After a sulfur bath you are as fresh.According toWolfgang Brueckle, the chief physician of a German rheumatism clinic, bathing in such water causes the muscles throughout the entire body to relax. This makes the body’s connective tissue become more flexible.
Sulfur is a mineral found near hot springs and volcanic craters. It has a "rotten egg" smell, of sulfur dioxide gas escaping into the air. As a supplement, sulfur is available in two forms -- dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). About 15% of DMSO breaks down into MSM in the body. Both have been touted as treatments for pain.
MSM occurs naturally in some plants (such as horsetail), fruits and vegetables, some grains, and milk. The supplement combines DMSO with hydrogen peroxide. MSM is important in joint health and helps form connective tissue (cartilage, tendons, and ligaments). It may also slow the nerve impulses that transmit pain signals, reducing pain.
Sulfur-containing mud baths (often called balneotherapy) can treat skin disorders and arthritis. Balneotherapy is the oldest forms of pain relief for people with arthritis. The term "balneo" comes from the Latin word for bath (balneum) and refers to soaking in thermal or mineral waters. Some people claim these baths are useful for allergies and respiratory disorders, but there is no scientific evidence for these uses. People also apply sulfur products topically to treat acne and other skin conditions. Many (but not all) studies suggest there may be a connection between sulfur gases in the environment and the rise in allergy and respiratory illnesses, particularly asthma.
Sulfur baths, and other forms of sulfur applied to the skin, seem to benefit psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, folliculitis (infected hair follicles), warts, and pityriasis versicolor (a chronic skin disorder characterized by patches of skin that differ in color from the usual skin tone).
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- Balneotherapy -- Well-designed studies, primarily conducted in Israel, suggest that balneotherapy (including sulfur baths with or without mud packs or soaks in the Dead Sea) can help treat several different kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis. People who took sulfur baths and other spa therapies improved strength, decreased morning stiffness, had better walking ability, and decreased inflammation, swelling, and pain in joints, particularly in the neck and back. Mud packs and Dead Sea salts dissolved in a regular bath tub also improved symptoms of arthritis, but not as effectively as the Dead Sea itself.