A clinic in the town of Naftalan, 160 miles noth-west of Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku, has found a therapeutic use for its plentiful quantities of crude oil.
Azerbaijan is one of the world’s leading oil exporters, and in the country’s western plains “black gold” has been leaking out of the ground for centuries. In fact, they have so much of the stuff, that in the town of Naftalan, they use the surplus crude oil as a cure for various illnesses. It all goes down at the famous Naftalan Clinic, where people from all over the former Soviet Union and even from the Emirates and Europe come to treat a variety of skin diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and even their anxiety with crude oil. Doctors here say their amazing oil therapy is used to trat up to 100 different conditions.
The most popular action at Naftalan is the crude oil bath. Patients lower their bodies into 35 gallons of crude oil, at a temperature of 40 degrees. Many of the m say the temperate oil relaxes their joints and they’d love to spend more than 10 minutes flooded in black oil, but since it contains almost 50% naphthalene, a hydrocarbon deemed potentially carcinogenic by EU regulations, longer sessions could be hazardous to their health. The clinic’s doctors claim millions of people have been treated at Naftalan over the years, and none of them have suffered any complications, as a result. Still, to be on the safe side they limit the sessions to 10 minutes, and no more than a bath per day, during a 10-day treatment.