Everyone knows gold is precious. But how many of us are aware that the value of gold goes beyond simply the monetary?
Indeed centuries ago, the ancients set much stock by the alchemical properties of gold. Whether in ancient Egypt, Europe, or even India, gold, in the belief that it could guard against and treat a multitude of illnesses and ailments from arthritis to indigestion, was used in food and drink alike.
Goldwasser, literally translating to ‘Goldwater’, a liquor first brewed in the 16th century in the Polish city of Gdansk, then Danzig, has flakes of gold suspended in it. It was said to be Russian Tsar Peter and his wife Catherine the Great’s favourite drink.
In India, many variants of the Ayurvedic super-tonic, Chyawanprash, have gold added to it.
Pure Gold and Silver bhasma (ash): These are acclaimed in Ayurveda as powerful rejuvenators and memory boosters. They strengthen body immunity and maintain vitality and vigor.
Gold was also believed to be good for the skin. Cleopatra, it has been said, slept wearing a mask of gold in an effort to preserve her beauty. Colloidal gold, nano-particles of gold suspended in water, discovered accidentally by scientist Michael Faraday, was even used to treat alcoholism.
Today, gold is used in food primarily as a decorative agent to display status and wealth. But the ancients were onto something and its use to treat diseases has expanded with the advent of modern medicine.
Gold’s anti-inflammatory properties mean it is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used in the treatment of cancer whereby nano-particles act as carriers for cancer-treating drugs, delivering the medicine straight to the tumour.
Thus, while gold promises great returns as a safe-haven investment that acts as a hedge against more volatile holdings in a portfolio, when it comes to health, it really is wealth.