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Better Tomatoes Via a Fertilizer of...Human Urine?

Tomatoes C.P.Storm (CC licensed)
You say tomayto, I say tomahto.
You say Miracle-Gro, I say ... pee.
Apparently, human urine works remarkably well as a fertilizer for tomatoes, according to a new study out of Finland.

Plants fertilized with a mixture of stored human urine and wood ash produced 4.2 times more fruit than plants without the pee, the study found. The urine-fertilized tomatoes had more beta-carotene than unfertilized ones, and much more protein than traditionally fertilized plants.

And the tomatoes were just as good as those grown with traditional fertilizer, according to a panel of 20 brave tasters.

Healthy human urine is rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphate, all key ingredients for healthy plants. As long as the pee doesn't contain any fecal matter, it's usually free of any microorganisms.

Surendra K. Pradhan, K. Holopainen and Helvi Heinonen-Tanski of the University of Kuopio in Finland collected human urine during the winter of 2007-2008 from several eco-toilets in private homes. The urine was stored for about six months at 45 degrees F and tested for microbes and bacteria. The team mixed it with wood ash collected from a household furnace, and found the mixture was just as good as -- or better than -- conventional chemical fertilizer.

In taste tests, the urine-fertilized tomatoes tasted different from those fertilized with urine and ash, but tasters didn't have a preference -- "all tomato samples were evaluated as being equally good by the tasters," the study says. The results are reported in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The same team had previously tested human pee as a fertilizer for cucumber and cabbage, and a South African team reported last year that urine had successfully fertilized maize. The Finnish team said they tried tomatoes because they're grown all over the world and are a staple ingredient in many recipes.

The use of urine to fertilize crops has been practiced since ancient times, but is relatively rare today, thanks to the ick factor and the prevalence of chemical and mineral fertilizers. But as farmers and home growers seek organic ways to grow food, urine could be a solution.

The study "may contribute to the development of positive attitudes about the use of urine and ash as fertilizer as a way to both increase crop yield and reduce water pollution," the authors wrote.

It may not be necessary to go all NASA with our pee and start drinking it. But if we can safely and efficiently grow food with it, why not?


Healing with Urine Therapy Urine is not a dirty and toxic substance rejected by the body. Urine is a by-product of blood filtration, not waste filtration. Medically it is referred to as "plasma ultrafiltrate". It is a purified derivative of the blood itself, made by the kidneys--whose principal function is not excretion but regulation of all the elements and their concentrations in the blood. Urine can be compared to leftovers from a meal, and this metaphor may help us understand why our bodies excrete elements that are valuable to our health and well-being...

The advice to boost tomato yield with urine therapy published in the 2009 The DailyMail has suddenly resurfaced on FaceBook and Twitter posts. The word has spread and taken a few years to get back in the news.

  • If you read this just today it sounds like suddenly they announce this discovery, as if it is new news! They say, "Scientists discovered the unusual addition made crops up to four times larger."
  • Why do we have to wait for "some day or one day?" Everyone can utilize the available urine and compost to treat their plants and produce great harvests. Let's not use the synthetic fertilizers

  • Report author Surenda Pradhen said the findings could lead to a new source of cheap fertiliser without the need to use potentially dangerous chemicals. I'm wondering what new source he means? Simple home instructions will do. Do you imagine he refers to some manufactured product using urine and wood ash for purchase?
  • The good news means that with no microbial or chemical ingredients or additives to fertilizer our soil will not be further polluted. 

Views: 295

Replies to This Discussion

As I see it, after 6 months of storage, it's no more urine but have broken down or transformed into other organic compounds. I have found before that using a tsp of fresh urine in a 4 gallon sprayer aids in better absorption of foliar fertilizers and weedicides (better results).

Urine contains lots of minerals and enzymes and when added to other organic kitchen, household and garden wastes, and with a little help from bokashi plus molasses, sugar or honey should give a very potent and safe fertilizer to the environment after about 6 weeks fermentation. I also tried to dynamise the resultant fluid by vigorous shaking and jerking. Seems to work. Gives better blooms and heavier fruit set.

Have not been successful with fruit flies problem though using the method as has appeared here before. Still experimenting with what would be the best potency. Guess different areas require different potencies.
Isn't urine a toxic body waste? Urine is a blood byproduct and though it contains some body waste, urine is non toxic. In a healthy person the toxins in urine constitute a very small percentage of the total volume. The main purpose of the kidneys is to control the amount of blood and to maintain the pH balance of the blood in the body. The kidneys filter all the blood 60 times a day constantly removing the excess water and those ingredients which alter the pH balance of the blood.

Wouldn't it be harmful to put those toxins back into the body? The toxins found within urine are not enough to be toxic to the body from which it came. Anything that was in your blood cannot be harmful to the person where it came from. Had it been that harmful, that person would have been dead. Besides, the urine you drink does not go directly to the blood stream, first it goes into the digestive system where its ingredients are sorted out. The useful ones are used again (recycled) and the toxins get rejected. When the level of toxins is too high, the toxins stimulate the intestines (lymphatic system) into flushing themselves out to eliminate any stagnated excrements accumulated in the colon.

What about doctors claiming that drinking urine will cause cirrhosis of the liver, and harm or paralyze the kidneys? They have a misconception with respect to drinking urine and what role the intestines play in urine therapy. Remember the answer to the previous question and keep in mind that the organ that removes cellular feces from the blood is the liver. The liver removes this waste, bile, and it dumps it at the beginning of the small intestine to aid in the process of digestion. The urine a person drinks goes into the same spot where the liver discharges the cellular waste, but the toxins urine contains are a very small amount in comparison to what the liver dumps at the same site.

Couldn't we filter those toxins out of the urine before drinking it? I guess the toxins could be filtered out, but those toxins are necessary to stimulate a cleansing reaction in each individual. Those toxins are also necessary to vaccinate and protect the body from future illnesses. The amount of toxins found in the urine of each person is directly related to the amount of stagnated excrement in his colon. Sometimes these toxins are related to certain foods which are difficult to digest requiring very strong acids that later on find their way into the blood stream. The amount of preservatives a piece of meat has determines the type bacteria required to digest it, that is why it is not healthy to eat too much meat, preserved meat products and cold cuts. This type of bacteria produces very strong acids to decompose flesh which is laying in the colon for too long while being digested, but those acids are toxic even to the intestines therefore the body absorbs them and circulates them in the blood where they cause much less harm..................................

There are simply no universal panaceas. Urine is NOT a universal panacea.


Fruitfly can be easily combated by the use of Coccinella septempunctata 6X given to the root of the plants.

Yes of course Urine is great not only for tomato plants but for us humans.
To drink (partake of urine internally and to put it on topically) a few links for those interested
And yes I have done this for an entire year everyday with wonderful benefits.
The use of urine is as old as humankind. Look at the Ayurvedic writings regards the use of urine for medicinal purposes.

universal remedy
go to searchbox-type-urinetheraphy

book called water of life healing with urine

A Nutrient Rich Powerhouse(urine)

In 1975, one of the founders of Miles Laboratories, Dr. A. H. Free, published his book Urinalysis in Clinical Laboratory Practice, in which he remarked that not only is urine a sterile body compound (purer than distilled water), but that it is now recognized that urine contains literally thousands of compounds. Among the urine constituents mentioned in Dr. Free's treatise is a list of nutrients that will knock your socks off. Here's just a few...

Alanine, Arginine, Ascorbic acid, Allantoin, Amino acids, Bicarbonate, Biotin, Calcium, Creatinine, Cystine, DHEA, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Folic acid, Glucose, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Inositol, Iodine, Iron, Lysine, Magnesium, Manganese, Melatonin, Methionine, Nitrogen, Ornithane, Pantothenic acid, Phenylalaline, Phosphorus, Potassium, Proteins, Riboflavin, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Urea, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc/

now were talking, urine is good for plants and for us humans!

Urine contains a lot of Urea, which has been recognised as a fertiliser already by the ancient Bharatiyas and Egyptians. Also, it turns to ammonia when old and this is the main source for nitrogen fertiliser, essential to growth.


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