The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth. This ‘salt lake’, situated between Jordan and Israel, is actually more salty than the ocean, fluctuating at around 31% salinity compared to 3% in normal seawater. People have harnessed the deep healing powers of the Dead Sea since the beginning of time. Indeed, in ancient scriptures dating back more than 2000 years, the scholar Flavius was celebrating how the salts from the Dead Sea could heal and restore the human body.
Unlike the salt in normal seawater, the waters of the Dead Sea contain a much lower percentage of sodium chloride and a far higher proportion of bromides. Altogether, the salt balance in the Dead Sea is made up of magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, and bromides. It is due to this unique blend of minerals that the Dead Sea salt has such renowned healing powers.
What are the Benefits of Dead Sea Salts?
The benefits of these powerful salts come from different minerals. Calcium is well known for strengthening bones and warding off osteoporosis and is excellent at combating water retention. Magnesium too is proven to have a positive effect on water retention and has been used for combating stress for many years.
Magnesium also has anti-aging properties and can calm the nervous system. Potassium is excellent for restoring fluid balance and energizing, both externally in the skin and internally as it replenishes muscles after exercise. Bromide too is incredibly effective at easing muscle stiffness. In all, the unique blend of minerals contained in Dead Sea Salts can be marvelously effective at replenishing our systems inside and out.
Dead Sea minerals absorbed while soaking can be effective in treating a range of conditions. These include:
Common Skin Conditions
From acne to psoriasis, many common skin disorders have been proven to be improved by soaking in water with added Dead Sea Salt. In one study, Dr. J. Arndt looked at the effect of Dead Sea salt baths on psoriasis on 50 patients over the course of a 3-4 week treatment schedule involving 3 or 4 baths a week.
In as little as one week, many patients treated with a 10% salt concentration in their baths experienced significant relief from itching, a decrease in sleep disturbances, and less skin scaling. It has been concluded that the high levels of magnesium in Dead Sea salt are the root of its effectiveness in improving skin hydration and reducing inflammation.
Dead Sea Salts have been shown time and time again to have a positive healing effect on conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis when absorbed while soaking. In a study of 103 patients suffering from osteoarthritis and tendinitis, Dr. I Macherty observed a marked improvement after as little as one week of treatment for those treated with 7.5% or 2% Dead Sea salt baths. This improvement continued until the end of the study, by which point 80% of the patients reported less pain; 70% experienced improved mobility and 60% were able to decrease their use of analgesics.
Harnessing Dead Sea Power
While most of us are unable to jet off to the Middle East to bathe in the healing waters of the Dead Sea, the healing power of the mineral salts has been harnessed by a number of companies offering therapeutic and cosmetic compounds containing the Salts. It may not be quite the same as bathing in the majestic salt lake itself, but it could do wonders for your body, inside and out!