Drinking or applying your own urine to the skin may seem like a disgusting and smelly prospect but during the last 20 years there has been a revival of the ancient medical treatment.

Our waste fluid has been used to treat or even cure conditions from eczema, dermatitis, leg ulcers, sore throats, ear and eye infections, fungus infections and athlete's foot to more serious diseases and conditions such as cancer, tuberculosis, asthma, ME and HIV and Aids. It is also a remedy for jellyfish stings.

Sonja Vanderdol, a nutritionist in Hove has recommended the use of urine therapy to treat conditions such as eczema and leg ulcers and has even used it herself both by drinking it and applying it to her skin.

She said: "Nobody really knows how it works.

"Some people say when using it externally it may be because it is germicidal and it is alkaline rather than acid.

"For using it internally, some people say it is similar to how homeopathy works in that you are getting a little bit of the illness back inside you.

"Some people say it is because you are getting vitamins, minerals, amino acid and hormones which can be reused."

Urine has been recommended in religious scriptures, including the Bible. In the world of yoga, using urine is known as amaroli and it was originally a spiritual practice rather than treatment.

About 70 years ago Englishman John Armstrong wrote his book, The Water Of Life, having been cured of tuberculosis which had been declared incurable.

In his book he reports on the success stories of people suffering from illnesses such as cancer who were treated with urine by fasting and drinking it, although there is no scientific proof it worked.

It is often recommended urine which is a few days old is used for applying to the skin but Sonja said fresh urine can be applied.

The urine should be taken mid-stream. For children it can be mixed with vegetable glycerine to take out the sting but can be applied neat on adults.

British actress Sarah Miles was famous for drinking her urine.

Fresh urine should be used if it is to be drunk. The best urine is from the morning and taken mid-stream. It can be topped up with apple juice.

People should seek expert advice before using urine as a treatment.

Sonja said: "With babies, always, always check everything with a doctor. Especially with children, I never advise it is taken internally.

"Even with adults I would still advise them to see their doctor. If taking any medication do not take it all."

However, GP Dr David Delvin, a columnist for The Argus, said: "It is very definitely not recommended by the medical profession in this country because of all the waste products it contains."