Tour Africa: The Mysteries Of A ‘Miracle Spring’ That Has Healing Power

by Duke Magazine

People from all over the world have been going to a remote spring in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for many years to try to get better. Isinuka is a sulphur spring and mud baths in a densely forested area a few kilometers from Port St. Johns. Both locals and tourists go there, no matter how rich or poor they are or how much they know.


They think that the place has magical powers to heal. The sulfur in the water gives Isinuka its name, which means “place with a smell.” The Daily Dispatch says that people drink spring water to treat a number of illnesses, such as skin problems and muscle sprains. Some people also think that mud baths help heal the spirit. People spread the mud all over their bodies.


Many people even bring plastic containers to the site so they can fill them with spring water to take home and keep treating at home. “People think that Isinuka can help with back pain, headaches, stomach problems, skin problems, and a lot of other things. This is just a common belief; there is no scientific evidence to back it up. “Isinuka is said to have helped dozens of people,” the mayor of Port St. Johns, Mnyamezeli Mangqo, told the Daily Dispatch in 2013.


To get to the “miracle spring,” you have to use a fig tree as a ladder to climb up a large rock face. At Isinuka, people can find clean water to drink, a pond to swim in, mud that cleans, gas fumes that come from the ground, and a well, among other things.


Daily Dispatch found that the area around the well has been called “Revising” or “Vicks” because of the smelly gas it puts out. People who go to Isinuka think that breathing in the gas will cure their backaches, pains, headaches, etc. Residents of Port St. Johns and people from other places still swear by Isinuka.


“There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world, and it’s all free. Rich and poor, black and white, all find comfort here. Sazi Ntshunte, who often went to the site, told Daily Dispatch, “It is the direct healing hand of God Himself.”


Isinuka is a holy place for the Mpondo people of the Eastern Cape, and they are very proud of it. In May of last year, DispatchLIVE said that people went to the “holy place” of Isinuka during Covid-19 without masks or social distance.

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