(Last Updated on : 19/03/2014)
Mud is supposed to be one of the best remedies for ailments and thus used as a means of alternative medicines. It relieves the body from internal congestion and enhances blood circulation. It is also used in cosmetology as it contains natural moistures.
The use of earth for remedial purposes was very common in ancient times as well medieval ages. In modern times the Mud Therapy again came into practice as a valuable therapeutic agent. Emanuel Felke, a German therapist tried to restore the Mud Therapy and was nicknamed as 'Clay Pastor'. Adolph Just was one of the pioneers of natural cure believed that all diseases will be cured if sleeping and lying on earth at night can be made customary.
During seventeenth to nineteenth century mud therapy became popular in Europe. The treatment for chronic illness was made with mineral waters and mudpacks of different temperatures and compositions. Several experiments were conducted to determine the optimal frequency, temperature and duration of applications and the curative process by Mud Therapy remained always been a mystery to all.
During the second half of the twentieth century pharmacology developed which gave the idea of Mud Therapy to considered within alternative medicine. In addition to this the present popular revolt against the synthetic medicinal treatment and more demand for natural way of health and wellness aids in reviving the concept of spa treatment. This was more enhanced, as in certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis no effective synthetic treatments were available. Recently the research by Italian scientists revealed that the treatment with thermal mud from hot spring or fango therapy included the correction of sulphur and nitrogen oxide levels in the cartilage of arthritic patients through improvement of circulation and exchange of necessary materials between fango and the human body.
Austrian Moors (organic mud) attracted the soil scientists due to its smooth consistency and fine, even structure with which it could offer heavenly relief to the strained muscles. Organic mud is derived from peat and are applied at room temperature. It provided excellent relaxation of muscles of the exhausted skier and rapidly heals bruises. The Moor is particularly becoming popular for cosmetic surgery and serves for both recovery and skin care.
The use of mud from the Dead Sea in Israel is known from millions of years ago and many have praised its therapeutic quality from the period of Roman Ceasers to the modern tourists. This mud of Dead sea is more frequently prescribed for the Arthritis patients, even for those who suffer with psoriasis. The resorts and clinics of the Dead Sea are particularly famous for the Mud Therapies offered to treat various conditions. It is said that Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, who is famous for her beauty and always experimented with natural beauty resources, established her own spa on the shores of Dead Sea. The Dead Sea mud is known as Brine Mud and rich in iodine and Bromide content, thus have a calming and soothing effect.
The key attraction of Mud Therapy is its uniqueness. There are several Mud sources, which are different in ingredients and have different effects. These natural treatment serves for a wide range of cosmetic needs, ailments and other conditions. Mud Therapy allows one to experiment and get pleasure by observing body's response, which are highly personalized and varies from person to person.
There are some wonderful Mud sites in South Africa too. Though most of the sites there are yet to be explored. In Tsipise there is hot spring, where the local inhabitants make a pool and take rest in hot mineral water after a day's fatigue. In Thangami, there is a deposit of bubbling muds that offers a proper thermal mud treatment. There are also a group of traditional healers who are working at the Wild Coast with the native soil to do the Mud therapy.