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April 2017
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Hay baths involve immersing yourself in fresh hay which is undergoing fermentation, during which the temperature of it can reach up to 40-70°C and this causes the individual to sweat a lot during and after immersion. The secret of this treatment is that these medicinal plants contain a mixture of herbs and, with the humid heat that is emitted from the hay, the active ingredients within these herbs are absorbed by the body.

This treatment, which is now known as phyto-balneotherapy, originates from the times when farmers used to lie down and sleep on the hay they had cut for the cows after a hard day’s work, and this relieved them of their fatigue and gave them their strength back.


Certain herbs that grow spontaneously in the mountains and which contain medicinal substances are used in the treatment. They are cut, collected and left to soak in large tanks for a few days, and when they are ready, the patient immerses him/herself in the hay.
This immersion in fermenting hay should be done without any clothes on, however the head should be protected, for 15-20 minutes the first time and then gradually for more time during the following sessions, until reaching 30 minutes. Afterwards, the individual is wrapped in a cover and put on a reaction bed for the next 40-60 minutes, in a hot room that is adjacent to the bathing room.

Perspiration is very intense during the first phase and it continues for 3-4 hours, and it leaves the individual feeling very good for the whole day. In some centres, a massage is carried out after the bath, and a phyto-balneotherapy programmes usually last for 10 sessions.

The benefits and therapeutic effects

A hay bath makes the person who does it feel good in general thanks to a sense of relaxation which is caused by the intense heat and high hydrosaline metabolism caused by sweating. The skin becomes more toned, because of peripheral circulation stimulation, and smoother because of the purification caused by the perspiration and absorption of the active ingredients in the herbs.

The healing properties depend on what is contained in the various medicinal herbs, and they can differ a lot depending on where they grow.

The effects are beneficial for:

  • arthrosis;
  • post-traumatic inflamed joints (due to fractures or something similar);
  • mild inflammations, such as psoriatic arthropathy (a joint disease caused by psoriasis), the spondyloarthritis (arthritis in the spinal joints), chronic pain in the spine and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • muscle spasms (contractions);
  • stiffness;
  • rheumatism (not acute);
  • fibromyalgia (a painful disease that affects the muscles);
  • osteoarthritic diseases.

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