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  • Arzhaans


    kysyl_source (12)Arzhaans are natural water springs from ancient times used by Tuvans as curative. It is a special pride of our republic. Arzhaan cult was big in everyday lives of Tuvans: body and spirit health of every man and clan as a whole was considered connected to it.

    Arzhaans usually were “opened” by lamas-doctors or shamans. With abundance of people they consecrated springs and gave people advise how to heal from which illnesses and misfortunes. Basic kinds of healing were showers or bathes, if the spring was warm or hot, gargling and intake. Time of a shower or bath was strictly regulated, eventually growing from the beginning of healing to the end, for instance from one to five minutes.

    Arzhaans of Tuva can be divided into two groups: mineral and fresh.

  • Mineral Arzhaans

    Mineral arzhaans include curative springs whose characteristics and kysyl_sourcechemistry correspond to generally excepted in Russian Federation norms for curative mineral waters. Diversity of natural climate zones has determined it that there are almost all types of mineral waters on Tuva territory: carbon and nitrogenous (with hydrogen sulfite) thermae, carbon and hydrosulfuric cold springs, salty and sour waters, radon, arsenic, ferriferrous, iodine-bromium – from ultra-fresh but containing specific biologically active components to strong brines.

    Among mineral arzhaans can be called Ush-Beldir (Khaa-Chem khozhuun), Tarys (Terechol chozhuun), Choigan, Shivilig (Bai-Taiga khozhuun), Ulataai (Oviur khozhuun), Dustug-Khem (Bai-Taiga khozhuun).

    At the most beautiful flat land of mountain terrace in high spines of edge, eastern part of Tuva, coming together in mountain folds of springs and little rivers, three fast noisy rivers meet. The place of their confluence is called by people from time eternal Ush-Beldir, that is place of three rivers conjunction. Here come out hot sources of curative hydrosulfuric spring, here is the beginning of arzhaan with the same name.

    Healing prescriptions include astrological, neurological, gynecological, andrological, skin diseases, cardiovascular system diseases, diseases of breathing organs and ear-nose-throat organs.

    At the South-East of republic, next to Mongolian border, there are hot springs in contents and properties identical to Ush-Beldir. It is Tarys or South Arzhaan as it is called. Local population from times eternal deifies it, prays to it and heals at it. Main outlets of it are surrounded by wooden frameworks in which bathes made from larch are arranged. There are notes carved on the bathes from which illnesses and diseases this particular arzhaan outlet is used: heart arzhaan, stomach arzhaan, one from bones and joints diseases, one from skin diseases, one healing paralyzed people and so on.

    In Izig-Sug place at utmost north-east, where two noisy mountain rivers flow together in intermontane gorge overgrown by fir forest, hot springs come from under the ground. It is arzhaan Choigan (Fir). Hot springs in the gorge create a peculiar micro-climate – warm and wet, almost like in sub-tropics. According to ubiquitous tourists, even in winter, in the severest February cold, here in the gorge grass is green and even flowers are blossoming. The waters are prescribed for healing wide range of diseases: cardiovascular and nervous systems, digestion organs, metabolic disease, non-tuberculosis diseases of breathing organs.

  • Arzhaans at the West of Tuva

    Apart from thermal springs, Tuva is also rich with cold mineral arzhaans.

    At the West of Tuva in Bai-Taiga chozhuun at the base of Mongulek mountain cold radon springs come out. It is mineral arzhaan Shivilig. The arzhaan has anti-inflammatory features and is also useful for urology diseases healing.

    Ulataai arzhaan is located in Oviur district, it is classified as softly-radon. The waters of Ulataai springs are even weaker mineralized, which allows to classify then as drinking mineral waters. Ulataai springs can be used for digesting organs and liver diseases healing.

    Arzhaans Azhyg-Sug (“Sour water”) located in Chaa-Khol district is famous far outside the republic. Mineral waters are recommended for chronic gastritis, colitis, pancreatitis, chronic liver diseases, bile-excreting and urinary tracts, stomach ulcer and asiderotic anemia.

    Arzhaan Dustug-Khem (“Salty river”) is located in Bai-Taiga district. The spring is cold, radon; it has six different outlets. Water of each of them has its own taste, t is recommended for external use for peripheral nervous and cardiovascular system, movement organs illnesses healing.

  • Fresh Arzhaans

     Fresh arzhaans are natural springs known as curative, but their properties and chemical contents do not correspond to established definition of mineral waters. Their general mineralization is less that one gramme per liter – they are mostly fresh and ultra-fresh waters with average temperature 3 to 5 degrees Celsius where they come out from the ground. The amount of these springs at the republic territory is almost three times bigger than of mineral arzhaans.

    Fresh arzhaan Uurgailyg (Argolic) is located not far away from Bai-Khaak village, Tandyn khozhuun. Popular talk attributes truly miraculous power to it: helps for ostechondrosis, polyarthritis, inflammations; it is told that after healing at the arzhaan blood pressure normalizes; paralyzed people often cone to that arzhaan.

    Arzhaan Maianailyg (according to the name of the river) is located in Tandin khozhuun. People healed from many diseases here, for example of musculoskeletal system. The paralyzed are brought here, there are data about sterility healing.

    Thortalyg arzhaan or Kyzyl-Durdug (by the name of the mountain) is located in Ulug-Khem khozhuun. Story tells that the arzhaan was discovered by a local female shaman who consecrated it and bid people to preserve and annually consecrate it as having a great curative power. Here people come with joint diseases, quinsy and it is separately mentioned that it helps for kidneys illnesses.

    Arzhaan Kara-Sug (“Black water”) is located in Chao-Khol district. It isa cold spring: water temperature is -5 degrees Celsius. Arzhaan heals from diverse illnesses: musculoskeletal system diseases, osteochondrosis, thyroid gland, breathing organs inflammations and also the paralyzed come.

    Arzhaan Bel is located in Bai-Taiga district, it has two outlets. Usually arzhaan is visited by people with musculoskeletal system diseases, joints. Cases of paresis healing are known.

    Arzhaan Turalyg, also located in Bai-Taiga district, is used by locals mostly for digesting system illnesses and colds. Presence of organic substances implies balneal effect for urology diseases, kremnicka has anti-inflammatory effect and maintains protective functions from tuberculosis, reduces growth of atherosclerosis, fastens open sores repair.

    Arzhaan Ala-Taiga is located in Mongun-Taiga district. It is famous among locals as healing brucellosis.

    Arzhaan Angyraktyg is located in Oviur district. Locals heal musculoskeletal system, central and periphery nervous systems diseases here.

    Arzhaan Taldyg-Charyk, also located in Oviur district, helps for hypertension and joint diseases.

    Arzhaan Ak-Khaiyrakhan (according to name of the mountain) is located in Erzsin district. Water of the spring oozes out of rock cracks and comes together in small streams going down the plumb slope. According to local inhabitants, arzhaan is used for stomach maladies, musculoskeletal system diseases and for paralyzed people healing.


Thus, Tyva is rich with natural curative waters – mineral and fresh arzhaans. Nature itself determined them an important part in Tuvans’ lives. Using them for healing usually happens spontaneously.

Arzhaans are not only natural resources of our republic bit also objects connected to cultural and historic traditions, to cult rites, philosophic world-view based on unity of nature and human, to nomad lifestyle of locals who inhabit Tuva territory from time eternal. Preserved phenomena of arzhaans healing together with rites and traditions of Tuvans – is a part of world cultural heritage, side by side with, for instance, mysterious art of surgery without scalpel of Philippine folk doctors.