Celebrities are often credited for making various methods of self-care relevant and wanted. A recent example is Urvashi Rautela’s recent post on Mud Bath. The actress took to her Instagram account and shared her picture, covered in mud, with a caption mentioning her inspiration, “Cleopatra was an early lover of a mud bath, while modern fans include me.”
Following the actor’s post, which received varied responses from the netizens, mud therapy once again became the talk of the town. Even though the actress mentions the use of this process in Ancient Egypt, the benefits of this therapy have been known for much longer as it has been an integral part of Naturopathy which has been around since the Vedic era.
Reiterating on the benefits of the process, the actress mentions in her caption, “Covered in healing mud therapeutic Mud Baths are still heralded today for their ability to detoxify and draw out impurities, soften skin, improve circulation, and ease aches and pains.”
What is mud therapy?
Nature has answers to almost all our problems. Compared to medicine, the solutions provided by nature have long-lasting effects with (usually) no side effects. The five elements of nature - Earth, Water, Space, Fire and Air - are usually credited for sustaining human life on Earth. These elements also contain compounds, minerals and nutrients that can improve our health. Earth (soil or mud) as part of the basic elements, also contains nutrients and minerals which relaxes and soothes the body, and since there are minerals present in the soil, it's also used for healing purposes.
As Naturopathy has several references in our Vedas and other ancient texts, we can safely assume that Mud Therapy has also been around since then. Naturopathy also includes other processes like Hydrotherapy, Air Therapy, Chromo Therapy, etc.
According to the Ministry of Ayush, mud therapy is 'simple and effective'. The soil required for the process needs to be acquired from 3 to 4 ft below the surface of the ground, preferably from under a tree.
What’s the process?
One should use the mud that has gone through a proper cleaning process. This would ensure that there are no pollutants in the soil or does not contain rocks. Once the mud is determined, thin flat brick is made from the damp mix of water and mud. This brick is then placed on the concerned person’s abdomen or places that need cooling and healing effect. The duration of the mud pack is about 20 to 30 minutes.
Other times, mud may be applied to the patient’s complete body either in a sitting or a lying position. This way, mud is better to spread and reaches all parts of the body, healing and detoxifying on its way. This also helps to improve circulation and energises the skin tissues.
Benefits of mud therapy
One of the five elements of the universe, mud has a lot of properties that can positively impact the body in both - health and sickness. According to the Ministry of Ayush, there are many benefits of using this element.
One of them being that mud retains moisture for a long time and when applied to the body it has a cooling effect. Among some of the medical benefits of mud, therapy is that it relieves indigestion and helps in decreasing intestinal heat (when applied to the abdomen area). The Ministry of Ayush also suggests that a thick mud pack applied on the head can relieve headaches, almost immediately.
While mud from various locations can have a variety of benefits, the one used by Urvashi Rautela is red mud of a Balearic beach which is popularly known for exfoliating the skin, helping in better circulation, while giving an even tone to the body. Some of the other benefits include detoxification of the skin, which makes it softer and smoother, relieving of stress and is calming for the eyes. Although, people with dry or combination skin need to be careful during the process, since mud, by nature purifies and detoxifies it can also be drying. But, hey, the upside is that it is cheap and easily available!
Bottom line is that a good spa-worthy mud therapy could help you rejuvenate your skin as well as relieve simple ailments.