Dead Sea Salt Studies

“Dead Sea Balneotherapy in Osteoarthritis”

Dr. I. Machtey studied the influences of Dead Sea Bath Salts on rheumatic patients suffering from osteoarthritis or a localized type of tendonitis. 103 patients were treated for one or two weeks with daily Dead Sea Bath Salts in a sanatorium located about 400 m. above sea level. The patients were randomly assigned to one of three types of baths (three sub groups):

  1. Bath treatment with a Dead Sea Bath Salts concentration of 7.5%
  2. Baths with a 2% salt concentration..
  3. Baths with a 0.5% salt concentration.

One week of 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 concentration. The greater the physical limitations, the more pronounced was the improvement.

Sixty-six patients received two weeks of 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 higher concentrations.

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 Bath Salts 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”.

“Dead Sea Balneotherapy in Osteoarthritis”, Dr. Machtey (Hasharon Hospital, Petach-Tikya, Isreal). ” Published in Proceedings of International Seminar on Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases”, John Wright, PSG Inc. (1982).


Dr. J. Arndt, from Germany 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 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 3-4 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 sleeping difficulties. Other parameters such as the 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 from the patients’ point of view, of particular importance is the rapid relief from such irritating symptoms as itching. There is corresponding relief from sleep disturbances, which were rather widespread prior to treatment. The drastic decrease in scaling within one week can be interpreted by physician and patient alike as further proof of the treatment 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 otherwise.

“Salt from the Promised Land Helps Psoriasis Patients”, Dr. J. Arndt, Published in Arztliche Praxis, vol. 34, No. 48, 1920,(15.6.1982).

“On the Therapy of Rheumatic Illness with Medical Bathing Salts from the Dead Sea”

Dr. P Engel from the sanatorium clinic of the city of Mayenbad, Bad Waldsee, in Germany performed a study with 60 patients whose rheumatic discomfort could not be substantially reduced by the customary balneotherapy of their clinic. Baths with Dead Sea Bath Salts were prescribed in lieu of additional medicinal therapy. Each patient was treated for a duration of four weeks, with 3 baths per week. Salt concentration was 2.5% (2 Kg per 801. bath), the duration of each bath was 20 minutes with a water temperature of 37 C. Parameters examined included: pain at rest, spontaneous pain, kinesalgia, pain on pressure and reduced mobility.

The summary of results showed the following:

  1. 76.2% of cases obtained very good therapeutic results
  2. 10.2% of cases responded moderately well
  3. 13.6% of cases noted no success

“On the Therapy of Rheumatic Illness with Medical Bathing Salts from the Dead Sea”, Dr. P. Engel (Sanatorium Clinic of the City of Mayenbad, Bad Waldsee, FRG). Published in Acta Medica Empirica, 31, 374 (April 1982).

Dry Skin Study

Magnesium salts, the prevalent mineral in Dead Sea water, are known to exhibit favorable effects in inflammatory diseases. The efficacy of bathing atopic subjects in a salt rich in magnesium chloride from deep layers of the Dead Sea was studied.

Volunteers with atopic dry skin submerged one forearm for 15 minutes in a bath solution containing 5% Dead Sea salt. The second arm was submerged in tap water as control. Before the study and at weeks 1–6, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin hydration, skin roughness, and skin redness were determined.

One subgroup had a normal, the other, an elevated TEWL before the study. Bathing in the Dead Sea salt solution significantly improved skin barrier function compared with the tap water-treated control forearm in the subgroup with elevated basal TEWL. Skin hydration was enhanced on the forearm treated with the Dead Sea salt in each group, which means the treatment moisturized the skin. Skin roughness and redness of the skin as a marker for inflammation were significantly reduced after bathing in the salt solution demonstrating that bathing in the salt solution was well tolerated, improved skin barrier function, enhanced stratum corneum hydration, and reduced skin roughness and inflammation.

Ehrhardt Proksch MDphD, Hans-Peter Nissen phD, Markus Bremgartner MD, Colin Urquhart phD (2005) Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. International Journal of Dermatology 44 (2), 151–157. – February 2005