Mud... humans have always had a love/hate relationship with it. The next time you step in a squishy puddle, try to celebrate its beauty instead of grumbling about the inconvenience. Still not convinced?
Here are 10 beautiful things mud can do for you.
10. Homes and Buildings
For centuries people around the world have depended on mud to create incredibly insulated and earth-friendly homes and buildings. Adobe (the Spanish word for mud bricks) is still a very popular building material that has been seamlessly incorporated into modern architecture in the southwestern United States. Some of the finest and most sought-after accommodations in the world, in fact, are made of mud -- for instance, the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This historic pueblo-style building is an architectural masterpiece with elegant rooms and all the amenities you might want, housed in a building made of local mud.
9. Pottery, Ceramics and Earthenware
The next time you enjoy that mug of coffee or sip a fine cup of tea, remind yourself that you're most likely partaking from a vessel made of mineral-rich mud. Muds and clays compose the majority of ceramics on the market today. Ceramics and pottery have been a mainstay of human existence for thousands of years, though, with the Czech Republic's Venus of Dolni Vestonice figurine dating back 126,000 years. The steamy, muddy pottery scene from the film Ghost had people flocking to their local studios to try and capture the intrigue. Interested in getting your hands dirty? Spend a week or two in Italy and learn the basics while enjoying the beauty of Tuscany.
People the world over have been using mud and its components in makeup, well.. forever. Warpaint. Ritual markings. Enhancement and beautification. The last decade or so has seen the evolution of mineral makeup and for good reason. Reaping the benefits of mineral-rich mud from all over the world, these products are giving you the option of wearing makeup that is not only beautiful and natural-looking, but better for your skin. Many of these formulations contain minerals derived from Dead Sea mud, the most nutrient-rich of them all.
7. Tiles and Grouts
Did you realize that the elements of your home are made from mud? Obviously, most homes boast at least a small amount of tile work -- another of those ancient materials that has survived the ages. Even the grout between these tiles is made up of clay components. Others include the adhesives holding your windows in place and filling gaps to keep the cold at bay and the drywall covering your home's frame. Many different components of mud make up the everyday products we depend on to keep us warm, safe and secure in our abodes. Check out these incredible mosaics found in an unearthed monastery in Israel.
6. Fine Art
Yusuke Asai of Japan may just be the most original painter in the world. Using mud as his medium, he "paints" incredible murals using the earth's clays and muds to create his masterpieces. Originally studying ceramics, Asai is no stranger to the wonders of mud when turned loose using this most unusual of mediums.
Mud Art in Action
5. Treat Osteoarthritis
Despite the huge number of pharmaceuticals on the market, many people still swear by and will use only the naturally-soothing properties of muds to ease their aching joints. When made into a paste and applied to the afflicted areas, mud can reduce swelling and inflammation, the two most uncomfortable symptoms of osteoarthritis. It's been found that muds high in minerals, such as those found in elemental Dead Sea mud, are of the most benefit to arthritis sufferers. Slather on a thick coat over affected joints and start to notice the pain melting away.
4. Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
If you're a psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis sufferer, you know how utterly miserable these conditions can make you feel, both inside and out. To this day, one of the most effective treatments for psoriasis symptoms is mineral-rich mud masks and baths. Slathering a high-quality mud onto affected areas can alleviate itching, burning and redness. The best part is that this is a drug-free method of helping to treat the symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis -- it has even been found by studies to be as efficient, if not more so, than using conventional drug therapy.
3. Mud Supplements
Mud doesn't just have to be for the outside! For decades, people have recognized the cleansing benefits of bentonite clay and ionic minerals, such as those found in Dead Sea mud. Mud benefits the inside as well as the outside! Many great options are available; be sure to talk with your doctor prior to starting any supplement to ensure it's the right move for you and your health.
Natural Layers of Dead Sea Mud
2. Facial Treatments
The next best thing to a full-body mud mask is a facial mask. As one of the most popular (and rightly so!) facial treatments, the mud mask has been used since ancient times. It is one of the most effective means of cleansing, purifying and revitalizing the skin of the face and neck. Mud comes from many different locations around the world, offering many different characteristics - the mud from the Dead Sea region gives you that mix of naturally beautifying and soothing your skin. This is due to its incredibly concentrated minerals and the way they work synergistically on the human body. Slather one on and feel the mineral-rich mud feeding your skin and cleansing your being.
1. Mud Bath
Unrivaled by any other mud treatment out there, the most sought-after fully-body mud mask in the world gets its benefits from the minerals of the Dead Sea. Hundreds of nature's compounds combine to create a soothing, purifying and regenerating experience. So many people seek this treatment, that Dead Sea mud is frequently shipped around the world to spas and health resorts for those who want the Dead Sea experience in their own locale.
There's a new mud-mania out there, and the chance to reconnect with this beautiful earth element awaits you. Are you going to dig in?
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