Peat – black gold

A natural beauty product and panacea for all ills, peat is one of earth’s greatest gifts, and a miraculous healer of pain, which finds extensive use at Polish health resorts.

 

Peat – black gold SPA

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The mysterious black substance looks a lot like earth. It is said to have healing qualities and  work wonders on muscle and joint pain. It was first used in Poland for healing purposes in 1858. As early as mid-19th century, people discovered the boons of peat and dubbed it “black gold”. But is the name merited? If yes, where in Poland may one indulge in this unusual treatment? 
Peat is a kind of peloid extracted, like lignite, at an open pit mine. Therefore, one can truly say that it comes form the Earth’s inside. It may be found in Middle-Eastern Europe, and it is formed by a decomposition of various plants growing on marsh areas. The composition of peat depends on where it was extracted. Its secret lies in its micro and macro-elements: silica, protein, acids and organic salts, which lend it its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and astringent qualities. Peat has also the particular ability to absorb and slowly give off heat and soak up water.

The treatment starts with heating the peat up to the temperature of 38 to 42 °C and applying it all over the patient’s body or a particular body part. It makes the blood vessels distend and the heat gets distributed evenly and penetrates deeply (as peat cools down slowly). SPAs offer peat treatments or peat-based massages which fight cellulite, model the figure and reinforce metabolism. Sanatoria and health centres also offer peat baths and inhalations of various applications.

At the moment there are around 30 health resorts in Poland specialising in these types of treatments. Usually a series of 10 to 20 treatments is recommended, which should be done everyday or every second day. Initially they take up to 10 minutes, and they are gradually prolonged up to half an hour. Peat is disposable, once used, it loses all its qualities and causes excessive sweating. The treatment must be carried out under constant supervision, as the patient's general state and the influence of peat on him or her has to be monitored. Initially, the ailments might become more acute, the patient might experience plethora or intensification of pain, however, it all passes after awhile.

A short-term outcome of peat treatment is anaesthesia, while a long-term treatment will alleviate the pain. For that reason, peat is used to treat or soothe pain in rheumatic diseases, i.e. joint deformations, Bechterew’s disease, or in various injuries. Black gold is also used in treating gynaecological problems or certain diseases of internal organs.

Due to the hormones produced during the treatment, peat cannot be used on pregnant or menstruating women and people suffering from hyperthyroidism or cancer. Age is also a factor – people undergoing treatment must be over 25. Peat is usually prescribed by a doctor, who chooses the kind of treatment suitable for a given patient. You should also first cure any tonsil, sinus or tooth inflammation you might be suffering from, as they may escalate during peat treatment.
Black gold or, as some would put it, black mud has many qualities and it is immensely popular at many a SPA. So, if you are planning a health and beauty getaway, look for a resort offering the wonders of peat.

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