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.
Wildungen, in the principality of Waldeck, is seven hundred and forty feet above the sea, and, besides a chalybeate, has three earthy springs.
The Georg - Victorquelle is a strongly acidulated spring containing 33 cub. in. of free carbonic acid, with 5 gr. of carbonates of lime and magnesia, a little alkaline sulphate, silica, and iron. The Helenenquelle, with
34 cub. in. of carbonic acid, has nearly 10 gr. of the earthy salts, with 8 gr. of chloride of sodium and bicarbonate, and a trace of iron. The Thalquelle, similar to, but weaker than the Helenenquelle, is more used. It exerts an antacid and diuretic effect, and the two other springs show this in a more marked degree. They are prescribed in vesical catarrh and uric acid concretions in the kidney, and may be either continued alone for a long time, or conjoined with Carlsbad, Vichy, or other more purely alkaline waters.
Leuk (Leukerbad, Loeche-les-Bains), on the north bank of the Rhone, in the canton Wallis, at the foot of the Gemmi Pass, is four thousand six hundred and seventy feet above the sea. The principal spring, the Lorenzquelle, contains 10 gr. of lime sulphate in the pound, with some magnesia and traces of alkalies and iron. It is used internally in doses of one to five tumblerfuls taken at a high temperature (122° F.), and is rather constipating, but diuretic and diaphoretic. Braun attributes more importance to the warm fluid than to the ingredients.
But the speciality of Leuk is the mode of bathing. There are four public pools," each three or four feet deep, and accommodating about forty bathers, who, clothed in flannel, amuse themselves with conversation, games, etc., and spend the greater part of the day in the warm mineral water. The time is gradually extended from half an hour to five and even eight hours in the day for about ten days, and then gradually diminished in the same proportion, so that a course is completed in about twenty-five days. The diseases thus treated include gouty and rheumatic exudations, visceral enlargements, scrofulous and other ulcerations, and chronic eruptions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and prurigo. In such cases the lime sulphate acts as a local stimulant, and often causes an erythematous or pustular eruption (poussee), which is the signal for diminishing the baths. The high situation of the Spa enables such stimulating treatment to be better borne than it would be elsewhere.
Weissenburg, in the canton Berne, near Thun, two thousand seven hundred and fifty eight feet above the sea, is situated in a narrow sheltered ravine surrounded by mountains and pine trees. The air is calm, mild, and moist, but the weather variable; the mode of life is simple. The waters are similar to those of Leuk, but with more lime sulphate (17 gr.) and magnesia, much less carbonic acid; temperature, 74.8° F. Excellent results in bronchial catarrh and some forms of phthisis are obtained at Weissenburg, but are to be explained rather by its general conditions than by the composition of the water (Braun). Pleuritic exudations are said to be rapidly absorbed. The waters purge in full doses (six to eight glasses), and sometimes cause dyspepsia at first. Baths are not used in phthisical cases (Rohden).
Lippspringe, a small town near Paderborn, four hundred and forty-one feet above the sea, on a soil of chalk and sand, has a lime spring containing 5 gr. of sulphate and 2 gr. of carbonate, with some sulphate of soda and magnesia, a little iron, some carbonic acid, oxygen, and nitrogen, the latter in comparatively large proportion (1.4 cub. in.); temperature, 70° F. Small doses (12 oz.) constipate, medium quantities regulate the digestion, while 30 to 36 oz. commonly relax the bowels. It is remarkable that under treatment at this place, the appetite and assimilative power of phthisical patients in an advanced stage have improved so much as to lead to an increase in weight of "10 lbs. in four weeks, and 21 lbs. in thirteen weeks." Whatever the explanation, it would seem that the diseased lung-tissue is gradually expectorated during the treatment, with slight fever and moderate suppuration, so that the cavities heal up, and a cure may be completed at higher and drier health-resorts. Possibly the heat of the water and its slight amount of gas, taken fasting, facilitate expectoration and assist in the softening of cheesy deposit and loosening of catarrh (Roh-den). Possibly, also, the moisture of the atmosphere assists by keeping in the water of the lungs and skin; the climate is very equable and cool; moist west winds prevail; the noons are cooler, and the mornings and evenings warmer than in other places of the same latitude. Inhalations of nitrogen are also used here.
Inselbad, near Paderborn, is commonly mentioned with Lippspringe as a resort for phthisical subjects, on account of the nitrogen in its medicinal waters. The gas is also inhaled. The weak salt spring (6 gr. chloride, with 2 gr. lime carbonate) is considered valuable in haemoptysis (Horling).