Locals drink cow urine for toothache

Thursday November 28 2019

Treatment. Ms Grace Agwa’s son, Innocent

Treatment. Ms Grace Agwa’s son, Innocent Odongo, collects cow urine to “treat” toothache at Kirombe North ‘A’ Village, Lira Municipality on Tuesday last week. In set: Ms Agwa sips the urine as medicine to treat a toothache. PHOTOS BY ISAAC OTWII. 


Ms Grace Agwa, 48, a resident of Kirombe North ‘A’ Village, Akwoyo Parish in Adyel Division, Lira District waits for her lactating cow to urinate before she picks a blue basin to fetch the urine.

She then pours it in an empty glass bottle and drinks it to treat her disturbing toothache.

She claims drinking fresh cow urine could be part of natural drugs for treating toothache. Ms Agwa represents many of her fellow residents in Lira Municipality.
However, health experts have warned that drinking cow urine is harmful since it contains deposits that are harmful to human health.

Daily Monitor has since established that for the last three weeks, dozens of people suffering from toothache have been flocking Ms Agwa’s home to get their portion of medication. This is because it is only her home that has a lactating cow in the entire village.

They claim seeking help from professional dentists is very unaffordable for many poor households in the area, the very reason they treat toothaches at home using cow urine.

The urine is often fetched from Agwa’s home when her cow is being milked.
Ms Agwa says she was introduced to the medication by a friend last month.


“When I endured toothache for long, I drank cow urine and felt better later, the pain was no more,” she says.
She adds that since then, she has also been helping other patients.

“When they come, I give them free of charge but very soon I will begin charging them,” she says.
Ms Betty Awino, a resident of the same village, says she once used cow urine to deal with her toothache.

“I had first used diclofenac drug but it did not work out for me. Again, I tried drinking juice extracted from crushed blackjack leaves and eucalyptus tree leaves but they did not help reduce the pain,” she says.
She adds: “When I tried out cow urine, I felt better.”
The former chairman of Bala Sub-county, Mr Caesar Alaju, says in his lifetime, he has never heard of such a weird practice.

“That is so strange,” he says.
Lira District assistant health officer, Mr Edmond Aceka, warns locals against using cow urine saying it contains deposits that are harmful to human health. He says the deposits found in cow urine are acidic and can affect the liver when taken.

“It is not healthy at all. It is not proven in any laboratory in history that cow urine is a cure for toothache. We need to talk to such kind of people so that they can stay away from such practice,” she says.
He further explains that the only toothache remedy could be found at designated health facilities countrywide.

“There are remedies such as tooth filling and removal. The residents should go to the hospital where they will be educated on how to care for their teeth,” Mr Aceka says.

About toothache

A toothache or tooth pain is most often caused when the nerve to a tooth is irritated, but there are numerous other reasons for a person to experience tooth pain. Risk factors for toothache include dental infection, gum disease, plaque, dental decay, injury, cracked teeth, poorly placed fillings or crowns, failing or leaking fillings or crowns, loss of a tooth (including tooth extractions), temporomandibular joint disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea.