By Ritu Khanna November 1996 We tend to examine a gem for its clarity, color and carat. Add to that another ‘C': Cure. The healing power of a jewel, and its effect on the body, mind, heart and soul, is painstakingly charted by astrologers, duly acknowledged by gem dealers, and then reinforced by wearers who think them to be a stepping stone to better health, prosperity and happiness. But can wearing a particular jewel heal and cure all your problems? Of carmine red colour, a ruby is the sacred stone of the Burmese, who compare it to a human soul about to enter the precincts of the Buddha. They believe that its color changes gradually—colorless to yellow, green, blue, red when ripe. It also changes color in the presence of poison or with the deteriorated health of the wearer, or when trouble threatens. A ruby influences the wearer very strongly for good or evil and wards off bad dreams. It is associated with divine power, love, dignity, royalty and peace. Do not wear at night or during summer, and avoid constant use as it is very hot. Wear in ring, bracelet or brooch, on the left side. It is recommended for actors, children, teachers, and in matters of love. It is believed to heal eye trouble, meningitis, anaemia, fever, digestive disorders, low blood pressure and heart diseases. Ground to powder, it helps in snake bites and bleeding. Substitutes: garnet, sunstone, spinel and agate. BLUE SAPPHIREA variety of corundum, deep azure blue in color, a blue sapphire is a sacred stone for the Hindus and is consecrated to their gods. It is dedicated to Indra, the god of thunder. The Buddhists believe it reconciles man and God. It changes color if the wearer is unfaithful. A blue sapphire prevents fear, and helps overcome depression . It influences financial matters and is associated with prosperity. The stone is very cold and should never be worn alone, but with a red coral or copper ring. But, be careful: discontinue wearing if it does not suit you; its effect is evident within 24 hours. It should always be worn on the right hand. It is recommended for lovers, bankers, those in finance and speculators. A blue sapphire is believed to cure allergy, cancer, jaundice, hair loss, biliousness, poliomyelitis, anaemia, arthritis, old age-related diseases, ulcers, chronic fever, epilepsy and prevents excessive sweating. Dipped in cold water, it can be used for eye trouble. It can also be used in powdered form or taken orally with honey or garlic juice. Substitutes: blue zircon, amethyst, lapis lazuli, blue garnet and blue spinel. PEARLFound in the shell of a pearl oyster, it has a brilliant lustre, with varying tints. It is said that a dark pearl is presided over by Lord Vishnu, one that resembles the moon by Indra, the king of the Hindu pantheon, the yellow pearl by Varuna, the god of wind, and a pearl with the brilliance of Agni, the fire god. A pearl’s beauty depends on the health of its wearer. An unblemished pearl brings wealth, vitality and a long life, as it protects against enemies and accidents. A pearl is associated with peace, purity, innocence and chastity. It has a soothing effect. It should be worn on the right hand. Cultured pearls have only 25 per cent efficacy. A black-specked pearl is very inauspicious. A pearl is believed to cure myopia, breathing disorders, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, cerebral thrombosis, indigestion, heart diseases and blood pressure. It can be crushed to powder and dissolved in water or wine. Take orally in case of calcium deficiency (especially recommended for pregnant women). Substitutes: moonstone and white sapphire. CORALThe skeleton-like deposit of the coral polyp, composed of calcium secreted from seawater, a coral is also found in white and yellow colors. It changes color as a warning of the ill health of its wearer. A coral protects against evil spirits and averts accidents. It is associated with marital happiness and courage. Should be removed at night. It is recommended for brides. It is believed to cure blood disorders, arthritis, blisters, bronchitis, backaches, chickenpox, color blindness, constipation, cramps, common cold, cataract, ear diseases, diabetes, foot trouble, fever, gallstones, gout, hay fever, hiccoughs, hernia, jaundice, malaria, measles, mumps, piles, toothaches, and prevent miscarriages. YELLOW SAPPHIREOf a light yellow color, an unblemished stone gives the wearer good health, wisdom, wealth and fame. A yellow sapphire is a protection against evil spirits and is associated with peace of mind and friendship. It is especially recommended for girls who want an early marriage. It is believed to cure allergy, anaemia, appendicitis, arthritis, backaches, bladder trouble, cholera, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes (wear with red coral), eczema, gallstones, ulcers, hernia, influenza, car sickness, sunstroke, tuberculosis and typhoid. Substitutes: yellow quartz and citrine. CINNAMON STONEAvailable in many colors, a cinnamon stone is said to belong to the zircon family. Generally of honey or red color; when colorless, it resembles a diamond. A cinnamon stone protects against enemies and is associated with health and wealth. It is recommended for soldiers. It is believed to cure leprosy and leukaemia. EMERALDOf a rich green color, an emerald is a variety of the beryl. It was venerated by the Romans who believed in its overwhelming presence, saying that a serpent becomes blind if it looked at an emerald. It changes color in the presence of false friends or witnesses; it also registers the intensity of love (turning pale when love is waning). An emerald has the power to predict events when placed under the tongue. It protects against evil spirits and has a cooling effect. It is associated with faith, friendship, love, kindness and nature. It is recommended for pregnant women and for travellers as it protects against dangers on land or water. It is to be worn at religious ceremonies. It is believed to cure eye and ear troubles, asthma, hair loss, digestive disorders, hay fever, heart diseases, insomnia, leucoderma, hernia, menstrual disorders, neuralgia, typhoid, and prevent miscarriages. Substitutes: aquamarine, turquoise, peridot, green agate and jade. CAT’S EYEA very powerful stone, this is a variety of quartz that belongs to the chrysoberyl family. It has opalescent reflections from within. It has a shining band inside which moves when the stone is turned. A cat’s eye helps the intellect and protects against hurdles and delays. It is said to bring quick results and is associated with energy and stamina. A black dot in the stone can prove fatal for the wearer. It is recommended for pregnant women, and those involved in litigation. It is believed to cure coughs, piles, indigestion, eye ailments and headaches. Substitute: tiger’s eye. DIAMONDUsually colorless (though yellow, green, black, brown, rose and blue diamonds are available), a diamond consists of pure carbon. It is said to be of four kinds: Brahmin (colorless, no blemish), Kshatriya (slight red hue), Vaishya (yellow) and Shudra(black). A flawed diamond is considered very unlucky by the Hindus. The stone loses its brilliance with the deteriorating health of its wearer. A diamond helps to improve concentration, promotes spirituality and protects against evil forces. It is associated with wisdom, courage, purity, innocence, repentance, forgiveness and joy. Losing a diamond is considered very unlucky. It should preferably be gifted to the wearer, not purchased. and worn on the left side of the body. It is recommended for those seeking constancy in marriage and for sleepwalkers. It is believed to cure diseases of the bladder and heart, leucoderma and insanity. Its ash can be used for treating tuberculosis, diabetes, anaemia and swellings. Dipped in water and wine, it forms an elixir that treats gout, jaundice and apoplexy. Substitutes: white topaz, zircon, tourmaline and quartz. Let us take a quick inventory. Number of gems (precious and semi, and this includes some that do not, strictly speaking, fall into the category of stones like, say, a red coral): 84 Number of astrologers (professional and non) practising gem therapy: Prospering, proliferating…almost as many as the ubiquitous cable television dealer Number of gem sellers: In abundance and growing… Number of people wearing gems: Well, just look around you. Students, brides, businessmen-wearers of gems have transcended all barriers of age and attitude. Gems are worn for success, health, wealth, early marriage, peace of mind. Men who earlier felt uncomfortable wearing engagement rings or wedding bands are now happily wearing all kinds of stones set in various metals. So are the tough and the timid; the romantic and the realist; the superstitious and the scientific Total: Beyond numbers, calculations and comprehension So what does that mean? A Return to the Stone Age? Not really. To begin with, wearing a jewel for its therapeutic value is not a new idea. One of the world’s most famous diamonds, the Koh-i-noor, is said to be blessed with special charms. It is believed that the water in which it is placed can cure all diseases. A ruler once refused what could be called a king’s ransom in exchange for the glittering stone because he firmly believed that his and his family’s fortunes were inextricably linked with the gem. The conviction that an occult sympathy exists between a stone and its wearer has percolated down the ages. Pythagoras found the inner self in the soul of the stone; Theosophical Society founder Helena Blavatsky believed in their inexplicable powers. Cramp rings, made from the king of England’s Good Friday offerings of gold, were worn in the Middle Ages to heal cramps and rheumatism. The Greeks believed that an opal granted prophetic powers to its wearer. And though its beauty alone makes it a joy forever (who can remain unmoved while looking
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