Water is a fundamental element of life. We as humans use it to stay hydrated, increase our energy levels and boost our metabolism. Not only is water essential for our survival, it also appears in several religious texts as a sacred substance to be used in rituals. In the mythological world, water deities represented immense power over oceans, rivers, springs and holy wells. Some of these deities even cured the persons who bathed in the waters they guarded. The most popular story of healing waters is possibly the Fountain of Youth. The myth states that persons who drink or bathe in it will be forever young. While these are interesting stories, the fact remains that water has been considered as a healing agent for thousands of years. However, research has proven that some naturally occurring springs or bodies of water are capable of healing medical ailments.
Here are six healing waters from around the world:
1. Kangal Hot Springs, Turkey
In central Turkey you will find limestone-rich springs, fortified with calcium oxide, hydrogen sulfide, and skin-nibbling fish. These tiny fish not only leave you exfoliated, they are also known to cure psoriasis, and help heal other skin diseases such as eczema. Due to the spring’s cosmetic and curative properties, it is easy to believe the legend that Cleopatra bathed here.
2. Arima Onsen, Japan
Since the year 631, people have journeyed to these springs seeking their healing properties. For this reason, it is the oldest spa destination in Japan. It is one of few springs that have nine substances with health benefits. These include sulfur, hydrogen carbonate, chloride, iron, carbon dioxide, and sulfate. A soak in these mineral, heated waters relieves muscle and joint pain, and it also helps to heal eczema.
3. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest’s many natives and visitors send a big thanks to the ancient Romans for leaving massive public and private spas all over the city. These huge pools are rich in metabolic acid and fluoride, and their size makes them perfect for swimming and soaking. They are also known for treating gall bladder issues and calcium deficiencies, so take a dip!
4. The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
You’ve most likely heard about this one. The Dead Sea is composed of 33% salt and eight times more magnesium, potassium, and calcium than normal sea water. Its composition allows even the heaviest person to float easily. An hour’s soak in the Dead Sea has been found to relieve allergies, ease arthritis symptoms, and improve psoriasis conditions by 88%.
5. Spa, Belgium
The word “spa” exists because of this town, located in a lush valley in the Ardennes Mountains. Its rolling hills, and intersecting rivers and springs made it a popular wellness destination since the 1300’s. The iron-rich mineral water from these springs have been sought from persons all over the world.
6. Bath, United Kingdom
Over 2,000 years ago, Celts and Romans enjoyed the naturally warm mineral water located at Bath. Today, Bath’s Thermae Spa offers a similar experience, where contemporary designs have been intertwined with the historic spa buildings. You can even enjoy the city views from a rooftop pool.