The Karlovy Vary thermal springs have risen from the river
Tepla valley for millions of years. The over 600 year long
tradition of the spa is based on the healing power of the
mineral springs. Everyone will be fascinated by the apparent
simplicity of the natural mechanism, which transmutes rainfall
into extravagantly abundant fountains of life-giving moisture
– a real elixir of life. How does it function?
The granite bedrock under the town buildings has a fissure
through which groundwater penetrates at a depth of about
2000m. There it is warmed, enriched by carbon dioxide, mineral
content and tracers. And then this regenerated water either
noisily or peacefully breaks forth to the light of the day.
Thus, the Vridlo geyser spouts from the ground, bringing out
three million litres of water a day at a temperature of 72įC.
It contains 18 tons of salt and mineral content, or 6.4g on
average per litre. The other springs' waters have lower
temperatures, bursting forth like branches of a tree by the
left bank of the Tepla river.
Drawing by A. Prostov-Pokrovsky
Karlo vy Vary's springs bring to the light of the day hot
carbonated sulphate-sodium, hydrocarbonated-sodium and
chloride-sodium waters with compounds of calcium, potassium,
iron, lithium and bromine. Spring water contains over 50
substances and microelements that form the main part of
enzymatic systems of the human body. The effect of this water
on people’s health was already revealed a long time ago. The
emergence and development of the world science of water cure
definitely owes a lot to those who spearheaded it in Karlovy
Vary. No wonder that their experiments were often far from
being safe and sometimes even led to deaths.
In olden times, the diseases were believed to need multiple
and continuous (up to ten hours a day) immersion in curative
waters, until the skin began to blister. Through these cracks
the diseases were thus supposed “to flush away” from the
organism. And later this method was enriched by drinking
procedures, with consuming water, as a rule, also in enormous
quantities. Naturally, not everyone could endure such a test.
For anticipating it, patients would often draw up their wills
before leaving for the spa. A scientifically established water
cure technique was first worked out in Karlovy Vary. It
brought worldwide fame not only to this place, but also to the
whole Czech spa development. In the 16th century, Locket’s
doctor Vaclav Payer introduced a new curative therapy. In the
document named “Tractatus de Termis Caroli IV Imperatoris”
published in 1522, he recommended several weeks of continuous
bathing only in the mineral water, followed by several weeks
of drinking only.
Another doctor J. S. Strobelberger preferred drinking
procedures to baths. In 1620 the patients were to drink 55
cups (up to 8 litres) of water a day. In 1772 doctor David
Becher reduced the recommended quantity of water to 2.5 litres
and insisted on it being drunk directly by the springs. David
Becher was the first to carry out a chemical analysis of the
mineral waters. Later, in experiments, the results of the
analysis were proven many times over.
Nowadays, a doctor, according to the patient's disease,
prescribes individual water curing procedures. The specialists
determine the water spring, quantity of water to be consumed,
time of consuming and associated procedures.
Water has an effect on the tissue of the alimentary canal
immediately after consumption. Already in the mouth it starts
to influence the production of saliva. It also influences the
functioning of the gullet, stomach and bowels. The cleansing
mechanism influences the body's metabolism, all major organs,
most of all the liver, pancreas and kidney.
As a rule, each patient's cure by local mineral water includes
three weeks of water procedures, comprising two ten-day and
three seven-day individual chrono-biological cycles. The
average daily dosage of Karlovy Vary mineral water is 1-1.5
litres. It is usually divided into three portions, which are
drunk 30-60 minutes before the meal. The integrated
balneotherapeutic cure allows different methods of treatment
due to the peculiarities of the unique local mineral water.
Besides drinking, mineral water is used in various procedures,
such as baths, water cure, water irrigation and detertion.
Natural mud and peat are also used in a complementary manner
and are very effective. Carbon dioxide, which extends the
vessels, is used in carbonated baths, dry carbonated
applications and is also applied under the skin to the
acupunctural points – so called "gas injection
A doctor will prescribe particular individual procedures after
a thorough test of the patient's health. As a rule there is
one main (i.e., bathing or water cure) and one supporting
(electrotherapy and inhalations) procedure. The complex spa
therapy in Karlovy Vary is very effective. Carried out with
special knowledge from many fields of medicine, it has helped
the majority of patients to improve their health profoundly.
The beauty and calm of the nature induce philosophical
soul-searching, help to consolidate self-confidence and to
overcome troubles of life. There is no doubt, that the Karlovy
Vary spa area is a unique place in the world, which provides
every opportunity for improving health and restoring one's
Long medical practice shows. that spa curing and
rehabilitation in Karlovy Vary are most effective when dealing
with the following cases:
Digestive tract disorders:
– Chronic functional stomach disorders and gullet
diseases of a benign character
– Ulcer diseases of the stomach and duodenum.
– Problems after operations on the gullet, stomach and
– Chronic enteric disorders
– Problems after heavy enteric infections, irritated
– Chronic enteric inflammation
– Problems after an enteric operation
– Chronic gall and bile duct diseases
– Problems after acute pancreatic inflammations
– Chronic hepatopathy
– Chronic pancreatitis
– Diabetes and sequelae
– Hyper cholesterol and hyper lipoprotein in blood
– Metabolic diseases of joints, gout
– Painful diseases of spinal column of functional or dege
Rehabilitation after complex treatment of cancer cases
(pro-vided there has been no relapse.
The clinical effects of the Karlovy Vary's potable water:
Spasmolytic, meukolytic and antiflogistic effects: the
water favours enteric motility and quantitative changes in
the spectrum of the enteric microflora.
Effect on exogenous and endogenous pancreas secretion.
Promoting the choleric and cholekinetic functions
(formation and exudation of gall) as well as blood supply
to the liver.
Impact on metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and
Preventive treatment in regard to formation of choleste
rol, urea, cystic and calcium-phosphate concretions.
Depuration of kidneys and improving of its functions.
Contraindication of the spa cure:
– Acute infections of all kinds.
– Stenosis and cancers of alimentary tract.
– Poor working of the cardiovascular system.
– Renal insufficiency with edemas.
Specialist in Balneology,
Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine