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A portable Tesla coil (violet ray wand) used in medicine

Violet Ray Wands are alternative medical devices that were popular in the early 1900s. They are based upon a disruptive discharge coil design invented by Nikola Tesla, (1856-1943) a scientist whose discoveries figure heavily in our use of electricity and radio today. Tesla's coil design of a tightly wound primary magnet coil connected to a vibrating resonator, high voltage capacitor, and a separated secondary coil, transforms ordinary household electricity into a high voltage, high frequency but extremely low amperage electrical energy output. Tesla's original design called for the operation of the coil to resonate at a particular frequency range and produce a magnetic field.

The high frequency of the output of the electrical charge ranged between 400-500KHZ, a set of frequencies that coincidentally human nerves do not feel once it enters the body, passing through it just under the range of radio high frequencies. The devices also emitted a small amount of Ultraviolet light at the point of spark (not from within the glass tube, which only coincidentally glowed purple) and a good quantity of ozone. The combination of high frequency electrical energy, magnetic field, small amount of ultraviolet and quantity of ozone, led to the many claims of medical cures.

Small violet ray sets, while expensive (especially during the Depression Era) became very popular for home use, while huge sets with up to 2 dozen different electrodes were utilized by physicians. The claims of medical cures ranged from asthma to catarrh and gout. They were banned by the F.D.A in 1951 from claiming any therapeutic effect.

Violet ray coils. athough invented by the same man, are not quite the same as the large "Tesla Coils" that scientists and hobbyists build and research today. These large Tesla coils have higher frequencies, even higher voltages, and the primary and secondary are reversed. The coils are also wound quite differently. But enough similarities exist that reading information on the Tesla Coils as they are now known, will further understanding of violet ray coils.

Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) a contemporary of Nikola Tesla, advocated the use of the violet ray in almost 900 of his readings. Original violet ray devices operated under Tesla's original design and resonances and were used under Cayce's recommendations. Cayce followers, alternative medical practitioners and holistic therapists still make use of violet ray devices today. The "rays" however have no known useful medical effect.

A boxed violet ray wand property of Dr.Richard Dowering

The violet ray wand switched off

Switched on

Electric discharge occouring between the apparatus tube and a finger.


A Halliwell Shelton violet ray wand advertised on e.bay

Nicola Tesla (1857-1943), an electrical engineer, was born in what is now Yugoslavia and educated in Graz and Prague Universities, before moving to France and ultimately the USA.

He invented the alternating current induction motor & the high frequency high voltage "Testa Coil" His name is honoured in the name of the larger unit of magnetic field strength, the Tesla. One Tesla (T) = 1,000 Gauss and is used in the specifications of the magnetic field strength of MRI scanners.