An illustration of a crystal and rainbows for an article about the history of healing stones and their uses. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)
Look no further for the story behind some of your favorite healing stones. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)

The Ancient History (and Benefits) of Healing Stones

Learn a little bit about the supposed background of magic crystals as well as how they might improve your physical and mental health today.

Thoughts x
An illustration of a crystal and rainbows for an article about the history of healing stones and their uses. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)

Learn a little bit about the supposed background of magic crystals as well as how they might improve your physical and mental health today.

Natural remedies are no stranger to those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. From herbal teas to salt therapy, wellness trends continue to vary and involve all kinds of organic resources. But what happens when you are told that a couple of colorful rocks can transform and uplift your energy in holistic ways that ultimately shift the way you think and the way you receive/respond to situations emotionally?

What the Heck Is a Healing Stone?

You would’ve thought these eccentric stones came out of nowhere with the way celebrities and social media influencers are prophesying about their power. Or maybe they are just a fad, a trend, the way clothes, shoes and hairdos go in and out of style. But just as the old saying “history repeats itself” speaks to the reoccurring revolutions that originated in the past, the purpose of these healing stones goes way beyond the present-day.

“The first historical references to the use of crystals come from the Ancient Sumerians, who included crystals in magic formulas,” explained Janelle Scialla, writer for Crystal Age. The Sumerians were the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, a region of western Asia and what is now Iraq. The area was well-known for its wide array of ailment remedies, including incantations and rituals, but magical-medical practices were feared as witchcraft amongst Mesopotamians.

And they weren’t the only region using metaphysical methods to purge evil spirits and create a shield of protection over themselves, either: “Ancient Egyptians mined for crystals and used them to make jewelry … amulets were used to ensure the well-being of the individual.”  The Egyptians used emerald, carnelian, turquoise, lapis lazuli and clear quartz healing stones to both engrave sacred amulets and use as piercings, rings and necklaces.

According to Isabel Stunkel, a writer for the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptians determined the magical power associated with a certain stone “… from a combination of several aspects, such as the amulet’s shape, decoration, inscription, color, material, and words spoken over the piece or acts performed with it.”

The ancient Greeks originated the different meanings for these crystals, the word itself deriving from the Greek term “krystallos,” meaning “ice.” In her article titled “A Brief History of Crystals and Healing,” Scialla continued by stating, “… it was believed that clear quartz was water that had frozen so deeply that it would always remain solid.”

Amethyst derives from the Greek term meaning “not intoxicate,” so I bet you can guess what this healing stone was used for. “Amethyst was worn as an amulet that they believed would aid hangovers or prevent intoxication.”

Even in Chinese cultures, jade was a highly valued stone that was represented in the form of musical instruments, “… and around 1000 years ago Chinese emperors were sometimes buried in jade armor,” Scialla maintained.

As you can see, different healing stones were symbols for specific methods of healing across numerous ancient cultures. Today, we continue to see these same healing stones — plus new ones — used in modern times, reintegrating old traditions with contemporary ones.

Popular Healing Stones & Practices

Rose Quartz

According to Bob Kammerling’s article “Rose Quartz History and Lore,” the Egyptians believed that rose quartz could ward off aging, the Romans used rose quartz as a seal to signify ownership, and in the Middle Ages, it was used in healing potions. Today rose quartz is known as the “love stone” and is used to “balance emotions as well as heal anger and disappointment.”

Every wellness-obsessed guy or gal more than likely keeps this common healing stone close. Some of the popular practices include:

Physical: Rose quartz has been claimed to prevent heart attacks, ensure strong and smooth heart muscles and provide protection over mothers during pregnancy to safeguard unborn children from any problems.

Mental/Emotional: This crystal could curate an abundant flow of love energy and stimulate unbreakable bonds. Rose quartz could also heal the heart from past trauma and broken relationships as well as trigger people to become more in tune with themselves in order to understand and produce self-love.

Malachite

According to Jewels for Me: “Malachite has been believed to help its wearer in a number of different ways. Ancient Egyptians used malachite amulets to ward off evil. During the middle ages, the stone was used as a cure for vomiting. Many different cultures also believed the stone protected children from evil spirits … Overall, it has been said that malachite has the power to detoxify one’s emotional body, release negative and painful emotions, and clear old traumas from this, as well as past lives.”

Many of these uses are still believed to this day, as malachite has been used in procedures such as:

Physical: Tangible benefits include balanced blood pressure levels, quick healing for broken bones or torn joints/muscles, better body flow when it comes to menstrual cramps and labor pains as well as diminishing fears of anxiety.

Mental/Emotional: Immense protection power, a mind cleansed of toxic thinking and feelings, and a warning bell that triggers when things seem “off” are all possible results of carrying malachite. These healing stones are also said to promote a daily dose of courage and change while serving as a symbolic reminder to take risks and persevere.

Citrine

“Ancient Greek and Roman jewelers would use Citrine to adorn rings to be slipped upon important fingers … [Citrine] comes from the word for lemon, and it’s that sweet and sharp citron energy that we adore so much.” You can’t help but fall hard for what this summer stone brings to the table:

Physical: People who use healing stones say that it stimulates better blood circulation and keeps allergies and skin irritants at a minimum.

Mental/Emotional: Citrine might help individuals overcome muddled feelings of confusion by keeping one’s mood uplifted and maintaining a sunny vibe.

The best way to activate your healing stones to reap their physical, mental and emotional benefits is by simply setting your intentions on them and keeping/wearing them close at all times.

Writer Profile

Kiera Baity

Kennesaw State University
Professional Writing, focus on Creative Writing

Hello, my name’s Kiera but everyone calls me “Ki.” I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, I’m 26, and I am a creative fiction, non-fiction, song, poetry and blog writer who loves to hike, roller skate and paint for inspiration.

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