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November 26, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(22):1874-1875. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690220050016

Mineral springs and their waters in many parts of the world had a therapeutic vogue long before the chemist discovered the nature of the constituents or the physical properties responsible for the alleged remedial effects. The analyses that have gradually become available indicate that, with respect to chemical composition, the waters from different localities and even from different natural sources in the same environment exhibit almost as much variation as do the maladies for the relief of which mineral water therapy has been called into service. Thus, spring waters have been characteristically classed as hot, carbonated, alkaline, acid and cathartic or specially designated with respect to the presence of iron, sulphur, arsenic or lithium. The early chemical interpretations of some of the waters most popular for either internal or balneologic use failed to disclose any readily defensible reasons for the widely heralded virtues of the springs involved; yet the vogue