Yes, urine injection therapy is exactly what it sounds like. Every now and then, a cool biohack comes along that works in theory, but doesn’t have much research to back it up. Urine injection therapy falls into that category. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Rashid Buttar, who proposed that you can inject your own urine into your muscles to decrease your immune response to allergens. If you have allergies, you may want to consider trying it.
I have a lot of allergies, partly because my time as a raw vegan wrecked my gut bacteria and caused all kinds of food sensitivities, and partly because I grew up in a house full of black mold, which can cause a hypersensitive immune system . I’ve tried drinking my urine before. It tasted horrifying and didn’t help my allergies at all. But when a friend told me she got rid of her cat allergy by injecting her own urine into herself, I was curious. I gave it a shot. 😉
The results weren’t life-changing. That said, I did see a moderate decrease in my food allergies after 4 injections.
Anecdotally (and in my experience), urine injection therapy works to varying degrees. It may help your allergies. It may not. Either way, it’s pretty safe if you do it under a functional medicine doctor’s supervision, so you don’t have much to lose by trying it. Here’s a breakdown of what urine injection therapy is supposed to do.
The theory behind urine injection therapy
When you expose yourself to an allergen, your body mounts an immune response and produces antibodies to counter it, and they show up as antigens in your urine. Dr. Bhutar proposed that if you reintroduced your own antigens as foreign invaders, you would produce antibodies to them, canceling out your original response to whatever you’re allergic to and relieving your allergies. It’s like Inception for your immune system.
How to inject your urine
Do this with a doctor who is amenable to it (probably a functional medicine doctor). Do NOT inject yourself at home unless you’ve had training. Hitting a vein or getting urine under your skin can be dangerous. I did it at home, but I’ve been trained in giving injections and my lovely wife, Dr. Lana, is a physician. Here are the steps:
- Expose yourself to your allergens. Disclaimer: if you’re so allergic to something that it sends you into anaphylactic shock, don’t try this. I wanted to hack my food allergies, so I made the world’s worst muffins, filled with all the foods I’m allergic to.
- Wait about 3.5 hours. During this time, your body creates antibodies to the allergens in your system.
- Pee in a sterile cup. Your urine should be full of antibodies at this point.
- Take 9 mL of urine and add a drop of baking soda to buffer it so it’s less acidic. You’ll also want 1 mL of injectable anesthetic (not essential, but it makes the process much more pleasant). I used injectable lidocaine.
- Pull the 1 mL of lidocaine into the syringe, followed by the 9 mL of pee/baking soda mixture.
- Screw in a 50mm syringe filter to catch any sediment in the urine.
- Inject it into your butt. It must get into the muscle – you don’t want an intravenous or subcutaneous injection.
At this point, in theory, your immune system detects foreign proteins (your own antibodies) in your system and responds with antibodies to them, which decreases your original allergy.
Urine injection therapy is controversial in the medical world. Many people say it’s nonsense, and there are few (if any) studies on it. That said, it worked moderately well for me, and very well for several people I know. I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all of allergy hacking, but it’s unlikely to be dangerous as long as you do it with a physician, and it could have good results. At the very least, it’s an interesting experiment if you’re a more adventurous biohacker.
Have you tried urine injection therapy? I’d love to hear whether or not it worked for you in the comments below. If you’re not up for urine injections, you can listen to this podcast for more on hacking your allergies. Thanks for reading and have a great week!