First blog post

This is the post excerpt.


This blog is maintained by Danú Ishka a trading name for Irish Peat baths and foot spas.

Discovering the feel good factor derived from bathing in natural springs or researching the many elements that the earth provides from deep within can be life changing. If you have chronic pain or just want relief from aches caused by work or sport then you should consider therapeutic baths. Research has shown how it benefits in cases of PMS, lumbago, sciatica, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, trauma, strains, sprains, fractures, sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, metabolic disorders, obesity, gynaecological disorders, orthopaedic or neurological disorders, eczema, colds, flu, stress and general detoxification.
In Ireland we don’t have natural springs.  Instead we have sources of peat that are thousands of years old and contain many of the natural elements suited to ease the symptoms of the ailments listed above.
Currently the spa industry here have a growing list of venues around the country offering balneotherapy services especially in peat and seaweed.  Google it to see if there is one near you.
If you work in this area or have experienced peat bathing then please let us know about it.  Later I will be adding to this blog with the purpose of providing more information on balneotherapy and peat.
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Rare and Wonderful and Irish

Peatlands in the world amount to only 3% of the land coverage which is about 3 million square miles. It is concentrated in the northern hemisphere where Canada and Russia between them have almost 70% of the world’s peat. A small country like Ireland may not significantly add to the world’s coverage but in terms of concentration, peatlands cover 16.2% of this island, which is exceeded only by Canada, Indonesia and Finland. We refer to this land as bogs but in other countries they may be called mires, moors or muskegs. They are unique in the world and can be compared to the rainforests in a number of remote regions.

There are two types of bog in Ireland 1) Raised bogs which are found in the midlands and 2) Blanket bogs which are found mainly along the counties on the Wild Atlantic Way, most developed in Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. These blanket bogs are globally the rarest of all and Ireland possesses 8% of the world’s total. They are generally found in wet or upland areas and their depth is usually 2 to 3 metres. The bog grows, but only at a millimetre per year, so 2 metres can take around 2000 years. Peat used in Balneotherapy should be mined from the deepest level in these bogs.

To be continued…….

Paracelsus and Hippocrates

Disclaimer: The therapeutic suggestions in this blog are for educational purposes only, and are not meant to diagnose or treat any disease.

Paracelsus was a Swiss German physician, chemist, botanist, alchemist, astrologer and general occultist who is famous for his rebellion against the conservative medical orthodoxy of his day, as well as for his bold, new ideas in medicine. During his life, he garnered a lot of fame for his cures and medical advances, which made him not only highly sought after as a physician and healer, but a controversial figure around whom many fantastic stories and legends accrued. He is also widely held to be the father of chemical medicine, or chemotherapy, in Europe, as well as the science of toxicology. His ideas were also important to the founding of homeopathy as well.

Toxicology is a branch of knowledge dealing with the scientific study of the characteristics and effects of poisons on living organisms. Paracelsus is considered to be the ‘father’ of this discipline.

He described peat as the “Quinta Essentia Vitae” (the quintessence of life), because he considered peat to be the ultimate remedy or elixir of life. Numerous clinical studies on peat therapy have since been carried out. Today, based on the results of these studies, thousands of doctors all over the world use and endorse peat treatments for various ailments.

He also emphasised cleanliness and antiseptics in surgery, telling his students that if the surgeon only takes care to keep a wound from getting infected, Nature will take care of the rest, and heal the wound.

Paracelsus believed in planetary and alchemical correspondences for every organ and function of the human body, and maintained that a state of health and wellbeing was the result of a harmony between the microcosm of the human body and the macrocosm of Nature and the universe.

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was also the father of hydrotherapy and balneotherapy. He was very much interested in the therapeutic properties of various waters, which he saw were either rain fed, as in lakes or marshes, or from subterranean aquifers, as in mineral springs that come bubbling out of the rocks. He theorised that their differing curative properties came from their differing contents of various minerals, like iron, copper, silver, gold or sulfur.

Within the Hippocratic writings, is the remarkable classic Airs, Waters and Places. Not only did it concern itself with the curative effects of various mineral waters, but also with the therapeutic properties of the airs and microclimates of various locales. This kind of holistic thinking has permeated the field of balneotherapy in the European spa resorts to this day: the central attraction is the mineral waters and their curative properties, but also important is climatotherapy – the therapeutic properties of the locality and its microclimate.

Therapeutic bathing is an ancient art and probably the oldest of medical procedures. Hippocrates wrote on the application of therapeutic bath and how it soothed pain in the side, improved respiration, soothed the joints and skin, was diuretic, and removed heaviness of the head.


Is peat good for my skin

Medical evidence shows that peat is both anti-inflammatory and astringent. This means it is particularly useful for detoxification, in treating skin disorders such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. Peat contains many chemical constituents that can interact with organic and inorganic compounds in our skin. In bath treatments, peat water possesses astringent and antiseptic properties, and is a very useful application in many forms of skin disease.

Its rejuvenating effects are attributed to the presence of essential oils, fatty acids and lipoids. These penetrate the skin and correct its pH balance. The application of peat on the skin stimulates blood circulation, which can be observed by the red colour of the skin after washing the treated skin.

Due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory effect, humic substances are useful supplements in the topical treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. It has an anti-aging effect as it smoothens, tightens and rejuvenates the skin. It also has a positive effect on burns, stretch marks and cellulitis.

The treatment cleanses the body from toxins. In balneotherapy treatments strong perspiration occurs. The body absorbs all the valuable substances from the peat, but at the same time the sweat, exfoliated epithelium, bacteria and other elements are excreted from the skin. The skin is cleansed, this process has been referred to as a form of skin dialysis.

Peat helps to oxygenate the deep layers of the skin and activate blood circulation. Moreover, its application helps to revitalize, nourish and hydrate the skin.

Symptoms of acne can be alleviated by peat therapy. Treatment has succeeded in softening the skin, removing the impurities and repairing the damage, and in some cases, the skin colour changes have been reduced. The causes of acne can also be reduced as peat baths remove metabolic waste products from the body.

Peat can be used to remove the thickened, peeling layer on the surface of the skin in psoriasis cases. After few treatments the colour of the skin will even out and the irritation diminishes.

A lot of health spas today use peat as a skin treatment and many supply peat in the form of facemasks with excellent results.  Others use the peat, not for beauty but for comfort.  Bathing your feet in peat rids them of impurities and softens the skin.

Some practitioners claim that it rebuilds your skin, making it thicker and more dense, even decreasing wrinkles, literally decreasing their depth, thereby actually smoothing the skin.

Peat contains natural acids and nutrients plus it opens the skin pores allowing nutrients in and it actively draws out lactic acid and metabolic wastes from tissues.

To be continued…..


A Peloid

Peloid is mud, or clay used therapeutically, as part of balneotherapy. Peloids consist of humus and minerals formed over many years. Peloidotherapy involves dissolved and highly mineralised, purified therapeutic mud/peat/clay in water and applying to the body as a thermal therapy. It is rich in decomposed plants. It is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter that in Ireland can only be found in natural areas called bogs. The peatland ecosystem is the most efficient carbon sink on the planet, because peatland plants capture CO2 naturally released from the peat. It takes thousands of years for peatlands to develop the deposits of 1.5 to 2.3 metres which is the average depth of Irish bogs.

I quote Naturopathic Doctor Sussanna Czeranko “Peat can be said to be a living pharmacy derived from hundreds of plants” The microorganisms in a peat bog essentially transform vegetation into organic, biologically active constituents. Wolfgang Paul, a researcher who spent decades studying the therapeutic benefits of peloids, remarked that “soil microbes are necessary for the entire formation of all living beings” The abundance of microorganisms in the soil parallels the proliferation and function of gut flora found in the intestines, similar to microorganisms in the peat bog.

The effect of the hot peat is extremely relaxing to the muscles, and helps strengthen the immune processes within the body. It is used for locomotive system disorders, gynaecological disorders and respiratory tract disorders.

To be continued…..


What is peat anyway

The most important substances in peat and the reason it is so good for our bodies are humic substances. Bodies buried in bogs have been discovered in unbelievably good condition. A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. After 1000’s of years they are still partially preserved. Bog bodies have retained their skin and internal organs due to the peat.

Peat is a carbon-rich substance that contains an abundance of minerals, trace elements, organic compounds, enzymes and other beneficial materials. The following is the result of our last laboratory analysis on Danú Ishka peat:

pH                                          pH Unit                 5.0

Calcium                               Mg/Kg                  120

Magnesium                        Mg/Kg                  324

Potassium                           Mg/Kg                  140

Sodium                                Mg/Kg                  631

Sulfate                                  Mg/Kg So4          293

Chloride                               Mg/Kg                  42

Copper                                 Mg/Kg                  8.6

Iron                                      Mg/Kg                 1411

Manganese                         Mg/Kg                  5.8

Zinc                                      Mg/Kg                  <0.5

Dry Matter                          Mg/Kg                  11.1

To be continued……