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The Therapeutic Mineral Springs In Jamaica
Contributed by Arriel Bullock

mineral springs in jamaicaFamily In Mineral Pool at Blue Hole, Westmoreland

Naturopathic healers, herbalists and other health conscious individuals have for ages extolled the healing wonders of water, specifically mineral water.

Civilizations as far back as the ancient Egyptians believed that various ailments can be cured by soaking for several minutes… or even hours, in water that has just the right temperature and combination of mineral elements.

Jamaica has been blessed with several naturally occurring mineral springs/baths, with just the right combination of temperature and mineral deposits to offer therapeutic properties.

These natural wonders are famed to be among the best in the world, with radioactive levels and mineral deposition far exceeding other known famous hot springs in the world, based on scientific research.

The exact mineral composition and temperature of these springs are relative to:

  1. their location and
  2. their source of origin.

Most, if not all, originate from underground wells deep below the surface of the earth, with some also flowing through limestone caves and/or over mineral-rich rocks, before ending in the pools made available to the visitor.

This gives a sort of earthy, mystical feel to the visit. Patrons of these locations have reported feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relieved of various ailments and pains.

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Over the years, several of these springs have been discovered, and more are believed to exist, untapped or unpublicized. 

The following are the eight (8) best and most famous ones:

  1. Bath Mineral Fountain in St Thomas

    ... is rich in magnesium, sulfur and lime, and consists of two springs flowing through the rocks on bamboo pipes. One of these springs is piping hot, while the other is cold.

    According to legend, the spring was discovered in the 17th century by a runaway slave, who had been plagued for years by ulcers on his leg.

    He bathed his aching member in the stream and noticed, the next day, that it began to heal. News of this healing fountain soon spread, attracting visitors from all over Jamaica.

    In 1699, the property owner sold the 1,130 acre estate, including the spring, to the government.

    Today, visitors from all over still flock to this “healing stream”, which is said to still have the same healing properties as it did when it was first discovered.

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  2. Black River Spa, located in St Elizabeth a cold water mineral spring, rich in sulphur and other minerals. The spring is fed constantly from underground, and is said to have been a Taino (natives prior to Spanish settlement in 1509) dump site.

    The spa was discovered during British slavery, and was said to be used by the then estate owner to treat his slaves’ rheumatism and other illnesses.

    Over the years; through various tragedies and changes in ownership; the spa has deteriorated, but it is still frequented by locals, due to its fabled healing properties.

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  3. Blue Hole, situated in Westmoreland

    ... lies beneath a 40 foot deep cavern, entirely encased by limestone. There are two ways to enter the cool, mineral rich water: 

    1) diving from the cliffs or 
    2) climbing down the ladder provided.

    There is also a pool, fed by the spring, for those too scared to venture into the actual spring to still be able to enjoy the benefit of the mineral water.

    The mud at the sides of the spring is reputed to be good for the skin, and visitors rub it onto their face and body to obtain its benefits.

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  4. Blue Lagoon, situated in Portland

    ... was made famous by the Brooke Shields movie of that name (from which the lake was also named).

    The lake is a spectacular shade of blue, due to its great depth, which gave rise to the legend that it was bottomless.

    However, research has found it to be approximately 200 feet deep. The cold mineral water bubbles out of the ground through rocks deep below the surface, and is said to have aphrodisiac properties.

    Unique to the lagoon is the fact that the cool mineral water meets the warm Caribbean Sea, giving it an alternately warm and cool feel throughout, an unusual and thrilling experience.

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  6. Bubbling Springs, located in St Elizabeth

    ...originates in the limestone rich Cockpit mountains, from which it derives its composition of: magnesium, potassium, chloride, sodium, iron and manganese, among other minerals.

    The spring gets its name due to the percolating action of the water through the sand on the pool floor, which gives it a bubbly feel and appearance.

    A fascinating feature of the water is its temperature being cold when the time is hot, and warm in the early mornings when the time is cooler. 

  7. Fire Water Hot Spring in St Ann

    ... has a combination of natural gases and sulphur, which gives it the ability to ignite – the source of its healing power.

    This igneous component of the water was said to be discovered by accident, when the flames from a nearby fire got out of hand and ended up in the water, igniting it. 

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  8. Milk River Bath in Clarendon

    ... is said to have one of the highest levels of radioactivity in the world, when compared to other mineral baths, averaging 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

    It contains high levels of magnesium, calcium, sulphate and natural chloride. The water flows from within a rock, and the bath is recommended as a treatment for persons suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica and nerve complaints.

    Due to its high temperature and radioactivity, however, patrons are advised not to stay in the water for more than ten to twenty minutes at a time, with a maximum of three baths per day.

    Legend states that the spring was discovered by a slave, who escaped after receiving a severe beating, close to the point of death.

    After bathing his wounds in the hot water for a few days, he returned to his quarters completely healed. His master was amazed by his miraculous recovery, and promised to never punish him again if he showed him the secret behind his healing.

    The master later willed the property to the Jamaican Government so that everyone could benefit from the mineral spring.

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  9. Rockfort Mineral Spa in Kingston

    ... is said to have appeared after the great Port Royal Earthquake of 1907. Its name was derived from its close proximity to the Rock Fort site.

    A modern commercial spa, the location houses several private baths, as well as a large swimming pool, fed by the cold mineral stream flowing from the surrounding Rockfort Hills.

    The water is very radioactive and slightly saline, for which it is said to have therapeutic qualities.

So whether you are a believer in the curative powers of the "healing" springs, or you are seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating soak, visit one of Jamaica’s mineral springs and let nature’s sauna relieve you. 

I can assure you that it will be an experience that you will not soon forget.

best mineral spring in jamaicaMineral Pool at Blue Hole, Westmoreland

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