Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Saline Solution


I've been doing battle with a sore throat now for over a week, dousing it with honey, pots of tea, lashings of chicken soup and gargling with salt water. What I don't want to do is go to the doctor, have her glance at it and promptly write up a penicillin prescription, all within the 7 minutes allocated for an appointment. Does anyone know of a doctor who will take up his or her quill-pen, and scrawl out in spidery but legible longhand that 'the patient must take the waters in this or that spa town and not return until fully restored to health'? Send me details.
Over Christmas we visited Bad Rothefelde where generations of delicate Germans have been sent for their rest cures. The most amazing feature there is the 'Gradierwerk' or saline. This is a 30 foot high, 1/2 a kilometre long thatched wall built in the 18th century. The salt spring water is pumped up to the top and trickles down the blackthorn thatch, allowing evaporation and increasing the salt content from 4% to about 25%. Finally it is boiled down to extract the salt. There is a chamber inside the wall (very like a sauna, only cold so you leave your clothes on). It is filled with a dense fog of salt vapour which you inhale through your nose and exhale out of your mouth for 15 minutes at a time. And over time you will become the very picture of gesundheit.

If you click on the picture, you'll see the water trickling over the thatch and also some thatch encrusted with minerals which will get replaced in time. The longshot doesn't really do justice to it's size.

1 comment:

Q said...

If you can't get someone to agree to prescribe that you take a restorative spa break then I recommend oil of oregano... it's an assault on your senses but it does seem to have some magic remedy quality. I think Dr. Watson might draft such a prescription if he's not occupied in a mystery.