Amethyst is more than a beautiful violet variety of quartz crystal with an interesting history. Amethyst possesses properties that make it capable of healing the mind, body, and (depending on who you believe) the spirit.
Much of the evidence supporting amethyst’s healing abilities is anecdotal, for obvious reasons, but when you consider that amethyst has been used to facilitate healing for thousands of years by many different cultures around the globe it would be the height of arrogance for us to dismiss the consistencies of these claims as mere coincidence.
I know that the very notion of stones possessing energy, much less healing energy, is still controversial, but there’s ample reason to believe that amethyst does. Fortunately, now, there is scientific evidence that amethyst is capable of healing some ailments due to its natural properties.
Healing Properties of Amethyst Crystals
Amethyst’s most provable healing abilities are due to the fact that they emit negative ions and absorb and reflect far-infrared radiation; both of these natural therapies are necessary for maintaining good health and well-being.
Negative Ions and Their Health Benefits
Negative ions are essential to good health and are a major reason why the very act of being in a natural setting can feel so invigorating, yet relaxing.
What are negative ions? Basically, ions with more electrons than protons.
Negative ions are found abundantly in nature and are the result of air particles breaking apart as a result of moving air, moving water, sunlight, and radiation. Mountains, waterfalls, beaches, even city streets after a rainstorm, will always be abundant in negative ions.
Even the humble home shower can add negative ions to the atmosphere; unfortunately, air conditioning and indoor heating deplete the air of those negative ions. Dry hot winds and pollution – both indoors and out – also deplete the air of negative ions.
These are a few of the reported health benefits of negative ions:
- Improves depression symptoms
- improves mental alertness
- decreases stress
- acts as an antioxidant
Columbia University has conducted studies that demonstrated that negative ions were capable of relieving depression symptoms as much as antidepressants.
According to WebMD,
“Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.”1
It’s been shown that negative ions increase the flow of energy to the brain, which increases alertness, decreases drowsiness, and improves mental energy.
It’s also believed that negative ions improve our wellness levels to assist the body in the removal of toxins and deliver oxygen and nutrients to the bloodstream.
As antioxidants, negative ions do what every other antioxidant does; they stabilize free radicals by donating their extra electron, reducing their reactivity and preventing molecular oxidation.
How Amethyst Releases Negative Ions
Releasing negative ions from amethyst is pretty simple: warm it up. Wearing amethyst, or any crystal, close to your body will warm it. You can also use a heating pad to quickly and safely heat your crystal without damaging it.
Far-Infrared Radiation and Its Health Benefits
Amethyst produces small but detectable magnetic fields that some scientists believe may be able to interact and exchange energy with the human body’s own magnetic field to improve our health and well-being. In addition, amethyst is believed to absorb and reflect far-infrared radiation, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
These are a few of the reported health benefits of far-infrared radiation:
- Cell regeneration
- improved blood circulation
- wound healing
- easing joint stiffness
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports proved that far-infrared radiation (FIR) offered significant protection against oxidation when used to precondition bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) for use in BMSC therapy for cardiac ischemia.
Cardiac ischemia is a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. BMSC therapy can often be used when there are no other effective options for heart patients in need of revascularization; so, the benefits of FIR for saving lives should not be underestimated.
“FIR preconditioning was found to significantly increase BMSC proliferation and survival against H2O2.”2
H2O2, also known as hydrogen peroxide, is an oxidizer, bleaching agent, and antiseptic. The fact that FIR could not only protect BMSCs against H2O2’s damaging effects but help the cells to thrive is nothing short of amazing.
“Far-infrared and its therapeutic properties have been studied in China and Japan for over 30 years. Researchers have found far-infrared can be helpful for enhancing blood circulation, reducing pain, strengthening the cardiovascular system, easing joint stiffness and inflammation, and revitalizing skin cells.”3
FIR improves circulation by raising the body’s surface temperature. That heat increases circulation – surface blood flow – without increasing blood pressure because it promotes the natural dilation of our blood vessels.
A 2012 study on rats, published in the journal Photonics Lasers Med, demonstrated that FIR could not only heal wounds faster but increase the skin’s collagen content. In this particular study, the researchers used home-made ceramic FIR emitters to stimulate the wounds to heal, and constant exposure was used to achieve the reported results.
“These data provide information on how FIR exposure could affect microcirculation, independent from thermal effects. The same group had previously shown that non-thermal FIR therapy increased skin blood flow in rats. … If it can be proved that non-heating FIR has real and significant biological effects, then the possible future applications are wide ranging. Not only could bandages and dressings made out of NIR emitting fabrics be applied for many medical conditions and injuries that require healing, but there is a large potential market in lifestyle enhancing applications.”4
FIR has even been recommended as a safe and effective treatment for seniors suffering from joint stiffness, arthritis, and pain.
“far-infrared waves can penetrate up to three inches deep to generate warmth that can provide immense relief to muscles and internal organs. The gentle heat produced in far-infrared heat therapy exerts an analgesic effect and can help reduce or eliminate chronic pains that seniors often experience in various parts of the body. Stiffness in the joints from arthritis can be significantly relieved. Studies show that far-infrared heat makes connective tissue more flexible, permits greater joint movement and brings about increased levels of endorphins, which ease pain.”5
How to Use Amethyst for FIR (Far-Infrared Radiation) Therapy
Amethyst naturally emits FIR but you can increase the amount by placing your crystals in a sunny spot and allowing them to absorb more. Afterward, you can place your stones or geodes on the areas of your body you wish to treat.
“Amethyst’s emission of far-infrared rays intensifies its benefits. far-infrared rays produce the “warm energy” that exists in all living things. On a sunny day, we can feel far-infrared rays in the form of deep, internal warmth. far-infrared rays have powerful positive effects on human wellness; when combined with amethyst, its effects are even more significant.”6
Some also believe that different kinds of amethyst crystals are better for different kinds of pain in the body. According to The Crystal Healer,
“Amethyst is particularly helpful for headaches, dark amethyst for migraines and chevron amethyst placed near the pain source to block or reduce pain.”7
The Healing History of Amethyst Crystals
Many of amethyst crystals’ most interesting health and wellness benefits are not (as far as we know) related to negative ions or far-infrared radiation, so there is as yet no valid way to prove that those benefits are anything more than anecdotal.
“The ancient Greeks and Romans wore the stone to ward off intoxication and maintain clarity of mind. The ancient Egyptians carved amethyst stones into amulets to protect themselves from harm. Early Christians, who considered the gemstone a symbol of purity and spirituality, used amethyst as an aid for wounds, fatigue, and fevers. Most of these tales share a central idea about amethyst: it balances mental, physical, and spiritual wellness levels.”8
It’s quite possible that future researchers will find a way to prove that amethyst’s other alleged healing benefits are true. Until then, don’t be so quick to judge the experiences of our ancestors.
There are technologies available today (expensive ones at that) employing the natural properties of amethyst crystals to treat a variety of ailments. Just search ‘negative ion emitters’ and ‘far-infrared heating pads’. Some of these items are hundreds and even thousands of dollars; yet, natural crystals like Amethyst can deliver a one-two punch for very little expense.