Torf Moor Mud
Les Moore, ND, MSOM, LAc.
Medical Hydrology and Geology Consulting
Clifton Springs Hospital
Clifton Springs, NY 14432

Torf Moor Mud, also known as Moor Peat, is a medical grade and therapy quality peat. It is an organic substance, a product of natural decomposition of a multitude of plants under special geological conditions. Moor Mud consists of organic residue of herbs, flowers, and grasses. With over one thousand herbs, over one hundred organic compounds, and a host of trace minerals, vitamins, sterols, phytohormones, and essential oils, Moor Mud is a potent healing compound and therapy. Over thousands of years this residue was transformed into a fine paste that easily dissolves in water. Moor Mud has an unusual concentration of bio-minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, plant hormones, and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easily absorbed by the human skin. It is a plant extract not just from one plant, but hundreds that reflect the environment of the earth thousands of years ago, without present day pollution. Moor Peat contains humic and fulvic acids, which contain over seventy trace minerals in a chelated and colloidal form. Moor peat can contain numerous trace minerals, including feldspar, quartz, kaolin, magnesium, potassium, bromine, copper, zinc, iron, cobalt, iodine, magnesium, and sulfur.

Peat is the accumulation of pure organic material which contains at least 65% organic matter or less than 35% mineral content. The distribution of peat deposits is extensive. It constitutes 5-8% of the earth’s land surface and nearly 60% of the wetlands of the world are peat. The composition of peat varies from location to location. Some peat deposits are known for their medicinal and therapeutic qualities, just as some mineral springs are known for therapeutic qualities.

Primarily, peat is made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Moor Peat is a complex material consisting of plant fibers that contain hemicellulose, cellulose, humic acids, fulvic acids, bitumens, waxes, resins, ash, and readily and nonreadily
hydrolysable substances. These 
constituents in peat, especially lignin, contain polar functional groups such as alcohol, aldehydes, ketones, phenolic hydroxides, and ethers that can be involved in chemical bonding. Because of the polar character of some of the peat constituents, it has good applicability for specific sorption of dissolved solids, such as transition metals and polar organic molecules such as ammonia. In addition, peat has ion exchange properties because of the presence of humic acids. Peat is one of the few materials that behave like activated carbon, in that I adsorbs organics and also is similar to ion exchange resins, which adsorb a variety of substances such as heavy metals, which make it a good detoxifier. Moor Peat has high cation exchange capacity. The main exchangeable sites are the functional acid groups which are named humic acids. The most common exchangeable cations in Moor Peat are calcium, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, and sodium. Moor Peat also contains hydrogen sulfide. Moor Peat also has high heat retention, which gives it therapeutic value, especially in compresses.

The organic base substances of Moor Mud are preserved because, in the complete absence of oxygen, complete decomposition of organic matter does not take place. Under very special geological conditions and in the presence of certain bacteria, the plant matter undergoes a transformational process that produces a homogenous dark brown or black substance over thousands of years. During this transformational process, all of the organic and inorganic substances within the plants and are assimilated into the Moor Mud.

There are three types of Moor Peat: flat moor, high moor, and deep moor. Deep moor developed over long periods of time through a geological process where the layers of moor are pushed deep beneath the earth’s surface. Because of the high compression from geological pressure, Moor Peat’s therapeutic components are highly condensed and concentrated. Deep moor has the highest therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.

Torf Moor Mud’s ability to heal, nourish, and detoxify has been observed by people for millennia and used scientifically in European spas for well over a century. Moor Mud is used not only to beautify, but also for a multitude of ailments, from mobility problems, arthritis, and hormonal imbalance to post-surgery recovery and muscle recovery in sports medicine.

Within the medical and scientific communities, Moor therapy is known as Balneo-peat, Moor Peat, Moor Mud, Fangotherapy, and Peleotherapy. Over the past four centuries, the science of Moor Peat therapy, also falling under the sciences of Balneology, Medical Hydrology, and Medical Geology, has evolved into a medical specialty in Europe and parts of Asia, where special courses in balneotherapy, pelotherapy, and fangotherapy are offered to both physicians and nurses by major medical schools. Physicians believe that Moor Peat therapy facilitates healing in a number of ways. Over the past sixty years, hundreds of European and American scientists, hydrogeologists, medical hydrologists, and physicians have investigated Moor therapy including several on behalf of the Czech Republic, German, Austrian, Hungarian, and New York governments, and one by a Nobel Prize winner. Over six hundred studies have been conducted on Moor Therapy and there have been over a dozen international Congresses on Moor research attended by representatives of the scientific and medical establishments. Over twenty million Europeans use Moor therapy per year and Moor therapy is available on medical insurance programs in several European countries.

The medical actions of Moor Mud include: thermophysical, biochemical, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, and natural antimicrobial, including antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal. Moor Mud also has chelatic properties, binding heavy metal isotopes, which makes it a strong detoxifier.

The medical properties of Moor Mud include that it is: bioavailable, has high heat retention, bacterial action, adsorbent, astringent, hormonal, anti-inflammatory, ion exchanging, and nerve stimulant. Research has also demonstrated that Moor Mud stimulates cortisol production in the body, decreasing pain and stress.

Indications for Moor Mud therapy in the medical literature include:
rheumatic disorders and orthopedic complaints, including rheumatism, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, lumbago, muscle strain, and neuralgia; sequalae of an accident or operation on a joint or vertebra; and skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, fungi, and acne. Vascular complaints, including disorder of the venous system such as phlebitis, Raynaud’s syndrome, or varicose veins are also indicated. Disorders of the peripheral nervous system, such as neuropathies, are also indicated. Also indicated are gynecological problems, including inflammatory infections, endometriosis, infertility, menstrual disorders, ovarian disorders, uterine disorders, vaginitis, and hormonal problems. Digestive complaints, such as gastritis or constipation, as well as chronic disorders of the internal organs such as cholecystitis or gallbladder inflammation, constipation, colitis, gastritis, and hemorrhoids are also indicated.

Mechanisms of Action:

  • Absorption of Nutrients: With its unique biological, geological, and chemical properties, the healing factors of Moor Mud are easily bioavailable and readily assimilated by the body. When dissolved in a bath, Moor Mud’s healing agents are absorbed transdermally through the skin and absorbed into the blood via the skin capillaries.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Moor Mud possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are indicated for arthritis, gastrointestinal inflammation, and skin disorders. Recent research demonstrates the effectiveness of Moor Mud for osteoarthritis of the knee. Moor Peat is also indicated for sports injuries including strains, sprains, and bruising.
  • Detoxification and Biopurification: Moor Mud acts as a natural chelating agent due to various pectin substances and minerals which have the ability to bind and remove toxic metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, copper, and cadmium from the tissues of the body and eliminate them safely through the channels of elimination.
  • Hormonal Modulation: Several research studies demonstrate that Moor Mud has a significant effect on regulating cortisol in the body, helping with inflammatory and joint disorders. Research also indicates that Moor Mud can regulate and modulate estrogen and progesterone.
  • Nervous System Stimulant: Moor Mud affects nervous system fibers situated between the cells of the epidermis. Reflexively, all organs are stimulated via the nervous systems from the Moor Mud.
  • Circulation System Stimulant: Moor Mud significantly affects circulation and blood flow to the skin. It improves blood flow by inducing vasoconstriction and vasodilation, creating a mechanical pumping action that improves blood circulation locally and systemically.
  • Cosmetic Effects of Moor Mud: The active constituents of Moor Mud bind to and penetrate the cells of the outer skin. The binding process with the proteins in the skin results in an exchange of ions. Harmful positive ions in the tissue of the skin are exchanged for the rejuvenating negative ions in the Moor Mud. The particles are the absorbed into the blood stream generating a healing process throughout the body. Moor Mud’s cosmetic benefits result from the presence of essential oils, fatty acids, lipoids, and trace minerals, which occur naturally and are not artificially introduced.
These substances penetrate easily into the skin and subcutaneous tissues, reestablishing the skins natural pH balance and improving blood circulation. Simultaneously, the skin is detoxified, purified, toned, and revitalized by soluble organic and inorganic active nutrients. Research demonstrates the active mineral and botanical constituents in Moor Mud are helpful in treating various skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, scars, stretch marks, and cellulite. Moor Mud improves cellulite, which consists of lumpy deposits in the subcutaneous layer caused by an excess of toxins and metabolic waste, poor blood circulation, and fluid retention due to poor lymphatic circulation, by acting on both the deposits and their causes. Moor Mud is naturally hypoallergenic, removes excess oil from the skin, and is hydrating to the skin. It also helps promote skin regeneration.

There is significant evidence, both empirical and scientific, that demonstrate the effectiveness of Moor Mud therapy with a wide variety of human ailments and conditions. There is also scientific evidence that demonstrates the positive effects of Moor Mud therapy on physiological and biochemical functions within the human body. Moor Mud therapy has thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects that can aid in healing. Europe, Asia, and elsewhere still maintain the healing tradition of Moor Mud therapy and the science of medical hydrogeology. Our challenge is to continue to generate cogent scientific data that will demonstrate therapeutic effectiveness and cost effectiveness in order to incorporate Moor Mud therapy into our healthcare system.
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