Will This $84 Crystal Water Bottle Align Your Chakras?

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It’s hard to be human these days. Chances are your work-life balance is basically nonexistent, everybody—the kids, the boss, the bank—needs something from you, gas prices are still up, your fridge is empty, and current events are devastating. Your watch keeps reminding you that you haven’t stepped, slept, or stood up enough in recent months. To top it all off, your therapist went on an extended vacation.

Who among us couldn’t use a swig or two or 99 of a crystal water elixir that purportedly does everything from calm nerves, align your chakras, clear problem skin, boost immunity, even enhance your intuitive abilities? The answer, of course, is we all could.

Crystal water is based on the belief that energies contained within these precious stones can be transferred to your body. There’s no definitive proof that gemstone-infused water is the holy grail of healing. Although it’s beloved by many, including A-listers Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and others who spend upward of $84 on specialty crystal water bottles or hundreds of dollars more on the kinds of crystal water dispensers found at high-end spas. And the trend shows no signs of slowing.

Humans have ascribed healing benefits to crystals since ancient Sumerian and Egyptian times. But is crystal water self-care or self-fulfilling prophecy?

Crystal Water Basics

“Each type of crystal holds a different frequency, energy, and information,” says Kim McDermott, a senior member of the mindfulness team at Mii amo, a pro-crystal destination spa in Sedona, Arizona, the unofficial new-age capital of the world.

McDermott explains that these frequencies resonate with an individual’s seven energy centers. By “energy centers,” McDermott is referring to the chakras, which are believed to be susceptible to blockages that can be undone by exposure to certain vibrations.

The vibrations can relate to a particular emotion, intention, and part of the body, as well as chakra and bring about different effects, whether amplifying creativity, luck, serenity, or health, according to crystal proponents.

“Practitioners, myself included, use the power of the crystals to hold space, or to help people open, move, or ground their energy,” says McDermott. To harness the properties of crystals, people turn to a variety of techniques—placing them on their chakras, holding or staring at them while meditating, carrying them in their purse, decorating their houses or alters with them, and, in the case of crystal water, drinking in the vibrations.

The theory behind crystal water is that when you imbibe water infused with crystals, you also take in the healing benefits of the pretty rocks. You can DIY crystal water by placing magic rocks in a glass and filling it with water or spending upward of $84 on specialty water bottles or dispensers like those made by VitaJuwel, Glacce, and Psychic Sister. Bottles either contain a single large crystal affixed to the bottom or a separate enclosure to house smaller pieces.

“Like sound, crystals carry a stable frequency,” says Elizabeth Trattner, a Miami-based doctor of integrative and Chinese medicine and owner of the alternative medicine and wellness practice Helia House. “And water is easily programmable. Water absorbs the energy of the frequency of the minerals infused in it.”

McDermott explains that putting quartz in a water bottle and drinking from it might have the same effect as setting an intention at the beginning of a yoga class or offering a blessing over a meal.

Proponents of Crystal Water Say…

Crystal water enthusiasts are a devout bunch. Model Miranda Kerr incorporates rose quartz, which is linked to the heart chakra and associated with self-love and bettering relationships, into her water and her beauty line, KORA organics.

“You can choose which crystals and energy you want to channel that day,” she told Vanity Fair in 2018. “Plus, they are gorgeous!” Kerr says she is the owner of multiple VitaJuwel bottles and also sells them via KORA. “I use them all the time. You feel like you’re getting that little extra bit of love.”

Kerr’s hardly the only one who has drunk the vibe-infused water. “The crystal industry is no longer just for the woo-inclined, but a multi-billion dollar industry,” says Trattner.

She points to research and theories of Masaru Emoto, New York Times best-selling author of The Hidden Messages of Water, and the healing studies of Canadian biologist Bernard Grad as proof beyond what she sees anecdotally at Helia House every day.

“Crystal energy and crystal water are not pseudoscience, but are actually proven over and over again to affect the body in subtle ways,” says Trattner.

Although precious stone-powered potions aren’t officially on the spa menu at Mii amo, McDermott says crystals are used in spa treatments, reiki sessions, private meditations, and energy readings. They are also arranged in the grotto to “hold the space and amplify all the intentions, wishes, and connections” of those who enter the space. “I don’t think it’s a gimmick,” she says. Neither do many wellness coaches, reiki teachers, yogis, athletes (including six-time Olympian medalist Rebecca Soni), and celebrities.

“We are energy beings, so we are naturally drawn to crystals through color and frequency,” says McDermott. “If we are drawn to one, it’s the crystal raising its hand and saying, ‘Work with me. I have something for you.’”

Crystal Water Skeptics Talk About…

The scientific and Western medical communities tend to dismiss or debunk the few existing studies cited in support of crystal and crystal water “healing” or argue that “evidence” in support of crystals is anecdotal in nature.

When positive outcomes are attributed to sipping mystical mineral infusions, naysayers usually chalk it up to coincidence or the placebo effect and dismiss practitioners as hippies and charlatans.

“Placebo effects certainly play a role in the perceived health benefits of crystal therapy and many other alternative therapies,” says University of London emeritus psychology professor Christopher French, who has run studies on the power of suggestion as it pertains to crystal “healing.”

“The most important finding was that some people report a range of effects when handling a crystal such as tingling, warmth, improvements in mood, and so on whether they were handling a real crystal or a realistic fake. This supports the idea that the effects reported were due to the power of suggestion, not ‘crystal power,’” explains French.

A 2020 study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that placebo or nocebo effects have been linked to the release of endorphins, endocannabinoids, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin in the body, all of which have positive effects on the body from regulating sleep, mood and appetite to relieving pain.

But isn’t any benefit or improvement, no matter why or how it occurred, a bonus?

Tricia Bannister, spa director at the Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman, considers positive results for any reason to be a good thing. “There is not any solid evidence-based science per se for crystals,” she says. “But there is still potentiality. If the mind, when taking in the sight of crystals or drinking crystal water, says to the body, ‘Ah, peace,’ the body will feel peace. It’s almost like a mantra.”

The spa’s elegant crystal-containing water dispensers “were chosen initially to elevate the aesthetics,” explains Bannister. But the crystal water itself has been a hit with guests, says Bannister. She believes it subconsciously adds another layer of wellness to their visit. “Crystals represent organic and clean, and therefore are beneficial to health. This, in turn, increases [a guest’s] sense of trust and they relax more. When one has confidence and feels calm, the nervous system is not creating inflammation which has a positive effect on immunity as well.”

French cautions that it’s one thing to be calmed by sipping selenite-infused water. It’s quite another to turn to it in lieu of doctor-mandated treatment. He says benefitting from the placebo effect is fine—to a point. “There are risks inherent in relying [solely] on such alternative medicines to treat serious medical problems,” he warns. “The problem may worsen to the extent it becomes untreatable by conventional means if the placebo effect [has made] people feel better.”

There are more differences among crystals than just the vibe. Some can be toxic when ingested. (Photo: Emily Karakis | Unsplash)

What To Know Before Trying Crystal Water

Whether you’re making your own crystal water or buying a premade vessel, not doing your due diligence in learning about the varieties can have consequences beyond an unwanted vibe.

Some crystals are toxic, according to the International Gem Society, and can infiltrate the water. Crystals to avoid include algodonite, moonstone, and pyrite. The IGS also warns that some crystals are soluble in acid and pose a threat if particles from them are swallowed and exposed to stomach acid.

Materials used to construct water bottles or dispensers can also cause problems, a point that French and Trattner agree on. “Be careful about where the stones are sourced from, the type of adhesive used in the bottle, and if the glass is leaded,” says Trattner.

As a precaution, Trattner suggests, “Rather than buying a bottle with a stone glued to the bottom, buy one with a separate enclosure for the stones to stay sterile.” This prevents the water from coming into direct contact with the stones or any adhesive. McDermott also clarifies that vessels for the water should be glass or crystal and not plastic.

What You Need to Know About Crystals

If you’re crystal curious, color is a quick and simple way to classify the types, according to McDermott. “Lighter and clearer stones, such as amethyst and rose quartz, are higher vibrations,” she explains, “which are widely used for the upper centers (crown and heart chakras) and connecting within oneself and to the universe.”

“Darker crystals such as onyx and obsidian have more grounding vibrations and are used for the root chakra to connect more into the body and earth,” says McDermott. “Blue crystals have a calming element and a feeling of open flow like the ocean [so they’re] used for the throat chakra to help open expression.”

Some common crystals and what they’re believed to promote include:

  • Rose quartz: enhances self-love and vulnerability
  • Clear quartz: clarifies focus and harmonizes all chakras
  • Smoky quartz: eases an anxious mind and helps you move past hardships
  • Carnelian: boosts energy and helps you through a difficult time
  • Amethyst: promotes calm and mindfulness, especially during stressful periods
  • Tiger’s eye: instills confidence and will power
  • Selenite: uplifts spirits, connects the user to wisdom and peace, and clears energy
  • Bloodstone, malachite, and tourmaline: supports immunity
  • Black tourmaline: promotes grounding and protection from negative energies
  • Citrine: represents abundance and prosperity and enhances creativity and optimism
  • Jasper: absorbs negative vibes while promoting courage and quick thinking
  • Jade and pearls: support skincare

But if you choose to add anything to your H2O, don’t go too crazy. “It’s important to avoid crystal crowding,” says Trattner. “Don’t zap your water with more than three different types of stones.”

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