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Naftalan Therapy

Medical oil called Naftalan is produced in the city. The qualities of Naftalan oil has been known since early times; Marco Polo noted them. The oil in the area was known to people as far as China and India, and was traded by caravans throughout countries of the Near East. Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209), mentioned the transportation of Naftalan oil on caravans from the Safikurd village in the Khamsa poem. Modern use of the oil has dated to the 1870s under Czarist Russia. By 1912, a German joint-stock company was founded to export and trade the oil, which was used as a treatment in the Russo-Japanese War. Research on the properties of the oil continues to be done at Azerbaijan Medical University and the Scientific Arthritis Center of Azerbaijan. German geographer E.I. Yeger played a major role in spreading and popularizing Naftalan oil in the world. He sent 800 grams of Naftalan oil to Germany to explore its composition. 600 doctors who have examined it have written about the importance of the oil. He drilled the first well in 1890 and built a small factory to process it. There he produced lubricant oil. After the First World War the factory stopped functioning and was destroyed. The Naftalan lubricant oil recipe disappeared with it. In 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese used this oil as a first medical aid. During the Great Patriotic War, it was used to treat wounds. The Naftalan oil is has healing properties; it has been reputed for healing more than 70 diseases related to bones, skins and joints. Particularly, it has been used as an effective treatment of rheumatism, musculoskeletal system and urological and gynecological diseases. In 2010s, the number of hotels increased in the city after Azerbaijani government’s tourism policy.

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