Healing Mud of Azerbaijan
There are mud volcanoes in 42 countries of the world. Azerbaijan is recognized as a rare development area of mud volcanoes in the world. 1/3 of the mud volcanoes are collected in 16000 km² area in Azerbaijan. 344 of more than 2,000 known mud volcanoes around the world are located in the eastern part of Azerbaijan and around the Caspian Sea. All varieties of the Balchik volcanoes (active, extinct, buried, abundant oil emitting, underwater, island volcanoes) are available in Azerbaijan.
The most widespread area of the mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan is Absheron peninsula, Shamahi-Gobustan, Küryan lowland, Baku archipelago and in Georgia border.
Therapeutic benefits of the mud volcanoes:
Since the volcanic waters are rich in iodine, boron, bromate, and salt compounds, they are used successfully in the treatment of certain diseases. In the 1980s, in the 16 medical institutions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the volcano mud was applied in the treatment of polyarthritis, radiculitis, hepatitis and many skin and joint diseases, and nervous system diseases. Volcanic mud is also used in Cosmetology. Volcanic mud is composed of 24 kinds of minerals such as copper, iodine, potassium, magnesium. The volcanic mud that the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan gives permission to sell is also used for dental treatment.
The volcanic mud is a natural raw material widely used in construction.
The activity of the volcanoes is also a sign of earthquakes. Close to an earthquake occurrence, activation of volcanoes is observed. It is possible to predict when the earthquake will occur, following changes in some of the chemicals in the surface gases and mineral water compositions.
Mud volcanoes are also useful for ecotourism. In 2009, Azerbaijani, Russian and English manual booklets were published and tours for tourists were offered in the area covering 25 mud volcanoes. The mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan received natural monument status and were taken under protection by the state.