Move over green juices and cucumber slices floating in water, the latest wellness trend is water “infused” by a crystal.
Based on ancient practice, "crystal elixir" – glass bottles holding a crystal encased in a vial – start from around $100 and are big on Instagram: the hashtag #crystalelixir has nearly 6000 posts.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website sells crystal elixir water bottles. Credit:AP
Vanity Fair magazine declared crystal water bottles to be the 2018 status symbol. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop has sung their praises, while Miranda Kerr, whose skincare brand uses water “filtered by rose quartz”, was an early adopter, saying in a 2017 interview that she uses hers "all the time".
"You feel like you're getting that little extra bit of love when you have your water," the model claimed.
Believers say crystals have healing or protective qualities, and can change your energy according to which crystal you use.
Juliette Thornbury, author of The Crystal Fix agrees crystal water bottles are on trend, calling them a "convenient method for keeping a crystal elixir with you wherever you go".
Miranda Kerr is a fan of crystal elixirs. Credit:AP
"I am definitely supportive of anything that can help bring balance and harmony into our busy lives," she says.
“A crystal elixir, or crystal-infused water, is a simple yet effective way of working with the healing energy of crystals and gemstones. When pure water is infused with crystal vibrations, it is then charged with the healing properties of the stone, and can be used to promote healing and wellness.”
Brands selling the bottles include New Orleans-based Glacce and Vitajuwel, a family-founded company in the German Alps who had long drunk “gem water” before landing on a way of keeping the crystal from needing to be cleaned after use.
Ralph Silverman, who imports Vitajuwel to Australia, sells three to four thousand bottles a month and has seen a sharp growth in popularity in the last nine months.
The most expensive version costs $500 and includes diamonds. Silverman later emails to say they’ve just started selling crystal-infused dog bowls. For $100.
He says a lot of people buy them as gifts and because they look pretty.
Byron Bay company Shemana, which sells crystal-infused skincare and water bottles says some crystals, including tigers eye and lapis lazuli, can leak toxins such as copper. Medlyn says the most commonly used crystals in “crystal elixirs” include rose quartz, clear quartz, amethyst and obsidian, and are safe to use.
Dr Emma Beckett, lecturer in the school of environmental and life sciences at the University of Newcastle, is unconvinced.
While glass bottles which encase the crystal in a vial pose little bacterial risk, she warns against commercial bottles which allow the crystal to touch the water (or making your own “crystal elixir").
“Moisture is key for bacteria growth, so if you aren’t cleaning it well and regularly you could get bacterial growth, because moisture can get trapped in the little cracks and give bacteria space to breed," she says.
"I would not recommend sourcing your own stone and putting it in a water bottle. It might not be clean and it might be made of something that leaches toxins into the water.”
Dr Beckett is an affirmed non-believer in the trend, no matter how good it looks on the ‘gram.
“These trends really just cheat people out of their money. Theoretically these products are unlikely to do most people harm, but bigger picture the wellness industry can be distracting people from making real changes for better health.”
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