Ads From The 1800s

In researching Sprudel Salt, I came across an interesting book/study dedicated entirely to the relationship between Sprudel Salt and Carlsbad Thermal Waters.  It’s entitled "The Action, Therapeutic Value and Use of the Carlbsad Sprudel Salt (Powder Form) and Its Relation to The Carlsbad Thermal Water."  Now that's a mouthful!  Basically it includes the findings of a number of experiments conducted by Professor Korczynski in Krakow.  As I am guessing you don’t want to read over 100 pages on these experiments (albeit interesting and sometimes humorous reading), I have printed the first part of the appendix (findings) below so that you can read a general summary.  I figured I would leave out the details about the gastric volumeter, the microscopical examination of the contents of the fasting stomach, and how to take the salt rectally.  However, you can click the link above to read the whole book if such things sound appealing to you.


As the Sprudel Salt had its origin in the desire to furnish a product containing all of the constituents of the Carlsbad waters, my desire has been to ascertain if the pharmacodynamic and therapeutic action of the Sprudel Salt and Carlsbad water are identical or not, inasmuch as from a practical standpoint it was desirable to ascertain whether or no, clinically, the Sprudel Salt might be used instead of the Carlsbad waters. At first nothing seemed easier than to make parallel experiments upon the same individual to ascertain the influence upon the gastric function once with the Thermal waters then with the Sprudel Salt The insurmountable difficulty, however, arose of placing both products under the same experimental conditions. As is well known, the Carlsbad Sprudel Salt is produced by evaporation of the Carlsbad Sprudel water and the removal of the insoluble constituents. One litre of Sprudel water, according to Ludwig's and Mauthner's analysis, produces 5.5168 grm. dry residue in which there are 4.9527 grm. soluble constituents. It may, therefore, be assumed that this latter quantity of Sprudel Salt dissolved in one litre of distilled water would be equal to one litre of Sprudel water as regards the soluble constituents. When, however, I dissolved 4.95 2 7 grm. of Sprudel Salt in distilled water and determined in the artificial water thus obtained the main constituents, sodium carbonate, sodium sulphate and sodium chloride, quantitatively, I found that it did not entirely correspond to the neutral Sprudel water as far as these constituents were concerned. I found by analyzing, with the same reagents and at the same time, the bottled Sprudel water and the imitated Sprudel to contain in 100 parts of liquid the following:--

Bottled Sprudel Water. Sprudel Water made from Sprudel Salt.

Alkalinity, . . . 35.4 c. c. 22.4 c. c. -fa normal sulphuric acid.

Chlorides, . . . 22.6c. c. 20.4 c. c. ^ normal silver-nitrate solution.

Barium sulphate, 0.494 grm. 0.381 grm.

From the above it will be seen that the natural Sprudel water is much stronger so far as the main constituents are concerned, and what concerns us most here, the relation of these constituents one to the other has been changed; although the percentage of chlorides in both liquids did not differ much, the percentage of sulphates was diminished by \, and the alkaline carbonates, the most important agent upon the gastric function, to almost y§ in the Sprudel Salt solution. The influence of these liquids upon the organism cannot, therefore, be compared in figures. It is impossible to find a quantity of Sprudel Salt which, when dissolved in water, would be quantitatively of equal value with the Sprudel water. From a chemical standpoint of view there are two quantitatively heterogeneous solutions under consideration.

1. Still, I have made parallel examinations with the above mentioned Sprudel Salt solution which was intended to imitate the Sprudel water and the Sprudel water itself, to ascertain the action of both upon the gastric function. Case XXI, 114,115, of the table, is one of these cases. It was found, as might be expected, and was observed in a number of other cases, that the depressing or lowering effect of the Sprudel Salt solution upon the stomach was greater than that of the natural Sprudel water. The acidity appeared higher after taking the Sprudel water, although it contained more alkaline carbonates, the sulphates disappeared more rapidly, and the gastric juice appeared more capable of digesting than when the Sprudel Salt solution had been taken.

2. As it did not appear opportune to test both remedies pharmacodynamically upon the ground of chemical principles, the question was taken up from a practical clinical standpoint. The pharmacodynamic action of the usual minimal doses of Sprudel water and Sprudel Salt were compared. For this purpose, with accurately weighed and measured quantities of 250 c.c. of Miihlbrunnenwasser on the one hand, and 5 grm. Sprudel Salt in 250 c. c. distilled water on the other, parallel experiments were made on the same individuals under the same conditions as regards gastric function. The mode of examination was identically the same as given above in Section 2. The experiments made for this purpose are mentioned in the table in their proper place. The experiments not only demonstrate that, after the ingestion of a quarter litre of Carlsbad water, a gastric juice of acid reaction, and capable of digestion, appears sooner than when 5 grm. Sprudel Salt has been taken, which quantity really represents a litre of the Thermal water, but that the maximum of acidity after the Carlsbad water is much higher in less than half an hour than after the Sprudel Salt; it is even higher than the acidity obtained by the irritation of ice water. In case I, 5, the acidity with Sprudel Salt after half an hour was 3.6, with Miihlbrunnenwasser, however, 14.0; in case V, 28, with Sprudel Salt, 1.6; with Miihlbrunnenwasser, however, 13.2; in case IX, 46, with Sprudel Salt 3.4 degrees alkalinity, with Thermal water 12.4 degrees acidity. In case XIX, the figures were 3.4 and 22.0; in case XXV, 0.8 and 15.4. In alkaline gastric juice the alkalinity after Carlsbad water was less than after Sprudel Salt solution with the same mode of experimentation; in case X, 57, degree of alkalinity, after Sprudel Salt solution, 2.0, and after the Thermal water, 1.2. In case XIII, 70, the differences were 4.0 and 2.8. In these experiments, therefore, the superirritated gastric function is relieved more by the Sprudel Salt than by the Thermal water, which is very probably owing to the larger quantity of fixed constituents of the Sprudel Salt.

3. If the facts set forth under i and 2 are placed in juxtaposition, and the results which I have obtained and published concerning Carlsbad water compared from a pharmacodynamic point of view with the results of my experiments with Sprudel Salt, the following difference will be noticed between the Carlsbad water and the Sprudel Salt from a practical point of view.

(a) Single doses of Carlsbad water stimulate the acid secretion of the gastric mucous membrane to a greater degree than single doses of Sprudel Salt. The maximum of acidity after Carlsbad is not only much higher, but is reached much quicker than after Sprudel Salt.

(b) The gastric juice becomes capable of peptonization sooner after Carlsbad water than after Sprudel Salt.

(c) The stimulation to acid secretion lasts much longer with Carlsbad water than with Sprudel Salt, so that I had to wait hours-in my experiments with Carlsbad water until the degree of acidity was reduced to that of the empty stomach.

(d) The salts disappear more rapidly from the stomach after the ingestion of the Carlsbad water than after taking a Sprudel Salt solution.

(e) Warm Carlsbad water is more stimulating to the gastric function than cold, whilst with Sprudel Salt the opposite is the case.

(f) Whilst the quantity of Carlsbad water ordinarily taken influences the intestinal function but very little, the ordinary doses of Sprudel Salt exert a very marked influence upon the entire intestinal canal.

(g) As regards the final result of a continued use of Carlsbad water and of Sprudel Salt, both remedies correspond very closely with one another. Given in large doses the digestive chemism is lowered by both, and frequently stimulated by small ones. The general health and nutrition is affected in the same way by large doses. The alteration in the intestinal function may be noticed more frequently and in a higher degree after Sprudel Salt than after Carlsbad water. .

4. As regards the clinical deductions derived from these observations, the following may be assumed therapeutically:--

(a) Carlsbad water is to be preferred in many cases of independent gastric diseases, whilst Sprudel Salt is especially indicated when the stomach and intestinal canal are both involved, but also is of most service in dilatation of the stomach associated with acid hypersecretion, as small doses appear well suited to lower the gastric function.

(b) Sprudel Salt has qualitatively the same therapeutic effect as the Carlsbad water, but quantitatively, at least in one respect, not: Carlsbad water is more stimulating.

(c) Whether or no the Sprudel Salt is to be preferred to the Carlsbad water in other diseases I am not prepared to say, on account of the want of comparative study; speculative deductions would be of no use, and in practice even dangerous, because it is impossible to know if the changes in the more distant organs are produced in the organs themselves by the direct action of the solution of Sprudel Salt introduced, or whether they are the result of reflex action."

I find these studies to be very interesting, namely because the end of the 1800s marked the beginning of the marketing industry, and it was also a time where a lot of false advertising and even fraud was taking place.  This isn’t so unlike today, but it seems like the newness of advertising, lack of medical knowledge and/or public medical knowledge, and a more trusting public may have easily led more 19th century consumers to be “duped” by untruthful ads.  As a result, many individuals and/or establishments set out to create some standards in advertising and to "set the record straight" when it strayed from the path of accuracy.  For me, it is quite interesting to read advertisements side-by-side with the findings of those who were testing the validity of their claims.  Happy Salting.

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