The Agate stone has great powers, and if it has a color like that of a lion's skin it is powerful against scorpion bites, if it is tied on, or rubbed on with water, it immediately takes away all the pain and cures viper bites. Roman Gladiators favored the Lion Agate, a red-yellow type, as a source of strength and courage.
Hebrew Tradition associate agate with the lion - a hair plucked from a lion's mane was a source of courage for the Jews, Agate was considered a suitable substitute. The stone and the lion were said to be intertwined in their power. This is said to be the source for the connection of Agate with the zodiac sign Leo. The gem was said to belong to the Nephtali tribe, a name translates as "my wrestling". The Agate would give the strength of a lion to those "wrestling" with both earthly and spiritual problems.
Roman traditions states that a wrestler who wears an Agate is invincible, but only if the stone is of true color. To test the true color of the Agate stone, the stone is placed in a pot of hot oil - after boiling for 2 hours, the color of the stone will tint the oil if it is genuine. Pliny states the use of Agate in the preparation of medicines. The Green Stone, a powdered Agate from India is used as a remedy for eye diseases. The Red Stone from Egypt or Crete is best to cure spider or scorpion bites - no prescription or application was provided but indicated, it is the cooling effect the gem has on the body that cures the venomous bites.
This ancient writer also confirms Roman Physicians used mortars and pestles of Agate to grind their medicines. Agate was also used to makes cups for serving and consuming wine to cool the beverage. Pliny wrote that Persians were said to use the pungent odor of burning Agate to avert storms and to subdue violent rivers.
Fourth Century, Greek Author, Physiologus wrote that Agate is useful in searching for Pearls. The Agate stone was lowered to near bottom attached to a cord. As the stone descended, the stone would turn toward the location of the Pearl. A diver that follows the cord will be rewarded with a pearl bearing oyster.
Egyptians held each color of Agate, white, gray, dull, red, blue, yellow and brown, possesses distinct and separate virtues and made images of their gods in each of these colors. The pharoh's physician prescribed the milky gray type to prevent a stiff neck and to ease symptoms of colic.
Eye Agates called Aleppo are still treasured in Arabia. These stones contain rings of brown and white or blue and white and are used to combat the "evil eye". Their appearance led to their use as eyes in ancient images of the gods and as life-like eyes in mummified kings and priests. The Aleppo was also prescribed as a cure for boils, applied directly to the sore to relieve suffering.
Yamani Agate, is the most esteemed of the agate family from Yemen. Wearing a Yamani ring guarded agains the collapse of a wall or an entire house. African tribes use black and white banded Agate as a hoodoo against their enemies. In Islamic origin, it is believed that red agates stop the flow of blood and "milk stone" (white carnelian), increases the production of milk in lactating women. In Persia, moss agate is known as Agates Arborisees and in Hindustan it is called Mocha stone which at times considered the object of worship.
Chinese herbalist and Taoist doctors classify agate as a special variety of stone called ma-nao - translated as "horse's brain" due to the undulating patterns found on the surface of many rough specimens. A popular notion of China still exists that Agate are created when they are a spit from a horse's mouth. The stoy of Crystal Quartz being pertified ice is paralleled in Chinese folklore. It is held that Agate is the frozen blood of departed ancestors. A test for genuine agate is to rub it with a stick - if it is heated, it is false - if it remains cool, it is genuine.