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The Naftalan Legend

It happened in antiquity in the beginning of 6th century BC. One day merchants' caravan was passing by the place currently known as the Naftalan town. There were a lot of lakes with muddy waters there. It looked suspicious to the merchants. To prevent any harm to their camels they kept them off the lakes.

There was a camel in the caravan that differed from the others by its thinness and illnesses. It was standing unsteadily on its feet and moaning so loudly that it drove its master to fury. The situation came to the point that the caravans master decided to get rid of the sick animal. He said: It would have been better if it died being poisoned by the venomous waters from the local lakes than live and suffer any more. The caravan left the sick camel to die and continued on its way. On their way back crossing the same place where they left the sick animal, the caravans master noticed a lone camel. He recognized it as the camel they left. The camel looked pretty well and healthy. The people from the caravan who had known the animal before were astonished by the fact. They decided to observe it. To their amazement the camel went frequently to bathe in the muddy waters of the lakes and then went out to rest under the sun. The caravans people found black oily liquid beneath the muddy waters and understood that the sick animal was cured by it. They covered their hands and feets sores with the black oil and were convinced of its healing powers. After that the people from nearby villages stared to use the miracle liquid as medicine. Later on it was called NAFTALAN because it looked similar to petroleum.

Historical facts

We can find the first records of naftalan oil in the works written by the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nizami Ganjevi (1141-1201). He observed caravans charring out naftalan oil from Safi-Kurd village situated nearby the present Naftalan town and wrote about it in his works. In the 13th centaury AD, the famous explorer Marko Polo who was passing through Azerbaijan on his way from Venice to China mentioned about naftalan oil in his treatise About Big Tatarland. He wrote: there is a big well there with oily liquid, which can be loaded on many camels. It is not used as nutrition but as lubricant to treat humans and animals with skin diseases as well as other illnesses.

The Naftalan oilfield is in the Naftalan town, situated 320 kilometers from Azerbaijans capital city of Baku and 50 kilometers south-east of Ganja. According the archival records, naftalan oil was extracted manually from shallow wells until 1873.

In 1890 German engineer-concessionaire E.I. Egger bought land on Naftalan oilfields and set first 250 meter depth boreholes for industrial naftalan oil production. But when he processed the extracted oil he was deeply frustrated. The oil had no petrol fraction and did not burn. He was on the verge of bankruptcy when he noticed that in the hot summertime, hundreds of people from different places gathered there to bathe in pits filled with that oil. After witnessing the wide-spread use of naftalan oil as medical substance and learning from the local people how to use it as a medicine he constructed a small plant to produce ointments from naftalan oil. The products produced in the plant became very popular soon. Products of this plant as well as its raw materials were exported to Germany. In 1896 two joint-stock companies started their operations in Germany: Naftalan in Magdeburg and Naftalan in Dresden. They produced products from naftalan oil. Production technology of the Eggers ointments was kept secret and monopolized.

Naftalan ointments were not only used as medicine. It was also uses in cosmetology as softening substance. In 1900-1902 some of the Paris cosmetology clinics made various products from naftalan ointments. Naftalan oil was mostly used as the basis of these ointments. In 1899 the Pharm. Zeitung journal published 65 composition formulas with naftalan ointment. They were ointments, dopes, patches, and powders. The demand for naftalan oil and its products increased in Europe in a short time. Since the end of 19th century ointments with naftalan as the main ingredient were exported to Russia as patented German products without mentioning a word of their origin.

The first official report about using naftalan oil for medical purposes was made by a physician F.G. Rosenbowm on the Caucasian Medical Society conference, held in Tbilisi in 1896. He reported about using naftalan in the treatment of burns, acute and chronicle eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, sores, sprains, and rheumatic pain. According his report naftalan increased cicatrisation process, had antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. In 1898 Moscow Dermatological Society acknowledged the research outcomes of a well-known A.I. Pospelov, which was published in the Physician journal. He used naftalan oil in dermatology and evidenced its therapeutic effects. Pospelov wrote: Its possible and actually necessary to use naftalan oil in various superficial skin catarrhs, when we need to get quick epithelization, desiccation, stimulation of granulation process, and relief from pain and itch.

In 1920 the naftalan oilfield got under the jurisdiction of the Soviet State and was declared a protected zone. In 1926 Naftalan special resort started its operation on the oilfield. Patients with disorders of musculoskeletal system, neurological, skin, gynecological and urological diseases underwent their treatments there. In 1920 the naftalan oilfield got under the jurisdiction of the Soviet State and was declared a protected zone. In 1926 Naftalan special resort started its operation on the oilfield. Later in 1938 Baku Balneology Scientific- Research Institute set an experimental laboratory to study the biological effects of naftalan oil. The same issue was the focus of the research studies of the USSR Central Balneology Scientific- Research Institute and Experimental Medicine Institute of USSR Science Academy. In 1941 Pharmacological Committee of USSRs People Health Commissariat approved refined naftalan production. It was native naftalan, purified form admixtures by thermal dehydration processing at the temperature 125-135 C. In addition to native and refined naftalan USSRs pharmaceutical industry also produced Naftalan ointment from purified naftalan in 1941. Later on, in Moscows Galen chemico-pharmaceutical started production of more than 30 products from naftalan oil. In general more than 200 products produced from the oil. These products are refined naftalan oil, deresined naftalan oil, yellow naftalan ointment, bismuth-tannin-zinc-naftalan ointment, salicylic-naftalan ointment, sulfur ointment on naftalan basis, tiolan ointment, boric-zinc-naftalan paste, zinc-naftalan paste, sulfur-zinc-naftalan paste, ichthyol-zinc-naftalan paste, naftalan-phytoncidal emulsion, medical resin and many others.

More than 100 years have passed since the first studies on naftalan medical properties and medical application. Its effectiveness in treatment of many diseases has been proven by more than 1600 scientific works and monographs, including 270 dissertations. There is a unique Crutches museum in the Naftalan town, which can amaze anyone. The crutches in the museum have been left by the people, who upon their arrival at the resort could not move without them.

However, after the Soviet Unions collapse naftalan oil was, in fact, not available for the people of the Russian Federation. In this market Naftalan Pharm Group is the pioneer among official supplier of naftalan oil in Russia. In recent years, distribution of naftalan oil has been extended to other European countries: its officially registered in Ukraine, and currently passing clinical tests in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria. There is a Naftalan clinic, functioning in Croatia, which provides its services to the patients from all the Europe, including Russia.


About company

    Naftalan Pharm Group company is one of the leading Russian pharmaceutical enterprises. It works in the field of creation and production of new medical products. The main medical components of the companys products are white deresined naftalan oil and naftalan alcohol.

Naftalan treatment with white naftalan in Moscow clinics

- Various kinds of modern diagnostics

- Detenor-therapy for restoration of a backbone

- Bioresonant therapy

- Reflexotherapy
- Naftalan hydromassage white baths (the general and sedentary)
    With Naft. Hydrocarbons (white)
    With Naft. Oil-pestilet
    With Naft obessmolenniy (white)

- All kinds of massage
- Treatment in a hydrochloric cave
- Manipulation

- Gynecology
- Treatment in fito-pantovoy a flank

- Physiotherapy and many other things..



Naftalan Pharm Group                                                          

Moscow phone


AZ 1014 mountains. Baku
street 28-may, 5, office 52.
Telephon: 8-10-99412-5983540 multichannel
Faxes: 8-10-99412-5983541

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