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Heal It with Water

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"Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him."

Pure, clean water washing away dirt and grime is an age-old idea, and water is a fairly universal symbol for spiritual healing and restoration. In addition, all organic life on Earth is water-based and terrestrial life is thought to originate from the oceans. So it's no surprise that fiction associates water with health and life — specifically, it is often used to heal. Water will have restorative properties (such as recovering health or mana), treat injuries (even internal ones that the water wouldn't even touch), and cleanse a body of poison and other toxins.

One common way to do this is to make healing a subset of water-based powers: healing spells will be water-aligned, and individuals with a water-themed powerset can use their control over water to pull double duty as the team medic (or conversely, the team medic is likely to have an affinity for water magic for the same reason). This may specifically involve the manipulation of internal fluids to repair bodily damagenote . Because of this, if there's a Four-Element Ensemble or Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, expect the healer characters to belong to the Water element.


Heal It with Water relies on the idea of Cool, Clear Water as cleansing and life-giving. Since Water Is Blue, this also allows for the Color Motif of water being calming and soothing. Many real-life first aid procedures such as burn treatments and wound washing note  rely on running water, and in the specific case of some poisons, water is used to "flush" them outnote . And of course, drinking sufficient amounts of water is essential to one's health.

A useful application of Making a Splash, and may be utilized by a White Mage and / or those with Healing Hands, who tend to be feminine women. Super-Trope to Healing Spring, a body of water that specifically has healing properties. Compare Healing Vat and Healing Potion, which are liquids that will recover health, but may be comprised of something other than water, and Swiss Army Tears when they are used in a healing capacity. Contrast Kill It with Water and Kill It with Fire; see also Heal It with Fire and Healing Winds. This can apply to Fire/Water Juxtaposition if water's healing properties are played in contrast to the destruction caused by fire.


Not to be confused with aqua vitae — see Hard-Drinking Tropes for that. Or Heal It with Booze.

See also Holy Water, which will may be given restorative, curative or even resurrective properties in fiction.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ameno in Naruto uses the Water Release jutsu to supplement her extensive medical skills; she's seen healing herself and flushing out poison with it.
  • In Sword Art Online, the Undines are water-based fairies who specialize in healing magic.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Downplayed and justified in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The protagonists are given boils by a poison fog which washes away when they step into a pond. In this case, the injuries from the fog were designed to wash away upon contact with saltwater.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians — The Lightning Thief: This ability is expanded from the books. While in the books contact with water (particularly salt water) can empower and heal Percy, in this adaptation he is capable of also using it to heal others' wounds, as seen when he submerges himself and gently holds Annabeth's wrist.

  • Codex Alera: Healing magic is one of the watercrafting arts and one of the most commonly used for its Mundane Utility. It usually requires the patient to be immersed in a tub of water, but the more powerful practitioners don't need to do so.
  • In the Discworld, witch Tiffany Aching develops a magic for taking away pain from a patient: she channels their pain through herself into a bucket of cold water, which accepts the pain-energy and noticeably heats up, in some cases coming to the boil.
  • The Dresden Files: Water is associated with entropy, cleansing, and Anti-Magic in the setting. Best exemplified by The Archmage Joseph Listens-To-Wind, who uses water magic both in his peerless Healing spells and to Dispel hostile magic.
  • Percy Jackson of Percy Jackson and the Olympians has a variation of this (and Healing Factor) as one of his many water-based superpowers — because he's the son of the Lord of the Ocean, jumping into any body of water will heal his injuries.
  • Whateley Universe: From Silver Linings 1 (Part 5): Sobek, used his powers related to the waters of the Nile, to "wash away evil", cleansing Quinn Seabury of magical rot, and washing away the traumas afflicting some children.
  • Subverted in The Wheel of Time. Healing weaves often use a combination of Water, Air, and Spirit, but it's a flawed version that works via Life Drain, and later books introduce a weave using all five elements as the true healing weave.

    Myths & Religion 

  • BIONICLE: In Mask of Light, Gali uses her elemental power of water to purify Tahu from Lerahk's poison inflicted earlier in the film.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock 2, the Fountain of Youth gene tonic slowly regenerates health and EVE when in contact with water.
  • Chantelise: The only healing spell in the game is made using blue crystals of water magic.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Marle and Frog are the two Water-aligned party members, and they are the only ones with dedicated healing spells. Marle functions more like a White Mage, with a more dedicated healing and support arsenal, whereas Frog is more of a Combat Medic, where he can dish out damage and keep the party alive. In the sequel, Chrono Cross, the Blue element, which governs water and ice, includes a large number of powerful healing spells.
  • Water-based characters in DC Universe Online can use their powers to heal or prevent damage.
  • Divinity: Original Sin and sequel Divinity: Original Sin II:
    • The Hydrosophist ability governs water and ice magic and includes a number of skills to restore Hit Points or remove Status Ailments, such as Restoration, Healing Tears, and Cleanse Wounds.
    • Zig-zagged in the original game: the Hydrosophist ability has healing skills at all levels of proficiency, but the Master level also unlocks the "Mass Disease" skill.
    • In the sequel, when Water surfaces and steam clouds are blessed with Source magic, they heal anyone who stands in them.
  • Duke Nukem 3D allows the mechanic of adding 1% health for drinking water, up to 9%. This is usually done after wrecking a fire hydrant or a toilet, then sipping from the fountain thusly created.
  • In Fallout 3:
    • The main plot concerns the reactivation of a water purification system (which serves as a metaphor for healing the post-nuclear wasteland). It becomes an important factor in the "Broken Steel" DLC (set after the events of the main plot, where the system's been reactivated and possibly contaminated if the player took the "evil" option). In the game, distilled water (hard to come by) is a healing item (and one of the few that don't cause the PC to accumulate rads (although any water does some healing, at the cost of radiation poisoning).
    • There's also a quest in the DLC about a ghoul salesman selling a miracle cure to ghouls, claiming it can reverse the ghoulification process. It turns out he's been irradiating the water the Brotherhood of Steel's distributing; the radiation causes some healing effects for ghouls, but technically hastens the ghoulification process.
  • Fortune Summoners: The earliest healing spell available is Sana's starting spell "Heal Water".
  • Golden Sun:
    • The water element healing spell series, Ply, which includes the strongest single-target healing, and Wish, which includes the strongest multi-target healing. Water is also the only element to provide status recovery spells.
    • The water-elemental summon, Coatlicue, is the only summon spell that focuses exclusively on healing rather than causing damage.
    • The Water of Life item revives a fallen party member.
    • In general, Mercury (Water) Adept characters are slanted towards healing and support. Best exemplified by Mia, a water user who works as a healer and acts as the White Magician Girl. Her son Rief shares her abilities.
    • The Water of Hermes is obtained after igniting the Mercury lighthouse, and is used to restore Tret after his insane evil personality has been defeated and keep Imil's inhabitants safe from any disease. If reobtained, it can be used to fully heal a party member.
    • Lemuria's inhabitants live multiple centuries thanks to the properties of the water from their island's fountain. Babi escaped the island with several bottles of the water, but his supply is running out after decades and he sends the heroes to get more. He dies offscreen in the second game before you can get him the water.
  • In Grandia II, all healing spells fall under the elemental water category.
  • In Guild Wars 2, the Elementalist profession has an attunement to water that uses water magic and focuses on healing.
  • Jade Cocoon 2: Each of the four classical elements is associated with a particular strategy in battle, with water representing healing.
  • The Trails Series plays with this idea. While the The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky trilogy has all healing arts be of the water element, subsequent games afterwards have the Area of Effect healing arts be of wind element to avoid Crippling Overspecialization.
  • Mipha, whose magic is is explicitly aquatic because she was princess of the Fish People Zora, in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was also a renowned healer when she was alive. The skill she gives Link is the ability to restore his health to full, and it even has a bubbling visual effect.
  • The water-element Glyphs in Lunarosse focus primarily on healing and buffing.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6: In the Falzar version, after Mega Man finishes the side quest with Spout Man, he'll gain access to Spout Cross, where Mega Man acquires Spout Man's abilities. When he activates Spout Cross, Mega Man will be able to heal 5% of his HP whenever he uses Aqua-element Battle Chips.
  • Pokémon:
    • The move Aqua Ring is a Water-type move that surrounds the user with a veil of water that slowly restores health.
    • The Life Dew move spreads water to heal the user and any allies on the field for twenty-five percent of their maximum HP.
    • A few abilities are based on this concept. Rain Dish causes a Pokemon to regain some HP when it's raining, Water Absorb will heal Pokemon hit with water-type attacks instead of damaging them, and Hydration will cure status effects (eg. burn, freeze, poison) in rain.
  • Secret of Mana: The water spirit Undine grants support mage Primm a "Healing Water" spell when the party go to her to learn magic. Candy, the healing item, gives out a water drop animation when used.
  • The Crystal Key 2 involves a Healing Spring that can revive dead plants in seconds, and make trees grow to enormous sizes. It turns out later that it can also remove the Belial trance, and the endgame involves drenching the entirety of Planet Evany in the stuff to break the planet's curse.
  • In Super Mario 64, Mario's health meter is also his Oxygen Meter. If Mario is low on health, he can jump into a body of water and rise to the surface to refill his health meter to its full extent.
  • Tales Series
    • In multiple games in the series, the Water Elemental Undine both heals the party and attacks the enemy when summoned.
    • In Tales of Destiny, Atwight was a powerful healer in life and also a master of water magic. As a Swordian, she shares this power with her wielder, Rutee.
    • In Tales of Eternia, all healing spells are derived from Undine.
    • The Healing Stream spell in Tales of Symphonia is a bit of an odd case. Its animation shows a wave of water and bubbles healing allies in the area, but its prerequisite spell is earth-elemental. Its users' offensive water spells were Dummied Out.
    • In Tales of Rebirth, Annie's ability to heal is an affect of having the Force of Rain.
    • Tales of the Abyss
      • Tear can use Water Fonons to change her First Aid spell into the stronger Meditation, which also heals status effects. She can do the same with her Resurrection spell to change it into the stronger Regenerate, which can heal multiple allies at once.
      • Each of the Fonic Hymns combine the seventh fonon with one of the six standard elements. The ultimate healing spell, Revitalize, combines it with water.
    • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, all of the standard single-target healing spells influence the battlefield towards water.
    • In Tales of Vesperia
      • The water elemental Great Deluge and Dispersion passive skill are frequently the key to unlocking stronger healing spells, such as Estelle turning Resurrection into Regenerate and Flynn turning First Aid into Cure.
      • One of the random results of Patty's Gamble Cast spell is the unique Marvelous Fountain, which deals water damage to all enemies in the area before healing the entire party.
    • In Tales of Xillia, Rowen's Diffusional Drive spell simultaneously causes water damage in the target area and heals the entire party for a small amount.
    • In Tales of Xillia 2, Milla can summon Undine to heal allies in the area around her. Diffusional Drive also returns as a spell for Rowan and Muzet.
    • In Tales of Zestiria, the Water Seraph Mikleo is the party's strongest healer, and when Armitized provides the ultimate healing spell, Elixir Vitae.
    • In Tales of Berseria, Magilou's Fairy Circle spell heals all party members in its AOE while simultaneously causing water-elemental damage to enemies in the same AOE.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: In the first dungeon, the party heals by drinking water.
  • Shamans in World of Warcraft use water to restore their mana and help them heal.
  • Xenoblade:
    • Melia Antiqua's Summon Aqua has healing-over-time properties in battle.
    • In the sequel Xenoblade Chronicles 2, while Blades of any element can be healers, Dromarch (the first-obtained healer Blade) and Nia (the most powerful healer Blade, both gameplay- and story-wise) are notably both water element.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • The water elementalists of Noob are healing-oriented, but also have token offensive spells.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Of the four classical elements, Waterbenders have the unique power of Healing Hands. It is the only form of water bending that women in the Northern Water Tribe are allowed to learn. Katara spontaneously manifests the ability when she dips her burned hands in a stream and later trains up to become such a Combat Medic that she can use water from a sacred spring to basically bring someone Back from the Dead. She later teaches her daughter, Kya, and Aang's successor, Korra, how to heal others.
  • In Captain Planet and the Planeteers, clean water is one of the things which can revive Cap if he's had his powers drained by pollution.
  • In Steven Universe, Rose Quartz possessed the ability to heal the gems of the soldiers in her rebel army with Swiss Army Tears. This power is passed along to her son, Steven, although this is done through his spit rather than his tears.

    Real Life 
  • A number of patent medicine and New-Age "cures" rely on this trope, being essentially water with a few properties that are claimed to have healing power. Examples include Radithor (radioactive water) or the more recent trend of alkaline water, both of which have been claimed to have miraculous health benefits.
  • Flushing with large amounts of water is a common first response to chemical burns, and drinking lots of water may be recommended to treat certain types of internal poisoning (Do Not Try This at Home without consulting a doctor first).
  • Cold water and ice are common treatments for fresh burns.


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