When Nidda Hongwiwat's husband injured himself at a historic site in India years ago, locals immediately wanted to take him to hospital. They were astonished when Nidda asked them, "Where is the toilet?"
Nidda, 63, editor-in-chief of Sangdad Publishing House, well-known for its cookbooks and health-and-lifestyle magazine Krua, told her husband to pee and use the urine to cleanse and rub the wounds. And to everybody's surprise, especially her husband's, the wounds healed fast.
Nidda, who has been involved in and been studying and researching nature therapy, or the chemical-free healthcare approach, for decades, said that the use of human urine as a cure for diseases or urine therapy is not a new concept. In fact, the history of this therapeutic method dates back to the period before the Buddhist era.
"Urine therapy existed even before the Lord Buddha," explained Nidda. "But in his time, human urine was also considered medicine. This was even mentioned in the holy Tripitaka."
According to Nidda, since Lord Buddha's era, when a person entered monkhood, he was told to follow the four fundamental preparatory monk practices, one of which is to use urine as a medicine. Such a practice has been considered an alternative healthcare approach and has been studied and researched in several countries all over the world.
Late prime minister of India Morarji Desai proclaimed that urine was a cure for several illnesses.
Way too gross? Of course, a number of people believe so. But quite a large number of Thais themselves regard urine therapy as a form of alternative medicine. They use the yellow liquid externally. Some drink it. And Nidda, also author of many health-related books, has a lot of success cases to back up the practice.
"There is this case when a person got burnt on the leg by a motorcycle's exhaust pipe," she said. "And he rubbed the severe burn with his urine.
"And unbelievably, the burning sensation gradually went away. The wounds quickly recovered and, most importantly, left no scars.
"When my grandmother was in her 80s, she went to a dentist. She was diagnosed with serious gum inflammation and was prescribed medication for two weeks before the next follow-up visit. She refused to take all those medicines. And when she revisited the dentist with a completely cured gum, she was asked if she took the drugs. She told the dentist that she swished urine in her mouth, and the gum was cured in a few days!"
When it comes to the effectiveness of urine therapy, Nidda credited the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic power of human urine, as well as all the minerals that exceed the body's need. But despite such medicinal effects, the reason people dislike using urine as a medicine is solely because the yellow liquid has long been and will always be considered body waste.
"Urine is the excess of water in the blood," explained Nidda, author of Ya Phra Putthajao: Nam Passawa Pen Ya Raksa Rok (Lord Buddha's Medicine: Urine Is Medicine).
"The human body knows the concept of self-sufficiency. It does not store more than it needs. When blood flows through the circulatory system, it flows through the kidneys. The kidney filters excessive water, vitamins, minerals and other important elements beyond the body's requirement.
"This is why urine contains minerals and other things with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects. And this is how the body keeps its balance."
And minerals in urine such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium are electrolytes, which means they are able to generate electricity inside the body. These electricity-generating elements are vital for the body as it creates low-frequency vibration, which benefits the blood circulatory system.
Urine might be full of healthy elements but isn't it full of germs?
"This is a common question," Nidda added.
"But in normal circumstances, the body does not allow germs to be present in the blood. If there are germs in the blood, it means you are sick and probably have blood-related diseases such as hepatitis A, B or C. So if the blood is free of germs, of course the urine is germ-free."
Another thing that keeps people from using urine as a medicine is its odour, noted Nidda. When it comes to urine odour, many times it is unbearably pungent _ not to mention the colour and taste.
To understand the issue of urine's disgusting smell, Nidda turns to the food spoilage process.
Bacteria decomposes food, and when there is too much bacteria on food, it becomes spoiled and starts emitting an unpleasant smell.
The same thing happens with urine, she added. Urine smells bad because it contains bacteria. This is why people have to hold their breath when they walk pass toilets.
"But, freshly passed urine will only have a strong odour, not a bad one, she said." And there is no specific dose for urine therapy. Urine can be good for external use. Brave souls can also drink it. And the best thing is that there are no side effects, said Nidda.
"It's something that comes out of our body, and when it goes back in, it is like our friend. The liquid and minerals in it know where the body's weak parts are and will heal them."
Nidda has a word of advice for those who are interested in trying urine therapy: Do not force yourself.
"I think it works best if you use it by any means acceptable for you," she suggested. "For beginners, I would recommend starting with external use because that is the point where you can start understanding and having faith in it. Do not pressure yourself. Do anything that you are comfortable with. That will be good for not just your body but also your mind.
"These days when you are sick, you visit a doctor who prescribes you lots of medicine," commented Nidda. "These medicines are all chemicals and too many chemicals are simply harmful to health. Natural therapy is chemical-free.
"It does not have to be urine therapy. Any kind of chemical-free therapy is good. Unlike medicines, natural therapy can bring about sustainably good health. While medicines only aim to temporarily subside symptoms, using natural elements means to understand the real cause of the sickness and to fix it at the actual root of the problem. And this is how nature maintains its balance. And this is sustainable healthcare."
About the author
- Writer: Arusa Pisuthipan