Gold has taken on new responsibilities in recent years, as modern scientists continue to discover its unique capabilities in medicine. While many people look at gold as a collectible, whether in gold bullion or other rare coins, medical officials believe the precious metal holds unique powers that can help treat some of today's most common illnesses.

Gold therapy is sometimes referred to as aurotherapy or chrysotherapy. The application is defined as the act of treating the body using gold through compounds known as gold salts. The process is meant to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, the National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports.

Doctors have found that applying gold salts to the joints of people suffering from arthritis prevents inflammation. For some patients who have reacted to traditional chemical solutions unfavorably, gold may hold the key to improved comfort.

Gold bars and other forms of the precious metal are broken down into small particles in order to be issued to patients. In some extreme cases, these salts have been found to treat more life-threatening diseases such as some types of cancer and malaria, reports NCBI.

While gold has proven to help some patients find comfort from their ailments, the application of the precious metal does not come without side effects. In some instances, patients have experienced loss of appetite, nausea, hair thinning, skin rashes and kidney problems.

Gold has traditionally played an influential role in society. Whether acting as a currency for trade or used in medical treatments, the precious metal continues to command attention with its beauty. Collectors who want to own gold for themselves may want to seek to understand the intricacies of the hobby and begin to develop an expansive portfolio of coins, bars, and bullion.