Pearls and Medicine
Pearls have been used for health-related purposes since their earliest discovery by man. Interestingly enough the modern pharmaceutical industry continues to use pearls in medicine.
In particular pearls, which are of inferior quality and cannot be used in jewellery, are ground into a fine powder and used to prepare high-quality pharmaceutical calcium.
From ancient China and India to medieval Europe and Arabia -- and in almost every culture in between -- pearls have been used for medicinal purposes ranging from aphrodisiacs to cures for insanity. Pearls could simply be worn as jewellery for their curative powers or they could be ground up and made into potions, balms and salves used to treat a wide variety of ailments and conditions.
One legend said that a pearl placed in the navel could cure stomach disorders! Other conditions for which pearls were prescribed as treatments include memory loss, insomnia, asthma, jaundice, liver ailments, heart problems, infertility and insect or snake bites.
Clearly the pearl was believed to be an extremely powerful gem!