A video posted on Facebook in South Africa has had more than 125,000 views in just 24 hours.
It claims that a “diabetes relief chrysocolla bracelet” is able to:
- Effectively regulate insulin secretion
- Control blood glucose level
- Detoxify the kidney
- Regenerate the pancreas
Kaylan Khourie, senior gemmologist at EGL South Africa, told Africa Check the chrysocolla gemstone was an “opaque hydrated copper silicate that is often found in a greenish Blue colour”. In the language of gemmology, “Blue” is capitalised here because it’s the stone’s dominant colour.
But will wearing the bracelet relieve diabetes symptoms? We investigated.
‘Listen to medical professionals’
Khourie said “the bracelets being sold are most probably actually made of chrysocolla chalcedony or are chrysocolla mixed with other copper-based minerals”.
This is because chrysocolla itself is crumbly, with a Mohs hardness of 2 to 4 (very soft), and so is not suitable for jewellery.
Chrysocolla chalcedony is much harder, with a Mohs hardness of 7, and “takes on a better polish so is therefore more durable for jewellery purposes”, Khourie said.
So most of the chrysocolla found in jewellery is “either mixed with other copper-based minerals such as azurite, malachite and turquoise or has a very high silica content”, which then made it chrysocolla chalcedony, Khourie added.
We asked Khourie what he thought of the claims the video made about the gemstone.
“In my expert opinion I do not believe that chrysocolla or any gemstone for that matter would be able to help control diabetes or any other diseases,” he said.
“Although the appearance of gemstones may be pleasant, I believe that it is better to listen to medical professionals for advice on how to treat diseases such as diabetes.”
‘Negligent’ to suggest bracelet could replace proven therapies
“Sadly, there are many alternative ‘cures’ that are advertised for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, very few of which (if any, in fact) have any evidence to support the claims,” he said. “Chrysocolla stones and bracelets seem to be no different.”
Merwitz added that “while we can all agree that mental well-being is vital in the holistic treatment of medical conditions, including diabetes, and allopathic medicine does not have all the answers, it is negligent to suggest that these bracelets can take the place of proven therapies”.
These therapies include lifestyle modifications, exercise, dietary changes and treatment with medication where indicated, he said.
“Stopping medication and relying on the bracelets alone is dangerous and can result in uncontrolled sugar levels which can have catastrophic consequences, including coma and death,” Merwitz added.
“To advise a type 1 diabetic to forsake insulin therapy is negligence of the highest order.”
‘Baseless and without any evidence’
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin shots or wear an insulin pump to manage their blood sugar levels because their pancreas makes little to no insulin.
Merwitz said the two other claims in the video – that the bracelet could “detoxify the kidneys and regenerate the pancreas” – were “also baseless and without any evidence whatsoever”.
But should someone still want to try the bracelet, Merwitz added, “at the very minimum he/she should be made aware of this lack of evidence and then any decision made is at least slightly better informed”.
Merwitz pointed us to the disclaimers on websites that sold this type of bracelet.
One website’s disclaimer reads: “The outlined metaphysical and healing properties in this website are for inspiration and reference. We gather this information and alleged properties from writings, books, folklore and various other sources. They are also dependent upon the attitude and beliefs of the individual. Furthermore they do not replace diagnosis or treatment by a qualified therapist or physician.”