We meet the first mentions about the medicinal properties of Pearls in the ancient Hindu treatises, Charaka-Samhita" and "Susruta." These works describe how to use the powder made of Pearls for medicinal purposes. By the way, this method is still in use in Oriental countries. The ancestors considered the powder as a stimulative remedy. They used it to cure hemorrhage, fever, and indigestion. In fact, the medieval and even modern Oriental medical literature contain many recipes for using Pearls in the form of pills and ointments.
Ancient Oriental Traditions
One treatise, dated about 1240 A.D. contains the information that Pearls were a remedy for curing constipation and morbid disturbances, the diseases of the eyes and also as an antidote against poisons. Another work dated 1596 A.D. confirms these data. Li-shichin in his work titled the "Pun-tsau-kang-muh" (Chinese natural history) claims that the Pearl powder clears the eyes and cure the liver and deafness. One Persian wise-man describes the same properties of Pearls. Also, he concludes that this medicinal remedy made of Pearl able to cure melancholy, hemorrhage, weak eyes and also calms palpitations and even nervous tremors.
Oriental literature is full of evidence of the medicinal benefits of Pearls. In Japanese treatises, we can discover that the Pearl powder lessens phlegm, cure fever, and blear-eyedness. Maharajah of Tagore, an Indian therapist, claims that burnt powder of Pearl cures vomiting and endow the body power, calm the mind and resists to evil spirits. The Hindus used Pearls in the form of tonic, stimulant, and aphrodisiac. They also chewed the so-called Placuna Pearls combining it with the nuts and betel-pepper leaves. In India, it was the same tradition as for the native Americans to smoke tobacco. However, later, the European merchants found the better way to use Placuna Pearls as a component in the process of producing of the face powder for women.
During the Middle Ages, Europe was full of the secret societies that kept the secret doctrine. Alchemy in these days was similar to the modern science. Albertus Magnus and Anselmus de Boodt are the symbols of the epoch. These mystics and alchemists confirm the information that was in the Oriental treatises. However, most likely, they just borrowed it. They claim that the powder made of Pearls restoring the strength, cure mental diseases in affections of the heart, and dysentery.
In 1637, German alchemist Malachias Geiger published a curious book wholly devoted to the medicinal properties of Pearls. He describes the so-called Bavarian Pearls capable of curing insanity, epilepsy, and melancholy, according to his opinion. In 1661, Robert Lovell published the list of all known to him diseases that might be cured using Pearls. Francis Bacon, a famous English philosopher, claimed that Pearl's medicine prolongs life.