Freshwater Source of Sapropel for Healthcare

Ilona Pavlovska (Coresponding Author), Aneka Klavina, Agris Auce, Ivars Vanadzins, Alise Silova, Laura Komarovska, Linda Paegle, Baiba Silamikele, Linda Dobkevica

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Freshwater sapropel is a common material formed by complex biological transformations of Holocene sediments in the water basement of the lakes in Latvia that has the potential to be used as medical mud. Sapropel forms over long period in shallow waters by slowly decomposing organic sediment and has different compositions depending on the location of the source, surroundings, the water regime etc. Official geological survey of Latvia lakes, from Latvian lake database (, used in the selection of the area of the exploration. The multifunctional effect of sapropel on the whole organism explained by its complex of chemical and biological structure. This unique organic substance and its ability to maintain heat for a long time ensures deep tissue warming, and has a positive effect on the treatment of various joint and skin diseases. Sapropel is a valuable resource with multiple areas of application. Investigation of sapropel sediments and survey of the five sites selected according to the criteria performed in current study. In addition, our study include sampling at different depths and their initial treatment, evaluation of external signs and study of physical-chemical parameters, as well as analysis of biochemical parameters and evaluation of microbiological indicators. The main selection criteria were sapropel deposits depth, hydrological regime, the history of agriculture next to the lake and the potential exposure to industrial waste. One hundred and five sapropel samples obtained from five lakes (Audzelu, Dunakla, Ivusku, Zielu and Mazais Kivdalova) during the wintertime. The main goal of the study was to carry out detailed and systematic research on the medical properties of sapropel to be obtained in Latvia, to promote its scientifically based use in balneology, to develop new medical procedures and services, and to promote the development of new exportable products. Analytical tests for the certification should consist of organoleptic testing, heavy metal residue and pesticide testing as well as bacteriological testing for presence of harmful bacteria. It is concluded that, Latvian freshwater sapropel can be used as raw material for obtaining sapropel extract and use it in the preparation of pharmaceuticals. The data obtained are very important to develop quality criteria for raw sapropel and its extracts but are not the endpoint of our research. The next step is to develop methodology for treatment and diagnostics, verification and assessment of the therapeutical effects of sapropel on musculoskeletal diseases in a clinical study of sapropel, applications for improving lymph and blood circulation in joints.
The research was co-financed by project "Analysis of characteristics of medical sapropel and its usage for medical purposes and elaboration of industrial extraction methods", No.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948
Number of pages1
JournalWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2019
EventInternational Research Conference : Physical Therapy Science in Treatment and Care - Rome, Italy
Duration: 16 Jan 202017 Jan 2020
Conference number: IX


  • balneology
  • extracts
  • Freshwater sapropel
  • Latvian lakes
  • medical mud
  • sapropel

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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