THE HEALING WATERS OF JAMAICA
n the 19th and 20th centuries, people believed in the healing powers of mineral springs and the hot spring towns of the US and Europe posed popular vacation destinations for the upper class. Used to treat rheumatic and muscular disorders, skin ailments and respiratory problems, the water from the therapeutic mineral springs is believed to have fallen as rain thousands of years ago, before sinking to a depth of 2 km below the Earth's surface. Here, it is heated by high temperature rocks before rising back up through breaks in the limestone. For people in search of healing or rejuvenation, Jamaica counts several therapeutic mineral springs. Bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and choose from a range of spa treatments designed to ease the body and soothe the mind. I
Although the health benefits of soaking in hot mineral waters remain disputed, many claim that soaking in hot springs have cured their ailments. Often recommended in the recovery from surgery, the dissolved mineral salts and sulfur compounds in mineral baths are widely used to treat skin inflammations and fungal infections, as well as reducing the stiffness and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism patients. Believers also think that bathing in mineral springs restores the balance to overworked adrenal glands and heals the endocrine system.
punish him again if he showed him the secret behind his healed wounds. After discovering the mineral spring, Ludford willed the two thousand odd acre property to the Government of Jamaica, for the benefit of the people of the land.
Jamaica is fortunate enough to have three major mineral springs, to which many visitors and locals find their way in search of cures for ailments or simply some much needed rest and relaxation.
Norda Grange, the smiling face of the Milk River Bath (Photo: Darren McIntyre)
MILK RIVER BATH, CLARENDON Two miles south of Milk River village, you find the hot springs of Milk River Bath. Tucked at the foot of the Carpenter
Mountains on the Vere Plains in the southwestern corner of Clarendon parish, Milk River Bath is definitely worth the trip.
In the 18th century, the property was owned by Jonathan Ludford. According to local legend, one of his slaves escaped from the dungeon after receiving a severe beating and ran off into the hills, where he discovered a spring with salty tasting water. After bathing his injured body in the spring for a few days, he returned to the slave quarters with his wounds completely healed. Ludford, who thought that a miracle had taken place, promised the slave he would never
The first two mineral baths opened in 1794. Since then, additional baths have been added and today 6 public mineral baths, 3 private baths and 14 guest rooms are available for guests at Milk River Bath. Its potent, tepid waters are widely believed to relieve stress, fatigue, back pain and muscle strain, headache, migraine, arthritis, circulatory problems, neck pain and whiplash. Interestingly, the waters of Milk River Bath possess nine times the radioactivity of the famous mineral springs of Bath, England, fifty times the mineral springs of Vichy, France and fifty-four times the thermal baths of Baden, Switzerland.
Gushing waters of the Bath Mineral Spring (Photo: JTB)
Said Annie and John from Minnesota who were thrilled about their visit; “We are here to test the healing waters of Jamaica and really love the Milk River Bath. We feel totally revived and are really glad we made the journey.”
Open daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, the fee for the 15 minutes allowed soaking time is JA$400 for adults and JA$200 for children. 610-7746/7 and 809-6523 for more info.