Garra Rufa fish

The garra rufa fish were discovered in the early 1800’s in Jordan, Orontos, and Tigris-Euphrates river basins, coastal rivers in southern Turkey and northern Syria. They are unique fish that can live in hostile environments of such warm waters. They hide in and adhere by suction to stones and vegetation with their ventral crescent-shaped mouths and are bottom dwellers.

They feed on algae, phytoplanktons and zooplanktons but these are at times rare  because of the high temperatures of the water they live in. Thus the insufficient food nutrients make them feed on the dead scrappy skin of bathers in the water. The garra rufa fish have been reported to be useful and effective in curing skin diseases. Some even report of effectiveness in joint diseases, muscle trauma, rheumatic and neurologic disorders. Over a few sessions in the pools inhabited by the therapeutic garra rufa fish, people suffering from psoriasis have consistently seen amazing results.

Garra rufa fish are harmless and toothless. These hardy fish can live in warm waters of temperatures around 35 – 43 degrees Celsius. Because of the scarcity of food in these warm spring waters and outdoor pools, these comb fishes have developed the unusual ability to feed on dead scrappy skin. Garra Rufa fish are a legally protected species in Turkey as the government does not want the fish to be exploited for the use in fish spas.

The great discovery

Legend has it that two Turkish brothers chanced upon a hot spring one day in the early 19th century. As soon as they dipped their feet into the pool, a school of small fish immediately took to their feet, nibbling incessantly and giving them a gentle tingling massage. This made them return to their new-found hobby every day. One brother, who was suffering from a type of skin disease, noticed that the symptoms of the disease began to disappear after some time with their fishy friends. What actually happened was that the garra rufa fish were nibbling up all the affected dead skin cells, eradicating them and curing him from the disease.

When news of this broke, people from near and far came to sample this unique discovery. Most of the people that had skin problems were cleared of their disease after multiple visits. Ever since then, the Kangal town of Turkey has been the unofficial birth place of hot spring fish spas, with a rapid growth of visitors from all over the world that sample the magic cures of the Garra Rufa fish today.

Go to the contactform for more information such as prices, about the garra rufa fish. Be aware of imposters!

The latest talk in town is: Dr Fish hydro-therapy, Dr Fish pedicure, Dr Fish Spa, Dr Fish Massage and a host of novel names that lure you into the magical haven of fish. Unique, rejuvenating, therapeutic, healing and stress releasing: that’s the verdict of clients who have tasted the wondrous sensation of the nibbling fish on the skin. Patients who have tried all sorts of conservative treatments for skin disorders, especially psoriasis, have testified that with repeated treatment with the garra rufa fish in the hot spring spas in Kangal Turkey, their sufferings have alleviated. But of course, where these original hot spring spas teem with original, toothless nibbling, Garra Rufa fish, some Dr Fish spas mushrooming all over the world are filling them with imposter fish like Chin Chin fish instead. So, be wary, be informed first before you allow yourself to get bitten by the Chin Chin fish or be nibbled safely by the toothless garra rufa fish.

The scientific name of the original Garra Rufa fish is Garra Rufa Obtusa, which is a sub species of the Ciprinidae family. Within the Ciprinidae family there are a lot of different sub species that all start their name with garra. Original garra rufa fish can be distinguished by a black spot on the guilds and a black stripe on the tail. The following link gives an overview of the existing sub species in the Ciprinidae family and an image of the Chinese tilapia fish, better known as the Chin Chin fish.

Contact us

Garra Rufa Europe
Weidehek 123
4824 AT Breda
The Netherlands
+31 (0)76 763 0975