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© Photo: Key to Baikal
April, 07

Water Will Cure All Diseases: the Healing Mineral Springs-arshans of Eastern Baikal

On the eve of World Health Day, we decided to continue the story about the healing spings-arshans of Baikal. This time we will tell you about the hot springs of Eastern Baikal, where the healing waters rush both underwater and on the land and help people to recover from various diseases.

World Health Day celebrated on April 7 around the world is a holiday designed to focus on the issues of a healthy lifestyle and timely prevention of diseases. The ways of solving these problems are extremely different and most often can be found outside the hospital walls.

Many people know that the aura of Lake Baikal will give you energy for a whole year. However, the time spent on the coast of the beautiful lake will give you an opportunity not only to improve your mental state, but also to solve many problems directly related to health, without any medical intervention.

Mineral Water Comes from Under the Ground, and Sometimes This Water Is Hot...

Baikal region can rightly be called the “water world” with a large number of unique healing springs, alongside with an abundance of lakes and rivers. Some of these springs are hot at any time of the year.  Such springs with water heating to more than + 20 Celsius, are called geothermal.

What ensures the heating of water? Scientists name two major factors. Firstly, the transfer of magma, a molten mass formed in the deep zones of the Earth, to its upper layers during volcanic phenomena. Secondly, the presence of heat exchange processes at a considerable underground depth. The closer to the center of the Earth, the higher the temperature.

The first reason is the most characteristic one for the Baikal zone located in the deep fracture of the Earth’s crust and characterized by mountainous landscape and high seismic activity. In this place magma comes close to the earth’s surface, which heats up the water. Respectively, thermal springs emerge at the bottom of Baikal and on its coast.

This time we will tell you about the curative springs of the Eastern coast of Lake Baikal.

The Springs of Zmeinaya Bay (“Snake Cove”)

Zmeinaya (Zmeevaya) Bay is located in Barguzinsky district of Buryatia, on the Svyatoy Nos peninsula with its coast washed by the Chivyrkuisky Bay. You should not be afraid because of the name of the bay. Only harmless whip snakes live here.

Svyatoy Nos is one of the largest and most attractive peninsulas of Baikal, and there are no such solitary coves hidden from Baikal winds anywhere on the coast, except in the Chivyrkuisky Bay.

The strait got its name from the Evenk (Tungus) “Chivir” word meaning “to move”, “to wriggle”.

Zmeinaya Bay makes people happy with its beautiful views. It is surrounded by a cozy beach area: this makes it pleasant to plunge into the purest warm Baikal water. Small rocks rise around the bay, guarding its peace. But the main advantage of the Zmeinaya Bay is its widely known thermal springs.

If you determine their position with the connection to the settlements, then, as a rule, people get to the bay from the village of Ust-Barguzin where the office of the Zabaikalsy National Park is located.

Curative properties: the springs come out both underwater and on the land. Two baths in the form of log cabins with running water are made of solid wood for the convenience of bathing people and stand near the main source, at this, one of these baths is suitable for use of vacationers with children.

Water temperature depends on the season and, according to some data, can even reach + 56 ° С. But, on average, it makes up +40 - + 45 ° С. It is no coincidence that these springs are listed among hottest ones on the Eastern coast of Baikal.

According to the expert opinions, the chemical composition of the bath resembles the waters of the famous Belokurikha resort and belongs to the so-called “Allinsky” type of mineral medicinal waters. The composition is hydro-carbonate-sulphate-sodium, with a content of fluorine and silicic acid. This water has a low mineralization level, a noticeable odor of hydrogen sulfide that can also be tasted.

Since ancient times, the springs-arshans of the Zmeinaya Bay have helped people in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the joints, musculoskeletal system, radiculitis, and chondrosis. They also have a beneficial effect on the skin.

Sukhaya (Zagza) Thermal Spring

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Sukhaya spring is located in Kabansky district of the Republic of Buryatia, on the coast of Lake Baikal, about 4 km away from the eponymous village. It is located at the distance of 168 km from the city of Ulan-Ude, and 82 km away from the nearby Selenginsk railway station.

Sukhaya is a monument of nature located on an area of about 0.4 hectares. The spring is surrounded by a coniferous forest that is perfect for walks after swimming. All people who have visited this part of Eastern Baikal note the picturesque surroundings and the comfortable mild continental climate with an average summer temperatures from + 19 to + 20 ° С (–22 ° С in winter).

Curative properties. Compared with many other arshans of Eastern Baikal, the springs of Sukhaya are quite young. In 1938–1940, during the search for oil, a welling spring of thermal water with beneficial properties was discovered at the same time. Thus two wells appeared: both are currently operating.

According to its composition and properties, Zagzy mineral water resembles the waters of the more famous “Zhemchug” resort in Tunkinsky district of Buryatia.

Average water temperature makes up + 35 ° С, it contains radon, as well as sodium bicarbonate, and a small amount of hydrogen sulfide and nitrogen.

The wonderful healing properties of these hot baths are noticed by patients with the following problems:

-women’s reproductive system;
- diseases of the peripheral nervous system;
- bone and joint pain;
- skin;
- injuries of the musculoskeletal system.

Springs of the Barguzinskaya Valley

The Barguzinskaya Valley stretching to 200 km, is considered to be a unique natural health resort with its wealth being the variety of mineral waters suitable both for drinking and balneotherapy. And if you add these advantages to treatment climatic zones, it becomes clear why the valley is included into the top three springs of Buryatia (Shumak, Goryachinsk) by its healing properties.

The Barguzinskaya Valley is represented by about 150 springs, mainly sulphate-hydrocarbonate-sodium, with their temperatures up to + 50 ° С, and by 10 mineral lakes.

The gem of the valley can be rightly called the Umkheisky complex located in its north: the most distant and the most unusual one. Here the outcrops of waters of about a hundred mineral spring can be found on the small island of Umkhei along the banks of the Barguzin River. The water containing fluorine, silicic acid and hydrogen sulfide can be used to heal about 20 diseases.

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