Natural mud can have extraordinary healing properties. Hot springs, ocean beaches and the soil in volcano ash areas have very different ingredients and are said to have diverse therapeutic effects. Today these different types of mud, surface soil or clay are used primarily for spa therapies, but more products are coming on the market with mud as a main ingredient.
The History of Medicine and Mud
For thousands of years, mud baths have been used as an alternative health treatment. In the Roman Empire and the Ancient Greek Renaissance mud baths and the application of mud to the body was used to relieve muscle and joint distress (arthritis) and treat skin problems. In the Middle Ages royalty and the ruling class of Europe also used mud baths for their therapeutic and relaxation benefits.
Native American Indians used mud plasters and mud packs to heal wounds, stop infection and cure ailments. In the American West, both cowboys and Indians, used mud as poultices to treat wounds, reduce fever and swelling, and treat diseases like influenza and scarlet fever.
Clinical Evidence of the Benefits?
Clinical research into mud’s medical benefits is limited. Mud is, however, a proven detoxification agent and also has been shown to provide nutrients through direct application to the skin. The improvement of certain skin conditions has been widely studied.
A 1999, study reported some positive results in treating fibromyalgia with mudpacks and antidepressants. There were also clinical trials at Ben-Gurion University, where researchers concluded that rheumatoid arthritis patients benefited from mud baths.
Most of the known health benefits of various mud therapies (like other alternative medicine) come from the history of its use, and the very real results of people that have tried it.
Practical Applications of Mud
Mud Baths: When the body is immersed from neck to feet in hot mud, there are all sorts of health and beauty benefits. This is a relaxing therapy that reduces blood pressure and helps with stress management. Depending on the composition of the mud, it has been said to have a good effect on your entire body from the skin to the digestive system.
Mud Masks: Our faces are constantly exposed to the environment. We often develop lines around our eyes and mouth since these are the most mobile part of our faces. A mud mask will absolutely remove the toxins from your skin and tighten up the skin, reducing your wrinkles.
Mud Packs: A dressing filled with mud or clay is one of the oldest and still most effective poultices. Mud packs and dressings are still used in alternative medicine to treat wounds, skin problems and swelling.
11 Health Benefits You May Not Know About Mud Therapy
- Benefits Skin Conditions
- Arthritis and Pain Relief
- Reduces Inflammation
- Wound Healing
- Aches and Sprains
- Reduces Blood Pressure
- Reduces Fever
- Bacterial Conditions
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
“Mud Dig-It” Body and Spa, Mud Spa Treatment on-line magazine, Melinda Minton, L.M.T