Värska mineral water in Estonia turned into a throat spray

Researchers of the University of Tartu studied the medical mineral water of Estonia’s Värska resort and confirmed that it can effectively support the treatment of upper respiratory diseases; based on the water, the resort now produces nasal and throat spray called Tsilk.

Uno Mäeorg, Enn Karro and Ain Raal, the researchers from the largest and oldest university in Estonia, studied for a year the mineral water of the bore well number six in Värska, coming from 595 metres (1,952 feet) deep, to find out whether it could be used in the fight against upper respiratory diseases. Värska is a small borough in Setomaa Parish, Võru County, southeastern Estonia.

According to professor Raal, who leads the university’s Institute of Pharmacy, the results of the chemical and microbiological analyses of the mineral water were “very good”. “The results confirmed the water from that well is suitable for use in hygiene procedures and moisturising mucous membranes, but also relieves mild mucosal inflammations in the mouth, throat, nose and paranasal sinuses,” Raal said in a press release, issued by the university.

Värska. Photo by Einar Raudkepp.

“Having compared the water from Värska with the ocean and seawater, researchers found that their salinity is quite equal, but the well water has one advantage – it is sterile and does not need additional purification,” the university said. “Mineral water coming from the depths of the earth has not been affected by human activity and contains all the valuable minerals and micronutrients that have been beneath the ground for millennia.”

A 500-million-year-old resource

The local Värska Water Park now produces nasal and throat spray, Tsilk. “It relieves nasal congestion, throat irritation and dry throat, clears the nasal cavity of excess mucus and protects it from infection,” the university said.

Raal said the salinity and other properties of the mineral water were suitable for use as a spray and no additives or preservatives are needed. “Since it is completely natural, it cannot have harmful side effects and is also suitable for extended use. However, additives could improve the therapeutic effect of the spray.”

Värska, a small borough of less than 500 people, is located by the lake Peipus, near the Estonian-Russian border. Estonia’s southernmost port is in Värska.

Värska port. Photo by Värska Port.

The Värska mineral water is well known in Estonia. The drilling was initiated under the leadership of geologist Vladimir Tassa in 1967 and, since 1973, the Värska water has been bottled and sold as drinking water across the country. The water comes from a natural stone bowl under the Gulf of Värska that formed approximately 500 million years ago. This means the water has absorbed plenty of natural minerals.

Cover: Värska Water Park produces nasal and throat spray called Tsilk.

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