Salt Mines

Salt Mines

There are underground salt mines that people visit to ease their bronchial blockages, asthma, and breathing problems.

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Ukrainians have a somewhat unorthodox way of treating their breathing ailments: they head 300 meters underground, in a disaffected salt mine-turned-therapy center beneath the village of Solotvyno.

For decades, Solotvyno's allergological hospital has sent patients suffering from asthma, hay fever-type allergies, and various bronchial blockages to spend time in the dark and humid galleries of the mine, where the salt-permeated air is believed to have decongestant and curative qualities.

The treatment, called speleotherapy (or salt therapy), was discovered in Poland in the 1950s by a physician called Feliks Boczokwski, who noticed that salt miners rarely suffered from tuberculosis or respiratory diseases. The therapy is common in Eastern and Central Europe, but almost unknown in the rest of the world. Not all experts are convinced of its benefits: British asthma specialist Caroline Moye told that "there is very little evidence available to suggest [salt therapy] is an effective treatment for people with asthma."

Breathing in salt air dissolves excess mucus and clears the respiratory system. It is good to visit salt caves both as a preventive treatment, as well as to soothe the symptoms of any breathing illness. In the latter case, we recommend coming for a minimum of five sessions of 45 minutes.

Finally, the sodium, potassium, and magnesium in salt improves blood pressure and has a positive effect on the heart and blood circulation, while calcium strengthens the immune system."

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