Fact Check: Can mud bath cure diseases?-thip

Quick Take

A social media post claims that mud baths can cure a lot of diseases including headaches, wounds etc. We fact-checked and found that the claim is Half True. As per Naturopathy, an approved medical stream in India, there is written documentation about the benefits of mud baths. However, research-based evidence is few.

The Claim

A Twitter post reads, “Applying a #mud_bath on the whole body, even the biggest wound gets cured by the use of mud. Walking barefoot on the earth increases eyesight, digestion is strong

 Mud bath cures diseases like headache, swelling of the throat, cold, coldness of feet and head.”

Fact Check

Can mud bath cure diseases?

Maybe. Multiple research evidence shows that mud baths can be useful in managing osteoarthritis and knee pain. There is some evidence of mud therapy being useful in fibromyalgia, lower back pain and depression. Other than that, Vikaspedia, an online information guide by the Indian Government, explains that a thick mud pack applied during a headache can relieve pain immediately. It further notes that mud therapy can act as a ‘true bandage’ during any skin disease. However, Vikaspedia does not mention sources or back this up with any link to research evidence.

Can mud baths have side effects?

Yes. Mud therapy under unhygienic conditions can be harmful. The documented evidence favouring mud baths considers only clean mud therapies given under controlled conditions. The proponents of mud therapies take into consideration that deep-sea mud contains multiple minerals which can be beneficial to the skin and body. However, dirty, unclean mud applied to wounds can cause infection or further aggravate a skin condition.

Similarly, headaches can be symptoms of underlying diseases. Applying mud baths to relieve pain without investigating the actual cause can be dangerous.


Our Dermatology expert, Dr. Jyothy Kannangath states, “Based on some limited research, mud baths are not considered harmful for healthy people as long as your skin is intact, and you don’t ingest it. But if you have broken skin from an injury or any inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, for example, you may be at risk of developing an infection. Generally, volcanic ash doesn’t harbour bacteria or other pathogens and is hence considered safe. Try to avoid getting mud in your eyes, nose, ears or mouth and spas that do not change their mud regularly.”

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