Research, quality guidelines and use of balneological peat in Finland

Riitta Korhonen

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peat Balneology

balneology, humic-acids, humification, mire, peat, peat-type

Korhonen et al. 2008: Research, quality guidelines and use of balneological peat in Finland


Research has been carried out on balneological peat in Finland for nearly twenty years. The purpose of the research has been to determine the quality criteria for a good balneological peat and also to develop new types of peat therapy. The qualities of peat samples from 23 mires were tested for this purpose and some new types of peat therapy were developed. The results of researchers and their practical experiences have testified that the best kind of therapy peat is very well humified with a high content of humic acids. The heat retention capacity should also be good. The results demonstrate that a high degree of humification correlates with high content of humic acids. The conclusion of the research and recommendation for good balneological peat is that the degree of the humification should be H7-H8 on the von Post scale and the content of humic acids should be at least 20 % of dry weight. Both Sphagnum and Carex peat types are suitable for balneological use, as there were no significant differences in quality results between the two peat types. Only pH values differed between Carex and Sphagnum peat.