Tourmaline is a member of a family of aluminum borosilicates mixed with magnesium, iron, or other metals. Depending on the proportions of the components, it may appear in pink, red, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown or black colorations, or even multiple colors in a single specimen. The most common type of tourmaline occurring in nature (making up ninety-five percent) is the black variety, also referred to as “schorl.” Its color may also sometimes be such a deep blue that it appears to be black. “Tourmaline” means “a mixed color precious stone,” or, “something small from the earth,” in ancient Sinhalese. The term “schorl” comes from a town in Germany where black tourmaline could be found in tin mines, and has been in use since before the 1400s. The crystals on this gemstone may be thick and columnar or long and narrow and, in cross section, are uniquely triangular. They are prismatic and vertically striated, and can be opaque or transparent. Black tourmaline needles are also sometimes found embedded within the clear type quartz. This combination is believed to create energies of perfect polarity.
Metaphysically, black tourmaline can serve many purposes. It is a terrific grounding crystal for healing and meditation, and it has also been used for scrying. Traditionally, it was used to point out an offender or source of trouble and indicate a good way to move. Try keeping it in the workplace whenever you need to concentrate or wake up. It may also shield you from environmental pollutants, radiation from electronic equipment such as computers and cell phones, and electromagnetic smog. Black tourmaline is believed to enhance the sense of smell (and therefore detection of pheremones, which can result in an aphrodisiac effect) and soothe panic attacks, especially if they are set off by circumstances of one’s environment. This makes it a beneficial companion crystal for those who experience claustrophobia or have a fear of visiting the dentist or doctor. Black tourmaline is also sometimes used to ward off “emotional vampires.” If you’ve ever felt like that person who everybody comes to to complain about their life circumstances but never does anything to actually better their situation, wearing this crystal may provide some protection for you and help to ease your burden.
Black tourmaline is used by crystal healers for pain relief and in the treatment of misaligned spinal columns, motion sickness, torn or strained muscles, scar tissue, arthritis, numbness, paranoia, and dyslexia. It is also used to strengthen the heart, adrenal glands, and immune system, and in treatment of the bowels. This includes constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other diseases and ailments of the bowels. In addition, it may rid the body of environmental pollutants and heavy metal toxins, restore shine and luster to nails and hair, and balance the hemispheres of the brain. Many claim that black tourmaline brings the mental processes into alignment with the auric body and chakras.