4. Ancient Egypt Used Urine to Reveal Pregnancy
Scientists tested a pregnancy test with origins in ancient Egypt, and it was 70% accurate. In the test, a pregnant woman had to water spelt and wheat with her urine. If the wheat and spelt both grew, it meant the woman was pregnant.
Additionally, if only the spelt grew, it meant the child was a girl, whereas if the child were a boy, then only the wheat would grow.
In 1963, scientists tried this test and watered the grains using urine from non-pregnant women, and nothing grew. When watered with urine from pregnant women, about 70% of the grains germinated.
3. Urine Is an Antiseptic
Urine has been used as an antiseptic for nearly two millennia to deal with minor injuries such as snake bites, scorpion stings, burns, sores, and infected dog bites, among many others.
Furthermore, stale urine can be mixed with ashes from burnt oyster shells to treat eruptions on the skins of infants. In other instances, people washed their faces in urine to make them “fair,” though this produced different results in different people.
This is based on the fact that urine is antibacterial due to urea, which is a metabolite. A high concentration of urea increases the antibacterial nature of urine.
2. Urine Was Used to Produce Infertility Drugs
The two hormones found in urine, LH, and FSH, were extracted from post-menopausal women in Italy during the 1940s to cure infertility.
However, this faced the challenge of acquiring the large quantities of urine needed to produce sufficient LH and FSH hormones. This problem was solved when the Vatican, through Pope Pius XII, talked post-menopausal nuns into agreeing to collect their urine every day. Just when you thought this couldn’t get any weirder.
Hence, the large quantities of hormones extracted helped make Menopur and Pergonal, two fertility drugs that are prescribed to date.
1. Urine Was Used to Clean Clothes
The bad smell of urine is caused by the decomposition of ammonia and carbon dioxide. Ammonia is a known cleaning detergent used in many modern households, explaining why stale urine was used in clothing cleaning by Romans.
In the Roman Empire, vessels were strategically placed outside inns and street corners for collecting urine, while other people obtained their supplies from public urinals. The urine was then left for three days to rot in the Roman laundries before being used in washing clothes, rinsed using clean water, and dried.