Blood, urine, and placentas from the human body all provide medicines that are widely used.
Blood's most obvious application in medicine is for blood transfusions,
but particular elements such as clotting factors are also extracted.
Generally regarded as unclean waste, urine actually contains many useful substances,
including hormones, minerals and vitamins, and millions of people daily take medicine or contraceptives
made from substances extracted from human or animal urine. In India, urine therapy is a long established,
if minority, practice. The placenta is the channel through which blood, oxygen, nutrients,
and waste products travel between a pregnant woman and her fetus. In several societies,
the expelled placenta, or afterbirth, has traditionally been eaten by a new mother,
as it is by many mammals, because of the goodness it is thought to contain. Saliva,
is a primitive do-it-yourself medicine that is often applied instinctively to cuts and sores.
Whole blood or separated fractions;
whole urine or extracted substances; fresh saliva; whole placenta or extracted hormones; bone marrow and organs.
Blood: immunoglobulins, albumin, gamma globulin, substances that help clotting such as factor VIII and thrombin.
Urine: oestrogen, gonadotrophic, luteinizing and folliclestimulating hormones, mineral salts, and vitamins.
Saliva: starch-digesting enzymes.
Placenta: gonadotrophic hormones.
Blood products: prevent haemorrhage, help prevent infection; urine: nutrient,
hormonal; placenta: hormonal; saliva: mildly antiseptic.
Apart from transfusions, the main use of blood preparations is to arrest haemorrhaging,
for example, factor VIII in haemophiliacs. Gamma globulin is given to reduce the risk of hepatitis.
Extraction of sex and pituitary hormones from human urine started in China in the 2nd century BC.
Today, hormones from urine or placenta are given to induce ovulation in women,
to treat undescended testes in young men, and for infertility treatment.
In Chinese medicine, the clear urine of healthy boys under 12 years is given for tuberculosis and chronic cough,
and dried placenta is taken as a general tonic, especially for blood and energy deficiency,
for sterility, and for impotence. Bone marrow and organs such as kidneys, livers and hearts are used in transplant operations.
Liquid blood, urine, pharmaceutical preparations, dried whole placenta, fresh saliva.