One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of the mineral andalusite containing carbonaceous inclusions that cause some sections of the mineral to show the figure of a cross.
- ‘Andalusite is orthorhombic, crystallizing as elongate square prisms which at low temperature have a conspicuous cross-shaped arrangement of dark inclusions giving the variety chiastolite.’
- ‘In the physical realm, chiastolite is used for healing rheumatism, blood disorders, veins, blood circulation, balance of blood pressure (high or low), lactation (breast milk) and rheumatism.’
- ‘The chiastolite crystals are as much as 0.15 mm. in diameter, and twice as much in length.’
Early 19th century: from Greek khiastos ‘arranged crosswise’ + -lite.
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