Pearl (yes, the one your grandma wears as a necklace), from fresh and salt waters is the secret of the sea and can be used medicinally. The valued, luminescent beads have been ground into a fine powder and used topically or taken orally like a supplement for generations all over the world. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, was known to use pearl in her beauty regimen. The royal children of the pre-colonial Philippines were fed pearl powder to keep their skin bright, clear, and firm. Similarly, pearl was used throughout European history among royal and wealthy families for its beauty and health benefits.
But no cultures have used pearl is such a concerted way as the two largest schools in Eastern medicine: traditional Chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine.