Mud baths have a long history. Doctor Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim (1493 – 1541), also called Paracelsus, recommended mud baths to treat various diseases like infertility, jaundice and gall bladder problems. Mud baths can also help speed up the healing process and restore appetite after illness. In the nineteenth century, French soldiers serving under the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte introduced mud baths to Germany. During the Egypt expedition, they discovered mud baths. After the Battle of Leipzig 1813, Napoleon’s brother Jerome Bonaparte opened the first spa in Bad Nenndorf, which included mud bath treatments for his soldiers. In the nineteenth century more and more mud baths were developed in Europe.
Mud is a natural product and consists of ancient plant waste with valuable substances like pectin, cellulose, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Mud also contains the anti-inflammatory component humic acid.
The basis of a mud bath is bath turf mixed with water. This can be used as a full or half bath. Mud retains heat very well and will slowly release warmth into the body. The bath can reach a temperature of up to around 46°C but it does not feel as hot as this. A 20 minute bathing session will increase the body’s temperature by about 2°C. This creates a fake fever, which heats up the body’s core, resulting in a positive effect on the immune system and metabolism. The warmth also relaxes the muscles.
Mud baths also work well for those suffering from exhaustion as well as helping with symptoms of the menopause, rheumatism or osteoarthritis. Gynaecological disorders have been successfully treated, which can be put down to the plant hormones in the mud. At the same time, the specific ingredients in the mud can often contribute to a successful fertility treatment. One of the most common reasons for infertility is the lack of corpus luteum. A failure to ovulate and other hormonal reasons can also contribute to infertility. Substances in the mud can reduce the amount of the pregnancy stopping hormones and boost hormones like oestrogen, which encourage pregnancy. The natural tannic acids like fulvic and ulmic acid, which are found in particular types of mud, play an important role. These encourage hormones to be absorbed into the body. The mud’s components vary depending on the region where it comes from. When choosing a spa, it is vital to check that a particular type of mud is recommended for infertility problems. It is also recommended that any mud treatment should be discussed with a doctor prior to therapy.
Mud baths are very demanding on the circulation and should only be carried out under the medical supervision of a doctor. It is also not advisable to have a mud bath when suffering from circulatory diseases, high blood pressure and epidermal wounds.
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