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Medical properties, utilities and uses of Navaratna Gemstones

Updated on July 16, 2016


Dhanvantari (धन्वंतरी), known as an avatar of Vishnu is the Hindu god associated with Ayurveda. The above photo was taken at a recent Ayurveda expo in Bangalore titled 'Arogya'.
Dhanvantari (धन्वंतरी), known as an avatar of Vishnu is the Hindu god associated with Ayurveda. The above photo was taken at a recent Ayurveda expo in Bangalore titled 'Arogya'. | Source

Medicine: Navaratna Gemstones: Ayurveda and Yunani

Gemstones have medical properties and utilities. They have healing capacities. Both Ayurveda and Yunani branches of medicine in India have been using this quality of gemstones to prepare medicines. Mainly Navaratna(nine gemstones) i.e.ruby, pearl, coral, emerald, sapphires (yellow and blue), diamond, hessonite and cat's eye(known as precious stones in India) are used for this purpose. Semi precious gemstones also have medicinal properties.Indians since ancient times knew medicinal properties and utilities of gemstones.

There are some other methods of healing through gemstones such as crystal therapy but this is different from those. This method is a time-tested scientific methodology and has been used by medical practitioners in India for centuries.

In most of the cases, Ayurveda branch of medicine uses gemstones as Bhasma (burnt to get oxide form of the gemstones) and Yunani uses these gemstones as Pisti (Reduced to powder form). Both Ayurveda and Yunani branches of medicine in India use several gemstones for medical purposes.

Preparing Bhasma involves critical processes and can only be done in a supervision of trained Vaidya (Ayurvedic medical practitioner). Use of Bhasma as medicine also needs special care and supervision of a Vaidya.

Preparing Pisti is comparatively easier and a reasonably trained person can do that Mr. Rajroop Tank, a renowned Jeweler from Jaipur had been preparing Pisti (Powder) for many years and he taught the author knowledge of preparing Pisti.

Mortar and pestle

Mortar and pestle for grinding
Mortar and pestle for grinding
Mortar and pestle for making paste
Mortar and pestle for making paste | Source

Method of preparing medicines from Navratna stones

Pisti is powdered gemstones. One has to purify the gemstones and hammer it to small pieces. One has to grind these small pieces and then prepare the paste of that powder. One has to obtain fine powder drying this paste for medicinal use.

1. Shodhana (Purification): One has to wash the gemstones with various materials to eradicate foreign materials from those stones. One has to use different materials for different gemstones.

2. Making powder: One has to break gemstones by hammering those into small pieces and then these stones are to be reduced to form a powder. One has to strain this powder on a thin piece of cotton cloth. Powder that passes through the cloth is to be taken to prepare Pisti. This is very fine. The residue is to be taken for regrinding.

3. Kharal (Pharmacist's mortar): Person preparing Pisti then takes this gemstone powder into a Kharal (An apparatus used to make Pisti). Then he takes a Ghotni (Pestle) and grinds the powder mixed with some rose water or Keora water or sometimes with Bed musk water. It becomes like a paste. The grinding continues for months. Finally, the paste is dried in shade and the Pisti is prepared. The Unani name for Fennel seeds is Bedmusk and Keora is Hindi name for Screw flower.

Gemstone therapy

Medicinal uses of Navaratna: Ruby, Pearl, Coral, Emerald etc.

Medicinal uses of different gemstones:

Ruby: Ruby is basically aluminum oxide and is used to treat anemia or shortage of blood. It is also useful for treatment of low blood pressure and mental diseases. It also strengthens the nervous system and helps fighting paralysis. It is also utilized for indigestion and gastric troubles.

Pearl: Pearl is a natural source of calcium. It helps fighting weakness and strengthens human body. Pearl is also used for cardiac and neuron diseases. Sometimes it helps the diabetics.

Coral: It is a general tonic for the human body. While using with different materials it cures different diseases. If one takes it with betel it helps to cure a cough and when with milk or cream it helps in cardiac diseases. It helps fighting fatigue and depression and used for measles, smallpox etc. It is a good tonic for the liver too.

Emerald: Emerald is used for purification of blood and in urinary diseases. It has also been used for some kinds of cardiovascular diseases. Emerald is also useful in the treatment of deaf and dumb.

Yellow Sapphire: It is very good for the treatment of some kinds of jaundice. It is also used to treat chronic constipation and gastritis. It is very useful in a cough, cold, and lungs related diseases such as asthma.

Yunani does not prescribe diamond Pisti. It is only used in Ayurveda as Bhasma. It is extremely powerful medicine and can only be taken under the supervision of an experienced Ayurvedic medical practitioner. As a precaution use of the same is not described here.

Blue sapphire: Blue sapphire is extremely good for neuron diseases. It is used for the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria, Neuritis, brain diseases etc. It is also helpful in treating joint pains and chronic fever.

Hessonite: Hessonite is indicated for gastritis, indigestion, chronic constipation and piles. It is also helpful in fever with a cough and rheumatism. Hessonite is extremely helpful in treating people with suicidal tendency.

Cat’s eye: It is good for a cough and cold, asthma and foul breath. It is helpful in the treatment of cholera, piles, and skin diseases.

Medical utilities of Navaratna (nine gemstones) are briefly described here. Other semi-precious stones also have some medical utilities. All of these medicines are to be taken orally.

Caution: My mentor, Mr. Rajroop Tank warned against the use of these medicines to the young. He informed that these medicines are very strong and other medicines may seize to act after taking these medicines. It is better to use these medicines by persons over the age of fifty.

Disclaimer: The author is not an Ayurvedic or Yunani medical practitioner nor He has learned under any medical supervisor. The author has written here that is taught to him by Mr. Rajroop Tank, his mentor, a renowned Jeweler from Jaipur. Knowledge of the author in this matter is limited to that. This is a general purpose article and not to be used for medical purposes.

One should intake these medicines under medical supervision only.

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    • profile image

      keshapogu.chandraiah 2 years ago

      R/.rangapur mandala pebbair distil mahaboobnagar pi no 509104

    • profile image

      Preeti 4 years ago

      where can i buy gemstone powders injaipur

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 5 years ago from Jaipur

      Simak, a very hard semi precious gemstone.

    • profile image

      Naft 5 years ago

      I am curious what they use to grind these gems like ruby,s and diamonds into a fine powder because they are very hard.

      Do they use metal pestils or granite to crush the stones?

    • theastrology profile image

      theastrology 5 years ago from New Delhi

      Hello JYOTI KOTHARI, I'm very pleased to read this hub. Very interesting, also informative.

      vote up!

    • profile image

      nav agarwal 6 years ago

      hi sir

      i want to know that where can i sell my pearl and coral scrap

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Indian lady,

      Pearl pisti is a very good source of calcium.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • profile image

      Indian lady 8 years ago from India


      Some of my Ayurvadic doctors prescribed me Pearl pisti and it worked wonderfully.

      Thanks for a good and informative hub on a forgotten topic.

      Indian lady

    • profile image

      Sunil Jain 8 years ago

      Jyoti Bhai,

      Do the gemstones really work as medicines? Fascinating info. I am surprised why I do not know about the same earlier.

      Medical properties of Navaratna is an awesome article.

      I liked it very much.


    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Thanks Hemant and Shyamal for commenting on the hub.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • profile image

      Shyamal Banerjee 8 years ago

      Jyoti kothari,

      It is nicely written. I liked it.

    • profile image

      Hemant M Sardanaa 8 years ago


      i am a manufacturer of gemstone powder. Please contact me if you are interested to buy bulk powder.


      Hemant M SardanaaCell: 9929820000Email:

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi Mehul,

      Thanks for your comment. Late Mr. Rajroop Tank was referred as dean of Jaipur gem dealers. He was, of course, a geneous and I have got an opportunity to learn about gems and jewelry.

      Are you referring to Padmashree Khelshankar Durlabhji as your grandfather?

      Jyoti Kothari

    • profile image

      Mehul Durlabhji 8 years ago

      My grand father used to talk about Mr. Rajroop Tank. He was a geneous. Thanks for an informative article refering Mr. Rajroop Tank.


    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Thanks lgali for your comment.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      Nicely written hub Thnaks for this detail info

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi James,

      Thanks. I agree with your comment. Perhaps only Indian medical therapists use gem stones as oral medicines. It is different from using these gemstones as magical power.

      It will be better if medical researchers will look into the matter.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • profile image

      James 8 years ago

      Hi Jyoti,

      This is different. We knew about healing crystals. However, physical properties of gemstones was not known to us. Navaratna is really something that should get attention of the medical and medicinal world.