Healing Waters of São Lourenço

We all know that it’s a good idea to drink water. Water has no calories and is extremely nourishing for our bodies.  Dehydration can lead to weight gain, slowing of the metabolism, and cause you to eat more. But, did you know certain types of water have the potential to heal?

Over the last few years I have been hearing more and more about the benefits of these “special” waters. To be honest, I never really gave it much thought. I have heard of certain people swear by water with special properties like Kangen water or “Smart” water.  I have heard all sorts of claims about this water reversing kidney disease or helping with weight loss. I can`t really vouch for any of those potential benefits, but it is worth investigating. The problem is that some of these water systems will cost you an arm and a leg.

This weekend, I got to experience healing water first hand in the city of São Lourenço, Minas Gerais in Brazil practically for free. São Lourenço is just one of several cities that contains a “water park”.When I first heard “water park” I thought we were going to a place like “Wet n Wild” with slides and a lazy river (what a small world concept I have sometimes), but that was not what I found at all. This was a beautiful, several acre park with a bunch of fountains with water available to DRINK. Mineral water with special properties and nutrients to heal a variety of ailments.

These waters of Minas Gerais (a state in Brazil) were discovered at the beginning of the 18th century when slaves found that sick cattle improved after drinking the water. It has been a popular tourist destination ever since.  Minas Gerais is known for it’s soil being very rich in a variety of minerals, therefore its not surprising to find that the water coming from the ground also contains a significant number of minerals. There are six different cities with healing water known collectively as “circuito das águas” (water circuit). These citeis are: Araxá, Cambuquira, Caxambu, Lambari, Poços de Caldas e São Lourenço. Depending on the city, the water has different properties.

The water parks are beautiful to visit, even if you don’t drink the water. They are filled with walking trails, beautiful lakes, and lots of wild life (I even saw a wild donkey and several monkeys!). In the city of Araxá there is an area of black mud of volcanic origin that you can rub on your skin. Most of the water parks contain some type of spa where you can have treatments with the water itself or mineral-rich mud. If anything, just the relaxation you will experience in visiting this place will be healing enough!

Here are some of the benefits of the mineral waters that have been studied and identified:

1. Fluoridated: indicated for tooth and bone health

2. Radioactive: indicated for dissolving renal and billiary stones, helps with digestion, can be used as a laxative

3. Carbonated (naturally): diuretic and aids digestion, can also help with arterial hypertension

4. Sodium bicarbonate: indicated for people with stomach related illnesses like gastritis, ulcers, hepatits, and diabetes

5. Alkaline (usually with calcium or magnesium)- aids in natural digestion

6. Multiple minerals– indicated for skin hydration, liver intoxiation, elevated uric acid, urinary infections, allergies, and fatigue.

You can taste any of the water for free if you pay to get into the park (only R$5 or about $2.50 US). You should bring a cup or container with you, although they sell them for R$1 ( $.50 US) at the park itself.

It is widely known here in Brazil, that people who visit these cities in the water circuit, all experience a miracle. It may not be a healing miracle from the water, but the miracle of relaxation and peace. Many of the people in the city use the water as a from of medication and find significant benefit from drinking it on a regular basis. There are several anecdotal stories of people who were able to cure gout, stomach issues, and other illness just by drinking the water. There are even several doctors in the cities who use these waters to help heal patients. Who knows maybe the solution to several chronic illnesses is easier than we think?