Mud corresponds to prithvi (earth) element among panchamahabhutas. It is considered as one of the ancient wisdom of universe in curing sickness and also for rejuvenation of health. Mud therapy in Naturopathy involves scientific use of moistened earth in a proper manner, so as to benefit the body from within.
History suggests the use of mud from ancient medieval age as a valuable therapeutic agent. Emanuel Felke, a German therapist tried to restore the Mud Therapy and nicknamed it as ‘Clay Pastor.’ Adolf Just, one of the pioneers of natural cure believed that all diseases will be cured on the basis of sleeping and lying on earth. Italian scientists used thermal mud from hot spring in arthritic patients. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, mud therapy became popular in Europe to treat chronic illness made with mineral waters and mudpacks. During the second half of the 20th century, pharmacology developed the idea of Mud Therapy to be considered as an alternative medicine and used in spa treatments. The use of mud from the Dead Sea in Israel is known from millions of years ago prescribed for arthritis patients and psoriasis. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra always experimented with natural beauty resources, established her own spa on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Father of Indian Naturopathy Mahatma Gandhi was found to be a firm believer of Naturopathy in treating diseases with nature. He used to apply mud directly on the affected parts of body and to relieve constipation.
How mud should be used?
Mud used should be clean and free from contamination and taken 60 cm from the surface of ground. Before using, the mud should be dried in sun rays, powdered and sieved to separate impurities.
The mineral elements of mud differ from place to place, as the rock formation and constitution varies in different places. Medical mud can be divided into types depending on physical and chemical properties:
- Black mud
- Dead sea mud
- Moor mud
- Silt sulphide mud
- Sapropelic mud
- Peat mud
- Hill mud
The four main properties of mud are as follows:
- Absorbing power
- Cicatrizing action
- Stimulating capacity
- Antimicrobial effect
- The effects of mud are refreshing, invigorating, and vitalizing.
- Gives cooling effect to the body.
- It dilutes and absorbs the toxic substances of body and ultimately eliminates them from body.
- It relaxes the muscles, improves blood circulation and helps to regulate the metabolism.
- Useful in conditions of inflammation/swelling and relieves pain.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.
- Skin conditions – eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, leprosy.
- LoeserRF Jr. Aging and the etiopathogenesis and treatment of osteoarthritis. Rheum Dis ClinNort Am 2000; 26(3): 547–67.
- Martin JA, Buckwalter JA. Aging, articular cartilage chondrocyte senescence and osteoarthritis.Biogeront 2002; 3(5): 257–64