Gold Bulletin

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 130-140

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Gold in medicine

A review of its use in the west before 1900
  • Gregory J. HigbyAffiliated withUniversity of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy


It was natural that the exceptional properties of gold and the mystique surrounding the metal should induce man to seek medicinal applications for it. These attempts met with no apparent success until a few decades ago, when the efficacy of gold compounds in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed. Nevertheless, they form an important, and sometimes colourful, part of the history of pharmacology and medicine.