For centuries people have been using the healing power of mud and clay to treat disorders like psoriasis, acne, depression and hair loss, among many others. The complex combination of salts and minerals in mud has always been known to draw toxins out of the body, boost the immune system, tone skin and relief joint pain. Additionally, being covered with, or even sleeping directly on, mud is considered to be very beneficial for a person’s psychological wellbeing, as this tends to have a calming effect. Many tribes throughout the world believe that the earth absorbs diseases and evils as it has given us birth and is trying to protect us. Consequently, being closer to it makes us healthier.

Today, it has been scientifically proven that clay and mud baths carry beneficial properties. There exists an entire sector within the beauty industry that offers mud/clay masks, body wraps, soaps, and baths. The tourist industry benefits from mud because each year thousands of people travel to different corners of the planet to seek the healing benefits of mud. Some of the most popular of such places are the Dead Sea in Israel, Baden-Baden in Germany, Calistoga in California and baths in Budapest, Hungary.

There are many, many other places, most of which are located much closer to you (wherever you are at the moment) than the ones mentioned here. Most of the time, mud used for any type of healing comes from natural hot springs, because this type of mud tends to have more minerals and enzymes beneficial to us. This type of mud is also offered in jars, packs, bottles and tubes for purchase by hundreds of retailers.

But you should know that you don’t have to necessarily pay anyone to receive the benefits of mud. Though hot springs’ mud is most popular because it is a mix of the naturally mineral water and volcanic ash, regular clay can be used as well. If you live in a large city, you should travel outside it, somewhere not very polluted, as earth, just like water and air, absorbs human emissions. Using just earth is not a good idea, because it won’t stick to your skin – it will dry and crumple down. So you have to find clay. Dig down just a few inches and collect as much clay as you think you need. Remember, it will keep well for several months, so stock up!

At home, use warm water to dilute the clay. Using mineral water is an option as well – it will infuse the clay with salts and minerals. You can then spread the clay mass over your face and/or body, remaining covered for 10-15 minutes. Doing this 1-2 times per week will give pleasant results.

If you don’t want to: get out of the city, find where there is clay, drive there, dig in the dirt, drive back, dilute the clay and then pretend like you are somewhere in Baden-Baden, you can simply order a variety of healing mud masks through Russian Shoppe. If you think it is expensive, just take a look – it’s actually cheaper than driving and digging!