As we had just crossed another marker of history (the first decade of the 21st century), I would like to apply to the sources (in the context of mineral water it sounds ambiguous, isn’t it?) concerning drinking water. How, when and why people started to drink mineral water? And how did they manage to find its healing properties?
The first mentions about healing water date back to the days of Hippocrates and Galen (Roman physician, who can rightfully be called the father of hydrotherapy). They wrote much about the properties of mineral water and its practical therapeutic and prophylactic use.
Everyone knows that in ancient Rome there were baths. But not everybody knows that the Romans took baths not in common water, but in mineral. Of course, I mean rich Romans. Galen invented hydrotherapy and made all the Italian elite to take to this method of health improvement. Sometimes he went too far by recommending daily washing using mineral mater. But for the recovery of Roman body it was grand dosage.
Well, it is true that mineral water could not heal deadly wounds received in battle, but what can we do with that? As the saying goes, nobody is perfect:)
Archaeologists find mineral wells of ancient origin in almost all Western Europe. Nowadays in some of these places there are expensive resorts, in which people are treated. So, the mineral wealth of the Earth is almost inexhaustible.
There are also a lot of legends and myths concerning mineral water and hydrotherapy. For example, in the small town Rogaska Slatina in Slovenia there is a legend: the winged horse Pegasus kicked by hoof in the one place, so that from that place water began to gush.
2000 years ago Budapest was called Akvipkum. Ancient Romans gave it such name. 2000 years ago source was founded there too. But it is not the earliest date of use of mineral water. Attention! 3-4 century BC! The township of Hisar in Bulgaria had not only its own mineral springs, but also baths of marble (for well-provided people) and of castle stone (budget variant). Stones of these baths with inscriptions in Latin are now kept in the Museum of Bulgarian Resort.
Mesopotamia, 3rd century BC. Greece, 6th century BC … People of those ancient times already knew about situation, but they traditionally ascribed the healing properties of water to gods and other anomalous phenomena. Of course, they understood that the consumption of mineral water contributes to longevity (in those days it was extremely valuable, because very few people could live to a venerable age at the time of troubles:) — but why?
If I may say so, the official patron saint of the mineral springs was Hercules. Can you guess why? Also Greeks liked to build temples dedicated to the healing god Aesculapius near the mineral baths.
However, despite the fact that during those ancient times everything that happened, happened due to the gods, the science was moving forward. Arhigenes, a physician who lived in the 1st century BC, made a grand discovery – he found that water can be alkaline, acidic, salty and sulphurous; and discovered that some types of water are more suitable for swimming, other types — for internal use …
To be continued!