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Bluestone (Uzulu ocwathile)

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This article is a follow up on the article on Wankie stone, a pum pum drying and tightening agent that is used by women in Zimbabwe. T I received emails asking for the South African equivalent. Herein is the Wankie-stone parallel that is sold at the Faraday (Johannesburg) or Warwick (Durban) traditional medicine (muthi) market.  

What is bluestone?

In 1990, a geologist and archaeologist named Angelo Pitoni, discovered a mineral called bluestone in Sierra Leone, West Africa. This bluestone should not be confused with the one discussed here.

The bluestone discussed in this article is also known as uzulu ocwathile in Zulu. It is scientifically what you call Copper Sulphate and has the chemical compound CuSO4 which consists of copper, sulphur, and oxygen. Copper Sulphate is historically known to have industrial and medicinal uses. The medicinal uses include home-made remedies and prescribe traditional medicine treatment.

What is bluestone used for?

Traditional healers have listed the following as being uses of the bluestone:

  • It is used to treat skin rash, aches, pains, and swelling, kidney and bladder issues, back pain, gastrointestinal issues, nervous conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual and gynecological issues. The sexual and gynecological issues are that of erectile dysfunction in men and pum-pum drying and tightening agent for women.
  • It is also used as an aphrodisiac and to clean the blood. 

Other recorded uses, include:

  • It is used to treat mouth ulcers
  • It is used as an antiseptic and antifungal agent
  • It is used to treat athlete’s foot or tinea, toenail fungus, and canker sores. The bluestone is diluted in warm water and the solution is used to soak the feet, known as ukuthoba in Zulu
  • It is used to treat a poison ivy reaction
  • In hoodoo, bluestone is used for luck by gamblers and as protection to keep out evil spirits
  • It can also be used to clean the home in order to ward off evil 

How to administer or use bluestone?

In general, bluestone is diluted in water and administered or used as follows:

  • It is taken orally as a drink 
  • It is taken orally as an emetic
  • It is taken anally as enema
  • It is used for soaking feet
  • It is used for bathing
  • It is used for steaming
  • It is used for douching

Bluestone, as a solid, can be burnt as incense in a home to ward off evil.

Bluestone can also be mixed with a lotion to treat dermatological issue.

Safety precaution

Even though copper is an essential micronutrient, misuse and poisonings have been documented, use it with caution.

The use of traditional medicine in prescribed dosages will yield good results. Misuse and abuse may lead to complications. To learn about correct dosage, consult a traditional healer or a herbalist. You can also visit or email: to learn more about traditional medicine.

Learn about other mineral substances used in traditional medicine such as Isibabuli (Sulphur), Umanyazini (Potassium permanganate), Coarse salt, and Emarald by accessing Isibabuli (Sulphur), Umanyazini (Potassium permanganate), Coarse salt, and Emarald

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