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Copper Sulfate (Bluestone): Uses and Remedies

Outline: A list of uses for Copper Sulfate, also known as Bluestone, including historical home remedies, medical cures, and industrial use. Always consult a doctor before using any home remedy, especially if you are taking any medication. Growing crystals of Copper Sulfate is a common science projects for middle and high school children.

Main Digest

What is Copper Sulphate?

Copper sulfate, also known as blue vitriol, Salzburg vitriol, Roman vitriol, blue copperas, or bluestone, is a chemical compound comprised of Copper, Sulphur and Oxygen whose formula is CuSO4.  Copper Sulphate is an odorless crystalline substance, electric blue in color, highly toxic, and not safe to work with. It is produced industrially by treating copper metal with hot concentrated sulfuric acid or its oxides with dilute sulfuric acid. For laboratory use, copper sulfate is usually purchased. The anhydrous form occurs as a rare mineral known as chalcocyanite. The hydrated copper sulfate occurs in nature as chalcanthite (pentahydrate), and two other rare ones: bonattite (trihydrate) and boothite (heptahydrate).

Copper sulfate was used in the past as an emetic, (An agent that induces vomiting). It is now considered too toxic for this use, however, it is still listed as an antidote in the World Health Organization's Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System.

Caution!

Many of these home cures using Bluestone come from old medical texts and home remedy books. Some of the suggestions are also found on the Internet. We have NOT tried any of the cures listed below and suggest you don't either, they are listed purely for historical and entertainment purposes. Always consult a doctor before using any home remedy, especially if you are taking medication of any sort. (See Warnings and Precautions Further Down This Page)

In some countries, this substance may only be approved for veterinary use.

Uses for Copper Sulfate (Bluestone)

Magnified picture of Bluestone crystals
Magnified picture of Bluestone crystals

Medical and Home Remedies:

Know of a Bluestone "Cure"?

1 - My doctor gave me a bit of bluestone (copper sulphate) to gently rub onto the proud flesh of my little finger after I had squashed it in a door. It had, of course, begun to heal before that. I rubbed the stone on the proud flesh quite vigorously and often, and told him that he hadn't informed me how much it would hurt. He said "I was afraid if I told you it would hurt you might not use it." The treatment worked fine and quite quickly. I am using it again for the same reason after knocking that same finger with an axe - Submitted by Wolfe

2 - My mother related the following information from her childhood. In the early 1900's, my grandmother used Bluestone to treat poison ivy reactions. Bluestone was expensive (for a farm family) and was stocked by the local general store. No one was allowed to touch the Bluestone except Grandmother. She was concerned it may be poison. The application method was to dip the Bluestone in water. The damp stone was gently rubbed over the area, applying blue liquid. It burned a little but provided relief from the horrible itching. Only one application was required - Submitted by Mary J.

3 - Olive G. from Australia was kind enougth to send us her story on "Blustone" usage. Here is her story in her own words... I live in Australia and I will be 74 years old in May. A couple of weeks ago I tripped and fell, wounding my left knee. The open wound was extremely painful and began to fester. I had difficulty walking and sleeping. This brought back memories of an earlier time in my new life, when I suffered a similar open knee wound as a child in India.

4 - I was born in India where I lived until the age of 16. At the age of around 9, I fell on a gravel surface and wounded my right knee, which refused to heal and left me incapacitated. The wound began to fester and increased in size - the pain was unbearable and I became very sick with high fevers and weight loss. I missed 9 months of schooling and the usual fun and activities enjoyed at that age in a railway colony in India at the time. All the prescribed medication, available in those days, was tried and failed. Soon, I was at death's door. Finally, my worried father was advised that amputation of the leg was the only way to save my life.

Understandably, my father was reluctant and kept putting off what seemed to be the inevitable. During this time, a resident, who was a member of the close knit colony community, approached my father and offered him a powder which, he explained, had been very effective in the cure of his mother's broken leg. Desperate to save my leg from amputation, my father would have tried just about anything and decided to 'take a chance'. The wound was cleaned and dried and the powder applied, at which point, I learned later, I screamed and passed out. My father was horrified and believed he had killed me. It was decided not to repeat the treatment again, as it was just too dangerous. A week later, a scab had formed and the pain had eased. At this time, the colony doctor came to check on me and was astonished at the sudden improvement. My father told him about the powder and fetched it for his examination. On looking at the powder, the doctor gasped. He told my father it was Bluestone, usually used on horse wounds, and that he was surprised it hadn't killed me!!!!

Thanks to Bluestone, I didn't lose my leg, but I still have the scar and memories of that awful period in my childhood. My recent wound made me curious about Bluestone and prompted me to check it out on the internet. It made fascinating reading - Submitted by Olive G.

5 - Bluestone for mouth ulcer(s): Heat the bluestone in a pan until it changes to a brown-blue color. Mix with some water and apply it to the ulcer. "In North India we use it for this purpose. I tried it many times and each time it worked. It can cure ulcer in a single day" - Dinesh Kumar.

Do you know of any other "Grandmother" home cures using Bluestone? If so you can contact us so we can add to the list.

IMPORTANT WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS!

Also See: Chemical Fact Sheet for Copper Sulfate.


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Cite: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2014/09/10. Last Revised Date: 2019/07/10. Reference Title: "Copper Sulfate (Bluestone): Uses and Remedies", Source: Copper Sulfate (Bluestone): Uses and Remedies. Abstract: A list of uses for Copper Sulfate, also known as Bluestone, including historical home remedies, medical cures, and industrial use. Retrieved 2019-11-21, from https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/alternative/homeremedies/bluestone.php - Reference Category Number: DW#156-10587.
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