A medicine may be made of the “four great filthy things”: excrement, urine, ashes, and clay

A bhikkhu’s basic medicinal support is puti-mutta-bhesajja, which translates literally as “rancid urine medicine” (Mv.I.30.4)

does anybody know a recipe?

Also any relevant information pls, tyvm.

  • This question could use some references to help those who are not familiar with Theravada vinaya to understand how this question relates to Buddhism Jul 28, 2021 at 17:12

4 Answers 4


I would carefully read the Vinaya. We wouldn't want to overdo it. I knew a monk who used to drink his urine and he ended with bowel cancer and then he disrobed for a woman.


I hope I can post this without its being considered useful practical advice.

The Buddhist Monastic Code II: The Khandhaka Rules Translated and Explained says (added emphasis is mine),

A bhikkhu’s basic medicinal support is puti-mutta-bhesajja, which translates literally as “rancid urine medicine” (Mv.I.30.4). Strangely, none of the texts define the term. The commentaries to the Khuddakap›tha, Ud›na, and Sutta Nip›ta give an example of this sort of medicine—rancid urine with yellow myrobalan—but without a formal definition to indicate the full range of the term. The Sub-commentary to the Vinaya defines rancid urine as any sort of urine at all, citing as a parallel the Pali expression pÒti-k›ya, decomposing body, which refers to any human body, living or dead, “even one with golden skin.” However, it does not say whether rancid urine medicine is the rancid urine itself or, as suggested by the example from the commentaries, rancid urine in which medicinal fruits are pickled.

Because the texts are vague about this term, various oral traditions have developed around it. In Sri Lanka, rancid urine medicine is interpreted as rancid cow’s urine, in which different types of myrobalan are sometimes pickled. In Thailand, some Communities interpret it as one’s own first urine in the morning, following the ancient Indian tradition of using this urine as a tonic. (Modern scientists have discovered that this urine contains a high level of melatonin.) Given the silence of the texts, the best policy here is to follow the traditions of one’s own Community.


For snakebite: A medicine may be made of the “four great filthy things”: excrement, urine, ashes, and clay (!). [...] None of the texts mention this point, but an oral tradition in Thailand asserts that the excrement to be used in this medicine should first be burnt in a fire.


For jaundice: Urine and yellow myrobalan are allowed, which the Commentary defines as yellow myrobalan pickled in cow urine. This raises the question: If this were the meaning of rancid urine medicine in the four supports, why would there be this special allowance?


(For drinking poison): “I allow that water mixed with excrement be drunk” (Mv.VI.14.6)

There are various discussions of how to use it and whether or not there's any reason it seems likely to be helpful, for example here. Someone suggested for example that the (non-Buddhist) Iberians in Roman times used it like toothpaste for bleeding gums.

Also this suggests why it's allowable -- it's not a luxury:

18.1. Mahākassapa

Anyone who makes use of
Leftovers for food,
Putrid urine as medicine,
The root of a tree as lodging,
And rags from the rubbish-heap as robes,
Is at home in any direction.


In addition to Upasaka Chris's answer:

Cattāro nissayā - The Four Supports

“Going-Forth has fermented urine medicine as its support. For the rest of your life you are to endeavor at that.

“The extra allowances are: ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, sugar.”

To fill the grap, althought in German, the links lead to english resources.

chebulic myrobalan will be traditional pickled in ones Urine, and drunken. Still in use in conservative traditions.

As for dung, that is mentioned as emergency medication in cases of snake bits, where it is not necessary to be given it. There is no evidence that (ones own) fecal is used oral, althought my person came across that certain yogies in Tibetan traditiin use both as kind of asubha reflection and eat and drink out of this purpose the left overs...

My person would not encourage to use it, if not living very natural and with hardly maniputated food, since one refills one with a lot of chemicals again and again.

Medicinal doctors, therefore, becaus there is broadly so much pollution, seldom advocate it. Certain studies (mostly self studies) have been made.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade]

  • i wonder whats with the fermented quality...
    – user8527
    Jan 19, 2018 at 8:52
  • Try it? :-) @Inb4dead Fresh it's not that disturbing. Did not come accross chebulic myrobalan at times to tell more known. Jan 19, 2018 at 8:57
  • Since there have been cases where people grow disgusted, didn't want to ordain any more, the Buddha allowed to explain about the four supports after ordinatiin. (Story to be read in the link as well), Upasaka @Inb4dead Jan 19, 2018 at 9:01
  • Is it possible that "fermented" is a mis-translation of "putrid", "discarded", "unwanted"?
    – ChrisW
    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:01
  • i did try a glass, not bad as far as medicine goes.
    – user8527
    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:07

The discussion from Dhamma Wheel.

Feces from a healthy person is used as medicine.


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