Copper jewelry is sometimes sold with claims of health benefits such as improving the skin or alleviating the pain of arthritis. Copper has a long history of use in the realm of health, and modern science has confirmed many of its beneficial properties. Many people have experienced relief from medical conditions as a result of wearing copper jewelry, which is sometimes magnetized as well. However, the effectiveness of copper jewelry has not been scientifically proven, and detractors believe that it is not the best way to reap the health benefits of copper.
Copper has been used to promote health in various ways since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used it to purify water for drinking, and cultures around the world used it as a form of medicine for such afflictions as sore throat, eye infections, and skin conditions. It was also applied to wounds to prevent infection. In the modern era, copper was discovered to have anti-microbial properties which made it well suited for its ancient uses. Copper can be used on surfaces or woven into fabrics to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Like some other metals, including iron and zinc, copper is beneficial in the diet, though poisonous in excess amounts. Copper is essential for the metabolic function of all animals and plants. The Recommended Daily Allowance for adult humans is 0.9 mg/day. Dietary copper aids in the function of the cardiovascular system, as well as promoting a healthy immune system and healthy bones. These benefits can only be derived from ingesting copper, not from wearing copper jewelry. Some natural sources of dietary copper are shellfish, organ meats, beans, nuts, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, and yeast.
Though copper is known to have many benefits for humans, it is questionable whether copper jewelry best takes advantage of them. It is unlikely for copper to be absorbed through the skin in significant amounts as a result of wearing copper jewelry, and making sure there are adequate amounts of copper in the diet may be a wiser choice. In addition, though the antimicrobial properties of copper are potentially very helpful for such things as food preparation counters or shared blankets, the benefits of a germ-resistant bracelet or anklet are negligible.
Nevertheless, many patients swear by the effectiveness of copper jewelry. Proponents believe that it can be used to target specific areas, for example, by wearing a copper bracelet to alleviate arthritis pain in the wrist and hand. There are many attractive pieces of copper jewelry on the market for both men and women, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, watches, arm bands, and nearly anything else you can think of. Whether or not there are health benefits to be gained from wearing magnetic jewelry, it often has great aesthetic value.