You know that silver is a precious metal and an industrial commodity—but did you know that it also is a powerful healing agent? Silver has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and it has been used throughout the ages to cure infections and help heal wounds. Now interest in silver is growing in the medical community because new studies have found that it can kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses, including the very dangerous E. coli and Staphylococcus.
The form of silver generally used as medicine is colloidal silver, which is the suspension of microscopic particles of silver in liquid.
Before the advent of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used to treat infections. Silver utensils and vessels (with silver linings) were known to kill germs better than utensils and vessels made of other materials. But after antibiotics came into vogue, silver went out of favor with conventional doctors except for a few uses—as a salve for burns and wounds…in nitrate eye solutions to prevent blindness in newborn babies…and as an antibacterial coating in the lining of catheters.
Holistic physicians, however, never stopped prescribing colloidal silver to prevent many types of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, with generally excellent results. Now, with various bacteria strains becoming increasingly resistant to the effects of antibiotics, the rest of the medical community is once again becoming interested in colloidal silver. Because silver attacks microbes in several different ways at once, it’s more difficult for these microbes to develop protective mechanisms. In a Taiwanese study published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Bio-interfaces, colloidal silver was found to kill the potentially deadly superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, another dangerous superbug, on surfaces (such as doorknobs and light switches, where it is known to colonize and spread among people). A study in Current Science found that colloidal silver can boost the effectiveness of standard antibiotics when used in combination with them. Colloidal silver’s effectiveness against a range of viruses, including hepatitis C, herpes and HIV, also has been shown in both laboratory tests and in people.
I recommend colloidal silver in liquid form, drops or spray to many of my patients with infections of all kinds, including those of the eyes, ears, throat, respiratory tract, digestive tract or urinary tract. To determine how to use each form of colloidal silver, follow the instructions on the label. For example, it can be…
- Ingested (one teaspoon of the preparation four times daily, up to seven days).
- Put into a saline solution to treat pinkeye (two drops in one-half ounce of saline solution, and rinse the eye with the solution three times daily for seven days).
- Placed directly in the ear (two drops in the affected ear three times daily for seven days).
- Sprayed on cuts.
Other uses: Colloidal silver often is used by holistic physicians to fight infection intravenously. I frequently prescribe colloidal silver to be taken for several months by patients with Lyme disease…or I recommend it instead of antibiotics for infections. For these types of uses, it is best taken under a doctor’s supervision (see below for the risks).
Brand to try: Sovereign Silver (888-328-8840, www.natural-immunogenics.com). This high-quality solution contains the smallest particles of any colloidal silver product on the market, with an average diameter of 0.8 nanometers (8 angstroms) per particle. Small particle size is important for several reasons. It enables the particles to penetrate and kill microbe cells more easily…and makes it easier for your body to flush them out of your system once they’ve done their job.
Colloidal silver is safe for children, but it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, because it has not been studied in these populations.
Ingesting silver products has, in rare cases, been linked to an irreversible condition called argyria, in which the skin turns bluish gray. While this is clearly a side effect that no one wants to encounter, case studies show that this condition occurs only when silver products are consumed for a year or more and/or as a result of ingesting very large amounts—at least one gram, which would require drinking an absurd amount of properly prepared colloidal silver solution (more than 100 quarts daily).
I have never had a case of argyria with the hundreds of patients I have treated with colloidal silver, nor have any of my colleagues witnessed this in their patients. With most commercially made silver products, I consider the risk for argyria to be negligible even with a regimen that lasts for several months (as long as the correct dose is used).
Do not attempt to make a colloidal silver product yourself, and do not ingest someone else’s homemade product. A variety of do-it-yourself kits are available. However, these kits create silver particles that are quite large, making them less effective at killing microbes and more difficult for the body’s cells to eliminate than smaller particles. Large silver particles are more likely to produce argyria with long-term use.