Mineral water really helps, but not for everyone and not always
Even animals know about the amazing healing properties of many springs, springs, mud lakes – deer, bears, and small animals from afar gather to drink plenty of “medicine” and lie in the sometimes disgusting-smelling liquid that relieves suffering. It would seem that what can be useful in ordinary water?
Treatment with water is one of the most ancient methods of healing, it was familiar to mankind long before the profession of “doctor” appeared. The sources of Pannonia (Hungary), Sapareva Bani (Bulgaria), Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), Saturnia (Italy), Yverdon (Switzerland) have a thousand-year history. The Etruscans and Celts knew about the miraculous properties of waters and muds, from them the experience was adopted by Roman doctors, thanks to which treatment with baths and resorts spread throughout Europe. Sufferers came to English, French, Swiss, Czech and Italian sources, hoping to be healed of stones in the bladder, gout, rheumatism and other chronic diseases. This was considered a fashionable secular entertainment, at the resorts they got to know each other and renewed ties, wooed and got married, hid from possible disgrace – everyone remembers how the Dumas musketeers went “to the waters in Forsch”, and the elderly relatives of Jane Austen’s heroines went to Bath for treatment to improve health, and at the same time – find suitors for nieces.
Russian mineral waters, “drinking” and mud resorts begin their history with the decrees of Peter I – the tsar suffering from urolithiasis was especially interested in the development of this branch of domestic medicine. According to some sources, the first were Lipetsk mineral waters, discovered in 1707, according to others – Marcial ferruginous waters in Karelia, discovered in 1717. In the USSR, the Caucasian (Narzan, Essentuki), Georgian (Borjomi), Armenian (Arzni) and Petersburg (Polyustrovo) mineral waters were popular. On the territory of the former USSR there are more than 3500 healing springs and wells, not counting small springs of local importance.
Hot and cold
How do mineral waters “work”? The placebo effect, of course, should not be disregarded – in resorts, many patients feel better due to a change in place and climate, a new environment, new acquaintances, distracting from ailments. However, the majority of bottled mineral waters do not lose their healing properties. Their value lies in the combination of active compounds of metals, salts, acids and trace elements, unique for each source. So, for example, Marcial waters are used in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia due to the high content of bivalent iron, easily assimilated by the body.
Mineralka is used in a variety of ways. They drink according to a certain regimen, before, during or after meals, in strictly measured portions, cold, hot or warm. They also wash the hollow organs, spray the mouth and nasopharynx, take baths, make compresses and masks.
When used internally, mineral waters change the rate of production, the composition and acidity of gastric juice, can enhance the production of urea and bile, regulate bowel movement, and help cleanse the body of toxins. Trace elements normalize blood composition, bromine and iodine have a positive effect on liver function. Mineral baths accelerate the healing and restoration of bone and cartilage tissue, and reduce inflammation.
Mineral waters are divided into medicinal, medicinal and table waters. In table waters, mineralization does not exceed 1 g per liter, while it does not contain active biological substances. They do not give a special therapeutic effect, but you can also drink them without any restrictions. Medicinal table waters contain from 1 to 10 g of minerals, they are used for medical purposes and simply to quench thirst. However, even healthy people are not recommended to drink them constantly – intoxication, dysfunction of the endocrine glands is possible. And in case of metabolic disorders, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys, even a single use of an unsuitable “mineral water” can cause an exacerbation. In medicinal waters, the content of minerals exceeds 10 g per liter, they should not be consumed without a doctor’s prescription.
In the classification of mineral waters, many factors are taken into account: temperature (water from hot springs is often heated for treatment), transparency (turbidity and the presence of small particles are unacceptable, sediment is acceptable and even proves natural), taste and chemical composition.
The waters differ in the composition of the main active ingredient. Hydrocarbonate waters contain carbonic acid salts. Sulfate – sulfur oxides. Chloride – chlorine compounds, magnesium – magnesium, ferrous – iron, etc. Sometimes weakly radioactive (radon) waters are also used for treatment.
To taste, mineral waters are salty (chloride, sodium chloride), bitter-salty (potassium chloride), alkaline, acidic (ferrous) and practically tasteless. The more pronounced the taste of water, the higher the concentration of medicinal substances, the more carefully you should take such water.
From gastritis, from bronchitis …
It is best to carry out the treatment with mineral waters directly at the resort. The sanatorium daily routine will help to maintain the regime and diet – alas, one barbecue, cake or alcohol abuse is enough to devalue the effect of treatment. Experienced specialists will select water with the required concentration of “medicine” and offer additional procedures. Rest will ease stress and calm your nerves. However, a full course of hydrotherapy is at least 14 days – not everyone can afford such a vacation.
At home, it is equally important to observe the cycle and take breaks between courses – drink the right water for 14-21 days, then pause for 7-14 days, then repeat the course if necessary. In the process, you should limit fatty, spicy and heavy foods, when using salty and bitter-salty waters, reduce the amount of salt in food, with regular drinking of acidic waters, avoid acidic foods and foods saturated with iron (apples, pomegranates, red meat). In case of an exacerbation of chronic diseases, a sharp deterioration in the general condition, medicinal table waters are allowed only as prescribed by a doctor.
Treatment with mineral waters is indicated for the following diseases and ailments: diabetes, chronic hepatitis, chronic cholecystitis, chronic pancreatitis, urolithiasis, heartburn, appetite disorders, gastritis, stomach ulcers, biliary tract diseases, flatulence, anemia, decreased hemoglobin, bleeding gums, menorrhagia severe menstrual bleeding), bowel disruption (diarrhea, constipation), during recovery from heavy operations. In acute cases, mineral water is useful for food poisoning, intestinal infections, dehydration, after heavy physical exertion. Baths and baths with warm mineral (preferably salt) water help with stress, severe fatigue, muscle sprains, hemorrhoids.
In case of urinary and cholelithiasis, hypertension, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular and oncological diseases, taking highly toxic drugs, mineral waters are contraindicated without a doctor’s prescription. Children and adolescents should not drink sulfate waters – they slow down growth. Taking magnesium, sulphate and sodium chloride waters can have a side effect – upset stomach.
To choose the right mineral water and avoid counterfeits, carefully read the bottle and label. As a rule, medicinal “mineral water” is poured into a darkened container so that the light does not provoke a photochemical reaction. The label should be tightly glued, printed in clear print on good paper. The original water must indicate the source (resort or city, name and number), full chemical composition, degree of mineralization (dining room, medical dining room) and a detailed purpose. It should be noted that with gastritis with high or low acidity, urolithiasis with the formation of oxalates or phosphates, water of different composition is needed at different temperatures. It is best to study the reference book in advance or use the Internet to find a suitable grade of “mineral water”.