HARKANY
The Healing water

The hot springs in Harkány, that are unique in Europe, bubble up from the ground from a depth of 50–70 metres, at an average temperature of 62˚C. It’s mineral content is more than 1000 milligrams per litre. The most valuable component from a medicinal point of view is a compound having bivalent sulphur, carbon sulphide (COS), which, as a gas, is in solution and under pressure in the water. When the water comes to the surface, the gas is released from under the pressure and immediately begins to decompose; it turns into hydrogen sulphide gas, which is responsible for the characteristic smell.

In a side-light, the precipitated tiny grains of elementary sulphur can be plainly observed in the ponds. Approximately 12 mg carbon sulphide can be found in 1 litre of water. This compound had not been known before; it was discovered here during the chemical analysis of the water in the 1860s. It is very actively absorbed both through the skin and via breathing: its absorption is 150 times as effective as that of tetravalent sulphuric compounds (sulphates).

In our bodies, the bivalent sulphuric atoms are important components of the organic molecules making up the articular cartilage. 90 % of patients complaining of a locomotor disorder suffer from degenerative spinal and articular conditions. The joints that bear the greatest load: the glassy cartilage in the hips, knees, and ankles. The mechanical overload (as, for example, in case of overweight) manifests itself in increased clinical symptoms, such as swelling, pain, difficulty of locomotion. The sulphur getting into the system – which is demonstrably well metabolized – has an important role in the re-composition of the organic compounds making up the cartilage. That is the chemical effect of the medicinal water. Beyond that, the buoyancy in the water, the hydrostatic pressure – through which the weight of the body decreases as well as the load on the joints – the hydrodynamic effect, and the thermal effect also have their roles in the healing power.

Sufferers from chronic gynaecological inflammations also get healed here. According to earlier studies, 30 % of sterile woman treated here got pregnant later on.