The therapeutic values of mud and clay have been acknowledged since mankind. The Chinese used them for centuries making poultices to heal inflammations. Other cultures within the Indian subculture of South America found that the sand and clay in that area aided rheumatic cases.
Hipocrates (460-337 BC) the father of traditional medicine, recommended their use in many of his treatments and many other doctors of that era, like Empedocles (490-430 BC), Galen, in the Second century, or Paracelso, in the Sixth century, compiled data of the many popular remedies using clay and mud, that apported many of the basic minerals like calcium, magnesium, silica, iron and potassium to the body.
The mud from the Mar Menor
The particular climatic conditions of the Mar Menor, the long hours of sunlight and the high level of salt n the water, have created, in the farth north part of the lake, known as La Puntica, a mud known for its therapeutic value. The last analysis carried out by the University of Murcia in 1995 found that these sediments contain a high percentage of calcium, magnesium, potassium and flouride, as well as chlorine and sulphur. This percentage is far superior to the normal values found in this type of water with such a high level of salinity. The tests also show that there are high levels of fine and very fine sands (slime and clay), the basis of the healing attributes of this mud. The PH varies between 7.12 and 8.45.
Use of this mud is recommended in many cases of skin disease, such as abscesses, ulcers, inflammations, sores, and acne, due to its rapid absorption, its mineralising effect and its capacity to neutralise acid as well as the stimulating effect it has on wound healing. A layer of mud applied to the skin absorbs all the conjunctive tissue and eliminates lymphatic toxins from the dermas, acting as a blotting pad for the skin. This mud is also appropiate as an anti-inflammatory in the cases of rheumatism, arthritis, gout and for rehabilitation after a bone fracture. It is also recommended for throat illnesses.
The mud baths can be taken by applying the mud with a spatuta or by hand. It is best to apply the mud initially in small areas and leave on the skin for a maximum of one hour. If no side effects are experienced, you can the increase the amount and the duration of the bath. It is best to apply the mud during the day and in warm weather so that the sun can quickly dry the layer of clay applied. The area should be washed with salt water between each treatment.
The Mar Menor is a lake with a very high level of salt. The characteristics of the water is conditionated by the extreme heat, the wind and above all its connection to the Mediterranean through the fishing canals. The ionic concentrations of magnesium, calcium, sodium, iodine and fluoride are much higher than the amounts found in the Mediterranean. It has been proved that thermal treatments with this type of salt water has an osmotic effect on the interstitial tissue of the human body and increases the activity of the blood circulation. As a result toxins are eliminated and the bodies muscles relax, very good for sufferes of arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis, nervous diseases and all types of pathologies related to the articulations.
Where these mud baths can be taken
The area traditionally known for its mud baths is the sat flats of La Puntica, in Lo Pagan, in the north corner of the lake, where the lake bed houses a treasure of medical sediments. For those interested in bathing in the salt water of the Mar Menor any area is valid.