Western medicine or traditional Chinese medicine? Some opt for neither and prefer urine therapy. And yes, it’s as strange as it sounds.
Two months ago, The Department of Policies, Laws and Regulations released a list of 748 unregistered organizations that illegally earn money through members. China Urine Therapy Association was included on the list. However, it seems that the government ban hasn’t slowed the flow of new members and the group has only expanded since then.
Previously, it was reported that the association includes some 1,000 members. Now they have apparently amassed more than 4,000 devotees, via the mobile chat app QQ, SCMP reports.
However, the group has ran into some problems with the government. In Hong Kong, they claimed to be a “non-profit non-governmental organization for the common wealth recognized by the Hong Kong SAR government,” but People’s Daily revealed that they do not have any recognition from the HKSAR government.
The organization was founded back in 2008 in Hong Kong, but many across China have joined in hopes of curing their diseases or maintaining their good health. For instance, one proud member, an old man from Chengdu has been drinking his own urine for the past 23 years and claims that it cures all illnesses. A younger man from Wuhan has credited urine therapy with curing his hypothyroidism.
Bao Yafu, the chairman of the China Urine Therapy Association, consistently advocates for the benefits of drinking urine. His daily routine includes not just drinking it, but also washing his eyes and face with piss.
As bizarre as this form of “therapy” is, the Global Times helps to explain why it is so popular. Many practitioners are from the lower socioeconomic classes and may not be able to afford standard medicine. Others may have simply lost confidence and patience with conventional health care methods and are seeking an alternative way to cure what ails them. Most who end up participating in urine therapy are senior citizens, who are susceptible to heath care fraud.
Urine is around 95% water and 5% nutrients and minerals. It contains little toxins so it is not that risky to drink. But, we still wouldn’t recommend it.
Meanwhile, netizens are in disbelief that urine therapy is still around.
“Why don’t you guys start a ‘China Poop Consuming Therapy Association’?” @病态国度F wrote.
“Let them drink their own urine until their IQ rises,” @庞观者明 wrote.
One also made a reference to the Sun Yang vs. Mack Horton Olympic feud.
“[Mack] Horton is the leader of this organization,” @元元不能再圆了 wrote.
Whether people like it or not, the urine drinking group will probably manage to stick around. The Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs in Wuhan has stated that they don’t have jurisdiction over the association and therefore cannot regulate them. Unless they commit a crime, they’re still entitled to do as they wish.
By Sarah Lin
[h/t Chris Buckley]