EcoWalk. The Truth About Jade Rollers: What Does Science Say? (part I)
the truth about jade rollers • health & beauty benefits of jade roller • what do you know about mineral jade? • geological facts • genuine nephrite & jadeite minerals • metaphysical properties of jades
What is Jade Roller?
Jade roller is a massaging tool with two roller heads made of jade crystal connected by a handle to be held by hand. Jade roller is designed to massage face by gently rolling one of its jade-roller heads on the skin. The idea of this beauty tool comes from Asia, believing that women in Ancient China prolonged their skin beauty using similar rollers made of jade crystal. Therefore, jade stone is commonly found in ancient beauty kits of Asian mistresses. On this basis, today’s jade roller has become a somewhat -must-have replenishing tool in every girl’s beauty regime. In negative line, this simple girlish gadget became tool of messy marketing and started flooding to hands of slightly unaware purchasers. On a brighter side, if you get lucky to purchase a jade roller with genuine Nephrite, this little massaging tool can be helpful fighting skin aging and maintaining healthier skin in general.
In the last couple of years, thanks to smart 21st century marketing strategies, jade rollers gained popularity in beauty world and gradually became a must-have tool in woman’s beauty set. As a matter of fact, celebrities, beauty bloggers, beauticians, popular magazines and newspapers emphasize it’s origins being of ancient China and that wealthy Asian women been using it as a beauty tool for centuries. Tons of articles, product descriptions and repetitive reviews escalate on how jade rollers are effective and what health benefits they have. Playing with consumer’s mindset “if it is ancient and comes from far away land – it must work”, make women to splash their money on that mysterious and magical tool of youth. Although this may be true, no scientific research on jade rollers in particular was done yet. Historians confirm that natural stones and gems have been used for healing and therapeutic purposes since the beginning of human times, but what does science say about medical properties of Nephrite and Jadeite stones today? The truth about Jade Rollers will slowly uncover.
What do You Know About Mineral “Jade”?
In order to comprehend healing properties of natural stones first you need to examine and understand their chemical composition, what minerals they contain of and what biological effect each mineral has on human body. Then, you should do a small personal research by reading various (medical) science-based articles. Your reading list should also include going through patents related to the preferred topic. For medical articles we would advise visiting www.PubMed.gov. For patents you may use www.Google.comby entering word “patent” followed by the key word or patent number. In addition, various medical, educational and scientific journals and magazines can provide you with important scientific data and information. In this way you will get an accurate facts and realistic picture of what you are looking for. Build your knowledge on findings by reputable scientists and researchers. Moreover, your personal positive experience in the healing powers of natural crystals should be taken into account without doubt. Nowadays, a vast number of bloggers and online influencers are masters of marketing strategies and usually write what readers want to hear or sponsors ask for. Money. Money. Money. On the other hand, there you can find some main points and key words that eventually will put you on the right path in search of precious truth. Simply think of backing up each point that interests you by a relevant scientific data. It is not so hard as it looks. Make it a habit!
It is important to mention that all jades used in ancient China were actually Nephrites. In fact, Jadeite jade was introduced to China in 18th century only when the empire expanded up to Burma (Myanmar), where the biggest quality Jadeite sources still lay. Today, the best quality Jadeite jade is still excavated in Burma. The key is, when you hear term “jade” in the context of ancient Chinese culture and medicine, it will be Nephrite jade mineral. For centuries both Nephrite and Jadeite were symbols of health, wealth and beauty in various ancient cultures across the world.
In the article we will briefly review the main differences of Nephrite and Jadeite jades. Will introduce you with mineral composition, basic geological and physical features so that you can distinguish fake and genuine jades. For your interest, we will glance at some metaphysical and holistic properties of each jade mineral. Later, will briefly introduce you to some scientific findings confirming health and beauty benefits of Nephrite and Jadeite. Finally, will please you with some updated information on jade rollers.
Basic Geology of Jades: Nephrite and Jadeite
Nephrite and Jadeite are two different types of extremely tough and resistant to fracture jade rock minerals. Nephrite is often called as “jade”. Jadeite is referred as “jadeite”. Although both crystals hold their traditional trading name as “jade”, they have different mineral composition. An average person with no significant experience in geology and mineralogy can hardly distinguish the two minerals by their physical properties only. The difference in mineral composition of Nephrite and Jadeite was not known until 1863 when mineral-testing equipment was invented. Nephrite is the most abundant form of jade and is less expensive than Jadeite.
Nephrite is a variety of the calcium, magnesium, and iron-rich amphibole minerals. Chemical formula is Ca2(Mg, Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2. It comes in creamy beige (mutton fat jade) color when is rich in magnesium. If Nephrite is rich in iron it can be in variety of different shades of green. The higher content of iron, the greener the color. Usually ranges in color between white, cream, and dark green. Nephrite jade is mostly found in a variety of green colors. Generally, green Nephrites are less bright and intense than green Jadeites. With few exceptions, Nephrite shades usually appear dark and somber. Most of the light color Nephrite is found in China, Sinkiang Province. Most of green Nephrite sources are located in China, British Columbia (Canada), Taiwan, New Zealand, Siberia (Russia) and the US. Word “nephrite” originates from Greek word ‘nephros”, meaning ‘kidney”. Nephrite is more abundant than Jadeite but there are not many genuine Nephrites on the market. Siberian nephrite, with a dark “spinach green” color and black graphite inclusions, is considered the most valuable green nephrite variety. Nephrite is at 6 – 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is about three times heavier than water.
Jadeite is a sodium aluminum silicate pyroxene mineral, chemical formula is NaAlSi2O6. Usually comes in various shades of white to dark green, sometimes gray, pink, lilac, red, blue, yellow, orange, black. Jadeite color is defined by mineral impurities. Pure jadeite is actually white, but the prized green hue is a result of chromium and iron impurities. Jadeite is quite rare mineral and obviously maintains a higher monetary value. Some specimens known as “Imperial Jade” can cost more per carat than high-quality diamonds. The rarest and most valuable “Imperial Jade” is fine-grained translucent emerald green Jadeite colored by traces of chromium. The main source of Jadeite is in Myanmar (Burma), but is also mined in Japan, Canada, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Cuba and the USA. Jadeite has a Mohs hardness of about 6.5 to 7.0 depending on the composition.
Metaphysical Properties of Jades
Nephrite is a protective gemstone that can change negative energy into positive energy. It promotes inner peace and joy of life. Useful when you want to balance your body and mind. It may also enhance ones confidence during crucial and difficult moments of life. Nephrite jade helps to have lucid dreams and strengthens connection to spiritual realm. It is considered to be a symbol of good life and prosperity, purity and beauty for many years. Green Nephrite jade is a powerful physical heart healer.
Jadeite gemstone is considered as positive stone of joy, friendship and success with the ability to boost ones confidence. It is believed to possess health-strengthening abilities and improve longevity. Jadeite can influence not only health but prosperity as well. This gemstone is said to calm and free from impure thoughts, trauma and grief. Jadeite jade has a powerful influence on the heart chakra and promotes love, passion and romantic inner harmony.
Jades in General
As you can see the two minerals have quite similar metaphysical properties. Due to the fact that scientific difference (i.e. mineral composition) was not known until 1863, for centuries both gems were simply referred as “jade”. While most of available information is based on Nephrite jade properties, Jadeite jade still holds some mysteries in supernatural abilities to be experienced and pronounced loudly. Most sources refer to a general term “jade” and do not provide distinct difference in Nephrite and Jadeite gems, when speaking about their metaphysical abilities.
In general jades are thought to protect from evil spirits, bring balance in body and mind, enhance self-healing capacity, boost energy and love. This crystal is also known as the stone of eternal youth. Jades are used not only as amulets or travel guardians but also as aura cleaners and cutters. Jade is a special stone that is believed to promote wisdom, balance, and peace. It also encourages ones consciousness to increase at a higher level and helps in psychic development. Jade is associated with heart chakra (4th chakra) and is considered to be a stone of love, especially green jade. The energy of green crystal is used to remove blockages and balance the heart chakra. In this way jade helps to understand our emotions and needs more easily. Depending on the actual color of the gem, it can possess a variety of metaphysical powers.
Jade minerals are widely used in meditation practices and work as mediators of spiritual and physical worlds, induce lucid dreaming and facilitates in connecting to inner realms. As mentioned earlier, green jades synchronize with heart chakra. They can be used to harmonize unstable and decayed relationships by enhancing forgiveness, empathy and love for oneself and others. Jades provide emotional healing and can help to let go anger, negative thoughts and egoism. Most importantly, jades stones may carry physical healing properties and are widely used in holistic therapies.
Holistic Benefits of Nephrite and Jadeite
Since ancient times, “jade” is known for its healing properties and is often cited as “precious healing gemstone”. Word “jade” originates from Columbian times when explorers saw natives of Central America wearing stones on their sides as ailment. Spanish called it “piedra de ijada”, meaning “stone for the pain in the side”. Word ‘nephrite” comes from the Greek word “nephros” meaning kidney. For many years Nephrite keeps its reputation as a healer of kidney, liver and spleen. Today, medical term “nephritis” is used to indicate kidney inflammation. In Chinese language, jade is known as “yu” and translates as “heavenly” or “imperial”. In Chinese medicine, jade is referred as “stone of heaven” that can heal and guard everything it touches.
Actually, the art of healing with stones and minerals is called lithotheraphy. The name comes from the Greek words “lithos” meaning “stone” and “therapeia” meaning “care”. This holistic approach is based on the influence of microminerals, color and vibrations of gemstones to human body. The ancestral healing method has been used since prehistoric times.
Nephrite is believed to carry a revitalizing energy that can help to speed healing and recovery by amplifying body’s natural self-healing capacity. In ancient China people believed mixing Nephrite powder with water can strengthen body and prolong life. Nephrite can also help in recovering from bacterial and viral infections. This natural mineral has significant properties in relieving bone, joint and muscle pain. Wearing jade stone can remove allergies, skin deceases and irritation, eliminate anxiety, regulate blood circulation and improve heart, lungs and vision. Ancient Greeks used Nephrite powder to heal various eye illnesses.
Both Nephrite and Jadeite are believed to boost immune system and promote relaxation. Also, both minerals can regenerate cells, stimulate metabolism and raise oxygen level in blood. In holistic medicine, Nephrite gem is widely used in massage sessions, beauty therapies and therapeutic routines. Both jade minerals are said to help in depression.
Health Benefits of Nephrite & Jadeite
In medical perspective no side effects of treatment with jade gems have been reported whatsoever. Having said that, would like to remind you a mineral composition of jades once again. Nephrite jade mainly comprises of calcium, magnesium, iron, oxygen and silica but may have traces of zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese, cobalt and many more. Jadeite jade contains a combination of sodium, iron, aluminum, silica and oxygen. It may also contain traces of copper, magnesium, chromium, manganese and even titanium. These are naturally occurring and biologically active minerals, extremely beneficial to human body and its healthy functions.
Now take a look at popular vitamin formulas for hair, skin & nails that you can buy at your nearest pharmacy. Don’t be surprised, it will have a very similar list of minerals therein. The only difference – they are all synthetic in. In other words, artificially created in laboratory.
Today, it’s no longer a secret that both gems Nephrite and Jadeite are emitting far infrared rays and negative ions. Often Nephrite jade gems are used in multipurpose therapeutic devices, appliances and accessories to reduce pain, boost immune and encourage metabolism, reduce inflammation and infections, manage injuries, regulate blood circulation and heart disorders, fight bacteria and viruses, slow body and face aging, detoxify and protect from environmental pollutants, enhance self healing and many more.
Nephrite & Jadeite Emit Biologically Active Far Infrared Rays
One of the best properties of Nephrite jade (and Jadeite) mineral is its ability to release far infrared rays when heated. For this reason Nephrite is used in many therapeutic activities (i.e. stone massage, saunas) and is widely applied to therapeutic devices and equipment, even infused to beauty and hygiene products. Nephrite healing powers can be experienced in most of holistic and therapeutic clinics across the globe.
In fact, jade minerals promote body’s self-healing capabilities. Far infrared rays emitted by Jadeite jade improve microcirculation, increases the extensibility of collagen tissue, helps delivering oxygen and nutrients to soft body tissues, promotes fast healing and regeneration, improves lymph circulation and helps to remove toxins, increase immune, reduces pain in joints and muscles. You can find more scientifically proven healing benefits of this ancient stone on internet.
In 2002 Korean Skin Research Institute did a research on Nephrite (mixed with Tourmalin powder; further “Nephrite powder”) powder effects on skin. In particular, a group of scientists proved that far infrared rays emitted by Nephrite mineral powder have the ability to heat human skin. As stated therein “Jade has powerful far-infrared ray radiation” and “had certain kinds of effects on the human body, especially on skin, blood circulation, and skin revitalizing.” The research article “Investigation of jewelry powders radiation far-infrared rays and the biological effects on human skin” can be found here.
Another research conducted by Inoue S., and Kabaya M. in 1989 shows that far infrared rays have “a blood circulation-enhancing effect in human skin” and promote growth of biological organisms. A team also found that when far infrared rays increase the temperature of body tissues, body fluids move independently using metabolic energy. They further state that far infrared rays “induce an accelerated blood circulation at peripheral tissues, eventually triggering an improved state of metabolism, improved transfer of chemical messengers, and so forth.” Article excerpt can be found here “Biological activities caused by far-infrared radiation”.
One of the best known therapeutic device comprising Nephrite is thermal massage bed by Ceragem . The Korean invention existing over 20 years now has built-in heated rolling jades that move along persons spine. Heated jade rollers not only radiate deep penetrating far infrared rays but also put pressure on certain spine points. Basically Ceragem bed covers thermotherapy, acupressure and chiropractic massage session in one go. Ceragem devices are used to remove pain, correct spinal posture, treatrespiratory tract deceases and various degenerative deceases, improve nervous system, improve immune system, increase blood flow and many more that can be seen on Ceragem website.
Don’t be afraid of the term “far-infrared ray radiation”. There are tons of studies and research confirming its benefits to human and animal body. In fact, far infrared rays are biologically active rays that have fantastic effect on various health issues.
Natural Antivirus: Nephrite Emits Negative Ions
When heated Nephrite jade emits negative ions that are negatively charged electrons and are crucial in fighting viruses, inflammation, free radicals, aging and various physical and mental illnesses, including depression. Unlike many man-made synthetic pharmaceuticals, negative ions have no negative side effects whatsoever. Far infrared rays can penetrate the body at a depth of 5.6-6 inches affecting the deeper areas of the body. Physiologically human skin is charged negatively that is why skin is our biggest protective layer. Negative oxygen ion is called as “air vitamin” in the medical field. Nephrite mineral pads are used to neutralize harmful positive ionization of the air caused by electronic devices, such as cell phones, microwaves and computers. It also helps fighting traffic pollution.
In 2001, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted an experiment using negatively ionized room to kill Salmonella Enteritidis bacteria. An excerpt of this study can be found here “Bactericidal Effects of Negative Air Ions on Airborne and Surface Salmonella Enteritidis from an Artificially Generated Aerosol” .The team concluded that the “results indicate that high levels of negative air ions can have a significant impact on the airborne microbial load and that most of this effect is through direct killing of the organisms.” They further confirmed that negatively ionized technology was successfully applied to poultry hatching cabinets and caged layer rooms to reduce airborne dust significantly (by 81.1 ~ 92.2%). There are several studies conducted by USDA in regard to negative ions and their effectiveness in reducing infections, killing viruses and cleaning air. You may find other scientific studies about negative ions here.
According to Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (in Pushchino, Russia) “exposure to negative ions increased levels of the protective antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase”. Study excerpt can be found here. The enzyme superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant playing an important role in fighting internal inflammation. It reduces the oxidative stress in cells and free radical damage. Superoxide dismutase is a powerful anti-aging enzyme used in beauty products to prevent wrinkles, skin spots. It also softens scar tissue, eases wound healing and helps in protecting from UV.
Nephrite or Jadeite Mineral Powder: Skin Benefits & Blue Light Protection
Since ancient times jewels and its powders were used in beauty routine. Their healing powers were believed to contribute beauty and prolongate youthfulness. In deed, a cosmetic admiration of Nephrite arose in ancient China. Chinese women used to put on their skin pulverized Nephrite powder, pearl powder and ginseng for centuries. Interestingly, current researchers provide supporting evidence on health and beauty benefits of Nephrite and Jadeite minerals.
As mentioned above, it is now known that Nephrite jade is calcium magnesium iron silicate mineral. According to chemical analysis Nephrite may contain traces of elements such as zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, selenium, chromium, manganese, cobalt and more. All these elements are beneficial to human body. When such minerals are absorbed by human skin they play an important role in enhancing immune functions and activating cells and tissues. Today, Nephrite powder is used in accelerating healing, reducing scar tissue and improving skin elasticity.
The most significant benefit of Nephrite powder is its ability to protect skin of invisible (and visible) but highly damaging blue light (natural or artificial, i.e. LED). Our cell phones, tablets, TVs and computers emit blue light that damages hyaluronic acid, collagen and elasticity in the skin. In other words, blue light causes premature aging. In 2005, The Journal of Biological Chemistry published a study concluding that visible blue light can cause cell dysfunction, mitochondrial DNA damage and induce free radical production in epithelial cells. All this leads to skin cellular aging, age related pathologies and even tumor growth. In 2016, the use of Nephrite jade powder in cosmetics to block blue light was patented. A group of Korean inventors state therein that Nephrite powder (also known as oxide powder) is capable to reflect the difficult blue light that damages our skin. Patent for “Cosmetic composition containing jade powder for blocking blue light” can be seen here.
In 2018, Korean Society of Industrial Engineering Chemistry did a research on physicochemical properties of Jadeite jade powder when added to cosmetic products. Research article can be seenhere. They discovered that Jadeite powder is a perfect ingredient for cosmetic products. In particular, liquid makeup foundation containing jade powder raised skin temperature by 0.5 Celsius. No skin irritation was observed and the product maintained its stability in moist and the PH level was stable. Also, the study says Jadeite powder has removed itchy feeling of the skin.
As you can see, Nephrite (and Jadeite) powder is a great substitute to irritating talc in various cosmetic products. It acts as anticaking agent and at the same time shows anti-inflammatory activity. By radiating far infrared rays it warms the skin and stimulates microcirculation. This is all you need – a jade roller with natural Nephrite!
Worth mentioning, that pure white Nephrite powder has antipollution effect. Also, jade mineral powder is an effective exfoliant to remove dead and dry skin. Today, jade powder is used in face creams, anti-aging products, sunscreen products, makeup products, lotions, tonics and other treatments for hair and face. Actually, a lot of cosmetic brands are using Nephrite gem powder as an ingredient, namely Estee Lauder, Aman , Praia, Bare Minerals, La Mer, Crushxo, Sulwhashoo, Luma and many more.
The end of Part I.
Continue reading Part IIwhere you will learn how to spot genuine jade, what can you choose instead of fake jade roller and will find more reasons to consider including Nephrite or Jadeite minerals in your daily beauty routine. We will find out the truth about Jade roller tools.