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Minerals and their healing properties in the Lapidary of Alfonso X (2nd part)



MARCASITE or PANDES (21st, 22nd and 23rd degrees of the sign of Libra)

1. Pyrite from Colombia.

Description: Stone well known by men. There are three types, depending on their colour: golden (gold colour), argentea (silver colour) and copper (copper colour).
Healing/medicinal properties:
► The milled golden marcasite heals the sores, heals the fistulas anywhere, and removes the film that forms in the eyes (could refer to a cataract). Hanging the stone on young children takes away their fears of their nature.
► The burnt argentea marcasite frizzes the hair, improves vision and applied to the skin, heals the morphea (thickening of the skin).
► The burnt and ground copper marcasite, introduced into the eyes, eliminates the leftover meat and improves vision.
★ The name Marcasite was given in Arabic to the PYRITE. Both minerals belong to the Class called Sulphides and have the same Chemical Formula (FeS2), but Pyrite crystallizes in the cubic system and Marcasite in the rhombic system.
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2. Rock Crystal or Hyaline Quartz from Brazil

CRYSTAL (ROCK CRYSTAL) or BOLLAR (5th degree of the sign of Scorpio)

Description: Very well known stone, found in many places. It was believed that it was formed when water froze. White stone, like clear water, hard and moderately difficult to break. It has two qualities opposite to the other stones: one, that when heated, receives any colour put in it and another, that the older it is, the less it is worth. It melts with fire and can be shaped into any figure. Modelled in a round shape and exposed to the sun’s rays, it can burn whatever is in front of it with ease to burn.
Healing/medicinal properties: none indicated.
Rock Crystal is the name given to Hyaline Quartz, which is transparent.
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3. Hematite.

SEDINECH or AMATITES (HEMATITE) (2nd degree of the sign of Sagittarius)

Description: Red in colour, it is easy to break. Very well-known stone.It is better the darker, the cleaner and if it does not crumble.
Healing/medicinal properties: It thins the fat of the sockets of the eyes. Mixed with women’s milk, it heals ophthalmia (eye inflammation) and eye sores. Its red filings are very good for healing scabies and itchy eyes.
Mixed with wine, it heals urine retention and makes women who are sick from frequent bleeding lose it. Those who spit blood also benefit, as they heal faster.
It combines retentive strength with sharpness, so it is very precious. To increase its effects, it must be drunk with wine, previously burnt and reduced to powder.
Hematite stone belongs to the Class called Oxides, it is an Iron Oxide, and its Chemical Formula is Fe2O3. Hematite is derived from a Greek word meaning “blood” and is also called Oligisto.

4. The Feast of the Gods. Bellini (1514). Realgar and Orpiment used as pigments in some of the garments.

AZARNECH or ZINDERCH or ORPIMENT (12th and 13th degree of the sign of Sagittarius)

There are two varieties, one of red colour and the other one of yellow colour. It is found in many places.
Healing / medicinal properties: Burnt, reduced to dust and placed on the teeth and gums, great benefit is obtained. Placed on the hair, removes it, even, if it is kept for a long time, it burns the skin.
The red stone is light to break. Milled and mixed with visquiamo juice and applied on the removed hair, it will never be born again. Mixed with resin, it heals alopecia. Mixed with pitch, it removes the white drops that come out on the nails. It is used as a medicine against diseases of the nose, mouth, sores, fistulas and haemorrhoids. It is good to put in the medicines made for those with chest complaints. If someone with an old cough is smoked with it, he gets great benefit, and eating a bit of it mixed with honey makes the voice much clearer.
The yellow stone is the most noble. It is gold in colour and is made up of leaves. Mixed with lime, it’s deadly toxic. Ground and mixed with milk, it kills every fly that comes near. Mixed with oil or wax it is good for the one who is whipped or for scratching wounds, eliminating bad flesh. It heals the corrosive disease that forms in the mouth (fermes estiominus) and mixed with the fat of the pig, it cures the abscess.
★ Each of the varieties could correspond to the Realgar (red) and the Orpiment (yellow) respectively. Both belong to the Class Sulphides, they are Arsenic Sulphides, and their Chemical Formula is AsS (Realgar) and As2S3 (Orpiment).

STONES OF SALT (18th and 19th grade of the sign of Sagittarius)

5. Salt from the Wieliczka Mines (Poland).

Description: It is found in many places and there are several types, although the Lapidary focuses on those of a stony nature: Salt that comes from India, which is brown with black drops, strong, very hard to break and very salty, and Gem Salt, which is also hard. It mentions another type, Kneading Salt, which is taken from the lagoons and formed by fire or the heat of the sun, which helps men more than all the others.
Healing/medicinal properties:
Indian Salt helps against phlegm, due to its power to expel moisture from bodies. It is also good for apothemas coming from phlegm and, mixed with medicines applied to the eyes, it eliminates protuberances of the lacrimal caruncle. Mixed with oil and smeared on the body, it removes fatigue.
It has the power to cleanse the bodies and make the gold and silver much clearer, each in its own colour. It removes the dirt. When it is put into the flesh of any animal, it makes the humidity come out of it, making the body last a long time, without rotting, smelling bad or damaging it.

6. Gem Salt from Colombia.

Gem Salt takes care that bad flesh does not grow in sores, it is also good for the abscess that come from the phlegm or that suffer the hydropics. Drinking a little of it, it purges the phlegm. It is one of the medicines made for the disease related to a grape-shaped tumour in the uvula and also for the abscess that grows in the throat (it could be tonsillitis). It heals the insteps. Mixed with mastranto and applying the poultice in the wound of the scorpion, it is very good. Also in poultice, it is used in Egypt as the best medicine for the wound of the atimzach. It also makes you vomit.
★ These Salt Stones correspond to Halite, of the Halides Class, whose Chemical Formula is ClNa.

7. Application of Alum as a deodorant.

AXEP or ALUM ( 21st of the sign of Sagittarius)

Description: They illuminate and clarify everything that is cooked with them. They are used for dyeing and the dyed receives very beautiful and clear colours. There are several types, highlighting three (zacaztir, zatiriculi, uguria / ayamei) and have various colours (green, white gray, yellow). They all have an acidic taste and break easily.
Healing/medicinal properties: They are good for eliminating the excess film from the eyes and the leftover flesh from any place that is, they enter into the medicines that are made for the scabies, propitiated by the excessive humidity, and heals the sores that are made in the mouth. If it is burnt, it is mixed with something and smeared on the armpits, it removes the bad smell. It helps the gums and the cracks that are made by the scabies, called scrofula.
Alum belongs to the Sulphates Class and its Chemical Formula is KAl(SO4)2 • 12H2O.


8. Figure of Jet.
St James the Greater.

ZEBECH or JET (4th degree of the sign of Capricorn)

Description: It is very black, hard, light, easy to break and reflects like a mirror. It is found in many places. Its appearance resembles boards, some thicker and others thinner. It can be carved in any shape you want.
Healing/medicinal properties: Ground up and mixed with the medicines made to sharpen the eyesight, it helps a lot. Likewise, if the stone is made into a mirror, looking into it will greatly improve one’s eyesight, even if it was deteriorated due to old age or illness.
Jet is a variety of Carbon formed by plant debris.

9. Carnelian Heart.

CARNELIAN or ALAAQUIC (6th degree of the sign of Capricorn)

Description: Of red colour throwing to yellow, is clear, bright and transparent. There is another species that resembles the water that goes out of the meat when throwing salt to it, which is less noble. It is located in many places. It is very beautiful.
Healing/medicinal properties: It is good to stagnate the blood, especially for women, when it comes out more than it should. In powder form and applied to the teeth, it cleans them and makes them clear, growing flesh on them and making the gums very red. These effects are greater in the variety whose colour resembles the water that comes out of the flesh when salt is added.
In addition, Carnelian helps lawyers when they carry it with them to reason fearlessly and neatly.
Carnelian is a type of Chalcedony, which is a microcrystalline variety of Quartz.
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10. Talc.

TALC or ALFATH or ARAT ARAROZA (10th degree of the sign of Capricorn)

Description: It has the colour of shells and is found in many places. Arat Araroza means “bridal sweat”. It was believed that it was formed when the dew settled on the earth, arranging itself like films, one over the other. If it is hit with a hammer, it falls apart into sheets, which are used in bathrooms to let in light, like glass. The thinner they are, the more they let the light through. If it is ground, it turns to dust.
Healing/medicinal properties: If a limb is smeared with talcum powder, it does not burn as quickly as a limb that has not been smeared. It retains the blood of those who spit because of illness or women, when they bleed more than they should.It helps to heal moisture-damaged flesh, whether it is in women’s breasts or in men’s virile members or behind the ears. It also cleans the sores that appear on top of the curved and non-moving fingers, and they heal.
Talc belongs to the Silicates Class, subclass Philosilicates, being its chemical formula (Si4O10) Mg3 (OH)2.

11. Rose of the desert. Gypsum.

GYPSUM (19th degree sign of Capricorn)

Description: White, red or a mixture of both, soft and easy to break. It is located in many places. Ground and mixed with some thing, it hardens and it becomes stone. It is used as a material for building houses.
Healing/medicinal properties: Used in desiccant medicines. Used to stagnate the blood when a lot of it comes out. When burnt, it is much more effective at retaining moisture and is much more when kneaded with vinegar, stopping the sweat from the body that has been smeared with it. If you drink it before it’s burnt, it’s deadly poison.
Gypsum belongs to the Sulphates Class and its Chemical Formula is CaSO4 • 2H2O.