Copper is thought to be one of the first metals that humans ever used. In ancient times, it was used in coins, ornamental decorations, and for tools. Copper was also used medicinally. In fact, the first recorded medical use of copper can be found in one of the oldest books known, the Smith Papyrus. It is recorded that copper was used for the sterilization of water as well as chest wounds.

Of course, you know the most common medicinal use of copper today – to relieve joint pain. There are many enthusiastic believers of the healing powers of copper. In clinical trials, the results are mixed on its pain relief abilities. But, maybe there is some merit – it has been used for centuries for people afflicted with arthritis and joint pain. But why?

 Copper Bangle Bracelet

We Need Copper

According to WebMD, copper is needed because it is necessary for producing and storing iron and making energy. One way our bodies get the copper we need is through the foods we eat. Foods such as seafood, nuts and seeds all contain copper. It sounds strange, but we even get some copper from copper water pipes and copper cooking utensils. Don’t worry about copper supplements, though. It is pretty rare to develop a copper deficiency. Actually, adults should consume no more than 10mg per day.

The benefits of copper are impressive and include anti-inflammatory actions, immunity building, and inhibiting the growth of bacterial and other microorganisms just to name a few.

Modern Uses

In the 20th century, it is copper’s electrical properties that have dominated its use. As a highly conductible material, it is ideal for wiring and electrical equipment. Interestingly, due to its anti-microbial properties, copper is often used for doorknobs and other fixtures in a house. Plus, copper is 100% recyclable without any loss of quality, so it makes an economical material.

And yes, of course the use of copper for its anti-inflammatory properties to ease arthritis and joint pain is still in practice today. It is widely believed that wearing copper jewelry eases joint pain and stiffness over the entire body.

According to Scientia Press, the body will absorb trace amounts of copper while wearing the jewelry. In theory, the small amount that is absorbed may give the boost that someone needs if they are lacking copper in their system. Many studies have been conducted to test the validity of copper’s healing effects. This study, for example concludes that copper has no more effect than a placebo. But how can so many people over so many centuries by wrong? We’ll let you decide.


Why does copper sometimes leave green marks on the skin? It reacts with oxygen, sweat and oils. It is actually different for everybody. Some people rarely experience the green marks while others turn green everytime – it all depends on your own body’s chemistry. To minimize green marks on the skin, keep your copper jewelry clean and free of sweat and oils.

Clean Dirty Copper Jewelry 

Tips for cleaning and care:

  • Wipe copper jewelry with soft cloth after each wear.
  • Clean by soaking in lemon juice (with a dash of salt) for several minutes. Rinse and wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Store in a cool and dry place. If you don’t have an anti-tarnish pouch, keep in a sealable plastic bag.

Whether copper truly eases joint and arthritis pain just by wearing it as jewelry, we’ll let you decide. But, there is one fact that we can’t deny…it makes really pretty and unique jewelry. Check out Olive Yew’s copper jewelry and let us know if your joint pain eases!

To see more handmade necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, visit our shop on Etsy.