Magical and Healing Properties
Countless magical and medicinal properties have been attributed to gemstones over the centuries. Diamonds gave immunity to poison and revealed infidelity ... amethyst protected against drunkenness ... heliotrope (bloodstone) stopped nosebleed and conferred invisibility ... sapphire enabled the wearer to escape from prison. For many centuries, because the origin of disease was unknown, its treatment was linked with magic and superstition.
Although the healing properties of certain gemstones were first recorded in the early Egyptian days, it was not until Roman times that scholars such as Pliny wrote of gemstones as a form of medicine. It was the ecclesiastical writers who compiled the first major treatises on healing with gems.
The use of gemstones for healing was
carried out in different ways. At times,
the mere presence of the stone was
thought to be sufficient to effect a cure.
At other times the gem was placed on the
afflicted part of the body and sometimes
the stone was powdered and eaten.
Successes achieved by the various
applications of gemstones may not have
been due to the gems directly, but to the
effect of the suggestion on the sufferer.
Failures were excused by the explanation
that the stone used was not "genuine".
Today, increasing numbers of people are
pursuing various non-traditional methods
of illness diagnosis and therapy. Many
of these alternative approaches, including "natural" medicine, acupuncture and
even gemstones, have been employed in
the treatment of disease for centuries and
are again becoming more and more
accepted, which would indicate a certain
degree of success. There seems to be
little doubt today that in many cases the
mind does, in fact, play a vital role in the
ability of the body to recover from illness
... the healing power of positive thought
is accepted by both traditional and
In many of the books on the healing
powers of gemstones, so many virtues
are attributed to each stone that one
might conclude that any stone can cure
any disease. It appears, however, that in
many cases of duplicated healing powers,