Amethyst Gemstone Health Benefits
Proponents of crystal healing believe that crystals like amethyst and tourmaline have the power to heal by allowing the flow of positive healing energy into the body while negative energy responsible for illness flows out.
Despite these beliefs and the growing popularity of crystal healing, it is still regarded by many as a pseudoscience and there is very little in the way of real scientific evidence that crystals can actually cure diseases and benefit a person’s health.
Nevertheless, crystals like amethyst remain very popular at alternative new age clinics and health spas and this article will illustrate the main claims regarding amethyst while retaining a healthy dose of caution.
According to proponents, the amethyst gemstone offers similar health benefits to tourmaline and is especially beneficial for detoxification purposes. Like the claims made for tourmaline, proponents of amethyst and producers of amethyst products suggest that it can benefit health by emitting far infrared radiation and negative ions.
Manufacturers of the amethyst biomat claim that it can produce a deep and penetrating heat that can relax the body and heal a range of health problems like aching muscles, joint pain, arthritis, back pain and spasms.
However, while far infrared heat has been studied scientifically, there is absolutely no evidence that it can be generated by amethyst or any other crystal.
What are Amethyst Gemstones?
Amethyst is a very popular type of quartz with a purple or violet color. It is commonly used in jewelry because of its beauty, hardness and durability. Its name is derived from the ancient Greek and means ‘intoxicated’ which refers to the traditional belief that the gemstone could protect its owner from becoming drunk.
In fact, the ancient Greeks decorated their drinking vessels with amethyst to prevent them from becoming intoxicated. As well as protecting against drunkenness and alcoholism, amethyst has been traditionally used for sleep disorders, pain relief and emotional wellbeing.
How Amethyst is said to Work
Proponents of amethyst as a healing aid typically rely on its purported ability to naturally produce low magnetic field levels as well generating far infrared radiation which is a type of radiation with a long wavelength.
Whether or not amethyst does actually have these effects is very much open to question but there is at least some evidence regarding the health benefits of far infrared radiation.
These benefits include the following:
1. Improved Blood Circulation
There is evidence to suggest that far infrared radiation can improve the circulation of blood especially by stimulating the flow in the skin’s capillaries a process called micro-circulation.
Insufficient microcirculation can lead to tissue damage and a shortage of oxygen or glucose needed for cellular metabolism. Far-infrared treatment has been used to treat a variety of vascular disorders but the mechanism is uncertain.
A study on rats set out to determine the mechanism by which it worked and demonstrated that the circulatory benefits of far-infrared treatment was not actually related to heat as had been previously thought but was actually the result of the radiation itself. (1)
2. Cell Regeneration
Far-infrared treatment may help support the healthy growth and regeneration of cells. Certain studies have demonstrated that increasing exposure to far-infrared radiation may be associated with increased levels of energy in entire body.
This boost in energy can also have a positive effect on the growth of fresh healthy cells with a beneficial effect on the body in general. Some studies have showed that it can have a growth boosting effect on animals. (2)
It should be noted that the bulk of the research into the effects of far-red radiation has been done on animals but many researchers believe that the results may be duplicated in humans.
3. Improved Sleep
Poor quality sleep can result in very serious physical and mental health issues especially if sleep patterns are disrupted long term. Insomnia and other sleep conditions are extremely common and while there are plenty of pharmaceutical treatment options, it is usually advisable that you try to improve your quality of sleep naturally.
Getting better sleep may simply be a case of changing your lifestyle and sleeping habits but for some people it can be a daunting prospect.
There is some evidence that far-infrared radiation treatment might help control sleep patterns. If the far-infrared generating claims are to be believed, the low heat levels emitted by amethyst gemstones might help promote calm in the body and mind and have a beneficial effect on your ability to get a good night of sleep.
4. Emotional Wellbeing
According to proponents of far infra-red treatment, the quality of sleep that you gain can cross over to your daytime mood and improve your mood and feelings of wellbeing. A preliminary study suggests that subjects who spent the night with far infrared heat emitting discs under their pillows experienced improvements in emotional wellbeing,
Whether or not such an effect could be derived from the amethyst gemstone itself is far from certain. Besides anecdotal evidence and marketing claims, there is no evidence that amethyst gemstones can affect your mental health.
5. Improved Fluid Motility
When we think of improved circulation, we usually think of blood flow but proponents claim that far-infrared treatment goes further and stimulates the flow of all the bodily fluids.
6. Antioxidant Abilities
We are probably all familiar by now with the importance of antioxidants and the vital role that they play in our health. Antioxidants help fends off disease by protecting us from cellular damage and even reversing some of the damaging effects caused by free radicals.
We are certainly not going to suggest that sleeping next to a gemstone will cure you of all your ills but some people believe that far-infrared radiation might help to promote the activity of antioxidants in the body.
7. Ability to fight Bacteria
Studies have demonstrated that treatment with far-red radiation might even help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the body by hindering the ability of certain enzymes that promote growth.
It seems that regular heat therapy does not have the same beneficial effect and leading scientists to believe it is the radiation rather than the heat which effectively hinders bacterial growth.
8. Wound Healing
Because of its ability to improve circulation, far-infrared treatment may also help to promote the healing of wounds. It is said to do this by providing the cells with the nutrients they need to properly heal themselves.
Patients with damaged skin, especially tissue damage caused by diabetes may benefit as may those suffering skin damage as a result of chronic conditions. Again, there is no evidence that amethyst itself can generate the same effects as more conventional far-red radiation treatments.
Amethyst and Negative Ions
If proponents of amethyst are to be believed, not only does it generate far-infrared radiation but the gemstone can also emit negative ions. Negative ions may also be beneficial to the body though many of these purported benefits are theoretical. According to proponents, amethyst may benefit your health by generating negative ions in the following way.
Eliminating Toxins from the body
Negative ions may attract harmful particles and can theoretically help to draw toxins from the body. They may also help to remove toxic chemicals like aerosols from the body in the same way that ionizers can remove them from the air.
If negative ions can weed toxic particles out of the air, they may also benefit your respiration by removing particles from your lungs.
So what can we take away from the evidence as it stands?
The simple answer is not much. There is no real evidence that amethyst can generate negative ions or far-infrared radiation. Nevertheless. Many people continue to use gemstones like amethyst and feel that it benefits their health and mood considerably. You certainly cannot argue that these positive effects are a bad thing even if the placebo effect is at work.
If you have ever used amethyst for your health or you feel strongly about it one way or another, we would love to hear from you.