European balneologists have extensively studied the therapeutic value of mineral waters. Mineral springs with different mineral content are often recommended above others for various therapeutic uses.
In addition to the value of the trace minerals found in most hot springs, and the stimulating benefits of highly mineralized waters, “balneotherapists” generally agree on the following observations:
In Spain, water is classified as bicarbonate if the water contains more than 250 PPM of free carbon gas. However, hot springs that contain bicarbonate gasses (sodium bicarbonate, calcium bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, etc.) may also be utilized for the observed benefits commonly associated with bicarbonate hot springs. Bathing in bicarbonate water, the balneologists believe, assists in opening peripheral blood vessels and helps to improve circulation to the body’s extremities. European balneotherapists also utilize bicarbonate waters for bathing to address hypertension and mild atherosclerosis. For these conditions, tepid to warm baths are utilized (86 – 100° F). Some researchers believe that bicarbonate baths also assist cardiovascular disease and nervous system imbalances.
The water contains 291 PPM sodium, 28 PPM calcium, 28 carbonate hardness. Since we don’t have a specific measure for gas content, we assume the water does not produce a “carbonated” effect. The example provided of a hot springs having this feature is at Chatel-Guyon Hot Springs in France.
Hot Springs rich in sulfur, are commonly found in France, Spain, and Japan and are used to address a wide variety of conditions, including skin infections, respiratory problems, and skin inflammations. Hot spring pools rich in sulfates (i.e. sulfur compounds) have a far reduced “sulfur” effect as compared to sulfur-rich springs. Such waters are often prescribed internally in European spas for liver and gastrointestinal conditions, as well as for some respiratory conditions with inhalation therapy.
The Blue River Resort Hot Springs contains 933.3 PPM in sulfates, a high measure.
Saline hot springs are rich in sodium chloride. Mineral springs naturally rich in chlorides- amounts between .5 – 3%- are considered by some researchers to be beneficial for rheumatic conditions, arthritis, central nervous system conditions, posttraumatic and postoperative disorders, as well as orthopedic and gynecological disease.