In an interview, Osho answers a question by a journalist about the mala’s healing powers.
Q: Does the mala have healing powers?
No. For the sannyasins it can have thousands of meanings. For a non-sannyasin, no meaning because it is a question of your love, your trust. Then anything can have healing power. If you trust me, then just a glass of water from my hand will have the healing power. It is not in the water, it is not in my hand. It is in your trust.
So to a sannyasin the mala is certainly of many meanings. In sickness he can have healing through it, just holding it. In fear, just holding it and he will feel courage. In a moment of loneliness, just holding it and he will not feel lonely, he will feel he is with me. But it all depends on his trust, it has nothing to do with mala itself. Mala is only an excuse.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 2, Ch 24 (excerpt)
From an interview with John Dettinger, California Magazine, Los Angeles, California, USA