Urophagia is the consumption of urine. Urine was used in several ancient cultures for various health, healing, and cosmetic purposes; urine drinking is still practised today, though there is no proven health benefit to it. In extreme cases, people drink urine if no other potable fluid is available, although numerous credible sources (including the US Army Field Manual) advise against it. Also, some people consume urine as a sexual activity.

Reasons for urophagia

Attempting survival

Survival guides such as the US Army Field Manual,[1] The SAS Survival Handbook,[2] and others[3] generally advise against drinking urine for survival. These guides state that drinking urine tends to worsen rather than relieve dehydration due to the salts in it, and that urine should not be consumed in a survival situation, even when there is no other fluid available.

While some people in dire straits have drunk urine, it's unclear if this actually helped or hindered their situation. Famously Aron Ralston used the technique when trapped for several days with his arm under a boulder.[4] Drinking your own urine as a survival technique has become closely associated with adventurer Bear Grylls, after he did so on several episodes on his TV shows.[5][6][7]

Folk medicine

In various cultures, there are alternative medicine applications of human urine for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, including drinking of one's own urine; but no evidence to support its use.[8][9]

Sexual practice

Some persons are sexually aroused by urolagnia, which can include the drinking of their own or other people's urine.

Biochemical constituents

Some of these are extracted and then purified from urine according to sources.

  1. Urokinase (aka Abbokinase, Actosolv, Breokinase, Ukidan, Uronase, Win-Kinase, Win 22005)
  2. Enterodiol
  3. Kallikrein
  4. Ulinastatin
  5. Riboflavin
  6. Cyclic AMP possibly Bucladesine also.
  7. Epidermal growth factor (Urogastrone)
  8. PGFM (apparently a metabolite of PGF2, PGE2).
  9. Serotonin
  10. Taurine
  11. Uric acid
  12. Allantoin
  13. Treoxytocin (Urofollitropin)
  14. Various steroids, although species, gender and preg distinguishable.
    1. DHEA
    2. Homosterone
    3. Equilin
    4. Oestriol
    5. Oxogestone


  1. Water Procurement, US Army Field Manual
  2. "The SAS Survival Handbook", John "Lofty" Wiseman, pg.42 "WARNING: Urine and sea-water. Never drink either - Never!""
  3. "EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - A Survival Primer". Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. Mark Jenkins. "Aron Ralston - Between a Rock and the Hardest Place". Outside Online. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  5. "Bear Grylls: Kids, please don't drink your own urine", 31 May 2014, Anita Singh, The Telegraph
  6. "Obama refused to drink his own urine...", Clarisse Loughrey, 18 December 2015, independent.co.uk
  7. "Stars vomit profusely after drinking their own urine...", By Felicity Thistlethwaite, Feb 26, 2015
  8. Why You Definitely Shouldn't Drink Your Own Pee, Gizmodo, 22 Oct 2014
  9. Maxine Frith (21 February 2006). "Urine: The body's own health drink?". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
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