John Elliot.

An account of the nature and medicinal virtues of the principal mineral waters of Great Britain and Ireland; and those most in repute on the continent .. online

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tains, it approaches the Pouhon.

Couve and Beversee. ThtCouve

nearly refembles the. Tonnelet water ;

4 or

2 $6 Medicinal Virtues

or rather, may be placed in a medium
between that and the JVatroz. It
hardly equals the tranfparency, fmart-
nefs, and generous vinous tafte of the
firft, but it greatly furpafles the latter.
The Beverfee agrees with this, only
that it does not retain its fmartnefs \o
well by keeping.

La Sige. It has fome of the
general properties of the Spa waters,
but in other refpe&s it is different.

It is moderately fubacid, fmart, and
grateful, but has no feniible chalyb-
eate tafte.

It fparkles like Champaign wine
when poured from one glafs to an-
other. Upon {landing it lofes its
fixed air, and throws up a thick mo-
ther-of-pearl coloured pellicle.

It is much more loaded with earthy
matters, and lefs impregnated with
iron and fixed air, than the other Spa

Geromont. As a chalybeate and


of Mineral Waters . 257

acidulous water it feems to be nearly
of the fame ftrength with La Sige ;
but it contains a greater quantity of
natron, together with a mixture of
lea fait. The earthy matters, however,
are lefs.

Their Virtues, &c. — It appears,
that thefe waters are compounded of
nearly the fame principles, though in
different proportions. All of them
abound with Jixed air. They contain
more or lefs iron, natron, and calca-
reous and felenitical earths; together
with a fmall portion of fea fait, and
an oily matter common to all waters.
Thefe are all kept fufpended, and in
a neutral Hate, by means of the aerial
acid, or fixed air.

From a review of the contents of
thefe waters, it cannot be imagined
that their virtues principally depend
on the fmall quantity of folid mat-
ters which they contain. They mull:


258 Medicinal Virtues

therefore depend moftly on their fub-
tle mineral fpirit, ox fixed air. And
they are probably rendered more ac-
tive and penetrating both in the nrfl
paffages, and alfo when they enter the
circulation, by means of that fmall
portion of iron, earth, fait, &c. with
which they are impregnated.

Thefe waters are diuretic, and fome-
times purgative; like other chalybeate
waters they tinge the fiools black.

They exhilarate and affect the fpi-
rits with a much more kind and be-
nign influence than wine or fpirituous
liquors; and their general operation
is by ftrengthening the fibres. They
cool and quench thirft much better
than common water.

They are therefore found excellent
in cafes of univerfal languor or weak-
nefs, proceeding from a relaxation of
the ftomach, and of the fibres in ge-
neral, and where the conflitution has


of Mineral Waters . 259

been weakened by difeafe, or by too
fedentary a life. In weak, relaxed,
grofs habits ; in nervous diforders ; in
the end of the gout and rheumatifm,
where the conftitution needs to be re-
paired -, in fuch afthmatic diforders and
chronic coughs as proceed from too
great a relaxation of the pulmonary
veifels ; in obir.ruc~t.ions of the liver
and fpleen; in cafes where the blood
is too thin and putrefcent, occafioned
by irregularities, or by fcorbutic or
other putrid diforders ; in hyfterical
and hypochondriacal complaints, where
the fibres are too irritable and relax-
ed, and where the habit in general
needs to be reftored ; in paralytic dif-
orders ; in gleets -, in the fluor albus ;
in fluxes of the belly j and in other
inordinate difcharges proceednig from
too great weaknefs or relaxation of
any particular part ; in the gravel and
ilone 3 in female obftruclions ; in bar-
ren nefs j

260 Medicinal Virtues

rennefs; and in moil other cafes where
a ftrengthening and brifk Simulating
refolving chalybeate remedy is want-
ed; and where there are no confirmed
obftruclions, or fo much heat and fe-
ver as to forbid their ufe.

They are, however, generally hurt-
ful in hot, bilious, and plethoric con-
ftitutions, when ufed before the body
is cooled by proper evacuations. They
are alfo hurtful in cafes of fever and
heat ; in hectic fevers and ulcerations
of the lungs, and of other internal
parts, particularly where there is no
free outlet to the matter ; and alfo in
moft confirmed obftructions attended
with fever.

The ufual feafon for drinking them
is in July and Auguft, or during the
fummer months from May to Sep-
tember. The water, however, is befl
in the winter, and in dry, frofty wea-
ther i

of Mineral Waters . 261

ther ; and probably might then be
drank to greateft advantage.

If they lie cold on the ftomach, a
few carraway feeds, cardamoms, or
other aromatic, may be taken with
them. The vefTel out of which it is
drunk may alfo be warmed with hot
water, or a little warm water may be
added immediately before drinking. It
muft always be drunk before noon.

The quantity to be drunk mould be

different according to the age, confti-

tution, and other circumstances of the

patient. The only certain rule is, that

quantity which the ftomach can bear

without heavinefs or uneafinefs. The

greater the quantity any one drinks,

the better, provided it agrees, and

paifes well off. It is advifeable to

begin with drinking a glafs or two fe-

veral times in a day, increaiing the

quantity daily, as far as the ftomach

will bear. To continue that dofe du-


262 Medicinal Virtues

ring the courfe, and to finifh by lef-
fening it by the fame degrees by which
it was augmented. Moderate exer-
cife is proper after drinking. It is to
be continued for feveral weeks or
months, according to the circum-

Previous to the ufe of the water, it
is proper to cleanfe the firft pafTages
by gentle purges, and if judged ne-
cefTary, an emetic alfo fhould be gi-
ven. During the courfe, likewise,
coftivenefs mould be "prevented, by oc-
cafionally adding Rochelle falts, or
rhubarb, to the firft glaffes of water
in the morning.

When there is too much heat, the
faline draughts, nitre, vegetable acids,
or the like, mould be given ; and the
elixir of vitriol has been added to the
water, in intermittent feveriili com-
plaints, with good effect.
A cooling regimen fhould be obferv-


of Mineral Waters. 263

ed while drinking thefe waters, as alfo
regular hours, and quietnefs, or chear-
fulnefs of mind.

In cafes of rigidity of the fibres,
the warm bath is recommended,
among the beft preparatives to a courfe
of thefe waters; and, hence bathing
at Aix-la-Chapelle, or at Chande Fon-
taine, is often premifed. The warm
bathing may occafionally be repeated
during the courfe. In oppofite cafes,
the cold bath is recommended.

The Spa water is ufed alfo exter-
nally, in a variety of cafes, with good
fuccefs. It is ufed as an injection in
the fluor albus, and in ulcers and can-
cers of the womb, and alfo in the go-
norrhoea y it is ferviceable in venereal
aphthae, and ulcers in the mouth ; it
is ufed to warn phagedenic ulcers ; it is
recommended by way of gargle for re-
laxed tonfils, and for fattening loofe
teeth , it is alfo good in other relaxa-

264 dkinal Virtues

tions ; and it is faid to cure the itch,
and fimrlar complaints, by warning
and bathing, an internal courfe being
alfo obferved at the time.

As the" Spa waters are impregnated
with different proportions of the fame
ingredients, they may be chofen dif-
ferently, according to the intentions
we have in view. The Poboun is the
ftrongeft chalybeate. The Towidet
is a weaker chalybeate, but brilker,
and rather more gafeous. The Grcif-
beech, and Sauviniere are ftill weaker
chalybeates, but contain a portion of /'"
kali, which the others do not. The
Geromont is like wife a weak chalyb-
eate, but contains a great deal of cal-
careous and felenitical earth, and about
three times as much alkaline fait as
any of the others. The four laft wa-
ters, therefore, will be better in dif-
orders ariling from an acid caufe, and
as diuretics, particularly the Geromont.


of Mineral Waters . 265

S T A n g e R, near Cockermoutb, in

This is a fait chalybeate, or vitri-
olic water j and, when drunk to four
or five pints, operates with violence
both upwards and downwards.

St enfield, in Lincoln/hire,

It is a chalybeate laxative water,
and refembles that of Or/Ion. It is
light, clear, pleafant tafted, and full
of gas at firlt, but on long Handing
in its large refervoir fpoils.

Streatiiam, in Surry , near

The water has a yellowifli tinge,
and throws up a fcum variegated with
blue, green, and yellow. Its tafte is
fomewhat faline and difagreeable.

N The

266 Medicinal Virtues

The gallon contains 160 grains of
fait compofed of fea fait and vitri-
olated magnefia, and 40 of calcareous

It is a mild purging water, and
may be drunk to the quantity of three
or four pints.

It is alfo diuretic, and is faid to be
found ufeful in diforders of the eyes.

See Jeffofs Well.

Suchaloza, about a mile from
Hungarian Broda, in Germany.

It is an acidulous water, refembling
that of Nezdenice in virtues.

It is greatly eiteemed in the neigh-
bourhood for the cure of fcrophulous
and other diforders, in which waters
of this kind are ferviceable; and is


of Mineral Waters . 267

drunk with victuals inileacr of fmall
beer and wine.

Sutton Bog, in the county of Ox-
ford, near to NGrthamptQ?iJhire.

This is one of the waters termed
fulphnreons . *

It has an intolerable foetid fmell,
like rotten eggs. Its tafte is faltim
and pungent, like foap lees.

It throws up a blue fcum, and the
mud at the bottom is jet black. In
half an hour it turns filver of a cop-
per colour.

It contains 131 grains of natron
mixed with a little lea fait, and nine
grains of argillaceous earth, in the gal-

It is a mild laxative, or purging,
water. '

It is ufed both for -drinking and

bathing; and ulcers, tumours, fcro-

N 2 phulous,

268 Medicinal Virtues

phulous, and other difeafes of the
fkin, are fuccefsfully warned with it.
The mud is alfo made ufe of.

S W A D L I N G B A R, hi the COUHty of

Cavern, Ireland.

The water is fometimes tranfpa-
rent and colourlefs; at other times
fomewhat whitifh.

' It has a ftrong fulphureous fmell,
which it retains long in bottles well
corked. It tinge's filver of a blackifh
or copperiih colour.

The well is commonly covered
with a whitifh or blueifh fcum; and
depofits a mud which burns, on a red
hot iron, with a blue name.

It contains natron, together with a
little vitriolated magnefia and earth.

S w A N s e y, in Glamor ganflnre,
North Wales.

It is impregnated with vitriolated


of Mineral Waters . 269

iron, of which a gallon yields thirty-

* two grains.

Dr. Rutty fufpecls it to contain

Taken inwardly it is alfo faid to
ftop purgings; applied outwardly it
flops bleeding.

Sydenha m, in Kent, near London,

The water is fomewhat bitterifh to
the tafte.

It is purgative, and of the nature
of Epfom water, but only about half
the ftrength of it.

Tarleton, eight miles from Pref-
ton, in Lancafhire.

This is a chalybeate water, and drunk

to the quantity of three or four pints

proves purgative. In its virtues it feems

to refemble the Scarborough water.

N 3 It

2jQ Medicinal Virtues

It has a fomewhat fulphureous ffriell
when iirfl drawn.

Tewkesbury, in Gloi/cejlerfiire.

It is a purging water, of the nature
of thofe of Aclon, Pancrasj and Ep-

There are two other fprings of the
fame kind in the neighbourhood ; one
of them is in Walton grounds*, the
other in Teddington grounds.

.Thetford, in the county of

This is a chalybeate and acidulous
water, and contains alfo natron.

It operates by urine, and alfo gently
by flool.

It is recommended in pains of the
ftomach and bowels ; in lofs of appe-
tite; in relaxed irate of the fibres ; in

* See Walton.


of ' ^ Tin a -al Waters . 271

hyfteric diforders - } and in beginning

Thoroton, near Newark upon'
T/ 'enty Nottinghamshire.

It is a chalybeate laxative water,
refembling that of Orjion.

Thursk, in the North Riding of

It is a briik, fparkling, chalybeate
water, and is alfo purgative and diu-
retic. It refembles the Scarborough
and Cheltenham waters.

Tibshelf, in Derbyfiire.

This is a fine clear chalybeate -, and
when poured from one 'glafs to an-
other, fparkles like the Spa water,
which it refembles in virtues.

N4 Til-

2J2 Medicinal Virtues

Tilbury. The Spring which affords
this water is jituated near a farm-
houfe at JVeJl -Til bury, near c Tilbury-
Fort, in EJ/'ex.

This water is not quite limpid at
the well, but is fomewhat ftraw-co-

It is foft and fmooth to the tafte ;
though after being agitated in the
mouth, it leaves a fmall degree of
roughnefs on the tongue.

It throws up a fcum variegated
with feveral colours, which feels
greafy, and effervefces with vitriolic

It mixes fmooth with milk, but
curdles with foap. When boiled it
turns milky ? a fourth part of moun-
tain wine fines it immediately, and
all acids do the fame.

A gallon of the water contains 37


of Mineral Waters* 273

grains of chalk, 49 of true nitre, 82
of lea fait, and 1 1 of natron.

It operates chiefly by urine, though
it is alio fomewhat purgative ; and iiir-
creafes perfpiration.

It is in efleem for removing glan-
dular obftructions ; it is good in bloody
fluxes, purgings, and the like ; in dis-
orders of the flomach arifing from
acidity ; in the gravel; fluor albus;
and immoderate flux of the menfes.

As a diuretic it is good in dropflcal

It gently warms the flomach,
ftrengthens the appetite, and pro-
motes digeftion ; it is alfo of fer-
vice in lownefs of fpirits. From its
efficacy in removing obftructions of
the glands, it is recommended in fcur-
vies and cutaneous difeafes; and its
virtues in thefe complaints feem to
be confirmed by the tingling which
it occafions in the ikin.

The dofe is ufualiy a quart in a day. '

N 5 Tober

274 Medicinal Virtues

Tober Bony, in Ireland.

This fpring is fituated about four
miles north of Dublin.

The water is fweet, and foon la-
thers with foap.

Before rain and wind it yields a fe-
tid fmell. Its -fediment, when placed
on hot iron, turns black and fcetid.

It contains an alkaline fait, toge-
ther with a calcareous earth, and an
oily or bituminous matter.

Its virtues a~e fimilar to thofe of the
^Tilbury water, but in a lefs degree.

T o N s T e i n, in the Bifioprick of
Cologne^ Germojiy.

This is among the moil noted wa-
ters of Germany.

The wafer has a brifk fubacid tafte
at the fountain, which is lofl by ex-
pofure to the air.

of Mineral Wi iters . 275

It is clear and limpid when taken
up from the well, but becomes turbid
by {landing -, owing to the lofs of its
fixed air.

It contains a chalky earth with an
alkali and a little fea fait.

Its virtues are fimilar to thofe of
the Seltzer waters, but it is more

It may alfo be ufed with advantage
for common drink, either by itfelf or
mixed with wine ; and that either in
acute or chronic difcafes, where diu-
retic or deobfiruent remedies are re-

T o w n l e y.

See Hanbridge,

Tralee, in the county of Kerry,

It is a chalybeate water, of the na-
ture of that of Cajlleconnel.

N6 Tun-

276 [ Medicinal Virtues

Tunbridge. The W 'ells are fi-
tuated about five miles from the town
of Tunbridge, in Kent.

This is at prefent one of the moft
famous chalybeate waters in England,
and the moft reforted to of any, tho*
it does not feem to be preferable to
many others in this kingdom.

It is a brifk, light water, has a fer-
ruginous tafte, and contains alfo a little
fea fait.

Expofed to the air it foon lofes its
virtues ; as it does alfo in a few days
in bottles.

It is ufual at times to mix with the
firfh glafs of the water, taken in the
morning, either a little common fait,
or fome other purging fait, in order to
make it operate by ftool. If the fto-
mach be foul, it is apt to vomit.

It is chiefly reforted to in June,


#/ Mineral Waters. zjj

July, and Auguftj and is recom-
mended in all thofe diforders in which
the celebrated Spa waters of Germany
are ferviceable. It pofTefTes the lame
general virtues as thofe waters, but in
a lefs degree.

Upminster, near Brentwood, in

This is a ftrong fulphureous wa-
ter, impregnated with a purging fait,
and natron.

It retains its fulphureous quality a
long time.

It is purgative and diuretic ; and
in its virtues feems to referable the
AJkeron water.

V A h l s, in France.

The well is near Vahls, in Dau-

The water has a brifk fubacid tafte
at the fpring ; which is loft before it


278 Medicinal Virtues

reaches Paris, for it then taftes falt-

It contains 455 grains of natron in'
the gallon.

It is diuretic, and fomewhat pur-
gative -, and is fimilar in virtues to
the Seltzer and Clifton waters, though
lefs powerful.

N. B. Near to this is another fpring,
called ha Marie, of the fame kind, but

Walton, near Tewkejbury.

This water contains the fame in-
gredients as that of Cheltenham. The
only difference between them confifts
in the quantity of the purging fait
in the latter being fomewhat greater,
whilft the Walton water has rather
more hepatic air.

Wardrew, in Northumberland.

It is fituated between Cumberland


of Mineral Waters . 279

and Northumberland, on 'the banks
of the river Arden.

It is the moft cold fulphureous wa-
ter in the three northren counties.
It contains lea fait, and therefore re-
fembles in virtues the Harrogate wa-
ter. The fait is in the proportion of
about 22 grains to the gallon.

It lofes both its fmell and virtues
by carriage and keeping.

Weatherstack, in JVeftmore-

This is a weak chalybeate water,
but contains a large portion of iea
fait. In the fummer it fmells of
fulphur, but not in the winter.

It is purgative ; and the dofe is two
or three pints.

Welle nbro w, in Northampton-
It is a flight chalybeate water, re-
fembling that of IjTmgton,


2 So Medicinal Virtues

W e s T A s H T o n, in the pariJJj of
Steeple Jfiton, Wiltjhire*

It is a weak chalybeate water, re-
sembling thofe of IJlington and Tun-

We st wood, near Tanderjley, in

This is a vitriolic chalybeate, fome-
what refembling the Sbadwell water.

It is recommended externally for
old fores in the legs.

N. B. The coal waters, in general,
in this part of the country, are alfo

Wexford, in Ireland,

It is an agreeable chalybeate wa-
ter, flmilar in virtue to that of IJling-


of Mineral Waters . 281

White-Acre, near Trales, in

This is a very clear, brifk chalyb-
eate water, refembling that of Lan-
cafter in virtues, but it is faid rather
to bind than purge.

Wigan, in Lancashire .

It is a clear chalybeate water, re*-
fembling thofe of Hamfftead and If-

From the bottom rifes an inflam-
mable vapour, which takes fire at the
furface on the approach of a lighted

Wigglesworth, in the parijh
of Long Prefton, in the Weft Riding
of York fldire, four miles f out h of Set-

The water is very black, and has a


2o2 Medicinal Virtues

ferong fulphureous fmell, with a fait-
ifli tafte.

Drunk to the quantity of three
quarts it purges, and two quarts are
faid to vomit, though it is rather un-
common, that more mould be requir-
ed for the former than for the latter.

W I L D u N G A N, in the country of
Waldeck, Germany,

This water at the fountain has a
brifk fubacid tafte, which it lofes by

It is of the fame kind with that of
Bitchy but weaker.

It is one of the mildeft acidulae
known, and may be ufed as common
drink alone, or mixed with a fmall
portion of wine.

Though it is not efteemed ftrong
enough to remove obftinate chronic
difeafes, and clear the firft paffages,


of Mineral Waters. 283

yet it is excellent for blunting and di-
luting acrid, fcorbutic, and gouty hu-
mours, when taken in large quantity,
and for a fufficient length of time.

Wirksworth, in Derby fiire.

It is a weak fulphureous water,
impregnated with a purging fait, and
is alfo chalybeate.

It is recommended in fcrophulous,
and cutaneous diforders.

Witham, in Eff'ex.

This is a chalybeate water of con-
siderable ftrength, and is alfo impreg-
nated with fea fait, but it will not
bear carriage, and muft be drunk at
the fountain.

It is very diuretic, and has been
fuccefsfully prefcribed in hectic fe-
vers, in weaknefs occalioned by long
difeafc, in lownefs of fpirits, nervous


284 Medicinal Virtues , &c.

complaints, want of appetite, indigef-
tion, habitual cholic, and vomiting;
in agues, in the jaundice, and begin-
ning dropfy; in the gravel, and in
afthmatic and fcorbutic diforders.

2ahorovice, in Germany.

The fpring is near to this village,
in the diftrict of the Cattle of Suiet-
lovia, in a rocky valley, by the fide
of the river Nezdenice,

It is an acidulous water, falter, but
lefs acid than that of Nezdenice ; and
it is alfo fomewhat pungent and foetid,

It is in great efteem in the neigh-
bourhood, particularly for the cure of
fcrophulous diforders.


[ *8 5 1


FOR the fake of brevity, I have
omitted a particular defcription of each
water in the preceding account, and
occaiionally referred the reader to fome
water of the fame kind which has been
more fully treated of; and the general
virtues of the different claffes of wa-
ters are alfo defcribed at large in the

In the Appendix to Dr. Prieftley's
tract, I have given directions for imi-
tating fome of thofe waters. The
acidulous waters of the 5th clafs, for
example, may be imitated, and even
excelled, by limply impregnating wa-
ter with Fixed Air. The folid ingre-
dients are known to be of little or no
confequence. If, however, thefe be de-


286 Conclnjhn.

fired, they maybe added in the propor-
tions directed under the article Seltzer
water ; though it is by no means, ne-
ce/Tary that thofe proportions mould
be ftriclly adhered to.

A purging water, anfwering per-
haps all the intentions of thofe of the
6th clafs, may be made as directed for
the Seidfcutz water. Rochelle fait,
or vitriolated natron, may be fublti-
tuted for the vitriolated magnelia, if
the latter be too naufeous ; and a lit-
tle common fait may alfo be added.
if the water to be imitated be a fait
water, like that of the fea, the com-
mon fait mould be in the greater pro-

le chalybeate waters of the r ft
clafs may be elegantly fubftituted, by
water impregnated with Fixed Air, in
which iron- filings, or wire, has been
infufed : or they may be made as direct-
ed -under the articles Spa and Pyrmont


Conchifion, 287

tvnter. The chalybeate purging waters
of the 2d clafs may be imitated by
adding to a gallon of this water two
or three ounces of vitriolated magne-
fia, or other purging fait, and, if you
will, a littie fea fait.

For the fulphureous waters of the
3d clafs, water impregnated with he-
patic air may be advantageoufly ufed :
or they may be made as directed under
the article Aix-la-Chapelk hvater. If
they be alfo required to be chalybeate,
or purging, or both, iron-filings, or
vitriolated magnefia, or both thefe,
may be added, together with a little
fea fait, according to circumftances.
For cold fulphureous waters, both
fixed and hepatic airs are to be em-
ployed, as mentioned in the Appen-
dix ; and even for the hot fulphureous
waters it may be proper to put a fmall
proportion of chalk with the fulphu-


288 Conclujion.

rated kali into the lower veffel A of
the apparatus.

They who have a knowledge of
natural philofophy, will perceive that
thefe artificial waters are not only
equal, but even fuperior to the natural
ones, efpecially when they cannot be
drunk at the fpring head. Their vir-
tues, for the moil part, depend on
their volatile principles, and art can
make water imbibe more. than double
the quantity of "fixed, or hepatic air,
that the ftrongefl natural waters are
ever found to contain. The latter
are alfo frequently impregnated with
hurtful, or, atleaft, ufelefs ingredients;
and we cannot always be fure that we
have them genuine. It is not, how-
ever, by any means, the Author's wifh
to profcribe the ufe of the natural wa-
ters. Many of them have particular
virtues, as has been proved by un-

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Online LibraryJohn ElliotAn account of the nature and medicinal virtues of the principal mineral waters of Great Britain and Ireland; and those most in repute on the continent .. → online text (page 9 of 10)