My mother was very fond of jewelry, but she was extremely particular about which ratna, or gemstones, she wore. She explained that gems can be used to balance the influence of planets. They can also be helpful in enhancing the quality of one’s life and overall health. But she also maintained that if we pick the wrong gemstone, one can also expect to experience negative effects.
The science of gemstones is known as Mani dharana vidhi. As author and Ayurvedic physician Dr. Vasant Lad explains, “When one wears a stone related to a particular planet, it attracts only the light particles coming from that planet.” Ayurveda teaches us that gemstones can be used to mitigate the ill effects of the navagrahas, or nine planets, in Hindu astrology. They include the sun (Surya), moon (Chandra), Mars (Mangala), Mercury (Budha), Jupiter (Brihaspati), Venus (Shukra), Saturn (Shani), north node of the moon (Rahu), and south node of the moon (Ketu).
According to Vedic astrology, which finger you wear a ring on also matters. Each finger represents a mahabhuta, or element of air, ether, fire, water, or earth. The unique combination of these five elements yields the three doshas of Vata (ether + air), Pitta (fire + water), and Kapha (water + earth).
Ayurvedic Doshas and Gemstones
Wearing particular gemstones can help pacify the doshas. Ayurveda will tell you that gemstones can be understood in terms of their gunas, or qualities. When a person wears a certain gemstone, their individual qualities interact with that of the gemstone.
We are all made up of three Ayurvedic doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, though the proportion of the doshas differ from person to person. Some people have one dominant dosha; a large majority of the population is dual-doshic, and there is a small minority of tridoshic people too.
One of the core principles of Ayurveda is that like increases like. So, if a person with Vata imbalance was to wear a gemstone with cold energetics, it would do more harm than good to this individual, because one of the qualities of Vata is cold. Pitta individuals do best with wearing gemstones that have a cooling effect, while cool Kaphas receive healing benefits from wearing gemstones that carry warming energetics.
The nine gems that correspond to the nine planets in Ayurveda are: ruby (connected to the sun); pearl (connected to the moon); coral (connected with Mars); emerald (connected to Mercury); topaz (connected to Jupiter); diamond (connected to Venus); sapphire (connected to Saturn); zircon (connected to Rahu); and cat’s eye (connected to Kehu).
How Do Gemstones Affect the Doshas?
I remember an astrologer had asked Mom to wear ruby in the form of a ring on her index finger. This gemstone is red in color and has a hot potency. It increases Pitta dosha and lowers Vata and Kapha. Here is the amazing part: My mother was a Vata-Kapha, and both of those doshas were often imbalanced in her.
Ruby is a circulatory stimulant, as well as a cardiac tonic. My mother had circulatory issues and eventually died of a cardiac arrest. Ruby is also considered an agni (digestive fire) enhancer; Mom struggled with digestive issues. The Vedic astrologer who made this suggestion was also a family friend, so I would walk in and out of consultations when the adults were talking. But some things have stayed with me. I remember him looking at Mom’s astrology chart and saying, “Surya (sun) is weak.” Ruby is associated with the sun and shares solar qualities.
As a teenager when I was getting to know gemstones, I liked diamonds. But Mom maintained that I should wear pearls instead of diamonds because pearls have cooling energetics while diamond is warming. A high Pitta-person like me doesn’t need gems and precious metals that heat me up further. Teenage Sweta thought Mom was being mean; present-day Ayurvedic practitioner Sweta understands that my mother was looking out for me. Pearl pacifies Pitta dosha and is calming for the mind. Pitta individuals tend to have a short fuse. Pearl also reduces hyperacidity, works on detoxifying the liver, and has anti-ulcer effect.
Gemstones for Each Dosha
The science of Jyotish (Vedic astrology) teaches us that each finger relates to a specific planet’s energy. When you wear a gemstone on the “correct” finger, you amplify the energy of the stone. The size of the stone, the cut, the luster, the purity, the quality, the flawlessness … all of these factors have a huge influence. Some Vedic astrologers might offer you the option to choose between a pendant or a ring. There is a specific day to wear the gemstone. Some even tell you the best time to wear the gemstone.
Vata: Wear yellow sapphire, ruby, pearl (which is believed to support mental health), and emerald (which may support speech problems associated with the dosha).
Pitta: Adorn yourself with blue sapphire, emerald (for communication problems), and pearl (to help soothe anger issues).
Kapha: Focus on ruby jewelry (which can help warm those of us with excessive cold in the body) and blue sapphire.
You might be tempted to purchase an expensive ring or a pendant to gauge if the gemstone works for your dosha. During challenging times, especially, we look for any glimmer of hope we can find to support our healing. Before you decide to invest in a gemstone, talk to a Vedic astrologer first. Growing up in an Indian home, I always saw people purchase gemstones after consulting with a Vedic astrologer.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, please consult with your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any of these herbs. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and Ayurvedic practitioner, contact Sweta here.