Dr. I. Machtey (1) studied the influences of Dead Sea Bath Salts on
rheumatic patients suffering from osteoarthritis or a localized type of
tendiritis. 103 patients were treated for one or two weeks with daily Dead
Sea Bath Salts in a sanatorium located about 400 meters above sea level. The
patients were randomly assigned to one of three types of baths (three sub
1. Bath treatment with a Dead Sea salt concentration of 7.50%
2. Baths with a 2% salt concentration.
3. Baths with a 0.50% salt concentration.
One week of proper treatment: resulted in impressive improvement in all
parameters in patients receiving 7.5% and 2% bath salt concentration, but
little or no improvement was noted in those treated with 0.5% salt
concentrations. The greater the physical limitations, the more pronounced
was the improvement.
Sixty-six patients received two weeks treatment. An additional, slight
improvement was noted in patients treated with 7.5%. or 2% salt
concentration, and those having only 0.5% salt baths improved relatively
more as compared with the results after the first week of treatment. However
most of the results in the 0.5% group were less impressive than those in the
Over 80% of all the patients reported having less pain, 70% said their
mobility improved, and about 60% were able to decrease their use of
analgesics. Dr. Machtey concludes his study by stating that “There is little
doubt that the Dead Sea treatment in those who benefit from it can be
extended and repeated at home using a 2% bath solution, which is both
economical and readily available”.
A similar study was carried out by Dr. P. Engel (2) from the sanatorium
clinic in the City of Mayenbad, Bad Waldsee, in Germany. The study was
performed with 60 patients whose rheumatic discomfort could not be
substantially reduced by the customary Balneotherapy of their clinic. The
baths with Dead Sea Salts were then prescribed in lieu of additional
medicinal therapy. Each patient was treated for a duration of 4 weeks, with
three baths per week. Salt concentration was 2.5%, duration of bath 20
minutes, temperature of water 37 °C. Parameters examined included: Pain at
rest, spontaneous pain, kinesalgia, pain on pressure and reduced mobility.
A summary of the results shows that in 76.2% of the cases, very good
therapeutic results were obtained, 10.2% responded moderately well and only
13.6% no success was noted.
Dr. J. Arndt. From Germany (3) made a study of the effect of Dead Sea Bath
Salts on patients suffering from psoriasis. Fifty patients, aged between 14
and 77 years were treated with the salts in a controlled way. Treatment
consisted of partial or total baths. For a total bath, 2 Kgs (4.5lbs) of the
salts were dissolved in a bath at a temperature of 27°C. The partial baths
were made with a concentration of about 10%. The baths lasted for 20 minutes
and afterwards the skin was thoroughly rinsed with running water. The effect
is enhanced when the patient remains in a warm packed condition for one hour
after the bath.
The treatment lasted for 3 weeks, with 3-4 baths per week. The results show
that most symptoms of the illness diminished within one week of treatment,
notably itch, scaling joint complaints, and the falling asleep and sleep
through difficulties. Other parameters such as spread, redness and
infiltration decreased somewhat more slowly. Improvement was steady - the
four week treatment left the patients essentially free from complaints.
Dr. Arndt points out that of particular importance from the patient’s point
of view is the rapid relief from such irritating a symptom as itching. There
is a corresponding relief from sleeping disturbances, which were rather
wide-spread prior to treatment. The drastic decrease in scaling within one
week can be interpreted by physician and patient alike as a further proof of
the course outlined above:
Healing was total in 27 patients (54%), whereas in 22
cases there was a marked impressive improvement. Tolerance was excellent in
all 50 cases. There were no side effects whatsoever, dermatological or
(I). “Dead Sea Balneotherapy in Osteoarthritis”, Dr. Machtey ( Hasharon
Hospital, Petach-Tikva, Israel). Published in “Proceedings of International
Seminar on Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases”. John Wright \ PSG Inc. (1932).
(2). "On the Therapy of Rheumatic Illnesses with Medical Bathing Salts from
the Dead Sea", Dr. Paul Engel (Sanatorium Clinic of the City of Mayenbad,
Bad Walsee, FRG). Published in Acta Medica Empirica, 31, 374 (April 1982).
(3). "Salt from the Promised Land Help Psoriasis Patients" Dr. J. Arndt,
Published in Arztliche Praxis, Vol 34, No. 48 1920. Republished 6/15/82.
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