5 civilizations that have used crystal alum (alum stone)
Throughout history, crystal alum has been widely sought after for a variety of different reasons. This Natural crystal resonated with civilizations because it was easy to mine, process and use. Of course, every civilization chose to use it in a variety of ways, and here you have some of the most important ones.
Egyptians mined crystal alum because it was naturally occurring in the Kharga and Dakhla oases. They started using crystal alum around the time of Tutankhamen and they mostly relied on it for dealing with sweat and bad odors, fixing die to fabric, for glazing ceramics, glass making and it was also used for trading with Romans or Greeks. When the temple of Delphi was eventually destroyed during 545 BC, a lot of alum was sent to the temple so it can be rebuilt. However, Egyptians always relied on the use of crystal alum especially for commerce, and they did have a lot of it in their mines,
Africans started using crystal alum for water purification purposes, since it could be a disinfectant. They were also using it as a natural deodorant. Initially, high-quality alum was produced via using Nigerian Kaolinite and it was an energy-saving process.
Cultures in Africa use crystal alum for a variety of reasons, from a natural deodorant, to a natural astringent for small cuts on the skin, to the main ingredient to prepare a wax for hair removal (they mix it with raw honey for this reason), some cultures in Africa also use it as a cleanser to remedy bad eye, voodoo and many other bad energy illnesses.
Alum was extremely important for the study of alchemy in Ancient China. It was seen as a magical ingredient that could be used for transforming metals or brewing elixirs. They stumbled upon it while trading with other countries, but they also found some in their own mines. Unlike Egypt however, they were not as focused on using it for traditional purposes, but mainly for its energetic and metaphysical properties.
One thing to note about alum is that it was very important during the times of the Ancient Rome. It was used mostly as a mordant, so it can fix dyes to cloth and to preserve the leather. Dyeing was rather secretive at that time, but the use of crystal alum passed from father to son for a long time. Leathers that were used with crystal alum were named aluta.
They also used it for medical purposes to treat skin diseases like acne and herpes.
India has been using alum for a very long time, and people relied on it for a variety of purposes. It was sold as Tawas and the idea was to use it as a traditional natural deodorant. It was also great for treating sores and open wounds, as well as performing water treatments to remove impurities.
Crystal alum has always been widely sought after by a lot of civilizations. Its ease of use and extraordinary properties made it extremely important for a lot of people, and it continues to fascinate everyone with its incredible features and quality. It’s easy to see why our society still relies on it today, because it’s very powerful and it helps people every day!