The therapeutic effects of bathing in the Dead Sea were well known even in times of antiquity. Galenus stated that this salt water was good for the treatment of arthritis, eczema, muscular pain, rheumatism, psoriasis, to relieve tension, relaxation and develop smooth, silky skin. It is believed that the therapeutic properties of the Dead Sea are due in large extent to the presence of these other salts, mainly those of magnesium, potassium and bromide. The composition of the Dead Sea salts is also unique. Whereas in ordinary sea water sodium chloride (common salt) is the major constituent (about 80% of the total salt content) the Dead Sea on the other hand contains a considerably smaller proportion of sodium chloride, the balance consisting of magnesium, potassium and calcium chlorides, and a comparatively high concentration of bromides.
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