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Gold and the body

After a series of articles on the food uses of gold, I wanted to continue my exploration of our relationship with this not trivial mineral, by taking a closer look at the links between human beings and gold. Gold can be linked to the body in a very "intimate" way: it is possible to take a certain pleasure in swallowing it, but you can also have it inside yourself for health reasons, and finally put it on yourself in many other ways than by wearing family jewels ...

Have the gold in yourself

Since gold has always been associated with God and immortality, it has by extension been associated with health. It was the Chinese who were among the first, in 2500 BC. J-C, to be used in pharmacopoeia, in particular in skin problems. Moreover, in Asian cultures, and particularly in Ayurvedic medicine, it is deeply responsible for healing and repair.

But gold also has its place in "European medicine", the physician and philosopher Paracelsus was already using it in the 16th century. Biocompatible, it is perfectly tolerated by the human body, it does not corrode and is resistant to microbial attacks. Thus, it can help us fight a stye (do you know grandmother's remedy which consists of putting a gold ring on her eyelid?), To eat, to hear… and even to make our hearts beat! In fact, it is nowadays found in dental crowns, hearing aids, pacemakers or even artery protection plates.

Its uses in dentistry are extremely abundant, and even very old since they date from the Etruscans (7th century BC). They are well attested by numerous archaeological traces, in particular with skulls which have yielded various systems of dental prostheses in gold. We also find dental care procedures with gold thread ligatures in the 18th century. (for example on the skeleton of an abbot found in St Martin des Champs, Paris). Not to mention the fate reserved for certain gold teeth ... and to comments still relevant today, where we see that the subject of gold teeth - especially in Eastern countries, where this custom is a sign exterior of wealth and pride - goes well beyond the medical field.

But let's pursue the trace of gold, inside the body, because its health benefits have become very fashionable for some time, in particular with the development of oligotherapy and natural medicines. Gold, by activating the functioning of the adrenal glands and, therefore, the release of cortisol, is said to stimulate the body's defense and adaptation capacities in the face of disturbances of the immune system. Likewise, it has anti-inflammatory properties, in particular in cases of rheumatism treated with gold salts.

To go even further, it is even possible to "shit" gold by swallowing golden pills ... there for the blow, gold comes out of our body!

More seriously, where it seems promising, it is in the field of nanosciences, the fight against cancer and radiotherapy because it has the ability to fix itself with precision on the diseased cell.

Finally, another way to have gold in itself is that of the artist Stephen Cawston, who covers the bones of human (and animal) skeletons with it.

Put a thin layer of gold between yourself and the world

So of course, even in "medicine", it is never easy to distinguish the real effects of gold, scientifically proven, from its beauty and its symbolic power (especially on the imagination). It was therefore ideal for entering the field of cosmetics, making the latter flirt with jewelry. Isn't our body a jewel that should be treated as such?

Like other "precious" components (pearl, diamond, truffle, caviar ...), gold adorned with all its virtues, in particular antioxidants (it slows down the degradation of collagen fibers, it captures light. , it detoxifies, etc.), becomes an element of choice. Isn't it called upon the queen of queens, Cleopatra, to systematically demonstrate / justify the interest? She who, in addition to the famous donkey's milk, would have used this precious metal, as a mask every night before going to sleep, to preserve her complexion ...

Thus, in addition to wearing it as a jewel, gold is worn directly "on the face". It is still necessary that it be seen and / or known ... So how to show it? From a commercial point of view, gold has the advantage of being able to play with words (luxury, eternity, purity), with packaging, and to bring a beautiful appearance to all these products where float glitter of gold. gold (creams, serums, makeup base, eyeliners, eye shadow, body oils, nail stickers, masks, lip and eye patches, etc.), soaps.

Identical phenomenon to which occurs in drinks with, again, the chic versions and the more "democratized" versions, in terms of price ranges (the collections of Luxury Gold, Carita or La Prairie, are not those by Jylor). Will the cheaper ones work as well ?! Is it 24k gold everywhere ?!

Of course, for "that" to work, it is necessary that a few influencers (with different styles like here and there), but especially stars (such Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba or the Angels of Victoria's Secret) to promote it on the social networks, all relayed by women's magazines! Thus, a few gold leaf merchants, specializing in these very specific outlets (DelaFée, Manetti or Freba), sell it for these specifically cosmetic uses.

Carry gold on you

Finally, I would like to emphasize the gold-jewel pairing. Indeed, the concept of jewel having evolved considerably, the uses of gold on the body followed the movement, and vice versa. The adornment evolves: it is now the simple fact of putting gold on a part of the body that immediately makes it become a jewel. Let’s come back to the fascinating subject of teeth. In some parts of the world, gold inlays ("choumps") are made directly into the teeth. This is the case in Rajasthan (India) where gold is a symbol of purity and truth. Thus, the person who has marked his teeth with the elements of gold, can follow the path of honesty and know the absolute truth. Other traditions of gold teeth are found elsewhere: in Vietnam among the Dao, in South America and parts of Africa where false gold crowns marked the passage to Mecca for Muslims. The dental jewelry that is currently placed on, or between, the teeth are pale copies of these traditional customs, but are nonetheless loaded with symbolism. Thus, the fashion of the grillz (decorative dental prostheses made of precious metal and diamonds) popularized by certain rappers is a good example. Rather masculine attributes, expression of success and wealth, they have become feminized, and female stars have redoubled their inventiveness in this regard. But other parts of the body are not left out in gold. The nails of course, with nail art with golden leaves or even kinds of "finger jewelry"; the hair also follows this fashion, and the mouths sometimes (like those of the models at the designer Thom Browne) ... Finally, the skin, with the development of ephemeral tattoos: reproduction of jewelry on skin, golden decals, or in a high-tech version with connected tattoos (DuoSkin) where gold is intermediate between the body and the connected object. These latest practices almost embody the height of luxury, the pinnacle of jewelry: adorn yourself with ephemeral gold with a precious piece of jewelry that is disappearing! Moreover, the designer Virginie Bois portrays this idea very well during her performances, where a gold leaf applied to the body keeps track of her movements and her breaths. Another artist has also organized very meaningful performances, where gold is both on, and in the history of the body. Hélène Gugenheim, with her project "My scars, I am from them, entirely woven" creates human kintsugis in which the scars are gilded with gold leaf. So, the circle is complete, that's what we said at the beginning of the article: gold (yellow) repairs ...

[A Pinterest photo board accompanies this article, it will be updated as I find out].

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