Forbes: The Healing Powers of Water. An In-Depth Water Tasting at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz’s Water Bar

Nel-Olivia Waga
May 1, 2019

Bad Ragaz. A small town in Switzerland, yet one with a big history. It’s mostly famous for its „Ragazer thermal water“ which is a special kind of H2O. Discovered for the first time 777 years ago, this healing water continues to flow from the mountain to this day. Europe’s most abundant acratotherm, or hot spring, aids in the healing of a variety of ailments. It is also the source of the famous „Tamina Therme“ spring water spa and the health & wellbeing concept of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.
When it comes to convalescing and staying healthy, water has always played a vital role.The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz and its Medical Center Clinic Bad Ragaz has made it its mission not only to use the healing powers of the local spring water for wellness and health purposes, but also to educate guests about the importance of and the differences between the water we drink on a daily basis.

The contemporary water bar is run by two water sommeliers and contains a diverse choice of different waters – from Evian to San Pellegrino, from still to sparkling, from transparent to black water. I met with sommelier Irina Taculina at the Water Bar for my first ever water tasting.

Mrs. Taculina, how did the idea come up of having a water bar at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz?

Our own spring in the Tamina Gorge is why we’re here at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz: In 1242 some monks from Pfäfers Abbey discovered a spring in the Tamina Gorge while out hunting. The healing powers of the spring water were praised by the physician Paracelsus in 1535. His knowledge provided the foundation for healing with fluoride rich acratothermal waters. Paracelsus’ seal of approval on the 36.5°C warm water drew many visitors to the spring. During the 19th century, stays at health resorts became increasingly fashionable, especially when combined with social occasions. This led to further expansion of the estate at Ragaz and the building of a road leading to the gorge. In 1840, further work completed allowed the diversion of the thermal water as far as the village of Ragaz.

Everything relates to water here at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. That’s why it made sense to us to create a water bar – and to go «back to the roots», instead of having a regular bar – as was actually planned in the first place.  Water plays an important role in our everyday lives and we strongly believe that it has a healing effect. The water bar is located within our Spa Tower at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Here, guests draw thermal water to their rooms just by turning the tap. They can shower in our thermal water, swim in it or have water therapy using the healing effects of the spring. And, with our water bar we wanted to highlight the fact that you can actually also drink the thermal water. To broaden the choice, we added more than 25 other waters to the bar.

“Tamina Gorge and Spring” at Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

What’s special about it?

t’s a neat idea to have a pure water bar within a hotel – and to have two trained water sommeliers. With our water bar, we display the variety of water brands to highlight the different attributes of each in terms of minerals and salt content. We want to educate our guests about the world of healthy water. We currently offer over 26 different waters from all around the world and continuously look out for new sources we can present. Our focus at the water bar definitely lies on Swiss waters: our newest «member» is «Piz Sardona» from the Mels municipality. This producers’ goal is to be sustainable and reduce CO2. They educate their clients explaining that 5% of all fresh water supplies within Europe actually come from Switzerland, the «European water castle». It’s more than enough to supply every Swiss household. Nevertheless, the Swiss import 40% of their drinking water from abroad. That’s actually absurd as we are located right next to the spring. Also, this water offers different mineral-levels (1-4). 
We also offer our Black water, the «Beneva Black Water» which contains active carbon. It is a true detox-water for the purification of your body and supports weight loss.

What makes the difference in your selection of waters? Can you taste it?

You can differentiate between four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The sensorial relevant minerals for a water tasting are sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) und iron (Fe) but also chloride (Cl), sulfate (SO4) and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3). The waters which are the easiest to taste are medium mineralized waters (500 – 1.500mg/l) and high mineralized waters (>1.500mg/l), since these reveal the minerals quite prominently. Lower mineralized waters (<500mg/l) almost always have a bitter taste which you can detect in your whole mouth. This is called a «haptic bitterness». A tasting with still water is easier because the carbonic acid often covers up the taste of the water.
With our water bar, we like to show guests the whole range of different waters. And most of our guests who are visiting one of our water tastings are surprised that they can actually taste a difference!

How did you choose those different waters?

Our selection of waters reflects the variety of our Wellbeing & Medical Health Resort in general. We want the waters to match our dedication to health. So, we always ask ourselves before choosing a new water: is it a good match with our portfolio? And also: Does it create some sort of excitement?

How much water should a person drink – and what water should be drunk and when?

The human body consists of 50 – 70 % water. Dehydration leads to serious health issues and can creep up on our us if we are not careful. Water has three main purposes in the body:

  • It supplies the body with nutrients
  • It keeps the substances we process liquid and transports them
  • It absorbs and expels all toxins

It is important to drink sufficiently and evenly throughout the day because otherwise bodily functions would be limited and mental performance could decrease. Everybody should drink at least 1,5l/day or even better 30ml/kg bodyweight.
The amount of water a person ordinarily consumes is about 1200 ml daily. Another part of overall water intake comes from foods with a high-water content (900 ml).

Generally, in summer water loss through sweating is elevated. It is so important to keep replacing this and be mindful that even more water vanishes when we exercise or move around in hot climates. Magnesium-containing water has more than 50 mg / l (daily requirement about 375 mg). There is an increased need for to keep magnesium levels up if pursuing sweat-inducing activity. It also helps with processing protein-rich food and alcohol, combatting stress, and dealing with hot climates. Magnesium plays an important role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction. It regulates the stability and excitability of the cell membranes as well as the autonomic nervous system and the heart. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle problems such as cramping and tension, nervousness, irritability, lack of concentration or dizziness. There is also the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, headache and abdominal pain, premature fatigue, and a reduced ability to cope with stress.

Calcium-containing water contains more than 150 mg / l (daily requirement about 800mg). It’s good for vegans, people with lactose intolerance and also keeps teeth and bones stable (prevents osteoporosis). Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting, in the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles, in the stabilization of the heartbeat and in the activation of hormones and enzymes. Saline and especially animal egg white increase the calcium excretion via the kidneys. A very meaty diet can therefore lead to calcium deficiency. This shows itself in muscle cramps, seizures and sensory disturbances.
Sodium-containing mineral water contains more than 200 mg / l (daily requirement about 550 mg). Good for sweaty activities. Sodium plays an important role in muscle stimulation and blood pressure regulation. so, a deficiency can lead to cardiovascular problems, low blood pressure, and a lack of concentration. Fatigue, dizziness and cramps are other possible symptoms. Mineral water with the indication “suitable for a low-sodium diet” contains less than 20 mg / l.
Sulfate-containing water contains more than 200 mg / l (there is no recommendation for daily requirements). It gently boosts digestion and promotes bile flow. In addition, sulfates are involved in the construction of proteins and in the development of cartilage substance and contribute to the firmness of skin and hair. Deficiency symptoms do not occur.
Hydrogen carbonated water contains more than 600 mg / l. It neutralizes the gastric acid and brings the acid-base balance back into balance, because it has a base-forming effect. It is a good balance with protein-rich diet and ensures a healthy metabolism in the blood, balances heartburn and irritable stomach and prevents inflammation in the urinary tract and urinary stones.

What would a perfectly hydrated day look like?

It is important to drink sufficiently and evenly throughout the day (not only in case of fluid loss!). Otherwise, our bodily functions would be limited and our mental performance would decrease. Everybody should drink at least 1,5l per day or even better 30ml per kg bodyweight. A fluid loss of 1-2% of body weight already restricts mental performance by 4-8%. This means that the short-term memory deteriorates, we act more slowly and lose out on flexibility. In addition, we need to be aware of the complicated interactions within our bodies – blood that’s too thick increases the risk of heart attack and stroke or even sudden pain, such as a headache.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Taculina. I am very impressed.

Tamina Thermal Spring and Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Spa Suites Tower


Founded in 2014, re-launched in 2019 – by Nel-Olivia Waga. It is an international luxury lifestyle blog, that features stories under the aspect of a conscious mindset. It collaborates with leading brands and specialists who share the idea of generating a positive impact in the world. Based in Zurich and London, it covers local hotspots and global trends around sustainability, innovation, well-being, health, beauty, travel, time, art, business and charity.

Nel-Olivia Waga is the Founder & Publisher of HER/etiquette. She is a Brand Consultant, an Author and Entrepreneur, most passionate about well-being, travel, nature and art. Her work can regularly be seen in her column on FORBES. Her consultancy YMPACT LAB, creates innovative marketing projects for luxury brands based on passion, purpose and sustainable impact.


#ConsciousLuxury is the theme of HER/etiquette. We combine luxury lifestyle with consciousness. Each story we share, is underlined with values. The purpose and innovation of the brands we collaborate with, are as important to us, as their initiatives towards ethical craftsmanship, sustainability, holistic health and social responsibility.

This is our first step in contributing to the global movement of creating a more positive impact in the world – and in you.



#ConsciousLuxury is the theme of HER/etiquette. We combine luxury lifestyle with consciousness. Each story we share, is underlined with values. The purpose and innovation of the brands we collaborate with, are as important to us, as their initiatives towards ethical craftsmanship, sustainability, holistic health and social responsibility.

This is our first step in contributing to the global movement of creating a more positive impact in the world – and in you.



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