Myths, folklore, and symbolism
Alabaster: Powdered alabaster was formerly believed to have medicinal value when made up into an ointment, and was reputedly particularly good for bad legs. It was common for people to chip pieces off church statues for the purpose, with the implication that this holy connection would make the stone even more effective, and many ecclesiastical buildings show mutilated statues at ground level both inside and outside the building for this reason...the efficacy of powdered alabaster was recorded in a number of leech-books, as early as AD 900. (Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore)
Do you know of alabaster folklore from other countries?