Thursday, March 13, 2003

Just Mix It with a Spoonful of Sugar

Despite the already poor public health infrastructure throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the Republic of Cameroon has recently taken steps to ban one of the nation’s most popular and versatile treatments for everything from hemorrhoids to snake bites – drinking human urine. With a life expectancy of only 54 years and an adult AIDS infection rate of almost 8%, you’d think the government of Cameroon would want as many options available to their local healers as possible, yet they have taken an inflexible stand against therapeutic urine drinking. And Africans are not the only ones medicating themselves with their own fluids – Indians of the Brahmin caste have been drinking their own urine for centuries. In fact, Morarji Desai, the Prime Minster of India from 1977 to 1979 was a great believer in the therapy and never shrank from advocating the refreshing practice to his fellow countrymen, whatever their caste.


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