In ayurveda, jewels are called ratnas. Apart from costly stones, ratnas also include some animal products and minerals. On the basis of their therapeutic properties, these ratnas are divided into the following two groups:

  1. Maharatnasor              major jewels which include (1) hiraka (diamond), (2) manikya (ruby), (3) mukta (pearl), (4) pusparaga (topaz), (5) nilam (sapphire), (6) tarksa (emerald), (7) vaidurya (cat’s eye), (8) gomeda and (9) vidruma (coral).
  2. Uparatnas or minor jewels which include (1) vaikranta (tur- mulin), (2) surya-kanta (sun-stone), (3) candara-kanta (moon-stone), (4) rajavarta (lapis lazuli), (5) peroja (torquoise) and (6) sphatika.

For medicinal use, these jewels and such other animal products and minerals are required to be made into a fine powder after following the procedure prescribed in ayurvedic texts. They are boiled and triturated with the juices of some plants and animal products with a view to neutralise their adverse effects, and also to make them easily assimilable as well as therapeutically more potent.

Some of these jewels are extremely hard to be triturated in an ordinary pestle and mortar. With a view to reducing their hardness these jewels are repeatedly heated and immersed in some select liquids.

Characteristic features of jewels of superior and inferior qualities are described in detail, and bad effects produced in the body by the use of jewels of inferior quality are also mentioned in ayurvedic works. The important therapeutic effects attributed to these jewels are summarised below:


It is a cardiac tonic and when added to other medicines the therapeutic effects of them get enhanced. It is the best of the elixirs, and it cures tuberculosis, obstinate urinary disease including diabetes, serious types of anaemia, oedema, ascitis and impotency. It is an excellent aphrodisiac. It promotes longevity, strength, complexion, intellect and eye-sight.


It promotes intellect, virility, longevity and cures consumption and other diseases caused by the vitiation of vata pitta and kapha.


It promotes longevity, virility, digestion, eye-sight and complex­ion. It has a cooling effect on the body and it cures burning sensations, chronic fever, heart disease, obstinate urinary diseases including diabetes and diseases of children during their teething time. It corrects the impaired growth of bones and teeth. It promotes strength, intellect and works as an antidote for all types of toxins.


It has a cooling and carminative effect. It promotes digestion and cures obstinate skin diseases including leprosy, serious type of vomiting, burning sensations and other diseases caused by vitiated kapha and vata. It promotes intellect, corpulence and longevity.


It promotes virility, strength, digestion, and complexion. It cures fistula and piles, skin diseases, leprosy, asthma, bronchitis and diseases caused by the vitiation of the dosas.


It promotes strength, digestion, virility, immunity against attacks of diseases. It cures anaemia, oedema, asthma, vomiting, piles, fistula and diseases caused by the vitiation of vata, pitta and kapha — all three together.

Cat’s Eye

It is cooling and a laxative. It promotes digestion, intellect, longev­ity, strength, eye sight and corpulence. It cures haemorrhage and diseases caused by the vitiation of pitta.