Therapeutic effects of peat
When we say that peat makes its way to Bechyně all the way from the Late Quaternary, we hope you’ll forgive the hyperbole. After all, not all peat is suitable for medical purposes. It must have the necessary physical properties (ability to trap and transfer heat) as well as a certain chemical composition (presence of humic acids, resins, aromatic substances, etc. ). Our peat is such high quality that with expert analysis you can identify the pollen grains of plants that once grew here in the primordial past.
Bechyně peat is among the finest in the Czech Republic and Central Europe! It is also subject to strict regular inspections, carried out on the source of this natural medical resource and encompassing comprehensive analyses of the peloid. Peloids are material created in nature by geological processes. Mixed with water they can be used for bathing or for wraps. Peat contains humic acids, which open pores through which therapeutic inorganic compounds, dissolved in the water, can enter the body. The profusion and effect of wax and resin in our peat started us wondering whether, besides treating musculoskeletal disorders, it might also remedy women’s ailments.
The peat bog and nature reserve Borkovická blata was found in the depression between the municipalities of Soběslav, Veselí nad Lužnicí and Bechyně. Here, long ago, resting upon an impermeable acidic geological bed was a giant lake. This uninterrupted body of water, covering the Earth for millions of years and accumulating dead plants (peat moss, reeds, sedge, etc.), gave rise to massive reserves of simple peat, with a depth of up to 8 m, around the municipalities of Komárov, Klečaty, Zálší and Mažice, measuring approx. 860 ha and 8–10,000 years old. The development of the peat bog continues to this day.
Peat has been extracted at Komárov Bog (Komárovská blata) – site of the balneologically most valuable bed of simple peat, with a pH of 4.5–5.5 – for spa uses since 1905, when the first bath treatment was established at the Šárka spa building, and which still continues today. Supplies in this specially marked out locality are plentiful and will last us for many years to come.
Journey of the bog
After extraction the bog needs to be modified to achieve its ideal consistency.
All work with peat is carried out at Bechyně Spa by 2 employees.
After draining the water from the extracted bog, it is taken away to a covered preparation area. Here it is loaded onto a conveyor belt and all of the unwanted bits of root are removed. The next process is crushing – peat particles may not exceed 2 mm in size. The fine mixture, in the form of granules, drops into a stainless steel tank with automatic mixers and drinking water added. The mass is heated to a temperature of 40 °C. Once the ideal thickness is achieved, the peat is piped directly to stainless steel baths, where it is used for bathing patients who have been permitted to bathe by their doctors.
We also keep in mind those cases for whom doctors have contraindicated bathing. For this group of patients, the dark thick mass is emptied into buckets and sent by a lift directly to rooms where specialists are waiting to make peat wraps.