Badiaga is the Russian name of a freshwater sponge with the scientific name Spongilla fluviatilis. It is considered a homeopathic herbal remedy for a variety of bodily complaints. This sponge is made of large amounts of silica, lime, and alumina. It may help address head, respiratory and skin ailments and has been suggested for use in treatment of heart disease and female-specific discomforts in some areas of the world.
The constituents of badiaga are considered the active ingredients and are the reasons why the sponge is believed to alleviate so many symptoms. Silica acts in the body to let water bond to the cells properly and is said to promote healthy collagen production and retention. Alumina and lime are both said to purify the blood and improve circulation.
Many head ailments may be treated or alleviated with the use of this sponge. Headaches involving the temple, forehead and eyes and which worsen during afternoons may be remedied with this treatment. Its powdered form is also used as an herbal treatment for discoloration of the skin such as bruises or dark circles under the eyes. Liquid badiaga may also relieve eyes with plugged or blocked meibomian glands and gland inflammation. It is also a common ingredient in herbal shampoos said to get rid of dandruff.
Badiaga may be taken internally as a liquid extract and is commonly used in homeopathic treatment for several chronic skin conditions. It may heal and prevent conditions associated with psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. Liquid extract may also address metrorrhagia, or excessive amounts of menstruation. It is particularly believed to help when metrorrhagia is accompanied by a sensation of head fullness and severe cramps.
The freshwater sponge has been used in Russia and other parts of Asia as a holistic remedy for hundreds of years. Soldiers and hunters have documented its use when regular antibiotics or pharmaceuticals were not available. Doctors throughout history used it in attempts to cure everything from headaches to tuberculosis. In modern times, badiaga is typically available in powder, cream, or liquid form.
Each of the active properties of this sponge can be harmful if overused. While the remedy is marketed as a cure-all in some parts of the world, it is not recommended for daily use. Before using badiaga on a regular basis for chronic conditions, it is commonly advised that a person speaks with his doctor to determine if it is right for him.