Dead Sea

mapSince the ancient times, the medical healing properties of the Dead Sea have been well known. The Romans and the Jews have built on the banks of the Dead Sea bathhouses based on water and mud. Two thousand years ago the roman historian Flevius wrote that King Herod himself visited in the hot springs the area of the Dead Sea, where he found cure and tranquility. Beautiful Queen Cleopatra was well aware of the miraculous influence of the minerals on the human skin, and used the salts and mud from the Dead Sea to regain her youth.

The Dead Sea is a saline lake. Its dimensions are: 76 km length, up to 17 km width, 1,050 sq. km and 365 m depth. It is located 395 meters under the sea level and is the deepest point on the surface of the earth. It came to being under the influence of the tectonic activity that caused part of the land to sink and today it is a part of the Jordan Valley. It is located in the Syrian-African Rift Valley. Various types of rocks characterize the area of the Dead Sea, such as: rocks of the pre-Cambrian Period (mainly granite, volcanic rocks and acidic silicates), and in the southern area of the Dead Sea - rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic periods. The varied rock types indicate the uniqueness and richness of the mineral composition of the water in the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is the richest source of minerals and microelements that are in the water and the mineral mud. Over thousands of years thermo-mineral springs filled the Dead Sea. Under the heat of the sun, the water evaporated and minerals sunk and accumulated. That is the reason why the salts' concentration in the Dead Sea is 10 times higher than in other seas and oceans. Comparison between the chemical composition of the Dead Sea to other lakes and oceans show that the salt's concentration in the Dead Sea is 31.5% (from: "Some Geo-Chemical Aspects of the Dead Sea and its Age", 1991, Ya'akov Ben-Tur). The concentration of SO4 ions is very low, and the bromine ions' concentration is the highest of all waters on earth. Chlorides neutralize most of the calcium ions in the Dead Sea and its surroundings. While in other seas NaCl is 97%, in the Dead Sea the quantity of the NaCl is only 12-18 percent. The remaining part is composed of Potassium, Magnesium, Bromide and others. The water temperature goes from 19 degrees Celsius in February to 31 degrees Celsius in August.

In 1936, Dr. Vikinsky has discovered the bacteria in water samples which were taken 3-4 km from the mouth of the Jordan, from different depths (up to 7 m), and in general concentration of mineral - about 27%. The development of the microbiological and biological of the Dead Sea is linked to the activity of Mr. Benjamin Elazari-Volcani. In his doctorate ("Research of Micro-flora of the Dead Sea", the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1940), the micro-flora of the Dead Sea is described and identified for the first time. Except for bacteria concentration of 4-5 X 104 cells in milliliter water, A. Oren grew in 1983, in the water of the Dead Sea, a very small quantity of marine alga (Dunaliela) (4-6 cells in milliliter). Based on these data arch bacteria were added to the "Bacteria Diagnosis" guide (the term appears in B. Alberts, D. Bray, J. Lewis, M. Raff et al, "Molecular Biology of the Cell", Vol. 1. Mir Publishers, 1994). The arch bacteria are registered as Halo bacterium type according to the following groups:
- Halobacterium salinarium
- Halbacterium citirubrum
- Halbacterium nalobium
- Halbacterium marismortui
- Halbacterium trapanicum
The Dead Sea exists more than 5,000 years, but until today mankind did not discover even a small portion of its secrets.

Modern medical researches approve the fact that positive combination of the minerals and salts from the Dead Sea has healing properties for different diseases.
The water of the Dead Sea is effective in healing allergies, psoriasis, eczema and purulent rash. They also help in blood circulation and improvement of metabolism relaxes the nervous system, cleans the skin and improves its outer appearance and its elasticity. Gargling water in the mouth helps to heal rhinitis and laryngitis. Mineral mud from the Dead Sea heals wounds, enlivens the hair roots and eliminates seborreic dermatitis and dandruff. Mud spreading helps to straighten wrinkles and aging process of the skin retardant. Healing influences of the mud on migraines and headaches have been seen. Spreading mud on the joints and spines has healing influence for different diseases: arthritis, bone and cartilage inflammation, myelitis, neuritis, rheumatism, psychological stress, fatigue and sleeplessness.
There are many reasons for the unique medical properties of the Dead Sea; one of them is the unique climatic condition:
- 330 sunny days a year,
- Less than 50 mm mean annual rainfall,
- High barometric pressure. Low humidity, high evaporation together with high concentration of bromine salts in the air improve metabolism, open the bronchitis and blood vessels and normalize the nervous system activity. This combination of water rich with minerals, filtered sunbeams and dry air from the desert attract many people to the area.