Exploring the Beauty of Semi-Precious Stones (Upratna): A Guide to Elegance and Meaning


Ayurveda uses gemstones as internal medicine.  The Gemstones are reduced to ashes or Bhasmas to treat physical conditions. Gem tinctures can also be used in the healing process. While Astrology directly prescribes the uses of gems, Ayurveda converts gems into ashes and Bhasamas. Gem therapy is directly based on the influence of planets on human beings.

Ratna (The Precious Stones) – Gems of the Pharmacopoeia of Ayurveda

Rasa Shastra is one of the branches of Ayurveda that is based on a unique philosophical thought system and deals with learning Ayurveda pharmaceutics, especially dealing with minerals, metals, precious stones, semi-precious stones, certain poisonous herbs, etc. These materials are very potent in eliminating dreadful diseases, especially medical astrology is attaining global recognition hence complete knowledge about Ratna (precious stones) needs an hour.

What is Upratna (Semi-Precious Stones)?

The gemstones, which are less attractive in comparison with Ratna (precious stones), are grouped as Upratna (semiprecious stones). When compared with Ratna, Upratna possesses less transparency, luster, hardness, durability, and attractiveness along with this they have far lesser therapeutic efficacy (Aamyik Paryog). These Uparatna are not costly in comparison to precious stones, and they are very rare. 

All the gemstones (Ratna) only when fully formed, can be considered as Maha Ratna (precious stone). In the process of geological transformation, due to some reasons, they get interrupted and remain incomplete or dead. These can also be taken as second-rated gemstones or Upratna but they are classified into the Agrahaya (to be discarded) group, from the mainstream gems (Maha Ratna). However, semi-precious stones or minor gems also have some metaphysical and therapeutic efficacy which is also explored by the gemologists and physicians for use by the not-so-affluent people.

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Ayurvedic Point of View of Upratna

उपरत्न वर्ग के खनिजपाषाण में काठिन्य, चमक, पारदर्शकता रत्नो  की अपेक्षा कम गुणवाले होते है। इनका मूल्य भी कम होता है। अतः इन्हें उपरत्न  कहा  जाता है। उपरत्नों की संख्या में मतभिन्नता है- आनन्दकन्दकार ने 9 उपरत्न माने है।  जबकि आयुर्वेदप्रकाशकार ने 15 उपरत्न माने है। बृहद योगतरंगिणीकार ने 4 ही उपरत्न  माने है। रसतरंगिणीकार ने छः उपरत्न माने है। आनन्दकन्दकार ने विमल, सस्यक, कान्त एवं तारकान्त को भी उपरत्न  में शामिल कर दिया है। बृहत् योग तरंगिणीकार ने मुक्ता प्रवाल को भी उपरत्न  वर्ग में मानकर और भी भ्र्म पैदा किया है।  आयुर्वेद प्रकाशकार ने ५ प्रचलित उपरत्नो के अतिरिक्त १० नए उपरत्न को इस वर्ग में शामिल किया है परन्तु सबसे अधिक रस तरंगिणी का मत ही प्रचलित है। 

Reference- . . क्रि. / १२

सूर्यकान्तश्चन्द्रकान्तस्तारकान्तस्तु कान्तक:  

वैक्रान्तश्च नृपावर्तस्सस्यको विमला तथा।

पैरोजश्च नवैतानि ह्युपरत्नानि निर्दिशित।। 

Reference: आयुर्वेद प्रकाश /

वैक्रान्तः सूर्यकान्तश्च चन्द्रकान्तश्तथैवं :  

राजावर्तो लालसंज्ञ: पैरोजाख्यस्तथा अपर: ।। 

मुक्ता शुक्तिस्तथा शेख: कर्पूरशमा अथ काचजा:  

मणयो नीलपीताद्या हन्ये विषहराश्च ये।। 

वह्यादिस्तम्भका ये ते सर्वे हि परीक्षकै:  

गणिता द्लुपरत्नेषु मणयो लोकविश्रुता: ।। 

Reference: बृहत् योग तरंगिण ४३/ ८२

मुक्ता विद्रुम शंखाश्व राजावर्तस्तथैव च। उपरत्नानि चत्वारि कथितानि मनीषिभिः।।  

Reference: Rasa Trangini. 23/ 154

वैक्रान्त सूर्यकान्त चन्द्रकांतो नृपो पल | 

पेरोजकञ्च स्फटिकम क्षुद्र रत्न गणो हव्यम।।

There are six Uparatna as per Rasa Trangini 

  • Vaikranta (Fluorite/ Tourmaline) 
  • Suryakanta (Spinel) (Na, O, CaO, Al, 2SiO)
  • Candrakant (Moonstone) (K, Si, O, Na, Al, Si)
  • Raja-varta (Lapis Lazuli) (Na, Ca), (Al, SiO) (S, SO, Cl)
  • Pairojaka (Turquoise)
  • Sphatika (Rock crystal)

A few gems are also added to the list of Uparatna by NCISM and they mention a total 13 number of Upratnas. They are as follows:

  • Vaikranta (Fluorite/ Tourmaline) 
  • Suryakanta (Spinel) (Na, O, CaO, Al, 2SiO)
  • Candrakant (Moonstone) (K, Si, O, Na, Al, Si)
  • Raja-varta (Lapis Lazuli) (Na, Ca), (Al, SiO) (S, SO, Cl)
  • Pairojaka (Turquoise)
  • Sphatika (Rock crystal)
  • Putika (Peridote)
  • Trinkanta (Amber, Succinum)
  • Rudhiram/ rudhir Putika (Carnelion)
  • Palankam/ Palakam (Onyx, CaSO4, 2H2O)
  • Vyomasma (Jade)
  • Kosheyaashm
  • Sougandhik

Semi Precious stone

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Upratna is Mentioned in Different Ayurvedic Literature

Upratna name/ semi-precious stoneAyurveda ParkashaAanand KandBrihat Yog TranginiRasa Trangini
Mukta Shukti+
Shankh ++
Neelmani +
Peetmani +
Vishhar Mani +
Agni Stambhak Mani+
Jal Stambhak Mani++
Mukta +
Name Chemical compositionStructureHardness Specific GravityRefractive indexDouble refraction
Fluorite (Vaikrant)CaF2Cubic43.181.43None
Spinel (Suryakant)MgAl2O4Cubic83.601.71- 1.73None
Moonstone (Chandrakant)KAlSi3O8Monoclinic62.571.52- 1.530.005
Lapis Lazuli (Rajavart)(Na, Ca)8, (Al, Si12 O24 (SO4) Cl2 (OH)Various5.52.801.50None
Turquoise (Perojaka)Cu Al6 (PO4)4 (OH)8 5 H2OTriclinic62.801.61- 1.650.004
Rock Crystal (Sphatika)SiO2Trigonal72.651.54- 1.550.009
Jade (Vyomashma)NA (AL, FE) Si2O6Monoclinic73.331.66- 1.680.012
Onyx (Palanka)SiO2Trigonal72.611.53- 1.540.004
Carnelian (Rudhiram, Akeek)SiO2Trigonal72.611.53- 1.540.004
Peridot (Putika)(Mg, Fe)2 SiO4Orthorhombic6.53.341.64- 1.690.036
Amber (Trinkant)C6 H16 OAmorphous2.51.081.54- 1.55N/ A

Properties of Semi-Precious Stone (Upratna)

Upratna Dosha (Blemishes in the Semi-Precious Stones)

Rasa Ratna Samucchya. 4/ 32

ग्रास स्त्रासश्च बिन्दुश्च  रेखा च जलगभर्ता।

सर्व रत्नेष्वमी पन्न्च दोषा: साधारणा: मताः।। 

क्षेत्र तोय भवा दोषा रत्नेषु न लग्न्ति ते।।       

The Dosha (blemishes) found in precious stones are Grasa, Trasa, Bindu, Rekha, and Jala Garbhta. Gemstones do not possess Kshetriya and Toya (Jaliya) Dosha.

Ratna Dosha / Upratna DoshaDescription of Dosha
GrasaIf some portion of the gemstone is opaque or black, such a defect is called Grasa Dosha.
TrasaIf the gemstone has an admixture of colors other than its natural color such a defect is called Trasa Dosha.
BinduThe gemstone possesses a small point in its natural color, such a defect is termed Bindu Dosha.
RekhaIf the gemstone possesses single, parallel, or intersecting lines in its body, such a defect is termed Rekha Dosha.
JalagarbhataIf the gemstone possesses a water bubble in its body, such a defect is termed Jalagarbhata Dosha.

Why is Upratna (Semi-Precious Stones) Needed?

Not everyone is affluent, and the affordability of precious stones remains beyond the means of many individuals. In light of this, semiprecious stones emerge as a viable and more accessible alternative. These gemstones, while not as costly as their precious counterparts, possess unique and appealing qualities. Embracing semi precious stones allows a broader spectrum of people to enjoy the beauty and symbolism associated with gemstones without the financial strain associated with acquiring precious ones. It is a practical approach that celebrates diversity in personal adornment and ensures that the allure of gemstones is not confined to a privileged few. It is not always possible to afford a Ratna for pharmaceutical purposes. In such situations, these Uparatna are used as replacements for Ratna. Though classical books have specified the number of precious stones (Maha Ratna) as nine, they are uncertain about the number of semi precious stones (Uparatna). In this regard the clear and the better opinion is of Sri Sadananda Sharma, the author of Rasa Tarangini.

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Does Upratan, A Replacement for Precious Gemstones, Actually Work?

The first question that comes to mind when discussing Upratna i.e. semi-precious stone is whether these gemstones offer astrological benefits or jyotish Mahatva like that of Nava Ratna or precious gemstones. Qualified gemologists and Indian astrologers have mentioned that, under some conditions, like when you don’t afford precious gemstones or in the certain maleficent effect of planet or Greha, Upratana i.e. semi-precious stones provide equivalent advantages to their wearer as the precious gemstones. However, this should be kept in mind that the weight of the substitute gemstone or semi-precious stone plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness to the wearer. Astrologers and in astrology (Jyotish Shastra), it is suggested that the substitute gemstone/ Upratna/ semi-precious stone must weigh more than the original or mentioned precious stone to maximize its benefits to the wearer. We can conclude that the choice between wearing original gemstones i.e. Navratna/ precious gemstones and their substitutes/ alternative semi-precious stones/ Upratna ultimately depends on individual beliefs, preferences, and the certain maleficent effect of the planet. Precious gemstones/ Navratna have long been associated with various metaphysical, astrological, and Ayurvedic properties and are believed to exert influences on the lives of individuals who wear them in the same way semi-precious stones/ Upratna also exert influence on the wearer’s life. Precious gemstones/ Navratna like Heerak (diamonds), Manikya (rubies), Neelam (sapphires), and Panna (emeralds) are praised for their rarity, beauty, and mystical qualities, in the same way Upratna are also famous for their beauty and rarity. Semi-precious stones/ Upratna are often prescribed by astrologers and worn by individuals who seek to enhance specific aspects of their lives, such as luck, love, prosperity, wisdom, peace, and protection.

But it was true that semi-precious stones / Upratana may not have the same price tags or cultural reverence as precious gemstones or Navratna have. Semi-precious stones/ Upratna have their unique allure and are believed to possess distinct astrological and energetic properties. Semi-precious stones/ Upratna are used as replacements for precious gemstones or NavRatna as there was a belief that some minerals share similar vibrational frequencies or metaphysical properties due to which they exhibit the same astrological effect. For example, in place of Neelama Nava Ratna i.e. Sapphire stone, amethyst, is often considered a substitute in astrology/ Jyotish Shastra and is believed to offer comparable benefits in terms of promoting intuition, spiritual growth, and mental clarity. The rarity of semi-precious stones or the monetary value of the Upratna or semi-precious stones does not determine them as substitutes for the precious stone/ Navaratna, but it is the inherent energetic qualities of the Upratna that make them beneficial to the wearer. As per the astrological charts or personal intention, the wearer can experience the positive effect of the semi-precious stones.

Along with this the gemologist or various astrological scientists conduct various research studies to find out the physical and chemical properties of semi-precious gemstones, which shed light on their potential effects, physical properties, and composition. Critics of using Upratna/ semi-precious stones as replacements or substitutions for Navaratnam/ precious gemstones emphasize the importance of authenticity and transparency in the gemstone market throughout the world. Using wrong or misleading or less known gemstones in place of precious gemstones as a substitute is wrong. Finally, we can conclude that the efficacy of Upratna/ semi-precious stones as a substitute for precious gemstones remains a topic of personal belief. While some individuals experience tangible benefits from wearing Upratna/ semi-precious gemstones, other people approach the subject with scientific scrutiny. Ultimately, we can say that the decision to wear or utilize the semi-precious stones/ Upratna in place of Navratna/ precious gemstones is a matter of individual preference, and cultural tradition within the realms of astrology and gemology.

Characteristics of Semi-Precious Gems

Color Variety of Uparatna: Upratna / Semi Precious stones can be seen in different variety of vibrant colors, which offers diverse options for designing jewelry and helps to enhance the beauty of the wearer. Also, different colors of the semi-precious stones are beneficial in color therapy.

Hardness Range of the Upratna: Upratna or semi-precious stones exhibit various levels of hardness that are suitable for making different types of jewelry, from durable pendants. rings to delicate earrings, etc.

Unique Patterns and Textures of semi-precious stones: Due to the different patterns, inclusions, and textures, of the semi-precious stones/ Uparatna exhibits individual character, charm, and physical, metaphysical, and astrological properties.

Cultural and Historical Significance of Uparatna: Some Uparatna/ semi precious stones carry important historical importance, making them meaningful choices for both symbolic and personal representation.

Metaphysical Properties of the Upratna: Upratna / semi-precious stones are believed to possess metaphysical properties, astrological properties, that contribute to their popularity in spiritual i.e. astrological practices.

Affordability of the Upratna: Not everyone is affluent, and the affordability of precious stones remains beyond the means of many individuals. In light of this, semiprecious stones emerge as a viable and more accessible alternative. Semiprecious stones / Upratna are generally more affordable than Navaratna / precious stones, making them accessible to broader people for various aesthetic preferences.

How Semi-Precious (Upratna) Stones are Formed?

Upratna / Semi Precious stones unfold over extended periods through intricate geological processes which gives unique characteristics to the Uparatna. In the dynamic forces shaping the Earth’s crust, by various formation mechanisms, the Upratna are formed.  The Earth’s extraordinary ability to craft intricate diverse treasures makes us understand the geological processes behind the formation of semi-precious/ Upratna. The transformative forces of metamorphism, igneous formation, and slow sedimentary accretion help in the formation of Upratna/ semiprecious stone narrating a geological tale. 

Igneous Formation: Various Upratana/semi-precious stones, like amethyst and citrine, have their origins in igneous rocks. In this process of the formation of Upratna first the igneous material, often rich in minerals molten then, cools and solidifies in various forms. As the lava or so-called magma undergoes the cooling process, the crystals/ gemstone i.e. Upratna starts to form within the rock. The slow cooling of the various crystals allows the growth of well-defined crystal/ gemstone structures that contribute to the unique patterns, characteristics, and various colors of these Uparatna/ semi-precious gemstones.

Sedimentary Formation of the Semi-Precious Stones (Uparatna): Sedimentary environments of the earth’s crust serve as the place for the formation of certain semi-precious stones/ Upratna, like turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. Along with time various minerals dissolved in water due to which they precipitate, accumulate, and form various layers. These various layers then start solidifying into sedimentary rocks, due to the presence of minerals within. This results in the formation of various Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that show the transformation of aqueous solutions into geological formations.

Metamorphic Transformation of the Uparatna/ semi-precious stones: Due to pressure and heat that is present in the earth’s crust, metamorphism transformation occurs that gives rise to Uparatna/ semi precious stones like jasper and agate. Due to profound changes in the mineral composition and texture of the existing rocks, intense geological forces result in the reshaping of the structure of the rocks, leading to the formation of vibrant colors and patterns in the Uparatna. 

Hydrothermal Processes of the Uparatna: There are various Uparatna-like quartz that are formed due to hydrothermal processes. Through various rocks during the hydrothermal process, hot mineral-rich fluids circulate through fractures and fissures present in rocks. When this mineral-rich fluid present in rocks cools, minerals within the fluid crystallize, filling the cavities present in the rock. This process results in the formation of Uparatna/ semiprecious stones that are characterized by their hardness, remarkable clarity, color, and appearance. The hydrothermal origins of the various Uparatna contribute to the diverse color types in quartz varieties.

Organic Processes of the Uparatna: Some semi precious stones Uparatna, like amber, have organic roots. From the fossilized resin, the amber semi-precious stone is formed that has captivating inclusion and hues. Over millions of years, resin is present in the rock solidifying and preserving plant and animal matter within it and forming various Uparatna/ semi-precious stones.

Classification of Semi-precious Stones

Uparatna/Semi-precious stones are praised by the gemologist for their beauty and diversity, and by the astrologer for their metaphysical properties. These gemstones are classified by the gemologist and scientists on various criteria, like mineral composition, color, and physical properties. This classification of the Uparatna helps to understand the vast world of Uparatna/ semi precious stones, in which each Upratna has unique allure, characteristics, and properties. The classification of Uparatna/ semiprecious stones has a rich tapestry of minerals, each contributing to the diverse world of gemology. From the quartz varieties of the Uparatna to the corundum gems, the organic beauty of opals Uparatna, each semiprecious stone/ Upratna has different properties that make it valuable for cultural significance, and metaphysical properties. 

Based on the Crystal System, the Types of Semi-Precious Stones (Uparatna) 

By the internal arrangement of atoms within the crystal lattice semiprecious stones/ Uparatna can be classified in various types. These classifications based on crystal systems provide insight into the symmetry and internal structure of the semiprecious stones/ Uparatna. 

Here’s a classification of Uparatna/ semiprecious stones according to their crystal systems of classification:

Cubic System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Garnet (Almandine): Almandine (Garnet) is characterized by its deep red hues, durability and belongs to the cubic crystal system.

Trigonal System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Quartz (Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz):  Quartz stones belong to the trigonal system of classification and in this crystal, various semi-precious stones like amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz are included. These Uparatna/semi-precious stones have a variety of colors and hexagonal symmetry. 

Tourmaline: The tourmaline i.e. Vaikrant in Ayurveda occurs in various crystal systems, like elbaite, which also belong to the trigonal system. Tourmalines occur in different ranges of colors and are famous for dichroic and electric properties.

Orthorhombic System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Topaz: Topaz belongs to the orthorhombic crystal system and it occurs in various colors, but blue and yellow varieties of the topaz are particularly popular with the gemologist.

Turquoise: Turquoise also belongs to the orthorhombic system which is famous for blue to green hues.

Monoclinic System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Moonstone: Moonstone is the feldspar mineral that belongs to the monoclinic system of classification displaying an enchanting adularescence.

Amazonite: This amazonite is a semi-precious stone that has a green-to-blue feldspar variety and belongs to the monoclinic system.

Hexagonal System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Beryl (Aquamarine, Morganite, Heliodor): The hexagonal system has various semi-precious stones like beryl crystals which include aquamarine, morganite, and heliodor. These semi-precious stones are famous for their transparency and various beautiful colors.

Jadeite: Jadeite is a variety of jade that also comes under the hexagonal crystal system of the crystals. This semi-precious stone / Uparatna has vibrant green hues.

Triclinic System of Classification of Semi-Precious Stones:

Labradorite: Labradorite is famous for its iridescence or labradorescence and belongs to the triclinic system. Labradorite due to the presence of the internal structure exhibits various colors.

Rhodonite: Another famous semi-precious stone in the triclinic system of classification has pink-to-red hues and distinctive black veins.

Based on Color Different Types of Semi-Precious Stones are as Follows:

Quartz Varieties: The most diverse and extensive group of semiprecious stones is the quartz variety. This mineral group of the Quartz family includes:

Amethyst: Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, which is famous for its deep hues and associated with metaphysical and astrological properties.

Citrine: Citrine is a vibrant quartz variety ranging from yellow to orange in color that gives this stone a warm and sunny appearance. This stone is famous for its use in jewelry and has positive energy.

Rose Quartz: Rose quartz is associated with love and compassion and this Uparatna exhibits a gentle pink-to-rose color, which has a soft and soothing aesthetic.

Smoky Quartz: The quartz that is famous for its transparency and smoky appearance is smoky quartz which is characterized by its brown-to-black color.

Beryl Group: The beryl group comprises various Uparatna/ semiprecious stones, each offering a distinct color to the Uparatna:

Aquamarine: Aquamarine is a famous variety of beryl that displays hues ranging from blue-green to blue color. This Uparatna is known as aquamarine as this semi-precious stone has a resemblance to the clear blue waters of the sea.

Morganite: Morganite is a delicate and elegant variety of beryl with shades that ranges from pink to peach. Morganite has a unique pastel tone which makes it an excellent choice in jewelry.

Heliodor: The semi-precious stone/ Uparatna that is admired by gemologists for its sunny and bright appearance is heliodor which is a yellow to greenish-yellow variety of beryl and is a less common but captivating member of the Beryl group.

Carbonate Minerals: Carbonate minerals also make various Upratna/ semiprecious stones that have distinctive colors and patterns:

Malachite: Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral that is famous for its vibrant green color. Malachite has banded patterns which are unique, and Malachite Uparatna has been historically used in jewelry and decorative items.

Rhodonite: The semi-precious stone / Uparatana that has black manganese oxide veins is rhodonite and is red to pink in color. This Uparatna is used in ornamental carvings and lapidary work due to its contrasting colors.

Feldspar Group: The feldspar group has various semiprecious stones with attractive optical effects:

Moonstone: The semi-precious stone/ Uparatna that is characterized by its distinctive sheen known as adularescence is a variety of feldspar and is famous with the name moonstone. This stone comes in various vibrant colors and is a demanding stone between gem lovers.

Labradorite: Feldspar variety, that shows iridescence or labradorescence labradorite is famous among gem enthusiasts due to its beautiful color.

Jadeite and Nephrite: The semi-precious stones valued for their toughness and cultural significance are jadeite and nephrite both of which are known as jade as follows:

Jadeite: The pyroxene mineral jadeite is a semi-precious stone that has attractive vibrant green colors and is highly famous in many Asian cultures for its metaphysical and astrological properties.

Nephrite: Nephrite is a type of jade composed of amphibole minerals which is famous for its toughness and is often used to make sculptures and jewelry.

Corundum Varieties: Corundum, is a hard and durable mineral, that gives rise to some of the most famous semi precious stones/ Uparatna:

Ruby: The red variety of corundum that symbolizes passion and vitality is ruby. Its intense color has made it famous among gemologists throughout history. As per Ayurveda Ruby is known as Manikya and belongs to Nava Ratna or the precious stones. Some cultures consider it under the Semi-precious stone.

Sapphire: The corundum except red color is termed sapphire. Blue sapphire is the most well-known, by the people and falls in the precious stone/ Nava Ratna category but sapphire occurs in various hues, that are considered under Uparatna/ Semi-precious stones adding versatility to jewelry options and also used in various astrological purposes.

Opal: The unique semi-precious gemstone that is famous for its play-of-color, is due to the phenomenon that is exhibited by the Uparatna due to its internal structures diffracting light is Opals. Opals come in a wide spectrum of colors, making these stones a distinctive work of art among gemologists.

Chalcedony Varieties: The cryptocrystalline form of quartz is the chalcedony variety, which includes Uparatna/ semiprecious stones with a wide range of appearances:

Agate: The banded form of chalcedony is agate, which displays various vibrant colors and patterns. It is commonly used in making jewelry and decorative items.

Jasper: The patterned variety of chalcedony that is opaque and presents a broad range of colors and geological patterns is Jasper. Jasper has been used for various purposes throughout the world for centuries.

Turquoise: Although Turquoise is a precious stone, its varieties fall under semi-precious stones and are a blue-to-green mineral that is highly prized for its unique color. This stone has been used in jewelry for thousands of years, turquoise often carries cultural, astrological, and spiritual significance.

Garnet Group: The garnet group includes Uparatna/ semiprecious stones with varying colors and properties:

Almandine: The common red garnet variety, famous for its deep red hues and durability is Almandine.

Rhodolite: The purplish-red garnet, which has the elegance of red with the allure of purple is the semi-precious stone/ Uparatna rhodolite which due to its attractive color makes an excellent choice in jewelry making.

Based on Optical Characteristics

Semiprecious stones/ Uparatna can be classified based on their optical characteristics. These characteristics of the gemstone include transparency, luster, and optical effects such as play-of-color. Understanding the optical characteristics of Uparatna/ semiprecious stones not only enhances their aesthetic appreciation but also helps in Uparatna/ semi-precious gemstone identification and valuation. Each Uparatna has unique transparency and chatoany that contributes to its beauty. Here’s a classification of some Uparatna/ semiprecious stones based on their optical characteristics:

Transparent Stones:

Quartz (Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz): These quartz varieties are transparent stones and are valued for the clarity present in their crystal. Amethyst Uparatna exhibits citrine ranges from yellow to orange and purple hues, and another variety of Uparatna quartz i.e. rose quartz has pink transparency.

Aquamarine: Aquamarine Uparatna is a transparent stone along with blue- a to-blue-green color, and famous for its clear and calming appearance.

Topaz: Transparent topaz comes in various colors, like yellow, blue, and pink after processing.

Translucent Stones:

Moonstone / Chandrakant: Moonstone/ Chandrakant Uparatna exhibits an attractive adolescence, a billowy play-of-color, which gives this Uparatna a translucent appearance.

Jadeite: Jadeite, a variety of jade is the semi-precious stone/ Uparatna, is often translucent, is famous for its green hues, and is used to make various types of jewelry and astrological purposes.

Turquoise: Turquoise semi-precious stone/ Uparatna typically opaque to translucent, famous among gemologists for blue-to-green color and distinctive veining.

Iridescent Stones:

Labradorite: This feldspar variety of iridescent stone is labradorescence, which adds a mesmerizing quality to the stone.

Opal: Opals are famous among gemologists for their play- -of- color, which is caused by internal diffraction of light and this internal diffraction creates a dazzling array of colors within the Uparatna.

Chatoyant Stones (Cat’s Eye): 

Tiger’s Eye: The quartz variety exhibits chatoyancy, a phenomenon that creates a silky, luminous band of light resembling the eyes of a cat. Tiger’s eye Uparatna/ semi-precious stone is typically golden-brown to brown and very famous among the astrologers.

Chrysoberyl (Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl): The Chrysoberyl variety of Upratna/ semi-precious stones can display a distinct cat-eye effect. In this Upratna a narrow band of light moves across the surface of the crystal, which creates a captivating optical phenomenon.

Asterism (Star Effect):

Star Diopside: Certain varieties of diopside, like star diopside, display asterism – a star-like pattern of reflected light on the surface of the semi-precious stone/ Uparatna.

Star Ruby: Ruby (Manikya), when cut in a cabochon shape, can exhibit a star effect. The star is caused by needle-like inclusions of rutile that reflect light in certain rubies variety that falls in the category of semi-precious stones/ Uparatna.

Color-Change Stones:

Alexandrite: Alexandrite is renowned for its color-changing property, appearing green in daylight and red under incandescent light. This optical phenomenon is known as the alexandrite effect.

Zultanite: Zultanite is another color-changing gemstone, displaying different hues under various lighting conditions.

Based on the Chemical Composition

Semi Precious stones / Uparatna can be classified based on their chemical composition. Understanding the chemical composition of the Uparatna helps to understand the unique properties, colors, and geological origin of the semi-precious stone. The classification of semi-precious stones based on chemical composition is as follows:

Quartz Group (SiO2): The important examples of the Uparatna/semi-precious stones that belong to the quartz group are Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, etc.

Beryl Group (Be3Al2(SiO3)6): The most important examples of the Uparatna/ semi-precious stone that belong to the beryl group are Aquamarine, Morganite, and Heliodor.

Carbonate Minerals (CO3): The most important examples of the Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to carbonate minerals are Malachite and rhodonite.

Feldspar Group (Aluminum Silicates): The most common example of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the feldspar group is Moonstone/ Chandrakant and Labradorite.

Jadeite and Nephrite: Eg. Jadeite, Nephrite.

Corundum (Al2O3): The most common examples of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the corundum group are Ruby and Sapphire.

Opal (SiO2·nH2O): Eg. Opal.

Chalcedony (SiO2): The most common examples of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the Chalcedony group are Agate and jasper.

Turquoise (CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O): Turquoise.

Garnet Group (Silicate Minerals): The most common examples of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the garnet group are Almandine and Rhodolite.

Boron Silicate boron The most common example of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the boron silicate group is Tourmaline.

Aluminum Borate: The most common example of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones that belong to the aluminum borate group is Axinite.

Semi-Precious Stones Associated with Zodiac Signs

In astrology, various Uparatna/ semiprecious stones are believed to have metaphysical properties/ astrological properties and these Uparatna are associated with different rashi/ zodiac signs or celestial bodies. These associations of the Uparatna are largely based on the historical beliefs, and cultural beliefs of the people although many people throughout the world embrace the use of Uparatna/ semi-precious stones for symbolic reasons, astrological benefits, or spiritual benefits. Here are some common associations between Uparatna/semi-precious stones and astrology:


Zodiac Association: The Zodiac sign/ Rashi associated with the semi-precious stone Amethyst is Pisces, Virgo, Aquarius, and Capricorn.

Properties: Amethyst is the Uparatna that is associated with clarity of mind, spiritual growth, and protection. This beautiful Uparatna/ semi-precious stone is believed to enhance connection with higher realms.


Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Gemini, Aries, Leo, and Libra zodiac sign/ rashi is Citrine.

Properties: The stone associated with Gemini, Aries, Leo, and Libra zodiac sign/ Rashi brings abundance, success, and positive energy to the wearer and is also believed to bring prosperity and joy.


Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Pisces, Aries, and Scorpio is aquamarine.

Properties: The stone associated with Pisces, Aries, and Scorpio brings courage, communication, calming energies, clarity, and spiritual awareness to the wearer.


Zodiac Association: The Zodiac sign/ Rashi is associated with the semi-precious stone, Chandrakant/ moonstone is Cancer, Libra, or Scorpio.

Properties: Moonstone/ Chandrakant is often linked to emotional balance, and feminine energies and is associated with the cycles of the moon (Chandra) and is believed to bring about new beginnings in the life of the wearer of the Chandrakant.


Zodiac Association: The Zodiac sign/ Rashi associated with the semi-precious stone garnet is Capricorn, Aquarius, Leo, and Virgo Rashi/ zodiac sign.

Properties: The stone associated with Capricorn, Aquarius, Leo, and Virgo Rashi/ zodiac sign brings passion, energy, and regeneration to the life of the individual who wears this garnet stone. This beautiful stone is also believed to bring strength, courage, and vitality to the wearer.

Rose Quartz:

Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Taurus, Libra, and Cancer is rose quartz.

Properties: the individual who wears rose quartz has beautiful love, compassion, and emotional healing in their life along with this it is believed that the wearer attracts and enhances love in various forms.

Tiger’s Eye:

Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Leo, Capricorn zodiac sign/ Rashi is Tiger’s eye.

Properties: Wearing a tiger’s eye brings protection, strength, and insight into the life of the individual and is believed to bring courage and balance in life.

Lapis Lazuli:

Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Sagittarius, Taurus Rashi / Zodiac sign is Lapis lazuli.

Properties: Wearing semi-precious stone/ Uparatna lapis lazuli brings wisdom, truth, and spiritual awareness to the individual and also enhances communication and inner vision.


Zodiac Association: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone associated with Sagittarius, Pisces zodiac sign/ Rashi is turquoise.

Properties: The Uparatna/semi-precious stone Turquoise is associated with protection, healing, and positive energy and ward off negative influences and brings positive energy into the individual’s life.

Classification of Semi-Precious Stones / Uparatna Associated with the Planet

In astrology and metaphysical traditions, certain Uparatna/ semiprecious stones are associated with specific Greha/ planets. These associations are often based on the wavelength similarity of the Uparatna with the Greha/ planets or due to the perceived energetic qualities of the stones and their alignment with the energies of the different Greha/ planets. Here are some common Uparatna/ semiprecious stones that are associated with Greha/ planets according to Western astrology:


Stone: Sunstone/ Suryakant

Properties: Sunstone/ Suryakant due to its vibrations, energies, and wavelength is believed to increase leadership qualities, vitality, and personal power, aligning with the solar energy of the Surya/ Aaditya/ Sun.


Stone: Moonstone/ Chandrakant

Properties: Moonstone, which is famous with the name Chandrakant in Sanskrit, astrology, and ayurveda is associated with emotional balance, and the cyclical energy of the Moon (Chandra) and intuitions.


Stone: Agate, particularly Blue Lace Agate is related to the planet Mercury.

Properties: This agate semi-precious stone is believed to promote clarity, mental balance, communication, and alignment with Buddha/ Mercury’s influence on intellect and communication.


Stone: Rose Quartz

Properties: The Uparatna that is associated with love, compassion, and emotional healing, reflecting Shukra Greha / Venus’s influence on relationships and beauty is rose quartz.


Stone: Red Jasper

Properties: Red Jasper is believed to have a relation with the planet Mars and due to its strong relation with Mars wearing this stone helps to enhance courage, strength, and passion, and also aligns with the energetic qualities associated with Mars.


Stone: Yellow Aventurine

Properties: The stone that reflects Jupiter’s influence on expansion and good fortune and is also associated with abundance (bahuta), and positive growth in life is yellow aventurine.


Stone: Hematite

Properties: Shani Greha/ Saturn planet is often associated with discipline and structure and the Uparatna/ semi-precious stone hematite is believed to provide influence on discipline and structure, enhance the focus of the wearer


Stone: Labradorite

Properties: Labradorite is the Uparatna or the semi-precious stone that is associated with intuition, transformation, and  reflecting the innovative and unconventional qualities of Uranus (Rahu Greha)


Stone: Aquamarine

Properties: The semi-precious stone/ Uparatna aquamarine is believed to enhance spiritual awareness, and calming energies, aligning with Ketu’s  (Neptune’s) influence on dreams.


Stone: Obsidian

Properties: Obsidian is a semi-precious gemstone associated with transformation, and protection, and reflects Pluto’s influence on profound regeneration and changes.

Effect of Planets on Different Body Parts

दुस्थानेपननातिविलग्ननाथे युतेर्विलग्नेसतिरोग्भाक्स्यात् ।

पापेविलग्ने बलैर्विहीनेलग्नेश्वराः रोगनिपीड़ितस्यात् ।।

(बृहत्पराशरहोराशास्त्रं, षष्ठभाव फलाध्याय, श्लोक ९)

If the lord of Lagna occupies bad houses (6-8-12) and if bad Lords occupy Lagana the native will suffer diseases. If malefic planets are in Lagna and the Lagan Adhipati is devoid of strength, then also the native will suffer from diseases.

तत्तत् ग्रहादिष्ठित राशिनाथोदुस्थैर्वि लग्नादि विनाशमाहुः ।

(बृहत्पराशर होराशास्त्रं,  षष्ठ भाव फलाध्याय, श्लोक १० )

If the lord of any Bhava occupies a house and if the lord of that house is in 6- 8- 12 Bhava, then the particular Bhava will be in great danger. This rule is very useful in medical astrology to detect diseases in various parts of the body.

For this particular gemstone i.e. Ratna and Upratna are mentioned in astrology. Below are the indicated Ratna and Upratna for the maleficent effect of the Greha or planet.

Indication for Using Gemstones (Ratna and Upratna) for Grahas (Planets) in Astrological Science

Various other Ratna (Precious stones) and Upratnas (semi-precious stones) are also used to nullify the bad effects of the planet and to cure various disorders.

Planet Ratna UsedUpratna Used
Sun (Surya)Manikya (Ruby)Sunstone
Moon (Chandra)Mukta (Pearl)Moonstone
Mars (Mangala)Vidruma (Coral)Red Jasper
Mercury (Buddha)Market (Emerald)Agate/ Blue lace agate
Jupiter (Guru)Pushapraga (Topaz)Yellow Aventurine
Venus (Shukra)Vajra (Diamond)Rose quartz
Saturn (Shani)Neelam (Blue sapphire)Hematite
Rahu Gomeda (Hessonite)Labradorite
Ketu Vaidurya (Cat’s eye stone)Aquamarine

Precaution Related to Use of Ratna (Precious Stones and Semi-Precious Stones)

The author of Anand Kanda literature describes precautions regarding use of Ratna (precious and semi-precious stones).       

Anand Kanda, Kirya, 8/ 2- 3

तेषु रक्षो विषव्यालव्याधि दोषहराणि च।

प्रादुर्भवन्ति रत्नानि तथैव विगुणानि च।। 

प्रदुष्टेनोपजातानि जन्तुनोपहतानि च।

दौषैस्तान्युपचीयन्ते हीयन्ते गुणसंपदा: ।। 

Ratna (precious and semi-precious stones) is useful in driving the bad effects of demons, poisons, planets, wild animals, and diseases but if they are associated with any blemishes, they create the same problems and deplete prosperity.   

Recent Research on Semi-Precious Gemstones (Upratna)

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Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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