Geotherapy or lodotherapy . It is the use of the earth for medicinal purposes, it is a very old therapy, but effective due to the mineral and organic properties that mud has. Therapeutic muds or peloids are natural formations that consist of water, mineral and organic substances, homogeneous, dispersed phenomena with a consistency similar to ointments and with a content of therapeutically active substances and living microorganisms.


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  • 1 Classification
    • 1 Peat mud
    • 2 Suprapeloids
    • 3 Sulfurous muddy sludge
    • 4 Creamy sludge
    • 5 Procedures for the application of peloids
  • 2 Application methods
    • 1 Application according to heating temperature
    • 2 Procedure for its application
    • 3 Cavital lodotherapy (rectal or vaginal plugs)
  • 3 Reactions or clinical manifestations
  • 4 Indications for lodotherapy
  • 5 Contraindications for lodotherapy
  • 6 Sources


Peat mud

It is made up of decomposed residues that arise with the disappearance of vegetation due to the action of microorganisms in conditions of insufficient oxygen and excess humidity. Its main balneological value is the degree of decomposition of the peat, which is given by the amount of decomposed and non-decomposed waste. Peat whose degree of decomposition is not less than 40% can be used for therapeutic purposes. The sludge contains organic substances in more than 50%.


It is the silt of freshwater reservoirs, which is formed as a result of the decomposition of the flora and fauna of these reservoirs, due to the influence of microbial activity rich in organic substances (greater than 10%).

Sulphurous muddy sludge

It is the silt of salt water reservoirs that are formed as a result of the decomposition of flora and fauna by microorganisms and that contain hydrogen sulfide and ferrous sulfide; its importance is the content of sulfides. The muds are divided according to the content of sulfides (%) and by the magnitude of the mineralization of the mud solution (g / L).

Creamy sludge

They are formed as a result of the emergence on the surface, by the pressure of gases, hydrocarbons and water of a crushed clay material in the form of a dilute mass. In these muds there are very few organic substances and a high concentration of micro elements of iron, bromine, etc. for therapeutic purposes. Biologically active organic substances such as female genital hormones ( Folliculin kinestol ) and biochemical stimulators have also been found in the sludge .

The mud has elasticity, viscosity, adhesiveness, moisture, and moisture absorption capacity. It has thermo conductivity, allowing the passage of heat. This is higher in muddy muds. It has thermal retention capacity. Their quality is determined by the pH and they can be acidic or alkaline.

With this short summary we want to give a very general idea of ​​the characteristics of the peloids. They are an alternative in the treatment of many pathologies.

Procedures for the application of peloids

  • The curative mud is heated to the required temperature.
  • It blends well with a spatula or brush.
  • A layer of a thickness no greater than 4 cm is placed, it can be up to 5 or 6 cm on the required region.
  • The patient is covered with a canvas (rubber) sheet or a woolen blanket to prevent loss of moisture and temperature.
  • The surface of the mud application can vary: it can be local or general except for the head.

Application methods

  • Local application. The healing mud is placed directly over the region of the pathological focus.
  • Parafocal method: It is used to avoid the exacerbation of the pathological process, the mud is not placed on the area of ​​the focus, but on a sector of the body located close to it.
  • Segmental reflex: The application of the mud is not done on the projection region of the spinal cord segments . Otherwise, they constitute “horns of the mud”. Examples: for the brain, the application is made on the VII dorsal vertebra; to act on the stomach, liver and gallbladder; it is applied on the dorsal vertebra X and the lumbar vertebra III to act on the large intestine, etc.
  • Segmental method in combination on the pathological focus: according to the type of sympathetic effect, the mud is placed on the region of the body symmetrical to the injured region. Examples: for neuritis of the facial nerve, it is placed on the symmetrical half of the face; for the consequences of fractures and trauma, it is placed on the symmetrical leg.

Application according to heating temperature

According to the heating temperatures, the sludge is classified as follows:

  • High temperature: 46 to 50 ° C
  • Moderate temperature: 42 to 44 ° C
  • Lightened character: 38 to 40 ° C
  • Cool: 34 to 36 ° C
  • Cold: less than 34 ° C

When the temperature of the mud is 46 to 50 ° C, the treatment time does not exceed 10 min. But, at the temperature of 40 to 42 ° C the time is 15 to 20 min. For the healing of sympathalgia, frostbite, infested wounds, phantom pain, the mud can be left up to 12 hours or more.

In high intensity iodotherapy, applications are indicated 2 or 3 consecutive days with 1 day off, with an application of 15 to 18 treatments. In medium intensity lodotherapy, treatments are indicated on alternate days, with a continuity of 12 to 14 sessions in the course. In low intensity lodotherapy, treatments are indicated every 3 days; in total 8 to 10 treatments. Once the treatment is finished, the patient should be shower with water at a temperature of 36 to 37 ° C.

After this a 30 min break is required. The patient must be protected from temperature changes. Mud poultices or gauze bags filled with mud may also be used.

Procedure for its application

  • The mud is heated to the temperature of 45 to 55 ° C.
  • Prepare a 2-5 kg ​​compress or mud cake.
  • The mud is wrapped with gauze or cotton cloth and placed over the body region.
  • It is then covered with rubber and held for 15 to 30 min.

Cavital lodotherapy (rectal or vaginal plugs)

Cavity mud must be thoroughly purified of impurities. The procedure to apply it is:

  • Using a specially designed syringe, the hot mud is introduced into the vagina. This procedure is not used in Cuban therapy.
  • The temperature should not exceed 45 ° C and 250 to 350 g of cavity mud.
  • For rectal plugs it is up to 44 ° C.
  • The duration time is 30 to 45 min.
  • The treatment is carried out from 14 to 18 sessions.

There are other treatments such as: electrotherapy (combination of mud treatments with different types of electric current), galvanotherapy, dynamolodotherapy, mud phonophoresis, mud solution and medicinal mud preparations. There are parenteral preparations that are made with fractions of humic acids from the healing mud of the sea; in physiological solution is used intramuscularly. Another form of preparation is sublingually, as well as the oral use of mud pills, although it is little used in Cuba.

Clinical reactions or manifestations

In the treatment with lodotherapy some balneological reactions may appear, which are classified as: Vegetative neurasthenic reactions:

  • Insomnia, drowsiness, high arousal, rapid fatigue, weakness, etc.
  • Vegetative vascular reactions: Variation in blood pressure, unstable pulse, palpitations, headaches, diarrhea and chest pain.

Indications for lodotherapy

  • Diseases of the locomotor system: Arthritis, periarthritis of a traumatic, infectious nature, brucellosis and dystrophic in chronic phase; rheumatoid polyarthritis, rheumatism (joint form); never before 8 to 9 months have elapsed from the exacerbation; diseases of the spine and joints, spondyloarthritis in the chronic phase; Besterf diseases with a minimal degree of process activity; traumatic injuries to the bones, muscles and ligaments; slow or delayed healing fractures, ostitis, periostitis, myosis, fibromyositis, bursitis, tenovaginitis, contractures of different etiologies, osteomyelitis without evidence of activity of the inflammatory process, trophic ulcers and wounds that took a long time to heal.
  • Diseases and consequences of traumas of the central nervous system: Infectious diseases of the central nervous system, meningoencephalitis, encephalitis, poliomyelitis (after passing the acute process); consequences of injuries and other trauma to the spinal cord and its membranes; consequences of hemorrhages of the spinal cord (hemoctomelia), after 2 months of trauma; consequences of brain trauma in the absence of epileptic seizures and psychic disorders.
  • Diseases and consequences of traumas of the peripheral nervous system: Primary (infectious toxic) radiculitis, osteocondosis, operations of the vertebral discs, paliradiculoneuritis; neuritis of an infectious, allergic and toxic nature.
  • Diseases of the female genital organs: Inflammatory disease of the uterus and its annexes, erosions of the cervix, sterility in the phase of inflammatory diseases of the ovaries and functional insufficiency of the ovaries.
  • Diseases of the male genital organs: Prostatitis, epidermitis, architis and chronic vesiculitis (seminal vesicles).
  • Diseases of the digestive organs: Ulcerative disease of the stomach and duodenum, duodenitis, chronic gastritis, colitis, hepatitis, cholecystitis and inflammation of the bile ducts.
  • ENT diseases: Chronic atrophic and subatrophic processes in the nasoglottis, chronic diseases of the perinasal sinuses, chronic tonsillitis and chronic and inflammatory diseases of the ear.
  • Ophthalmological diseases: Neurogenic keratitis, ulcers and leukoma of the cornea, traumatic lesions of the ocular membrane, atrophy of the ocular nerve, pigmentary degeneration of the retina, etc. The mud wrapped in gauze with a temperature of 37 to 42 ° C on the closed eyes, previously placing a gauze moistened with physiological saline is very effective.

Contraindications for lodotherapy

  • Inflammatory processes.
  • Malignant and benign tumors.
  • Diseases of the blood, hematolopoietic organs, hemorrhages and tendencies to them.
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis of any location.
  • Insufficiency of blood circulation of II to III degrees.
  • Stage II and III hypertensive diseases.
  • Overt forms of atherosclerosis.
  • Endocrine diseases and diseases of the metabolism of substances, obesity in stages III and IV, severe forms of teratoxicosis, myxedema and Diabetes mellitus (not decompensated and without serious alterations of the vessels, etc.).
  • Diseases of the kidneys and renal elimination pathways.
  • All periods of pregnancy.
  • Mental illnesses, including progressive paralysis and nacromanias.
  • Severe forms of neurosis.
  • Liver cirrhosis.
  • All forms of jaundice in the acute state.
  • Polyarthritris with progressive development, with severe ankylosing deformations.
  • Osteomyelitis with the existence of a large sequestration of a large foreign or metallic body in the focus.


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