This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Ems, near Coblenz, in the valley of the Lahn, two hundred and ninety-one feet above the sea, is the oldest and most famous soda spring. It is conveniently reached from England, has excellent hotels, and English-speaking physicians. The valley is narrow, between high mountains, with attractive scenery, and possessing a mild climate. "There are few bathing resorts where a sick person may find in intercourse with nature and man, and in the enjoyment of a brilliant but unpretending Spa-life, such rich opportunity both for coming out of himself, and for self-reflection. Ems is the pearl of Germany" (Braun). Cases of phthisis, however, should not be sent there, as by day the air is hot and still, and in the early autumn, mists at night and morning are frequent. The best months are May and June, September and October. During July and August, when many English people go, the climate is likely to be found oppressive and relaxing. The mineral springs contain a medium amount of bicarbonate of soda (10 gr.), and of carbonic acid (19 cub. in.), and of chloride (7 gr.), with very small amounts of lime and magnesia.1 The main difference between the springs is in temperature, the Kranchen being at 84° F., and the Kessel at 114° F. They are often given with goats' or asses' milk, and are used for chronic bronchial disorders with irritable cough but little secretion; in the dyspepsia of persons disposed to phthisis; and for eczema and prurigo; also for lithuria, though less often than those of Vichy.
Luhatschowitz (in Moravia) is situated in a pleasant valley of the Carpathian Mountains, sixteen hundred feet above the sea. The springs, four in number, are cold, and contain in each pound from 30 to 60 gr. of bicarbonate of soda, 20 to 30 gr. of chloride of sodium, with traces of iodide and bromide of soda, and a large amount of carbonic acid (Braun). "They are the ideal of strong carbonated muriatic soda waters," and are valuable in severe catarrhal conditions, especially in chronic gastric catarrh, and in abdominal congestion and gouty exudations. In cases of hyperaemic enlargement of the liver, they even come into competition with Carlsbad water, and in cases where the strong soda waters of Vichy, Bilin, etc., have failed in their effect, it is well worth while to try a water containing more chloride; this salt increases the effect of the carbonate. Whenever tissue-change is to be increased, and at the same time tissue-growth promoted, and the gastro-intestinal secretions stimulated, soda waters containing common salt are to be preferred.
La Bourboule, in the Auvergne district, two thousand six hundred feet above the sea, has several springs of different temperatures and proportions, but all containing carbonate and chloride of sodium, and also appreciable quantities of arsenic.