Long before Tylenol and Advil, the indigenous people of Uruguay used a natural sulfur stone to help relieve back aches and pains. And it’s still being used today!
It happens all too often. Aches and pains in your back that affect your attitude, mobility, and quality of life.
According to the American Chiropractic Association…
- Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
- Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
Sometimes, pain can be cause by knots or trapped pockets of muscular gasses in your back. After mentioning to my husband that I felt like I had ‘air in my back’. My husband, who is from Uruguay in South America, told me to try using piedra de azufre.
Piedra de azufre or sulfur stone (also known as brimstone) is a smooth tubular stone about 3-4 inches long that is pale yellow in color. Its shape makes it fit easily in the palm of your so you can rub it on the back or neck (similar to a rolling pin) to help extract trapped muscular gasses causing pain.
According to the Natural Health and Longevity Resource Center, sulfur has a unique action on body tissues. It actually decreases the pressure inside the cell and removes fluids and toxins, thereby lessening pain. In addition, the Wellness Advocate agrees that sulfur has positive attributes in the reduction of pain, inflammation, muscle spasm, and formation of scar tissue around arthritis joints.
After rubbing it on the affected area you can almost immediately feel the relief as well as hear the stone crack. This happens as the stone is porous, like a sponge, and literally absorbs the gasses in your back or neck. Once the stone cracks you cannot use it again.
But if you’d like to see the gasses that were in your back. You can drop the stone in a glass of water. Tiny bubbles escape from the stone and rise to the top of the glass.
After further research, I discovered that piedras de azufre was originally used by the Charrúa Indians of Uruguay hundreds of years ago as a natural means to help alleviate aches, pains and gas pockets in the upper and lower back as well as neck muscles.
People in Uruguay, Argentina and other South American countries are still using piedra de azufre today.
In Uruguay, they are mostly available in grocery stores or pharmacies that sell natural cosmetics and crystals as well as ‘las ferias’ (flea markets).
Here in the U.S., you may find piedras de azufre (or barritas de azufre, as it’s known in Argentina) at ethnic specialty stores in communities with a Uruguayan or Argentine population. But with the world wide reach of the Internet, you can easily buy them online no matter where you live.
Here are some websites that sell the wondrous natural healing stones, in both small quantities as well as by the case. Note: some websites may require a currency conversion or :
So if you’re looking for a natural pain relief solution for back and neck aches, consider the wondrous healing properties of piedras de azufre. Salud!