A recent visit to the natural source of the Lasena artesian natural mineral water revealed how nature could be very generous to man. And to make the healing characteristics of the water beneficial to humanity, the owner of the facility is set to open the first natural sauna in Africa. Samuel Ajayi reports

W hen nature has a say in a venture, all seems settled. That is the story of the discovery of natural artesian water at the premises of Oak Group of Companies at Isheri, in Ogun State. It is water reputed to have the highest PH in the world and its healing properties have been attested to by many who have come across the water. It is alkaline water that makes detoxification of the body an easy thing. And according to the curator of the adventure, Musa Lance Elakamah, there have been testimonies by those who have used the water as to its medicinal capabilities.

Yet, in all these, the discovery of the water was by accident. Being a manufacturer of plastic products, Elakamah had reasoned that being close to a swampy area; he could be producing water too and be bottling it so that he would not just be producing plastics for those who are producing table water. His first three attempts ended in disappointment as he was surprised that no water came out of the drilled hole. On the fourth attempt, however, Providence smiled on him. Or so he thought. Water started gushing out and everyone had to run away. Reason? The water was coming out at a force that could make it fill a container of 80,000 litres in two hours. Secondly, it has been coming out since and without any pumping machine inside the hole. Above all, it was so hot that no one could stay around the place for more than ten minutes.

“We all ran away”, Elekamah told a group of journalists during a recent tour of the facilities. “We were all afraid because the temperature was so high and I have never seen a thing like that before. For days, no one came near it and the water was just gushing out.”
By the time they had the courage to come near the water again, they took a sample of the water to the University of Ibadan to see one Dr. Adeleke, head of department of pharmacy. Samples were sent to him and he discovered that the water had a lot of minerals. He discovered that it was purely alkaline water. Water can either be acidic, neutral or alkaline. Neutral has a ph of 7.1 Anything below 7 is acidic while anything beyond 7 is alkaline. But the artesian water discovered by Elakamah and his team was with a ph of 7.8 which is the real alkaline level the human body needs. He takes up the story again:
“Even too much alkaline is not good; it must be in the right proportion of between ph of 7.2 to 8.5 and we are in 7.8. And if your body is in good alkaline state, you are healthy as diseases thrive in an acidic environment. So if your body is in alkaline state, your body is healthy and if you are healthy, you are likely to live long. Others can claim it has alkaline by adding artificial materials to it like chlorine and caustic soda, but our water does not have any of that. We call it the gift of Mother Nature to man.”

Dr. John Nanna, an orthodox medical practitioner who switched to alternative medicine, said what alkaline water does to the body is that it detoxifies the body because the anti-oxidants in the body neutralise the acids and free radicals that could damage the tissues thereby slowing ageing process in human beings. He also reckoned that there was no way sickness can survive in an alkaline environment. He said the micro-clustered water, like the one discovered by Elakamah, is “absorbed by the body faster and this increases its circulation and eliminates the acid wastes faster.”
Speaking further, the expert had this to say: “Drinking sufficient ionized alkaline water daily causes the stomach and pancreas to produce copious amounts of bicarbonate solution which when absorbed into the circulation neutralises the acidity further. Some of the substances that women apply to their skin in a bid to look younger contribute to their looking aged. Alkaline water will make the skin supple with a shine and luster that no cream or pomade can give.”

Another man who testified to the medicinal properties of the water was one Rev. Ogunyemi who in his 70s gave account of how he woke up one day and he was not able to walk no move his body from his waist down. According to him, he was rushed to the hospital and was placed on admission and was on one spot for days until he asked the doctor to be released on discharge and be attended to at home.
“It was when I got home that my daughter in Port-Harcourt recommended the artesian natural mineral water to me. I started drinking and within few days, I noticed some changes in my body movements and all stiff joints in my waist that I could not move became moveable. I started walking again. Since then, I have not taken another water.”
During the tour, Elakamah took reporters to the point where the water is gushing out of the soil and the temperature ensured that no one could stay there for more than ten minutes. But the real heat was to come. Since only a fraction of the water is being bottled, Elakamah decided to establish the first natural sauna in the whole of Africa.
“We are doing the first natural sauna in Africa. You can see that it is almost 90% complete. And you can see the extent of wok on that when I took you round. It will be powered by the natural heat of the water; it won’t be boiled. That will be the first sauna bath house in the whole of Africa. We have in Australia, Czech Republic and the US. But in Africa, ours will be the first where you come and have a complete wellness centre. It will be a complete hydro-therapy centre. It will be wellness of the body, soul and mind.”
And in fairness, work has gone far with the sauna to the extent that when the reporter went round the place, it is obvious that it detoxifies the body. Hardly could anyone stay inside the sauna for more than ten minutes. Dr. Nanna, who was part of the tour to provide some expert opinion on the experience, said excessive sweating as a result of being in an enclosed place with the hot, natural artesian water is very good for the body as what is actually being sweated out was not just acidic water but other agents that could have deposited and stayed in the body and developed into different ailments. According to him, what was going on was not a simple process of sweating but massive detoxification of the body. To him, that is what exposure to natural sauna from hot artesian water does to the body.
Elakamah is, however, looking beyond the sauna alone where people come and go after having their sauna bath. Almost completed is a block of chalets for those who want to stay over with their families. According to him, the artesian natural water has been channeled to each of the chalets which means guests could have their sauna bath right inside their rooms.
“We really want to make it a full-fledged wellness centre,” the lawyer by training explained to THISDAY after the tour. “It is nature’s gift to us and we want to give it to the world at just little cost to defray our cost of producing it. Other saunas are not natural but ours is like as it comes out of the soil. We allow it to cool before bottling it without any additives. It is the rest that we are being channeled to the sauna. That is why I call it nature’s gift to man.”