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Special Pharmacological Effects of Urine and Stool from a TCM Perspective

Special Pharmacological Effects of Urine and Stool from a TCM Perspective

According to the TCM pharmacopoeia, human excretions have therapeutic effects. If our stool and urine are properly processed and prepared, it can be and has been used to treat specific conditions.
It is recorded that stool has a bitter taste, a cold property and is non-toxic. It is mainly used in virulent heat and delirium conditions. The Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica) claims its major therapeutic indications are as follows:
  1. Bone heat syndrome: A syndrome due to a yin deficiency accompanied with hyperactivity of heat evils in the interior part of body. An individual presents with a hectic fever, night sweats, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), weakness, irritability, insomnia, hot sensations in the palms and yellow or reddish urine.

  2. Disease relapse due to overstrain: a condition occurring during the early stage of disease recovery when the qi (vital energy) and blood are not yet restored or the evils have not yet been expelled entirely from the body.

  3. Swollen and painful conditions.

  4. Carbuncles on the back: a kind of sore that usually has several openings through which pus is discharged.
According to the TCM pharmacopoeia, human excretions are cold in properties and can be used to treat special heat conditions.

Urine is salty in taste, cold in property and is non-toxic. The urine from a boy is thought to be most appropriate for therapy. The famous physician Zhu Zhenheng (1281-1358) described urine as "the fastest fire reducing agent." Its major therapeutic indications in which it may be used include:

  1. Headache.

  2. Spitting up of blood and fever in chronic consumptive diseases.

  3. Cough and difficulty in breathing due to retention of sputum; a syndrome referring to the air passage being obstructed by phlegm and dampness evils invading the lungs.

  4. Trauma which has developed blood stasis.

  5. Promoting urination and defecation.

  6. Promoting body fluid production and alleviating thirst. (Often we have heard of outdoor sporting persons who have drunk their own urine to prevent dehydration when water is not available.)


1. State Administration of TCM. Advanced Textbook on TCM and Pharmacology, New World Press, 1995.
2. Deng Tietao, translated by Marnae Ergil/Yi Sumei. Practical Diagnosis in TCM, Churchill Livingstone, 1999.
3. Beijing University of TCM. Diagnostics of TCM, Academy Press (Xue Yuan), 2002.
4. Ou Ming, chief ed. Chinese-English Dictionary of TCM, Joint Publishing (HK) Co., Ltd. 1999.

Written By:
Prof. Huang Jigeng
Dr. Xuan Wenhao
Shu-Guang Hospital of the University of Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Angela Collingwood, MSN, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Lawrence Lau, Ph.D., Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Vincy Lai, BCM, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.

Special thanks to Elpidio Talens Juan and Stefan Komuzin for helping with article graphics.