watched Taboo on the National Geographic Channel. I really wish I hadn't, but it sounded innocent enough, it was entitled "Healers," and was going to focus on alternative healing practices... Then came the urine part... One of the guys they profiled claims that since things come full circle, you should drink your own urine to derive the health benefits of something that came from your own body. He drinks a glass of fresh urine every morning and claims it's beneficial in fighting everything from cancer to the common cold. Even more amazing, he has people coming to him to learn the practice. Even though they seem to be as repulsed by it as I am, he bangs on the drums, it relaxes them, and they do it. Pretty magical drums.

I'm thinking they can't be that smart to begin with, because... what's to learn?

Step 1 - pee in a cup
Step 2 - drink it...
Step 3 - barf into toilet
Step 4 - flush
...or just take the shortcut and pee directly into the toilet and flush. My stomach began to churn as I watched him put a glass of yellow liquid to his lips. The only reason I didn't barf is that I convinced myself that it was beer.

This is an interesting article on the subject. I'm not convinced, so don't expect to find me walking around in the mornings with a cup of it in my hands, it feels icky enough when I have to carry the cup with my own urine sample in it at the doctor's office. I can't imagine starting my day that way (or any part of my day for that matter). From a practical standpoint I wonder about bacteria, because when you're giving a urine sample they tell you: "To perform this test, first urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl to clear the urethra of any contaminants. Then, collect a sample of urine in a clean or sterile container. About 1 - 2 ounces of urine is needed for a test. Remove the container from the urine stream without stopping the flow. You may finish urinating into the toilet bowl. Take the sample to the lab."

I suppose in some respects, this is ancient medicine. They claim that people in India and China, as well as native American indians, did it and some still do it, but back in the day they also did several other things that weren't terribly smart. And they thought the Earth was flat.

In Jean Auel's Earth's Children series, Ayla used urine to bleach leather... that I can understand, it's still kinda gross, but it was also kind of smart especially since there was no scientific basis for it at the time. And astronauts do essentially drink their own urine - but it's been filtered and treated and turned back into water... it's not fresh from the tap, so to speak. I might still have issues putting that cup to my mouth, but it's definitely not the same as what they were showcasing last night. I know that your own urine is sterile; I know that because when I got my navel pierced I was given a generic sheet that included cleaning instructions for genital piercings (something else I don't understand, but is somehow less startling to me than this drinking thing). That said, there are lots of sterile things you don't want to ingest, like isopropyl alcohol.

I guess whatever works... I don't think it's illegal (although it might be), it's just disgusting. Personally, I have no wish to get to know my bodily wastes any better than I have to; if it were up to me I wouldn't have to go to the bathroom at all (and neither would my cats). I would have to be in dire straights to drink urine... pretty dire indeed.

And since I always get those random thoughts going through my head, I'll share the two that popped in as I watched the guy down a cup: What does his breath smell like? Would anyone kiss him knowing what he just put into his mouth?