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Recreation in Ukraine

The Medical Miracle of Saki Lake

Saki Mud of the Saki Lake in Western Crimea has become a popular medical treatment these days. Thousands of people visit Saki recreational resorts and hospitals, or to buy mud and take treatment at their homes.

Every year in Crimea we see the same picture: odd, black-grey people, who look like devils from Neptune’s suite, just stand motionless, baking under the hot sun.  Is it a scene from a horror movie?  Not at all.  They are tourists seeking to improve their health with the help of the medicinal mud of Saki Lake.
Young and old alike smear their whole bodies, beginning from the head and finishing with the legs, to find a cure from this special mud.  For my friends and me, the sight of these mud-covered beings made for great fun and amusing pictures for good memories of our summer vacations.  But I began to wonder if there was more to this place than just amusing, mud-covered figures.
At a distance of 20 km from Yevpatoriya, Saki is the oldest resort in Crimea.  This small, cozy city was the first mud-cure resort in Ukraine.  The salty waters of Saki Lake contain the medicinal mud.  By their properties the mud and brine of Saki Lake greatly exceed similar products of the Dead Sea!  The depth of the Saki Lake is only about one meter and the length is 5 km.
There are many legends about this place.  The methods of using mud, which Tatar people used more than 200 years ago, now seem now barbaric and dangerous for the health.  A sick man would be buried in the mud completely, except for his head, for several hours.  He was promised to be healed of all diseases.  Only the man who had a healthy heart could survive this procedure.  Others died.
From ancient times, table salt has been mined from Saki Lake.  Beginning at the time of the Cossacks, the salt from Saki Lake was sold to remote places of Ukraine and Russia.  In the Middle Ages people began to use the medical mud of Saki Lake.  There is a legend about a chumak (merchant) who came to take salt from Saki Lake.  His oxen were stuck in the lake’s mud, and the chumak had to spend the night in the mud.  He trampled in the mud with his sore legs, trying to take out the loaded cart.  When he came back home, he didn’t feel any leg pain, which had bothered him for many years.  He became absolutely healthy.  
History keeps the legend about this miracle land.  This land could reanimate and cure!  Several centuries ago, Cossacks were almost captured by a Khan’s army. But they were able to break from the enemies.  Being pursued, the Cossacks rushed to the native lands.  Khan’s horsemen ran down the Cossacks on the territory of Saki lake.
“Brave Cossacks were pressed by the Horde to the salt lake.  It was the last fight. There was only the salt lake ahead for the Cossacks’ army.  Only death awaited them.  It was evening.  The salt lake was filled up with the bloody light.  It seemed the Cossacks were dead.  Their bodies were laid on the ground.  Then a miracle happened.  The Cossacks came to life and arose.” - According to a written legend. The miracle mud returned the Cossacks to life.
But the real story of Saki Lake is the medicinal mud.  Some stories of health recovery in this unique place seem like complete miracles.  Soldiers, who returned from Crimean War and the War in Afghanistan, received physical rehabilitation in Saki’s clinics, because of its cure properties. 
So what is the secret of Saki’s mud?  As with any medicine, mud cure is health-giving if you know how to use it.  Medicinal mud does not look like usual mud, and its structure is different.  Medicinal mud is bright and oily with a special pearly-grey or black color.  It looks more like a cream or face pack.
It is hard to understand the complicated structure of the Saki’s mud and how it influences the human organism.  It contains unique combinations of organic substances, minerals and microelements in high concentration (200gr/lit).  Perhaps it has to do with the concentrated salt of the lake.  The water in the Saki Lake is some of the saltiest in the world.  After several minutes in this water, your body will be covered by white, thin coating of salt.  
Saki’s mud treats a wide number of neurologic, gynaecological, urological and other diseases.  The resort offers recuperation after back traumas and joint diseases, and diagnostics of the nervous system is available in the health centers and sanatoriums there.
My mother was in a Sanatoria, located on Saki lake, two years ago.  After finishing the course she felt very good, and she hasn’t felt any joint pain since then.
Many doctors have become convinced of the healing properties of Saki’s miracle mud.  One respected surgeon said, “I have believed in the knife, but now, except the knife I believe in Saki’s mud.” 
So if you’re feeling a little sore, or if you have a nagging illness, perhaps you’ll come to Crimea and try the miracle mud of Saki Lake.  If nothing else, you might amuse some students on their summer vacations! 

Article written by Marina Pristinskaya


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