Do gems really have power

The healing properties of precious stones

Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Egyptians had assigned a gemstone to each of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Greeks and Romans used some stones in medicine, the ancient Indians and also the Arabs believed in the healing properties of stones. Even before Hildegard von Bingen (1098 to 1179), healing stones were also used in Central Europe, but - as in many other things - she gave great impetus.

Hildegard von Bingen is convinced that God should have put wonderful powers into the gemstones. Hildegard's therapeutic recommendations for use are strongly based on the scientific worldview of antiquity. The four elements fire, water, earth and air were assigned the properties warm, damp, cold and dry. Just as they stand in the right proportion for harmony, so the minerals should restore physical harmony in the event of illness.

The emerald is a stone of fire. Hildegard von Bingen assigns chalcedony to water. And the sapphire is a stone of the air. The garnet stands for the earth with cold and dry properties. It is supposed to counteract diseases that are damp and warm, such as fever.

The doctor and astrologer Paracelsus then systematically extracted minerals from precious stones in the 16th century for use as medicinal products. A hundred years later - during the Enlightenment - there was no longer any room for it in medicine.

The modern stone healing therapy

Hildegard von Bingen's theories that have been handed down have survived to this day and are used, for example, in naturopathic practices for stone therapy for migraines.

Hildegard von Bingen assumed that the vibrations emitted by precious stones either act on the central nervous system through messengers, for example water or wine, or through the skin.

According to their teachings, the greatest healing successes promised the twelve foundation stones of God: heliotrope, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, peridot, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, zircon and amethyst. The sapphire, for example, is good against stupidity or outbursts of anger. The heliotrope, also called Hildegardjaspis, is supposed to strengthen the mind and protect against mental distraction. The carnelian (also called sarder) is said to be good against nosebleeds, the amethyst against lice.

As a healing method, stones were and are placed in almost all peoples or put in their mouths. It is also common to pour water over the stones and then drink the water. Sometimes the stone is also powdered and used as a tincture or ointment. The stones are supposed to reduce negative energies, create harmony in the body and release hidden forces.

Humbug or miracle cure?

None of this is provable. Many consider gem therapy to be pure nonsense. Others, on the other hand, swear that the stones can cure diseases that no medication and no ordinary doctor can help. From a scientific point of view, this cannot be substantiated.

However, the stones often have a calming and stress-relieving effect, as the user should put himself in a relaxed state in order to be open to the "vibrations" and "energies" of the stones. In addition, the placebo effect takes effect: If you believe in a healing effect, it often occurs.

What is striking is how wide-ranging the respective areas of application are often. This becomes very evident in the example of carnelian. Basically it should help against everything: infections, rheumatism, menstrual cramps, cramps, circulatory problems, toothache, abdominal pain, runny nose, poisoning, blood, liver, gallbladder, intestinal and venous diseases, cancer, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, impotence, Lethargy, overexcitement, delusions, sluggishness, restlessness, depression and insomnia.

The multitude of effects described should dampen exaggerated hopes, but those who believe in them can perhaps benefit from the placebo effect. And in some things of love, a diamond is said to have worked wonders ...