HUMAN URINE-BASED THERAPEUTICS IN SPAIN FROM THE EARLY 20th CENTURY TO THE PRESENT: A HISTORICAL LITERATURE OVERVIEW AND A PRESENT-DAY CASE STUDY
Human urine is currently the subject of biomedical investigations as a potential therapeutic resource and it continues to be used in remedies in different cultures and societies, including the Spanish culture. In this study we gather etnomedical knowledge about urotherapy and determine their associated symbolisms in Spain. A literature overview and a case study were
arried out to compile urine-based remedies and as a direct analysis of symbolic systems. Urotherapy is widespread in Spanish folk medicine. Among the 204 collected remedies, those related to treatment of diseases or skin conditions predominate (63%). Remedies have been reported for the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema, chloasma, alopecia, etc. to treat or alleviate burns, chilblains, wounds or skin chapping, and as a treatment of venomous bites. Most of the collected remedies have an associated naturalist symbolism, based on local traditions and the transmission of empirical initial knowledge. The use of urine in Spain is a result of the interaction of two types of practice: a local and traditional urotherapy, rural and with a utilitarian purpose, and a technical urotherapy, limited to an urban environment and a naturopathic medicine.