The first documented medical use of gold was over 5000 years ago. Egyptians drank gold as it was thought to improve both bodily and spiritual functions. It was believed that it could cure many types of diseases.
Egyptians were also the first to use gold in dentistry for crowns and bridges!
In Europe from 500-1500 AD, gold pills and gold liquid were used by alchemists for arthritis.
In China, restaurants would put gold powder in food with the thought that it would improve health. It also showed the wealth status of the family serving the food.
In the 1800s, gold was ingested in an attempt to cure alcoholism.
In the 1900s, surgeons would implant gold in the body near an inflamed area, believing that it would provide relief.
Until recently, gold was used as a treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis and was given as an injection. There are now many superior treatments however that have less side effects.
Gold is still in use in the medical field however, mainly for surgical instruments and lasers, but there has also been research into using gold therapy to fight some types of ovarian cancer.