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Mud Therapy Benefits

Urvashi Pokharna
Earth, one of the 5 elements of life, is found abundantly everywhere. Centuries ago, it was an integral part of Ayurveda. However, its virtue as a medicine to treat innumerable diseases is unbeknownst to many today. Many spa and health centers offer this treatment in the form of 'mud therapy'.
Mud bath is one of the most ancient forms of healing technique that dates back to hundreds of years. It is a concept of naturopathy that entails application of mud mixed with water on the body in order to rid it of health ailments. It was believed that mud has healing powers that can restore the body's balance by removing accumulated toxins.
Mud is entirely composed of organic substances that have absolutely no side-effect on the body. Minerals found in mud are - sulfur, iron, magnesium, potassium, bromide, iodine, silicon, selenium, calcium, zinc. The healing properties of the mud were known to our ancestors. In fact, mud bath has been popularly used by Ancient Greeks.

What is Mud Therapy?

The earth contains many minerals that are beneficial for human health. It is true that it can aid in the treatment of many diseases and health problems. The mud used for the therapy is dug up from at least four inches below the surface of the earth. It is then depurated of pebbles, decomposed matter and other soil impurities.
The clarified mud may be left in the sun so it naturally heats up and activates the minerals or it may be artificially heated to a temperature of up to 50°C after making it wet. This has a thermal effect which further improves absorption of minerals by the skin.
At the time of use, it is mixed with water to form a clay-like paste which is applied to the skin. It is allowed to dry in the sun until it becomes crusty and starts to fall off. This may last anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour. Some spas may wrap their clients with strips of cloth instead. This helps prevent heat dispersion.
With the help of water, the dried mud is made wet again, massaged and scrubbed off the skin. It is proceeded by a bath in a tub filled with warm water and then replaced with cold water. Alternating between these baths has a therapeutic effect as well. Do not use soap to bathe post mud bath therapy.
When the wet mud is applied to the skin, its minerals are absorbed by the skin and they enter our blood stream. It is a proven fact that the body absorbs vitamins faster from the skin than food. Hence, this therapy has an overall cleansing effect on the body. The treatment should be taken for a minimum duration of 2 weeks to obtain maximum benefits.
If you don't want to extensively use wet mud over your body, you can also limit it as a face pack and reap its benefits for your facial skin. Also, if you are going for a session of mud bath, ensure that you have not eaten anything before doing so. The best time of day for the treatment is early morning. There are  types of mud that can be used for therapy.
Each type of soil has distinct benefits in curing diverse health problems. The type of mud used in the therapy are:
  • Brine mud: Popularly obtained from the Dead Sea, the Great Salt Lake and other saltwater bodies.
  • Moor mud: Organic mud, peat moss from naturally decomposed plant residue. Contains no clay and is a natural chelator.
  • Fango mud: Soil from thermal hot springs.
However, this therapy is most beneficial if virgin clay or mud is used for treatment as its minerals are not lost in previous applications. Also, to reap maximum benefits, the application and removal of mud should be accompanied with intense massages.

What are the Benefits of Mud Therapy?

The overall effect of mud bath on the skin and body are:
  • Removes dead skin cells and reveals a softer and glowing skin.
  • Helps in the reduction of spots and patches on skin.
  • Removes toxins from the body and helps in detoxification.
  • Opens clogged skin pores.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Tones skin and keeps it hydrated.
  • Restores the skin pH balance.
  • Stimulates collagen production in the skin.
  • Minimizes the appearance of open pores, wrinkles and age spots.
  • 100% natural, safe and economic.
  • Soothing effect on eye muscles.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Enhances the body's ability to perspire and expel toxins.
It also helps in the treatment of various health problems such as:
  • Skin Inflammation: Psoriasis, eczema, acne, leprosy, scaly dermatoses, urticaria, vitiligo, ichthyosis, patchy skin, bruises, tissue repair
  • Muscle and Joint Ailments: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, periarthritis, rheumatism, gout, musculoskeletal pain, swelling
  • Emotional Disorders: Excessive stress, disorientation, lethargy
  • Eye Problems: Conjunctivitis, eyeball hemorrhage, correction of eyesight, eye infections and allergies, glaucoma
  • Respiratory Problems: Asthma, broncho-pneumonia, diphtheria, chest pain, congestion, measles, influenza, bronchitis
  • Cardiac Problems: Raynaud's disease, erythromelalgia, acrocyanosis, occurrence of ulcer in veins
  • Reproductive Problems: Infertility due to cervicitis, ovarian insufficiency, metrosalpingitis
  • Nervous Disorders: Neuralgia, sciatica, epilepsy, post-traumatic paralysis
  • Digestive Problems: Flatulence, constipation, indigestion, intestinal malfunctioning, colitis, enteritis
  • Others: Hormonal imbalance, kidney problems, toxicity, diabetes, liver malfunction, scarlet fever, ear infections, amoebiasis, headaches, insomnia, leukemia, anemia, fractures, hyperthyroidism, insect bites

Mud Therapy for Weight Loss

Mud bath or therapy was, perhaps, one of the tricks our ancestors used to keep obesity at bay. Surprising, isn't it? This therapy can help you get rid of the excess flab you have been carrying around. However, a proper treatment must be followed which includes a low-fat nutritious diet.
The thermal effect of this therapy gives a boost to the metabolism rate of the body which helps burn fat faster and drop off pounds. This is a 100% natural remedy for weight loss. By removing toxins from the body, mud bath increases the efficiency of the body's various functions, especially those related to digestion.
Complete digestion of food prevents increase in fat storage. Moor mud is an excellent choice for weight loss as it helps break down fat tissues. In fact, it is also speculated that mud bath may be beneficial in minimization of appearance of stretch marks.
Mud bath or therapy is also being used as a prototype to manufacture cosmetics, bath and beauty products. One such example is the dead sea mud soap. The product is claimed to be produced by using dead sea mud which is the richest soil available on our planet due to the high concentration of mineral salts found in it, as compared to other varieties.
This can certainly be an option for mud bath enthusiasts who cannot find spa services offering the treatment nearby. It is said that dead sea mud was the secret behind the eternal beauty of Cleopatra, the mesmerizing queen of Egypt.
In modern-day, when our body is being exposed to so many chemicals, toxins and allergens daily, mud bath or therapy is a cheap and effective method of getting rid of metabolic impurities from the body.