Urotherapy, urinotherapy or urine therapy may be a new phenomenon in Ghana but an old and time tested treatment that dates back to the ancient times.
The craze for the unique treatment caught up with Ghanaians in the 1990’s and instantly became a hot therapeutic topic for medical professionals, the media and the public.
The practice involves the use of ones own urine as a medicinal aid.
There are no medical or scientific data to support this dubious practice, but it has roots in history and in some religious and spiritual traditions.
The First World Conference on Urine Therapy took place in India in 1996, which attracted a number of scholars around the world who gathered to discuss the age-old practice.
Urotherapy is known to cure variety of ailments such as cancer, heart diseases, allergies, autoimmune disease, diabetes, asthma, infertility, infections and wounds.
Uropaths(people who practice urotherapy) argues that urine should not be viewed as a toxic waste product but rather a good substance to filtrate the kidney.
They also claim that urine is useful because of its constituents.
The sceptics are also of the view that urine is a toxic waste since it is no longer useful to the body.
Some also claim that urea is a constituent of urine and when taken in large quantities it can be harmful to the body.
Urotherapy is dismissed by others as absurd and should not be promoted.
However Dr Andrew Alebna, a medical officer at Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in the Eastern Region, told Ghana News Agency that urotherapy is one of the alternative medical practices.
”People believe in it but there is no evidence to substantiate the practice,” he said.
Dr Alebna said personally he would not advise anyone to partake in urotherapy because it is just claims from other people.
According to him, he does not think urine is toxic but rather a waste product.
He said adult urine consists of 95 per cent water, urea, antigens, electrolytes and other properties.
Dr Alebna added that fresh urine does not smell until bacteria acts on it.
He explained that, the body produces certain antigens which can also be found in urine and this is the reason behind uropaths claims that there are certain useful constituents in urine,
Madam Janet Asante, who hails from Agona-Ashanti, in the Ashanti Region said she practiced uropathy for two years and recommended the practice to the public.
“ During the period I was drinking my urine, I never felt sick,” she said.
She said she stopped the practice because she was tired and could no longer continue,
Madam Margaret Osei-Asibey, a trader in Accra also admitted being a uropath.
According to her, she used to have severe tooth ache but when she started drinking her urine the pain went away.
The debate as to whether uropathy is good or bad may continue to rage on, but until scientists are able to prove its potency or otherwise nobody should dismiss the practice as bogus.