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Re: orion Balsam and other products


The tourist shops in Israel are full of that stuff.  

There is a story in Josephus (Ant. 17. 171) about Herod the Great visiting 
the hot springs at Callirrhoe (on the opposite shore) for his health at some 
time prior to his death.  He apparently took baths in the warm springs, 
"the waters of which beside all their other virtues are also good to 
drink" (Loeb translation).  His doctors also tried to warm him with a 
bath in a tub of warm oil, which left him looking dead.  Nothing about 
being smeared with black mud, however.

David Suter

On Mon, 23 Feb 1998 Dunnlaw@aol.com wrote:

> I was doing some net surfing for articles abount En Gedi.  Among other things,
> I learned that En Gedi is the apparent source of several products including
> (1) something called Cerratum that purports to be a natural cream made with
> "dead sea minerals" and "bee honey and wax", (2) Eclipse which purports to be
> made with Dead Sea water "rich in magnesium, an anti-allergen, and (3) the En
> Gedi Sun Care System.  Several of these products purport to have anti-aging
> properties as well as anti-wrinkle and astringent properties.  There is also a
> lot of discussion Dead Sea Salts and Mud which can be purchased at "affordable
> rates!"  Supposedly, an Israeli dermatologist Dr. Zvi Even Paz studied
> Psoriasis patients and advocates Dead Sea Bath Salts etc.  The articles
> encourage the purchase of 18 Kilos of Dead Sea Salt (the "quantity needed for
> 3 baths per week for 6 weeks).
> Is there any evidence that Dead Sea salts, mud and water were used for similar
> purposes in say 163 BCE to about 68 CE?  For example, assuming that the level
> of the Dead Sea was higher than today (i.e., closer to the front door of
> Qumran), is it reasonable to suppose that someone from Jericho might go down
> to Qumran for a good Dead Sea mud bath and then wash off in the pools,
> cisterns etc. and then annoint with balsam products?  Or someone from
> Jerusalem would go to En Gedi for the same purpose.
> On another subject, there was an A&E segment last week on which it was
> asserted that shortly before being cornered at Masada, the occupants raided En
> Gedi for supplies which were taken back to Masada for the final resistence.  I
> was wondering where that comes from?
> Mark Dunn

David W. Suter
Saint Martin's College
Lacey, WA 98503