Re: Arsenic? Mercury? Formaldehyde?
I have the same questions. I thought this was interesting;
In Siberia, some found drinking urine was a way to continue the hallucinogenic and spiritual effects of special mushrooms:
In many regions where the fly agaric was consumed, it was a very expensive article of trade-so expensive that frequently a tribesman traded a reindeer for one or two mushrooms. At certain times and in some areas, the mushrooms were naturally rare and hard to find. During the long Siberian winters, the more affluent tribesmen were able to store up supplies of the dried mushrooms in large quantities for winter consumption. The poorer individuals, none the less anxious to use the agaric, were often frustrated by the cost and limited supply of the plants.
Whether as a result of this scarcity or not, these people discovered that the urine of an intoxicated person was capable, when drunk, of inducing a similar intoxication in another individual. The effects from the urine are said to be only slightly less inebriating than of the dose of the mushroom itself. An early account of this curious practice states of the Koryaks that "when they make a feast, they pour water on some of these mushrooms and boil them. They then drink the liquor, which intoxicates them; the poorer sort, who cannot afford to lay in a store of these mushrooms, post themselves on these occasions round the huts of the rich and watch the opportunity of the guests coming down to make water and then hold a wooden bowl to receive the urine, which they drink off greedily, as having still some virtue of the mushroom in it; and by this way they also get drunk."
Not only is the urine of another person drunk but an individual may utilize his own urine, frequently still warm, thus prolonging the action of the original mushrooms or renewing their effect several times. A drunken Koryak may even carry his own urine with him on a reindeer trek to continue his intoxication as long as possible.*
This gives new meaning to the Beatle's line: "Get high with a little help from my friends."