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10 Bizarre Treatments Doctors Used to Think Were Legit


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Urotherapy
There is no evidence that drinking urine or applying it to injuries is beneficial.  © belchonock/iStock/Thinkstock
There is no evidence that drinking urine or applying it to injuries is beneficial. © belchonock/iStock/Thinkstock

It turns out Tang isn't the only beverage served in space. A specially-designed toilet-to-tap waste recycling system allows astronauts to recycle their urine into fuel -- and into drinking water. But that's a beneficial system because it makes use of the limited resources space travelers have to deal with, not because of any supposed health benefits.

Water is the main ingredient in your urine, but it's not all water -- the next notable component is urea, and urea is considered to have antimicrobial properties: antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral [source: Stresing]. Despite that trifecta of healing potential, there's no evidence urine has any health or healing benefits. There was a time, though, when the medical community considered drinking urine or applying it as a poultice an effective treatment for maladies ranging from acne and asthma to migraines and cancer. Some still believe it will even whiten teeth. And although it's probably not dangerous if you drink in small quantities, urine therapy is not recommended as a cure for anything. No, it won't treat a jellyfish sting, either (and, in fact, may make it worse).