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Fact-check: Mud baths not a blanket therapy 

Published on Fri 09 Dec 2022 at 06:06

Spas and salons do have mud scrubbing treatments, but they can be used only on healthy skin for exfoliation purposes. It is not a magic bullet. 

By Pratibha

You know that aroma that permeates the air as the monsoon rains roll in over the earth, it is called petrichor. A Greek term that is derived from the words “petra” meaning rock and “ichor” meaning the blood of the Olympian gods. The scent itself though brings us back to more earthly memories of getting covered in mud while playing with friends. You may have, perhaps, come across social media posts, where this mud is being celebrated as the greatest health treatment for various conditions.

To find the truth behind these claims, First Check got in touch with Dr Purnima Mhatre, a qualified cosmetic dermatologist from Mumbai, India. Here’s what we discovered: 

#Claim 1: Mud baths can cure deep wounds.
Fact: There is no scientific basis to support the claim that mud can cure deep wounds. In fact, it can worsen the situation. “A wound contains ruptured tissue and ruptured blood vessels; mud is bound to contain bacteria and even fungi. So, there is an extremely high chance that your wound will get infected and form sepsis and spread to other parts of your body,” warns Dr Purnima. 

#Claim 2: Skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema can be reversed using mud baths.
Fact: In Dr Purnima’s professional opinion, mud therapy is not useful for curing psoriasis and eczema. “Spas and salons do have mud scrubbing treatments, but they can be used only on healthy skin for exfoliation purposes. It is not a remedy for skin illnesses. Even when used on healthy skin, it’s important to check the quality and the kind of mud being used. Also, it should be washed off after use,” she says. 

#Claim 3: Mud bath can cure headaches, colds and several health conditions.
Fact: There is no scientific study or research to back the claim that mud baths are a blanket therapy that can treat all health conditions. However, a randomised control trial found that spa treatments involving sterile mud packs used along with prescribed medications have a positive impact on the pain caused by Osteoarthritis. It is also hypothesised that soils are natural activators of FXII, a serum glycoprotein that participates in the initiation of blood coagulation. It is important to note that the soil used in these studies is carefully sterilised before use. 

It could be extremely dangerous to self-treat any health condition. It is always advisable to consult a qualified medical professional. Stay informed with First Check.