Azerbaijan’s Petroleum Spas Use Crude Oil Baths To Treat Disease

Though we often associate ooze-slicked animals with horrific disasters like 2010’s BP oil spill, in the Azerbaijani town of Naftalan, 160 miles north-west of the capital Baku, there is a clinic where visitors voluntarily flock to its famous (well, famous at least in the former Soviet Union) clinics to bathe in crude oil. The practice has supposedly been around for centuries and is believed to treat scores of illnesses, including arthritis, rheumatism and psoriasis.

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