Pilgrims swim in the Dead Sea and cover themselves with mud.
Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, APRN
Written by Kathryn Watson
The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake in the Middle East, located between Israel and Jordan.
The geographical features of the Dead Sea — including the fact that the lake is at the lowest sea level of any body of water on earth and surrounded by mountains — makes the surrounding silt and mud rich with a unique combination of minerals like magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
Health Conditions Benefited from Dead Sea Mud
People use Dead Sea mud like the mud mask and soaps sold at the Holy Land Gift Shop to treat health conditions ranging from psoriasis to back pain. A great deal of research backs up claims that Dead Sea mud can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and more.
1. Helps Improve Psoriasis
Dead Sea mud can be applied as a compress to psoriasis flares. Researchers have established that the high concentrations of salt and other chemical compounds in the mud can be used to treat psoriasis effectively.
Using Dead Sea mud, as a compress in areas where your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is, can decrease symptoms and relieve pain caused by inflammation.
2. Reduces Skin Impurities
If you have dry skin, try a Dead Sea mud mask. Mud masks can work to remove impurities and dead skin on your body.
An added benefit of Dead Sea mud is that the salt and magnesium contents can improve your skin’s functionality and elasticity. Dead Sea salt has also been shown as a treatment to make skin healthier.
A traditional presepe from Naples.
3. Provides Relief for Arthritis
In one older experiment, heated mud packs were applied to the extremities of people with arthritis for 20 minutes, once per day, over a span of 2 weeks. This study used Dead Sea mud, and people saw a marked decrease in their arthritis symptoms that lasted up to three months.
People with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, are more likely to experience this benefit.
4. Helps Soothe Chronic Back Pain
Data from a 2014 study indicated that a Dead Sea mud compress, applied five times a week for three consecutive weeks, led to a significant improvement in symptoms for people with chronic low back pain. Further research is still needed with a greater sample size to confirm these findings.
Porcelain Baby Jesus and Crib from the Holy Land Gift Shop. Most people put hay in the crib to make Jesus a little more comfortable.
5. Helps Treat Acne
Dead Sea mud has been tested and proven to have an antimicrobial effect on strains of bacteria that live on human skin. Since overgrowth or presence of certain bacteria can lead to acne, it’s possible that this is why Dead Sea mud has been used to treat breakouts since biblical times.
Using Dead Sea mud in a mud mask, or getting face creams and lotions that contain Dead Sea mud, might help you to have fewer breakouts.
Original post here.