Porto Santo, healing sands
Health and wellness tourism in the Madeira archipelago has a centuries-old tradition. Regarding Porto Santo, in 1922, the Madeiran doctor Nuno Silvestre Teixeira wrote about the potential of the natural resources of the island of Porto Santo, reporting on the therapeutic and medicinal successes of the sands, the waters and the “grape cure” – healing through ingestion of grapes – for osteoarticular and musculoskeletal diseases, among others.
Today, the fine golden sands of Porto Santo are still very popular.
What is so special about Porto Santo sand?
According to João Baptista (integrated researcher at the GEOBIOTEC Research Unit, Foundation for Science and Technology and Department of Geosciences at the University of Aveiro) the sands found on the island of Porto Santo were formed around 35,000 years ago at a time when the The island had a tropical climate and was four times the size it is today.
Porto Santo sand is biogenic carbonated, rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur and strontium that are absorbed by the skin surface.
The heat of the sand has an anti-inflammatory function and the absorption of bio-essential chemical elements released from the sand dissolved by the action of body sweat contributes to the preservation and benefit of the bone structure and joint cartilage.
The combination of physical, chemical and temperature properties have a therapeutic effect in the case of musculoskeletal diseases.
Going to the beach in Porto Santo is good for your health and it’s not just because of the sand. The water of the Atlantic Ocean that bathes the island has a high content of iodine and, therefore, allows several therapeutic uses.