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Bather covered with mud at the Dead Sea

Mud bathing in Miami Beach, Florida

A mud bath is a bath of mud, commonly from areas where hot spring water can combine with volcanic ash. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years, and can be found now in high-end spas in many countries of the world.

Mud baths come from many sources:

  • lakes (e.g. Lake Techirghiol)
  • saltwater sea (e.g. Dead Sea in Jordan and Israel)
  • hot springs (e.g. Calistoga, Napa Valley, California)
  • mud volcano (e.g. Pulau Tiga, Malaysia, El Tutumo, Colombia

Mud baths in the United States are mostly found at the resorts in California and Miami Beach, Florida. The mud is a combination of local volcanic ash, imported Canadian peat and naturally heated mineral waters. Historically, the mud bath treatment has been used for centuries in Eastern and Western European spas as a way to relieve arthritis.

In Romania, Lake Techirghiol is famous for treatments with mud baths. The lake's hypersaline environment is due to the successive evaporation of sea water that remained in its basin after a tectono-errosive phase exhaustion created a fluvial-marine firth and the lake's connection to the sea closed. The accumulation of salts in the water is also a result of a semiarid climate with higher temperatures in summer, leading to pronounced evaporation. The lake's higher salinity (83.6 g/l in 1970, and 63.6 gl/l in 1980), in spite of a decrease over time, has been a bottleneck in the selection of the lake animal and plant species.

In Italy, in Lido delle Nazioni at Ferrara offers mud bath therapies. It is claimed that the treatment, which is founded on contact with bromine salt water, has anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, analgesic, relaxing and revitalizing properties.

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