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.
The Friedrichshall water, which is largely imported from a spring in Saxe-Meiningen, contains, in a pound, sulphate of soda 46 gr., sulphate of magnesia 39 gr., chloride of sodium 61 gr., chloride of magnesium 30 gr., and sulphate of lime and potash, with a small amount of carbonic acid (Liebig). This water is useful in small non-aperient doses for promoting tissue-change, and in aperient doses is frequently prescribed for habitual constipation, hepatic congestion, abdominal plethora, etc.
The Hunyadi Janos waters are the richest bitter waters yet known. Sixteen ounces contain 138 gr. of sulphate of magnesia, 129 gr. of sulphate of soda, with 11 gr. of chloride, and 13 gr. of carbonate of soda. They are used in the same class of cases as those last mentioned, but are more active and are rather less unpleasant to the taste.
Pullna water is of the same character, but intermediate in strength between Friedrichshall and Hunyadi Janos, containing 123 gr. of sulphate of soda, and 93 gr. of magnesia, with carbonate of the same, and chloride of sodium.
Seidlitz contains no sulphate of soda, but 104 gr. of sulphate of magnesia.
The once famous Epsom well contains in the pound 240 gr. of sulphate of magnesia, to which it has given its name.
The Beulah Spa (Norwood) contains 61 gr. of Epsom salt, with 9 gr. of soda sulphate, and some chloride.
The Streatham and Kilhurn Wells resemble the Beulah Spa.
Purton Spa, near Swindon, has 23 gr. of each sulphate, together with chloride, lime sulphate, and some carbonic acid (which is deficient in most waters of this class); also traces of bromides, iodides, and sulphuretted hydrogen. This water is used as an "alterative stimulant" in strumous sores and enlarged glands, threatened consumption, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, chronic skin-disorders, and uterine derangements. Half a pint to a pint of the water is taken before breakfast, and another half-pint in the evening. The air of the place is dry and bracing.
Cheltenham possesses saline springs of several qualities. That of the Royal Old Well, first noted for the cure of George the Third, contains chiefly chlorides of calcium, sodium, and magnesium, with sulphate of soda and a little carbonic acid.
The Pittville Saline contains an unusual proportion of silica. Spring No. 4, Montpellier, contains a large amount of common salt (52 gr. in the pint), with 17 gr. sulphate of soda, and 14 gr. of magnesia, but is deficient in carbonate of soda and carbonic acid. This might be remedied, as Dr. Macpherson suggests, by adding a certain quantity of Bilin or of Vals water, and the temperature might be graduated, and very useful results again obtained from these waters. The Montpellier baths are well arranged, and include vapor douches and medicated vapor baths.
In winter the mild and equable, though rather moist climate, would even give an advantage over more distant Spas. By the Cotswold Hills the town is sheltered from north and east winds. The season is from mid-April to October.
At Leamington, the saline spring Old Well, contains in the pound 40 gr. of soda sulphate, 40 gr. of sodium chloride, 20 gr. of calcium chloride, 3 gr. of chloride of magnesium, traces of bromine and iodine, and 2 cub. in. of carbonic acid; also nitrogen and oxygen; temperature, 48° F.
These waters are alterative, and are slightly aperient, more active than those of Cheltenham, and hence suitable for invalids of "torpid habit." I have used them with advantage in hepatic derangement.
The town is clean and pleasant, less protected by hills than Cheltenham, and hence the air is rather colder and more bracing; it is humid, but not raw.
At Scarborough, the South Well contains 28 gr. of sulphate of magnesia with 13 gr. of sulphate and 6 gr. of carbonate of lime, some common salt, and a trace of iron. The amount of lime is rather too large for cases requiring purgative waters.