Mineral-rich Springs Still Flow
at White Sulphur Springs.
April 13, 2009 (Mount Airy, North Carolina) — One of oldest and most famous natural mineral springs in North Carolina is in Mount Airy, a charming community in the heart of the state. It is named White Sulphur Springs, and a recent study of this centuries-old natural spring confirmed that it has retained the healthy, rich mineral content sought after for generations.
The analysis was conducted by Winston-Salem, NC-based GeoScience and Technology, P.A, and commissioned by Mount Airy native, Burke Robertson.
Robertson is creating a new residential community on the site that hosts the spring and he was curious whether the waters still retained the mineral content that was believed to hold curative benefits.
The spring has a fascinating history. Known to date back to at least the nineteenth century and perhaps as far back as the Native Americans, the spring and surrounding property were popular because of their natural beauty and the excellent mild weather. It became home to a well-known resort during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s.
Robertson’s design pays homage to the waters. He has named his community White Sulphur Springs and has limited development to only 92 single-family homes. It is a community where residents and guests appreciate the simpler lifestyle of small town living with all the conveniences of more metropolitan areas. The Ararat River, hiking trails, lawn games, abundant nature and beautiful views are all integrated into the property. Within a short distance are shopping, dining, wine tours and excellent medical services.
But it is the mineral spring that put the place on the map. An 1895 description of the water stated: “The spring itself is a limpid pool of water clear as crystal and pure as the dew of the morning. Around the side is a sediment - showing the presence of the white Sulphur, which is the principal ingredient, but iron, magnesia and other minerals are present in sufficient quantity to justify the reputation of the spring as a very fountain of health.”
Calcium, sodium, sulfate and magnesium are the predominate minerals found in the spring water. Each of these is considered beneficial for various aliments and maladies. Mineral waters vary in their medicinal effects depending on the various water components and the configurations of those components. Today, these essential nutrients are all too often lacking in the industrialized nations where there has been a high increase in the consumption of refined, fat rich and processed foods.
Calcium is essential for bone growth, may help prevent osteoporosis, is essential for many neuronal activities, has been shown to reduce the risk for kidney stone formation and colorectal cancer and helps block the absorption of lead by the body.
Sodium is the main mineral in the extracellular fluids in the body and is essential for maintaining fluid balance. It is essential for nutrient transport and helps regulate blood vessels and blood pressure.
Sulphur in the form of sulphate combines with calcium and magnesium making the uptake of both calcium and magnesium more accessible. Essential to the production of insulin, thyroid hormones and collagen; sulphur also plays a significant role in carbohydrate metabolism as well as healthy skin and hair. Sulphur waters are stimulant, diuretic and beneficial for such inflammatory conditions as gout and rheumatism.
Magnesium is essential to work with calcium for bone growth and neuron activity. It is also essential in many enzyme activities including energy production, muscle contraction, blood coagulation and protein metabolism. It is also thought to help prevent osteoporosis, hypertension and atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Today, you will find the spring much the way it was described over 100 years ago. Local residents are frequently seen visiting the site on the White Sulphur Springs lawn, filling jugs of the medicinal mineral water to carry home.
“Since the 1800s people from around the world have traveled to this site to benefit from the spring water and the mild climate,” Robertson said, standing next to the mineral springs on the property. This property was home to one of the nation’s finest resorts, called the White Sulphur Springs Hotel. Although the original hotel burned several decades ago, Robertson is preserving the heritage and character of the property while creating a community that pays homage to the simpler times when personal health and welfare were a priority.
White Sulphur Springs focuses on the spirit of what the spring water represents – a way to refresh the body, mind and spirit. The constant flow symbolizes everyday gifts that come freely and unconditionally from nature.