The Tradition of Pearls in Healing Arts

Pearls have been prized for their healing and anti-aging properties throughout history

With nearly every person in the world somehow affected by the pandemic, both directly and indirectly, you have likely been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. You may be worried about your own health or the health of your loved ones. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds. During this uncertain time, we may find some comfort in protective talismans, which can remind us, at the very least, to take care of ourselves and maintain a positive outlook.

Throughout history, pearls have been regarded not only for their beauty in meaningful jewelry pieces but also for their healing properties. By no means are we suggesting that pearls can prevent or cure a virus. However, they play a strong role in the healing arts tradition; those who subscribe to the notion that gemstones can support healing think pearls are beneficial for the heart, lungs, kidneys, urinary system, and liver. The idea isn't totally far-fetched, since pearls contain calcium, which can support body function. It's fascinating to explore how humans from as far back as the 13th century have counted on the "powers" of pearls.

A German Monk named Albertus Magnus once wrote that pearls were ideal for people suffering from "mental diseases" like love sickness. Alfonso X, who was king of Castile and Leon in Spain during the mid-13th-century, also subscribed to the belief that pearls were the best treatment for sad and timid people (he apparently got the idea from one of Aristotle's books). He recommended mixing powdered pearl in an herbal tincture and then either swallowing the concoction or dabbing it on the eyes.

Did you know that pearl powder is still used today in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine? Made by boiling fresh or saltwater pearls and then milling the pearls into a powder that’s similar in texture to flour or cornstarch, pearl powder contains amino acids, and more than 30 trace minerals (Source). In addition, it's known to boost two of the body's most abundant antioxidants: superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione.

Research from 2018 shows that pearl powder taken orally can help the body create antioxidants and fend off free radicals, so it's effective for treating
age-related degenerative disorders (Source). Did you know that pearl powder is also celebrated for its calming effect? A study from 2016 found that pearl powder stimulates a number of receptors related to serotonin production in the body (Source). We could all use a dose of calm right now. You can buy pearl powder capsules or fine pearl powder online, but you'll want to consult with your doctor before taking a new supplement.

Throughout the years, pearl powder has also been applied topically as an anti-aging remedy. Ground to a finely-milled texture, this unique powder can apparently promote the production of collagen and elastin in skin, though we're not making any claims! For more than 3,000 years, women have been incorporating pearl powder into their beauty routines. Empress Dowager Cixi (depicted above wearing pearls), who ruled the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years used pearl powder on her face to maintain her youthful look and was praised for it.

Who would've thought that something we use to adorn our bodies - like in the form of a cultured pearl necklace - can actually help our bodies heal on the inside? If you're not sure about ingesting pearl powder or applying it on your skin, you can always wear pearls as a protective and beautiful talisman that can help you maintain an intention for health and well-being. Our cultured pearl starter necklace is a great place to begin your journey.

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