Gemstone therapy is a new-age alternative healing method that has its roots in both in the Hindu religion and medieval medical practices.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, gemstone elixirs were made from water and powdered gemstones and prescribed for a variety of ailments to the nobles and those otherwise able to afford them. After losing their popularity in the later centuries, they were reborn in the new age movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
Those who practice gemstone therapy today relate the use of gems to homeopathic principals. Believing that like cures like, the gems chosen are similar in color to the disease they are purported to cure.
Rubies and garnets are associated with blood disorders and are used to treat leukemia, menstrual problems and AIDS. Peridots and jade, because of their green color are reported to relieve high blood pressure, stress and headaches.
Diamonds and moonstones are the fertility and nurturing stones said to increase mother's milk and improve sperm counts. Obsidian and hematite are reported to alleviate depression, cure insomnia and prevent dreams from turning into nightmares.
Amber is considered a gemstone, yet is not a stone at all. Amber is formed by the petrifying of tree sap and is reputed to relieve arthritis pain.
Many gemstone therapy practitioners prefer using the Chakra method of therapy. They believe that by aligning specific stones with the seven chakra centers of the body and bringing the centers into balance, health is promoted. The seven centers are:
- The Root Chakra, represented by the Obsidian stone, is located at the base of the spine.
- The lower abdomen chakra, represented by the stone Carnelian, is just below the navel.
- The solar plexus chakra, represented by the stone Citrine, is just below the breastbone.
- The heart chakra, represented by the stone Peridot, is in the center of the chest.
- The throat chakra, represented by the stone Aquamarine, is at the base of the throat.
- The third eye chakra, represented by the stone Lapis lazuli, is centered above the eyebrows.
- The crown chakra, represented by the stone Amethyst, is at the crown of the head.
Many different alternative healing disciplines include chakra therapy in their practice. These include Reiki healers and yoga practitioners; it is also used by many people as a focus for meditation.
There is no documented proof that gemstone therapy works. Most medical professionals see little harm in the practice as long as the user continues to follow approved medical treatments for their illness and as long as the gemstones are not ingested.