Study of traditional Tunisian medina clays used in therapeutic and cosmetic mud-packs

Authors: Khiari I (1) , Mefteh S (1,2) , Sánchez-Espejo R (3) , Cerezo P (4) , Aguzzi C (4) , López-Galindo A (3) , Jamoussi F (1) , Viseras C (3,4)
(1) Laboratory of Valorization of Useful Materials, CNRSM (2) Faculty of Science of Sfax, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Sfax (3) Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences, CSIC-University of Granada (4) Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada
Source: Applied Clay Science Volume 101, November 2014, Pages 141–148
DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2014.07.029 Publication date: 2014 Nov E-Publication date: Aug. 24, 2014 Availability: abstract Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address: César Viseras Iborra : Departamento de Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Cartuja, s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain. Tel.: + 34 58 249551; fax: + 34 58 248958.


Article abstract

The present study was carried out to access the suitability of eleven clay samples (green and brown) from five Tunisian medina markets, traditionally used in home-made mud-packs. The mineralogical composition was determined from X-ray powder diffraction and X-ray fluorescence data. Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis was also carried out, as well as thermogravimetric analysis of raw clay samples. To determine the performance of the samples in mud-pack thermotherapy, cooling kinetics of clay pastes were fitted to obtain the corresponding specific heats. According to their mineralogical composition, the studied medina clay samples were mainly composed by illite and kaolinite, with exception of two Mg smectite-rich samples and other two calcite-rich samples. The presence of relatively high amounts of crystalline silica (quartz) in some of the samples advises against their not controlled manipulation, even if there are no quantitative limits (widely approved) of crystalline silica content above which the usage of commercial clays can be prohibited. The cooling rates and specific heats of the studied pastes were adequate to their use in the preparation of hot mud-packs, able to transfer heat to the skin during a period of at least 15 min after application.

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