We look into various uses of gems in past and present. Below are 34 gemstone remedies. Also, silver and gold crystals can be found too, yet they are rare. As for the qualities attributed to different gem stones, all right proof may be missing, and descriptions or uses differ too. Gem remedies are part of ayurvedic treatment also. It has a long history.
Gems may be expensive. Also, one is to refrain from endangering anyone by getting awkwardly in the way for proficient medical diagnoses and fair and fit attempts at cure. In such cases, gems may be part of the complementary strides.
Over 1,500 precious and semi-precious stones exist. The 38 above could help healing and wellness-promotion (although hard evidence could be hard to find). There are a few practical ways of trying to benefit from gems: (1) wearing the gem or metal next to the skin or very close to it, as for example set in a ring, or as a bangle. (2) Making a homeopathic remedy of the gem or something akin to Bach remedies: these two approaches exist.
There are traditional uses of gemstones for therapy and prevention of diseases. Ayurveda uses gems. In homeopathy, gold and silver are among metals that are used to make remedies from. Thus, uses exist. How useful they are, remains to be documented - along general lines and for the specific remedies or remedy blends, as the case may be. That should be clear. How may the influence of gems on a body or body-mind be felt or sensed? One way is that of homeopathy, where proposed effects of such as gold may be tested on persons who seem to match the postulated symptoms. In homeopathy effects of silver and gold have been studied in its way, and these metals have crystal variants. Dr. William Boericke (1927) writes that gold is used homeopathically against such as:
Feeling of self-condemnation and utter worthlessness. Profound despondency . . . thorough disgust of life, and thoughts of suicide . . . Great fear of death. Peevish and vehement . . . Anthropophobia [fear of people]. Mental derangements . . . Oversensitiveness [etc.]. [Link]
Boericke holds that homeopathic gold may counteract such dread states of mind as listed, in other words that the influence of gold is uplifting . . . If you want to cheer up others, give them gold, is one lesson that stands out. The fact is, many get uplifted by gifts of gold -
This is not an explanation, but a further hint: Gems contain minerals, and the effects of various minerals on a human body may be known more or less. Dr. John H. Clarke lists up too much (unverified) in his large work Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica about gold and silver [Link]. Clarke's work contains entries about gold, silver, copper, other metals, and other compounds. The three-volumed set contains a homeopathic view of about a thousand homeopathic remedies. That view is likely to be condemned as totally lacking in hard evidence by sceptics and scientists alike.
Others describe the said effects of gem stones by colours. We do not know if there is any serious research to substantiate such colour-ray-based claims.
As for the possible, subtle influences ascribed to gems, many descriptions of such said influences may seem diffuse and too general. Besides, just as with birth stones, opinions vary too. Here is a yogi outlook: [Link]
Thus, statements as to who should wear what stone for what ends, may differ. And having this basic knowledge may come in handy some day.
In antiquity it was thought that gems could cure if powdered and ingested. In ayurveda the practice has continued to this day. This practice has given rise to misuses throughout Western history, at the very least. (Bariand 1992:3)
Gemstones placed on the body accompanied by beliefs
In what is called crystal healing, stones are assigned various properties, though healers have different ideas about which stones possess which properties.
During a treatment session, a crystal healer may place various stones or crystals on your body on the forehead, on the throat, on the chest, on the stomach, on the gut, and on the genital area. The stones used and their positioning may be chosen for the symptoms reported by the patient. This is all influenced by the healer's knowledge of, and belief in a therapy on shaky grounds, one that is largely dismissed by practitioners of Western medicine.
Crystal healing also involves the use of crystals and stones worn on the body or placed under pillows to ward off sickness, shed negative energy or absorb positive energy.
A twisted study with wide-reaching, overgrown conclusions
We are told that in 2001, Christopher French - then head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London - and his colleagues at Goldsmiths College at the University of London presented a paper at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference in Glasgow. In it, they outlined a study they had conducet of the efficacy of crystal healing:
It is a flimsical study with wide-reaching, overgrown conclusions.
80 participants had been asked to meditate for five minutes while holding either a real quartz crystal or a fake crystal that they believed was real. After meditating, participants answered questions about whether they felt any effects from the crystal healing session. The researchers found that the effects reported by those who held fake crystals while meditating were no different than the effects reported by those who held real crystals during the study.
That is not how the long-range effects of a therapy are measured.
"There is no evidence that crystal healing works over and above a placebo effect," French told Live Science, and that results "depends upon your attitude to placebo effects."
That is not so sure, and that is a valid conclusion as far as the five-minutes comparisons go, for grasping a stone and holding it for five minutes and report of sensations in the hands, is NOT how proficient testing of possible healing effects of a treatment is done. Neither five minutes or four sessions may do for it either. That ought to be made crystal clear . . .
It could take weeks and months of gem contact for possible effects to manifest. Five-minutes-French violated that idea. Long-range effects of prolonged gem contact were not studied, and what may be called medium-range effects were not studied either. Even short-term effects (for a week and a half, for example) were left out for the five-minutes grasp. Haynes and Haynes go briefly into how to administer doses:
With acute prescribing . . . three times daily for up to 7–10 days . . . In chronic conditions frequencies of once or twice a day or less . . . for 4–6 weeks may be more appropriate. After the time scales indicated the case would normally be reviewed and a decision made on follow-up action . . . (Kayne and Kayne 2007:35)
The French research design is abortive. Very broad conclusions from an inadequately designed study is not good enough. French should have made better efforts to make his study valid and relevant to healing efforts that typically take more time than five minutes. Be that as it may for now, some medical doctors see so-called crystal healing as a therapy that can induce relaxation, which ultimately is therapeutic for stress management. If so, it has its uses too, as a complementary avenue. Dr Oluf Lindahl points that out very well in Vetenskap och beprövad erfarenhet (1978).
[Some of the material above is based on "Crystal Healing: Stone-Cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments" by Elizabeth Palermo. In Live Science, 23 June 2017]
Holding gems and similar in one's hands for five minutes is hardly a good basis for talking of healing effects of gems if it takes weeks and months of contact for possible effects to manifest. Long-range effects of wearing gems has not been not studied, and what may be called medium-range effects has not been studied either. Even short-term effects (for a week and a half, for example) seem lacking.
Richard Liddicoat observes that while a stone must be rare to be thought valuable, it can also be be too rare to be valuable. He cites tanzanite as an example of the latter, too rare sort.
A hard stone may be fit for jewellry, and hence for being found precious. Many have heard of gems like ruby, emerald and sapphire, but there are lesser-known and just as beautiful gems (Bariand 1992:v).
Lustrous and glistening gems tend to be cut and/ord polished to look attractive to humans, men and women. (Bariand 1992:vi).
There are treasure hunters that dream of getting rich quickly. Good luck to them [Bariand 1992:vi).
One should be aware that not a few gems are counterfeited gems. (Bariand 1992:vi).
Colour imparted symbolic meaning to stones and gems. Rubies and red garnets suggest blood and fire, and were taken as symbols of life-strength. Sapphires and lapis lazuli recalled the blue of the sky - and gods of the sky - became symbols of mediation with the gods. Gold and amber, recalling the sun and warmth, were selected as tokens of divine protection, and so on. (Bariand 1992:1)
Thus, gems became tools of displaying various or so-called powers of humans. Regents have used crowns ornate with sapphires to represent the guessed up union of the regent and the divine side (sky), while rubies were tokens of the regent's fierceness in battle, and so on. (Bariand 1992:2).
Jewels on the hat also became tokens of rank. (Bariand 1992:2)
Many came to regard gems as talismans of some hidden protection. In ancient Egypt, for example, a green stone in which a scarab beetle was carved, symbolised the sun and eternity. (Bariand 1992:2)
Throughout the ages certain gems were thought to protect those who wore them or owned them from misfortune and certain harms. (Bariand 1992:2)
Christian Symbolism of Certain Gems
Yahweh instituted a breast piece with twelve stones on it (the great priest pectoral) to be used among answer-divining priests and kings (Exodus 28:17-20).
Later there are twelve stones in the Revelation of John 21:19-20.
One of the seven angels . . . showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone . . .
The passage suggests that some stones are part of a heavenly environment. You may start gathering the right sort of stones right now, if you care. Gem-adorned nobility has not waited. Why wait? Nice and polished stones come at lower prices. What do you think of that?
The gems mentioned - in addition to gold and pearls - are:
At the same time, think that what is mentioned in the Old Book hardly ever mentions animals, plants and minerals found very far from Egypt, to put it simply. So it could be wise to keep an eye open for other, valuable stones. Some will be cheaper too. Emeralds, diamonds and rubies are among the most expensive ones, at any rate.
Surely, one may soon find out that there are about 1500 more gemstones on earth, and that quite many were unknown to the ancient Jews of Palestine. You may assert, "In antiquity, Bible writers knew about some stones and did not know about the vast amount of other stones, such as tanzanite: it was made known in the West the 1800s and since has been extremely popular in the United States (cf. Bariand 1992:213).
Hunting for the right sort of "Bible stones" you may also well ask: "When the ancients said "sardonyx", could other sorts of sard and onyx be included too? What are the differences between sard and sardonyx and between sardonyx and onyx?" Definitions that are used now, where not used among the ancients. There is much confusion, as a matter of fact, and there was much confusion in ancient times too: What is onyx and what is sardonyx has not always been clear-cut.
One the one hand we may learn that onyx is a black agate (i.e., chalcedony, SiO2), and that onyx denoted a number of chalcedony varieties before taking on its present restricted meaning during the late Roman empire: Today onyx designates a sard so dark that it appears black. Onyx may also denote an agate with black and white layers. More generally, onyx is applied to any agate with highly contrasting layers of colours other than browish red. And there is black onyx and layered onyx.
Sard is a brown chalcedony. Originally the term designated the brown and red varieties of translucent chalcedony. In the 1700s AD the name was restricted to the reddish brown to dark brown varieties coloured by iron oxides.
Sardonyx is agate (chalcedony) with alternating reddish brown and white planar layers. To complicate matters a bit more, in ancient Rome sardonyx apparently designated all varieties of zoned agates imported from India. (Bariand 1992:201-2)
As for what the ancients meant by carnelian and chalcedony, I am not sure. Today carnelian is red and translucent chalcedony. Carnelian was first used as a synonym for sard . . .
In other words, there is room for heavy confusion as to what specifications the heavenly gems could have. But as for the 34 selected gems in the list almost at the top of the page, their propensities are as defined by the gemmologists, so as to eliminate any lingering doubt as to what is meant.
Later Uses of Conformity
In the middle of the 1700s the Jewish community in Poland re-interpreted the Bible and assigned a stone to each of the twelve signs of the zodiak, and then to each of the twelve months.
Thus, many seem to fondle the idea that this and that birthstone brings luck - at least to the sellers. Various trade associations devised different lists of birthstones, in part out of commercial motives. You can believe that. (Bariand 1992:3-4)
Gems and Currency
In some quarters or circles gems became regarded as good investment objects, or currency. This is presently the case with diamonds, but not with jade. (Bariand 1992:4)
Having a certain gem to display indicates the wearer belongs to a given sociocultural group. By its size and rarity a gem indicates social esteem or rank of its owner.
"A gem should complement the person it adorns . . . in unison with her or him". (Bariand 1992:4)
Bariand, Pierre. The Larousse Encyclopedia of Precious Gems. Translated by Emmanuel Fritsch. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
Boericke, William, and Oscar Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Boericke and Runyon, 1927.
Clarke, John Henry: A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. 3 vols. London: The Homeopathic Publishing Company, 1900 (vol 1) and 1902 (vols 2 and 3).
Garmo, Torgeir T, & Walter Schumann: Mileral- og bergarter: Ei felthandbok med fargebilete. Oslo: NKS, 1979.
Hamilton, W. R., A. R. Woolley, & A. C. Bishop: Bergarter, mineraler, fossiler: En felthåndbok.Gyldendal. Oslo, 1975.
Hochleitner, Rupert: Edelsteiner og smykkesteiner. Oslo: Cappelen, 1996.
Kayne, Steven B., and Lee Kayne. Homeopathic Prescribing: Pocket Companion. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2007.
Lindahl, Olov, och Lars Lindwall. Vetenskap och beprövad erfarenhet. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 1978, p. 109-20.
Mieder, Wolfgang (main editor), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996:248.
Schumann, Walter: Smykkestener. Oslo: Aschehoug, 1978.
Voegeli, Adolf. Homoeopathic Prescribing: Remedies for Home and Surgery. Tr. Geoffrey A. Dudley. Wellingborough: Thorsons, 1976. ⍽▢⍽
Home manual. Adolf Voegeli (1898–1983) was a Swiss classic homeopath and writer of textsbooks. After studying medicine in Switzerland and four neighbouring countries he set up his practice in Zurich. The University of Zurich offered him a professorship he declined. He contributed to the spreading of homeopathy in Switzerland and Germany through his teaching activities and writings, and left behind an extensive work. With his Heilkunst in eine neuer Sicht: Ein Praxisbuch (1955, 7th edition 1991) he became known in Germany in specialist circles. At the end of this work, he presents the basic principles of homoeopathy in 33 points.
USER'S GUIDE: [Link]|
© 1997–2017, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil. [Email] ᴥ Disclaimer: [Link]