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The Real Dirt on Mud Therapy: 10 Health Facts

The Real Dirt on Mud Therapy: 10 Health Facts

  • Gaining Ground: Some Mud Health Claims: Relaxes muscles and improves blood circulation. • Maintains metabolism, enhances digestion, aids weight loss. • Relieves inflammation, swelling, joint stiffness, and pain. • Conditions hair and is good for the skin. [1]

  • What’s Your Mud Type? Medical mud has 4 basic types: 1. Silt sulphide medical. Higher biological activity than other peloids. 2. Sapropel healthful. High moisture-holding ability. 3. Peat healthful. Biologically active substances (eg, anions of chloride). 4. Hill healthful. Mainly mineral structure rather than organic. [2]

  • Will You Have a Pack or a Bath? Medical mud comes in 2 forms: 1. Mud packs. Applied frequently, improves complexion and reduces skin spots and patches. 2. Mud baths. Mud rich in natural salts and minerals applied over entire body, useful in psoriasis, urticaria, leucoderma. [3]

  • Dead Sea Mud Is Salt of the Earth. Has been studied for its health benefits and healing properties—but not as a replacement for medical treatments. Controls symptoms of skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Accelerates natural exfoliation and restores skin’s pH balance. Can improve the appearance of facial skin, prevent hair loss, reduce the appearance of cellulite. [4]

  • Mud Fixes Fibromyalgia: Fact or Fiction? A study evaluated the effects of balneotherapy and mud-bath therapy treatments. • Thermal treatment might have a beneficial effect on specific symptoms. • Balneotherapy gives results that in most patients occur after the end of treatment. • The mud-bath treatment gives longer lasting results. [5]

  • Getting a Grip on RA. Study: Dead Sea mud packs applied over patients’ extremities, neck, and back. • Group 1: true mud packs; Group 2: washed out mud packs. • Evaluated: morning stiffness, hand-grip strength, ADLs, number of active joints. Results: Significant improvement with true mud packs in most clinical indices. [6]

  • Back in the Mud Again. Balneotherapy is superior to tap water therapy in relieving low back pain and improving function in the long term. • Spa therapy that combines balneotherapy with mud pack therapy and/or exercise therapy, physiotherapy, and/or education was effective and superior to controls. [7]

  • Clears Up Psoriatic Arthritis Clinical Picture This study evaluated the effects of mud-bath therapy on PsA treated with TNF inhibitors. • Assessed synovial inflammation in hand joints, verified risk of arthritis flare, evaluated functional ability and quality of life. • Spa therapy produced a decrease of residual synovial inflammation and a beneficial clinical effect. [8]

  • Mud Pack Therapy Stands Up to Knee Osteoarthritis. All studies in a systematic review showed a significant improvement in functionality, perceived pain, and quality of life. • Mud pack therapy is considered an alternative and effective therapy in the clinical management of knee OA. [9]

  • Mud Is Good For You—If You Can Stomach It. Mud applied on the abdomen soaks up heat and activates the bowel. • Decreases intestinal heat, stimulates bowel movement, helps stool elimination. • When applied to abdomen, mud helps cure indigestion and other stomach problems. [10]

Whether commercial claims about the healing properties of mud therapy are authentic is about as clear as, well, mud. But the use of mud as medicine goes back to ancient Mesopotamia, and it continues today with applications for skin conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, and a variety of other ailments.

While it is certainly no substitute for medical treatment, mud therapy might be used effectively as a complementary approach. Click through the slides above to gain a clearer picture of mud’s potential.

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