Camel Pee Explained – Color And Medical Use

Believe it or not, people have been consuming camel pee for a long, long time. 

Especially on the Arabian Peninsula.

Natives there have been using it for centuries as a shampoo for hair growth, and even as a medicine. 

This article will be taking a closer look into the camel urine information, its color, how frequently do camels pee, and the medical properties of camel urine.

Camel urine

Camel Pee

Camel pee is a watery fluid that is a by-product of the metabolism of a camel’s body. According to scientists, it contains different elements: nitrogen, ammonia, urea, creatine, creatinine, chloride, and hippuric acid, in addition to benzoic acid, phenylacetate, and citric acid.

Camel urine also contains large amounts of minerals like sodium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, albumin, and others. Albumin helps camels with water retention as it prevents large amounts of water from going outside of the camel’s body.

One of the biggest problems desert animals like camels have is maintaining water levels in their bodies. They usually lose water through urine, feces, and respiration.

When it comes to camel respiration, camels developed special nostrils to help with that.

Another organ that helps with water conservation in camels is their kidneys

A camel’s kidney is a smooth, bean-shaped organ, that helps camels produce concentrated urine. 

The reason why camels produce concentrated urine is that it adds further to the camel’s ability to survive in extremely hot temperatures and conserve even more water.

The renal pelvis and the medullary tissue in the kidneys allow the recycling of urea and water into the medulla and further concentrate the urine.

Fresh camel urine has a very strong smell, is highly concentrated, and has a pH value between 8.2 and 9.2, most likely because of the high concentration of potassium salts.

The urine is usually thick, salty, and has a consistency of syrup.

However, when a camel is pregnant, that pH value will drop down to 3.10.

Their concentrated urine is usually followed by extremely low water content in their feces and very little sweating, to save as much water as possible. [1]

Do Camels Pee Backwards?

Camel is a retromingent animal, which means it pees backward.

According to the old Arab belief, this is done out of respect for Abraham.

When a male camel is sexually aroused, however, its penis moves forward, changing the direction of the urination.

We have a full article on how, how often, and how long camels urinate. Make sure to check it out.

Why Do Camels Pee On Themselves?

Camels do pee on themselves, mostly on their back legs. They do that to cool themselves down and in the mating season as a part of a courtship ritual.

Sometimes, camels will lift their tails before urination. And sometimes, they will intentionally put their tails in front of the stream, so it soaks the liquid and then wiggle the tail to spread it on the legs.

Further reading: 3 reasons why camels have long tails

If you look closely at camels, sometimes you can notice black oily spots on their legs. Those spots are urine ones. 

When milking a camel, you should be very careful and clean the urine first, as its strong smell can pass onto the milk.

We have an article on how to milk a camel – make sure to check it out!

What Color Is Camel Pee?

Camel’s pee is usually of a yellow and brownish color. 

Here’s the photo of how camel pee looks like, and its color:

Camel urine in a metal bowl
Camel urine mixed with camel milk
Source: Youtube: Mirza Ghalib Freethinker

People in the Middle East usually mix it with milk as they believe that it has beneficial medical properties. 

Sometimes, natural oils and herbs are added to the mix to create camel urine oil.

We will later dig further into that.

Camel Bladder Size

Although camels are large animals, they have small bladders. Bladders of adult camels are of spheroid shape (slightly longer than larger) and a size of approximately 5.9-7.8 inches (15-20 cm). And their bladder can expand a bit. 

Usually, during their long travels in the desert, camel owners would use camels bladders and turn them into bottles or pots. Because of their resistance to desert heat, the bladders were used to transport water, fat, oils, and spices. 

They would let the bladders dry and then oil them to make them more durable, before putting them to use.

Also, during the cold desert nights, as the urine is very hot, those owners would use fresh camel urine to warm their hands on it.

Camel Urine In Medicine

Camel urine is said to have many positive medicinal benefits. It is used as a cure for the treatment of different ailments like stomach, liver, hair, teeth, skin illness, fungal diseases, and even cancer.

And science has a lot to say about those benefits.

Urotherapy or urine therapy is a form of alternative medicine, where urine is used for the treatment of different sicknesses.

As previously mentioned, camel urine has a long history of use in the Muslim religion, as it is considered to help treat different illnesses.

People in Yemen are quite famous for their use of camel urine for almost everything. It is said that Yemenis drink urine as a cure for whatever bothers them.

The Bedouins are known to drink about 3.3 oz (100ml) of urine mixed with milk every day.

According to a 2020 study on camel urine, Arab people use boiled camel urine for the treatment of liver, stomach, dental, skin diseases, as a hair remedy, and similar. One doctor even noted the therapeutic properties of camel urine in regards to helping several Sudanese people with digestive issues. [2]

Many cases of such physicians prescribing urotherapy for treatment have been noted, but the real scientific proof to support this type of therapy was not completely provided. 

Another study was also examining the urine effect on fungi and concluded that virgin camel urine can have a positive role in stopping the growth of different fungi. 

A study from 2014 concluded similarly: camel urine is very effective for treating human and plant fungal diseases, with no side effects on humans. [3]

Now, when it comes to treating cancer, the Arab people firmly believe that both camel pee and milk help with lung, nasopharyngeal, and breast cancers.

To their benefit, Dr. Fatin Khorshid and a group of researchers conducted a series of in vitro experiments and showed that using lyophilized camel urine can help slow down the development of cancer cells. However, more studies are needed to describe, explain, and confirm such effects.

On the other hand, there have been several warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the use of camel urine, milk and meat, after the spread of respiratory diseases in The Middle East. 

They have discovered that it is quite possible that dromedary camels have had an effect on the spreading of the virus there and advised that you should use well-processed meat and milk from reliable sources only

To prove the real effectiveness and safety for use of camel urine in the treatment of different diseases, much more clinical studies and researches are needed. 

We want to stress out that we are not medical personnel and we are not giving any medical advice here. Before deciding to use any camel supplement, make sure to do thorough research and consult with your doctor. 


References

[1] Schmidt-Nielsen, Bodil, et al. “Water balance of the camel.” American Journal of Physiology-Legacy Content 185.1 (1956): 185-194.

[2] Abdelzaher, Hani. (2020). Evaluation of the effectiveness of virgin camel’s urine as antifungal agents. Journal of Bacteriology & Mycology: Open Access. 8. 124-128.

[3] Al-Awadi, Ahlam, and Awatif Al-Judaibi. “Effects of heating and storage on the antifungal activity of camel urine.” Clinical Microbiology: Open Access (2014).

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