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Iraqis Buy Camel Urine From Iran Believing In Its Medicinal Benefits

A prophetic medicine advocate drinking camel urine to prevent coronavirrus in an unkonwn location in Iran. April 2020.
A prophetic medicine advocate drinking camel urine to prevent coronavirrus in an unkonwn location in Iran. April 2020.

Hamed Tarhib, a distributor of camel products in Iran, says he sells camel urine to Iraqi travelers for $ 50 a liter. Tarahib has also exported 370 liters (approximately 97.7 US gallons) of camel urine in eight months. He has also applied for an export license but says officials at agriculture ministry have laughed at his request. However, Tarhib has managed to register camel urine as an officially accepted product in the country's customs lists.

Meanwhile, the president of the Iranian Camel Association, Saeed Zibaei, told Ensaf News that camel urine is also used locally, but it needs a scientific approach to become popular.

Some people in the Middle east believe camel urine can cure certain diseases, especially respiratory illnesses.

Recently, an Iranian man calling himself an Islamic prophetic medicine healer was arrested for prescribing camel urine to prevent and cure COVID-19.

In a video widely shared on social media, Mehdi Sabili who is also the chairman of prophetic medicine society treats himself to camel urine and says it must be taken "fresh and warm".

Iranian camel breeders are deeply unhappy about Sabili's move to promote camel urine and accuse him of demagogic behavior.

Sabili and his followers believe in healing properties of camel urine and support their belief by referring to a hadith (sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad) that recommends camel's urine as a beverage teemed with benefits.

"We work nationwide," Tarhib says, adding, "The main places for breeding camels in Iran are Semnan and North Khorasan provinces, and we have about 4,000 camels."

Meanwhile, camel breeders are struggling with a series of problems, Tarhib laments, noting, that there is a demand for camel milk, but it must be sold quickly before it changes to a yogurt-type of liquid. The industry is not ready yet to market the milk nationwide.

Nonetheless, Arabs are still the main buyers of the Iranian camel urine. Arabs leaving Iran through the western border of Kermanshah, usually take camel urine with them in five-liter and ten-liter containers.

Tarhib believes that through exporting camel products, it is possible to earn up to $2 million per year. In the meantime, camel meat is more popular in Qatar and Kuwait because the people living there believe it is good for them.