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Medicinal water containing radon from Katharinenquelle (Catherine spring)

The main indication of medicinal water containing radon is chronic pain in patients with rheumatic and spinal diseases. The Katherinenquelle (Catherine spring) is a natural source of radon water in in the Upper Palatinate Forest, and has been in use since 1964. Radon therapy as a series of individual tub sessions has been practiced in Neualbenreuth since 1989 – then in the bathhouse Maiersreuth – and since 1996 with an increased tub capacity in the Kurmittelhaus Sibyllenbad in the Kurallee.

Radon is a highly volatile noble gas, which is dissolved in the medicinal water. As a slightly radioactive element it disintegrates with a half-life period of 3.8 days. In the tubs of the Sibyllenbad, an optimum radon concentration between 1.600 and 2.000 becquerel for pain therapy is ensured.

In the framework of a radon therapy at Sibyllenbad, a series of at least six to twelve single bathing sessions is prescribed. The duration per bath at 36° C is 20 minutes with a subsequent resting period of another 20 minutes.

During the bath, the patient absorbs the radon through the skin and lungs, and releases it subsequently through the lungs. In the course of this process, a small part of the element disintegrates within the body into its progenies. When disintegrating, radon releases alpha radiation, which is responsible for processes on the cell level alleviating pain, reducing inflammation and positively influencing the immune system as well as endogenous repair mechanism. For the patient, a radiation dose of max. 2 mSv (with approx. 10 bathing sessions) is harmless. The same holds true for the staff working in the tub area.

Unique radon-carbon dioxide combination baths

The radon-carbon dioxide combination baths are unique in the Sibyllenbad. The therapy is based on medicinal carbon dioxide water, to which radon water is added underneath the water surface. The radon-carbon dioxide combination bath comprises approx. three tub fillings of medicinal water. Bathing in medicinal carbon dioxide water improves the blood flow, relieves the cardiovascular system and improves the absorption capacity of the skin. This improves the effectiveness of the radon therapy considerably.

The fundamentals of the radon-carbon dioxide combination baths in the Sibyllenbad were developed by Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang A. Grunewald, who acted as medical director and balneologist in the Sibyllenbad from 1989 to 2012. Through the innovation of radon-carbon dioxide combination baths it became possible to use radon therapy for patients with rheumatic and cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension (elevated blood pressure). The combination therapy is particularly gentle and well tolerated by patients.

The large regeneration bath – radon, carbon dioxide and oxygen

In the large regeneration bath, the patient inhales medical oxygen during the radon-carbon dioxide combination bath. The oxygen supply in the organs is thus improved. The large regeneration bath with radon, carbon dioxide and oxygen inhalation is above all suited for preserving quality of live in old age, and for preventing premature ageing.

Radon baths in the Sibyllenbad are subject to medical prescription.

The most important and effective active substances of the radon Katharinenquelle (Catherine spring) per liter of spa water:

Radon content (222Rn)83,5 nCi/l resp. 3100 Bq/l
Cations (mg/l)
Natrium (Na+)19,7
Calcium (Ca2+)21,0
Magnesium (Mg2+)6,4
Iron (Fe2+ , Fe 3+)1,3
Anions (mg/l) 
Fluoride (F)0,2
Chloride (Cl)21,4
Sulfate (SO4 2-)18,5
Hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-)90,0
Source temperature in °C9,4

Main indications for the radon Katharinenquelle (Catherine spring)

Chronic autoimmune disorders

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases
  • Chronic rheumatism of the joints (chronic polyarthritis)
  • Bechterew´s disease (Morbus Bechterew)
  • Soft-tissue rheumatism (polymyalgia rheumatica)
  • Early stage multiple sclerosis
  • Atopic dermatitis

Chronic degenerative diseases

  • Arthrosis (large joint arthrosis, hip and knee arthrosis, small joint arthrosis and vertebral body arthrosis (spondylarthrosis)
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g. gout)
  • Psoriasis, psoriasis arthritis
  • Spinal diseases (skoliosis, damaged discs and osteoporosis)
  • Condition after joint prosthesis and disc surgery

Diseases of peripheral nerves and the vegetative nervous system

Nerve damages:

  • Polyneuropathy
  • Borreliosus neuropathy
  • Trigeminus neuralgia
  • Zoster neuralgia
  • Phantom pain after amputations

Improvement of quality of life

  • Mental-physical states of exhaustion (burnout syndrome, vegetative dysregulation)
  • Physical performance deficit
  • Prevention of ageing (gerontological prophylaxis)

Cardiovascular diseases

  • Condition after heart attack, stroke, vascular dilation with and without stent
  • Condition after vascular surgery of the coronary vessels, leg or head arteries
  • Circulatory disturbances (of the coronary vessels, cerebral vessels, legs) as well as venous circulatory disturbances
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis

Experiences made by patients suffering from the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) show signs of recovery for this disorder. For further information please contact Josef Hofbauer under

Contraindication for radon baths

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Acute stages of the diseases mentioned under the therapeutic indications
  • Acute infectious diseases
  • Serious cardiac insufficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment of children

Cancer patients are recommended to have a radon therapy after a waiting period of one year following the end of their chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Consultation with the managing balneologist is necessary.


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