By Janet Abbott
Natural mineral waters have always provided benefits to living creatures on earth. There are both cold mineral waters as well as thermal waters that are naturally heated by the earth’s core. Water travels through the depths of geological time, dissolving minerals on its way to the surface and emerges as springs with a unique chemical composition that can be used to hydrate and heal.
Most commonly found beneficial minerals are calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, bicarbonates, sulphur, chlorides, silica, lithium and boron. Native people in countries around the world were the first to use natural mineral waters and often referring to them as sacred healing waters.
In North America, Lakotas named their waters “Wakan Tanka” or “Great Mystery”. The Salinan Indians from Paso Robles called them “Heaven’s Spot” for their health benefits. The springs were also respected as sacred neutral grounds among warring tribes for resting and recuperation.
Natural mineral water spas subsequently developed around the globe with unique styles for bathing based on culture, climate and quality of the waters. The Romans were the first known to have developed “Thermaes “, vast bath houses where people would soak in pools and steam in saunas to recuperate and revitalize. These community bathhouses were such a popular place for people to meet regularly for health and conversation, that Rome established Thermaes throughout the Roman Empire for the use by all citizens.
Balneology, the science of using natural mineral waters through soaking, drinking and steam cures has provided significant research that proves the health benefits for people who seek the waters for wellness. Both the temperature and mineral composition of natural spring waters have been validated for their specific healing qualities.
Thermal water brings about healing through the beneficial effects of both the minerals and the water temperature. Naturally earth heated mineral waters are also known to contain a high concentration of negative ions which contribute to good health.
When immersed in thermal mineral waters, the body reactions also stimulate health.
First, the pores in our skin dilate, allowing only the necessary amount of minerals to be absorbed, such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur and chlorides. For instance, sulphur water can cure many skin conditions such as fungal infections, dermatitis and psoriasis.
The heat also increases blood circulation which helps to stimulate the removal of toxins from the body as well as regularize gland functions.
Balneology research has proven that within 2 to 3 weeks of using natural mineral waters that are specific to your health condition, full health can be restored.
Sources: Balneological Use of Thermal Water in the USA. John W. Lund
Healing Springs. The Ultimate Guide to Taking the Waters. Nathaniel Altman