The story of Budapest mineral waters is very interesting and their curative effect is an even bigger treasure than the cultural value that they represent. Medicinal thermal waters that burst out from the ground have often been utilised by building both baths and bottling plants, and in these spas we can’t only take a splash but also drink water from the wells located in the buildings. At the same time there are medicinal thermal waters in Budapest which are only used for drinking purposes. Waters such as Margitszigeti Kristályvíz, Gellérthegyi Kristályvíz, Hunyadi János bitter water, Ferencz József bitter water and Apenta bitter water have been bottled since the 19th century. These waters soon became world famous and because their curative effect is produced if they are used for drink cures, they are most often consumed in order to treat digestive diseases.
Of course, not one tap fits all, since each drinking halls have their own unique spring with an individual mineral profile that caters to a different set of ailments and afflictions. The water f.g. that comes to the Lukács Drinking Hall is from the same source as the baths (but from a different, newer well). It’s rich in calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate, sulphate, chloride as well as sodium and fluoride ions. Next to Rudas Bath the Juventus spring, known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’ for its supposed anti-ageing properties, helps with hypertension and rheumatism. It spouts water that’s 40-42ºC, which is slightly radioactive, and high mostly in calcium, sodium and magnesium, with concentrates of sulphate and chloride ions. This spring is also used to supply the historic Ottoman Rudas Bath next door. In a small pavilion next to the famous Szechenyi Bath, you can find a drinking hall where you can try the water from the hot Istvan – Stephen – spring. The original source is 76ºC, so it’s recommended to cool the water before drinking it. The composition is high in hydrogen-carbonate, sulphates, nitrates, calcium and magnesium, and it’s said to help in the treatment of stomach issues, kidney stones, gout, gallbladder issues, gastric ulcers and even chronic respiratory catarrh. But these three are not the only places where you can drink from thermal springs of Budapest. You find the healing water in stores, pharmacies and supermarkets as well.