Chalybeate

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Description:
Chalybeate waters, also known as ferruginous waters, are mineral spring waters containing salts of iron.

Name

The word "chalybeate" is derived from the Latin word for steel, "chalybs", which follows from the Greek word "khalups". Khalups is the singular form of Khalubes or Chalybes, who were mythical people living on Mount Ida in north Asia Minor who had invented iron working.

Ferruginous comes from the Latin word "ferreus" meaning "made of iron," which is derived from the Latin word "ferrum" which means "iron."

History

Early in the 17th century, chalybeate water was said to have health-giving properties and many people have promoted its qualities. Dudley North, 3rd Baron North discovered the chalybeate spring at Tunbridge Wells in 1606. Dudley North’s physician claimed that the waters contained ‘vitriol’ and the waters of Tunbridge Wells could cure:

the colic, the melancholy, and the vapours; it made the lean fat, the fat lean; it killed flat worms in the belly, loosened the clammy humours of the body, and dried the over-moist brain.


He also apparently said, in verse:

"These waters youth in age renew
Strength to the weak and sickly add
Give the pale cheek a rosy hue
And cheerful spirits to the sad."


The English physician Thomas Sydenham prescribed chalybeate waters for hysteria.

The Recoaro Spa is on the outskirts of Vicenza, Italy. In 1689, a spring of ferruginous water rich in gas...
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