Healing Crystals & Stones of Ancient Civilizations

Healing crystals and stones have been around for thousands of years. The earliest recorded use of crystals can be traced back to the Ancient Sumerians from the 4th millennium BC, who used crystals in their magic formulas. Traditional Chinese Medicine as early as 3rd millennium BC also used crystals for healing.

Healing Crystals

Apart from the Sumerians and the Chinese, among the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world that used crystals and stones for their healing rituals were the Indus Valley civilizations, ancient Egyptians, the Mayan Civilization, the ancient Greeks, ancient Persians, ancient Romans, the Aztecs, and the Incas. 

What’s interesting is that many different cultures that had no interaction whatsoever and no opportunities for crossover actually have very similar meanings for particular gemstones. The Ancient Chinese, the Aztecs and the Mayans all considered jade as a kidney healing stone. Turquoise was generally believed to give health and strength all around the world, and Jasper was associated with strength and calm.

Around the Renaissance period, crystals were combined with some other alternative healing modalities/therapies to improve one’s chances of healing, but by the time the Age of Enlightenment came around in the 18th century, the use of gemstones for healing began to fall out of favor especially in Europe. However, many tribal cultures continued their many healing traditions through to the present day. These include the Zuni tribe of New Mexico, some Native American tribes, the Aborigines and the Maoris.

Healing Crystals

The current popularity of crystal healing therapies began with the resurgence of crystal healing close to 50 years ago, during the New Age movement of the 1970s to 1980s, when holistic-based philosophies and therapies began emphasizing self-healing.

Uses for Crystals & Stones throughout History

Throughout human history, crystals and stones have figured quite prominently in the various traditional practices of many ancient civilizations. The most common uses for crystals are:


Crystals were used regularly for physical and spiritual protection in ancient Egypt. Ancient Greek warriors would grind up crystals to rub onto themselves prior to battle. They believed that they will become stronger, more powerful and thus less vulnerable. The ancient Chinese believed that jade protected them from bad luck.


Jade was believed to be a powerful healer of organs in ancient China and to this day continues to be a preferred healing stone. The ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks used crystals and gemstones in various amulets and jewelry for healing purposes. Crystals transform a person’s energy to restore balance by
  • absorbing and removing negative energies from the body
  • pushing energy into the body, mind or spirit via resonant frequencies
  • balancing misaligned energies to produce harmony

Spiritual Guidance

For centuries in the Hindu culture, crystals have been regarded as “energy amplifiers” that can improve a person’s energy balance and his ability to connect (spiritually) with nature.

Crystals and their Meaning to Ancient Civilizations

Carnelian is a warm, rich red stone often associated with Arab kings. It was worn on their navel by ancient Egyptian dancers to increase their sex appeal. It was believed to lend courage to people in need. It helps with public speaking. Ancient Egyptians wore carnelian to instill peace and drive away the Evil Eye.


Dates as far back as 1500 BCE in ancient Egyptian mines on Mount Smaragdus. The Egyptians considered emeralds sacred symbols of immortality and fertility. Cleopatra was particularly fond of these green gems and used them as palace adornments and gifts to visiting dignitaries from foreign lands.


From the Greek word haimatiteslithos or bloodstone, is one of the most common forms of iron ore on Earth. The ancient Greeks rubbed crushed hematite on the bodies of their warriors to make them stronger and invincible during battle.


Goes way back to the Stone Age in China. They used its energy to attract love and prosperity and it has always been a symbol of purity, spirituality, health, and status. Jade was also used by the Mayans for funeral masks.

Lapis Lazuli

An important gemstone to the early Sumerians who thrived in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. It was prized for its beautiful color and the valuable ultramarine dye derived from it. It was also valued for its healing properties. Alchemists of old believed that this stone possessed the energy that healed eye problems. It was also used to treat fever, eye tumors, circulatory diseases, snake-bites, and pregnancy disorders. The early Romans and Greeks used lapis lazuli to treat skin problems, epilepsy and again, circulatory diseases.


Is sacred in India. One of their earliest traditions told of how moonstone was embedded in the forehead of the 4-handed god of the moon, Ganesh. They believed the moonstone can grant gifts of prophecy to the wearer, as well as clear the mind to make way for wisdom. In Greek and Roman Mythology, moonstone was believed to protect night travelers, especially at sea.


The most abundant mineral on the planet and comes in many different colors and sizes. The ancient Egyptians used rose quartz as a talisman to prevent aging. The Greeks used it as a talisman as well, calling it the stone of love. To the Romans, rose quartz signified ownership. During the Middle Ages, quartz was used by medical practitioners in their healing potions. Early American cultures also used quartz amulets, believing that this “love stone” gives emotional balance and heals feelings of anger and disappointment.

Amethyst or purple quartz

First used by the ancient Greeks, deriving its name from the Greek word “amethystos” meaning, “not drunken” and was believed to protect a person against intoxication. In medieval Europe, amethyst amulets were believed to protect soldiers during battle by healing people and helping them keep a cool head.


A yellow, orange or deep brown quartz. It is as old as time itself and can be traced as far back as 300 BC in ancient Greece. The early Egyptians also buried their dead pharaohs with this gem to protect them in the afterlife.


Among the most extensively used colored gemstones in ancient Greece during the Hellenistic Aged (323 BC). Like the sapphire, it is made of corundum and varies only in color. The ancient Burmese held the ruby as the stone of soldiers. They believed that they will not be wounded by swords, guns or spears if they inserted the gem into their flesh.

Sapphire (blue corundum)

Was used for centuries in healing rituals, magic, alchemy, and astrological forecasting. In Ayurvedic medicine, sapphires are believed to bring mental balance and clarity. Arabian kings from 400-100 BC wore sapphires as protection against physical injury and envy. The ancient Egyptians made eye-washes out of crushed sapphires.


Symbolized to the Egyptians the sun god Ra, from where life and fertility comes. The Hindus valued it for the protection it provides against fire in their homes. They wore Topaz above their hearts to assure them of beauty, long life and intelligence. To the Greeks and Romans, it was a source of strength and it prevented injuries. In the 10th century, it was used to heal eye diseases.

Crystals Healing

We may never be able to explain with any degree of certainty just what drew many ancient civilizations to the wonders of crystals and gemstones. They certainly didn’t have access to all the scientific information available to us today. Somehow the ancients must have understood that all things in the universe are forms of energy with individual frequencies and vibrations and that some of these things (like crystals) are able to alter the vibration of the different parts of our body to effect alignment and healing.

Related categories

Gemstones Jewelry
Healing Jewelry

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