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Wheat and Barley Pregnancy/ Gender Test...

One of the earliest written records of a urine-based pregnancy test can be found in an ancient Egyptian document.

A papyrus described a test in which a woman who might be pregnant could urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days:

If the barley grows, it means a male child. If the wheat grows, it means a female child. If both do not grow, she will not bear at all.

Testing of this theory in 1963 found that 70 percent of the time, the urine of pregnant women did promote growth, while the urine of non-pregnant women and men did not. Scholars have identified this as perhaps the first test to detect a unique substance in the urine of pregnant women, and have speculated that elevated levels of estrogens in pregnant women’s urine may have been the key to its success.


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Asked by Anonymous at 12:03 PM on Sep. 9, 2011 in Just for Fun

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Answers (1)
  • Cool fact. I wonder if the 70% was in correctly assessing male or female children. Personally, I knew (guessed correctly) all the sexes of my unborn children.

    Answer by moneymagnetmom at 2:22 PM on Sep. 9, 2011

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