The waters of the Dead Sea have been renowned for their therapeutic effects since ancient times. Two thousand years ago, Flavius wrote that the salts from the Dead Sea heal the human body.
The waters from the Dead Sea are unique in that they contain 27% of various salts as compared to 3% in normal sea water. Further, while sodium accounts for approximately 80% of the salt content of normal sea water, it comprises much less of the salt total in water from the Dead Sea. The balance of the salts in Dead Sea water are magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides.
Why are these types of salts beneficial? Magnesium is important for both combating stress and fluid retention, slowing skin aging and calming the nervous system. Calcium is effective at preventing water retention, increasing circulation and strengthening bones and nails. Potassium energizes the body, helps to balance skin moisture and is a crucial mineral to replenish following intense exercise. Bromides act to ease muscle stiffness and relax muscles. Sodium is important for the lymphatic fluid balance (this in turn is important for immune system function). So we can see that bathing in high quality sea salt could replenish the minerals which are critical to our skin metabolism.
The Dead Sea lies at the bottom of the Syrian - African Rift Valley, about 400 meters (1280 feet) below sea level. Known in Biblical times as the Eastern Sea, the Romans called it Mare Mortuum, the Israeli Geographic office called it The Sea of Salt. This remnant of the sea, which covered the area over two million years ago, is the lowest natural place on Earth. Its depth ranges from 1376 feet (430 meters) in the north to 32 feet (10 meters) in the south.
The waters of the Dead Sea are unique, having a total salt concentration that is 10 times higher than ocean water, reaching 33% versus 3%. But that's not all! The composition of the brines is also unique, comprising magnesium, potassium and calcium chlorides, in addition to a high concentration of bromides.
This extraordinary chemical composition has made the Dead Sea an ideal spot for people seeking relief from skin and rheumatic disorders, and an equally popular choice for vacationers seeking relaxation. In fact, these soothing miracle-working waters have a reputation that dates back over 2000 years when the Roman historian Flavius noted. "The Dead Sea cannot be praised too highly. travelers take this salt home because it heals the human body and is therefore used in many medicines."
The therapeutic effects of bathing in the Dead Sea were well known even in times of antiquity. Galenus, for instance, stated that this salt water was good for the treatment of Arthritis, Eczema, Muscular Pain, Rheumatism, Psoriasis, and also to Relieve Tension, Aid Relaxation, and develop Smooth Silky Skin. According to the book of Samuel, King Solomon presented the Queen of Sheba with Dead Sea salts upon her visit to the Holy Land. The Empress Cleopatra, who was an ardent user of Dead Sea beauty formulations, was actually given title to the entire region by Mark Anthony after he conquered it.
Today, the Dead Sea has taken on a new dimension: Modern science has proven the therapeutic and rejuvenating properties of its unique mineral content. The Dead Sea has become a renowned center for natural health and beauty treatments, with people coming from around the world to bath in its mineral-rich waters.