The island of Ischia is famous for thermalism. Its miraculous waters for health are used to cure the most disparate illnesses, especially osteo-articular, muscular and respiratory ones.
The island’s thermal waters have been known since ancient times and are already recognised by the naturalist Pliny and the geographer Strabone. One of the first scientists to wrote the scientific treatises about Ischia was Giovanni Elisio, with his “Succinta instauratio de balneis”. But Giulio Jasolino, a doctor from Calabria, was the first to give to Ischia its deserved and universal fame when, in 1588, he published a treaty entitled ‘Natural remedies that you can find on the island of Pithecusa, today called Ischia’.
The island has about 100 small basins distributed and presented throughout the island; many of them are used in Medical Hydrology. From the topographic point of view, hydromineral resources can be subdivided according to the commune where they belong. There are 33 basins in Casamicciola; 22 in Ischia Porto; 14 in Lacco Ameno; 12 in Forio;10 in Serrara Fontana and 8 in Barano.
The scientific character
The waters of Nitrodi and Buceto have favorable effects gastrointestinal motility and secretion and intencify the action of digestive enzymes. They also stimulate the smooth muscle of the digestive system and are limited to gastric emptying, bile ejection in duodenal and duodenal mixing. The alkaline-bicarbonate, bicarbonate-sulphate, bicarbonate-alkaline-sulphate are used in therapies especially in cosmetic muds, inhaler treatments and gynecological treartments.
The effects that the waters have on the mucous membranes of the female genital apparatus must be also taken into account. They increase the local pH strengthening antibacterial activity of woman’s body. There are also positive effects of water on the respiratory system, anti-spasm, sedative effects and on the activation of gas exchange. In the local therapeutic practices exercised on Ischia the radioactive component is used in the inhalation, gynecological and balneotherapy treatments of degenerative rheumatoid arthritis with the involvement of the muscles and of the peripheral nerves.
Mud therapy in Ischia
The clay in Ischia, a 3 thousand years old biopharmaceutical product
The island’s clay comes from pyroclastics and cinerites of different volcanic origins and it is rich in incredible therapeutic qualities intensified by radioactive elements (radon) that give to this incredible product of nature a curative uniqueness confirmed by scientific studies and researches. Dried in the sun the clay is kept in terracotta pots in the way it could be used in different ways by preparing cataplasms, mixture of water and clay with olive oil, useful for headaches, neuralgia, in case of fever and otitis. Clay and herbal solutions were useful in case of tonsillitis, pharyngitis and all infections of the upper respiratory tract. The finely powdered clay mixed with essential oils and medicinal herbs has rejuvenating effect on the face with evident regenerating and moisturizing effect.
The mud is evenly distributed on the skin surface of the region or regions to be treated with a thickness of about 3-10 cm at a 45-50 degrees temperature. The duration of each application is 15-20 minutes. There are different types of application of the mug depending on the area of the body surface. Biological and therapeutic effects of the Ischia mug therapy are anti-inflammatory and analgesic.