By now, many of us are familiar with colloidal silver and its purported benefits. If you scroll the internet, you’ll see claims that it can ward off nearly any pathogen and is effective in dental procedures like root canals. The CDC and NIH, however, state that colloidal silver has no medicinal benefit and is crock science. This can leave even the best internet researcher confused and led astray. If we take the time to examine colloidal silver throughout history, we may see results that conflict with the standard set by governmental institutions.
What Is Colloidal Silver?
“A solution of water containing nanometre sized particles of suspended silver. The total silver content is expressed as milligrams of silver per litre (mg/L) of water which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). The total silver content is divided into two forms of silver: ionic silver and silver particles.”
True colloidal silver is nanoparticles of silver suspended in a pure liquid solution. To understand this better, you can liken it to blood that suspends proteins and cells. The nanoparticles are absorbable and increase the surface area of the silver present so that it can touch many more cells as it needs to to be effective. Be careful here though as not all colloidal silver is created equal! Many health food stores carry ionic silver solutions or silver protein solutions. Ionic silver has ions of silver and silver protein contains added gelatin. The difference is that although it makes it cheaper for the wholesaler, it does not properly absorb in the body and is definitely not as effective. Moreover, there can be greater risks, albeit rare, if not using true colloidal silver. The ionic or silver proteins are the only ones guilty of causing argyria, the rare condition that turns a person’s skin blue when using longterm silver. True colloidal silver does not cause this condition.
Controversial History of Colloidal Silver
Although the CDC and NIH dispel the medicinal benefits of silver, the history of using silver in medicine cannot be denied. In fact, long before the invention of the refrigerator, silver coins were dropped into unpasteurized milk in order to prevent the growth of algae, mold or bacteria.
Dating back to ancient times, silver was also a popular remedy to stop the spread of diseases. Greek and Roman physicians used silver before antibiotics. The royal families used silver in cooking utensils. Where do you think the term, “silverware” comes from? Silver was used as a natural antibiotic until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics were invented. Since then, its use has been discouraged by big pharmaceutical companies.
This is the part that I find quite odd. Although discouraged, you will find hospitals lining foley catheters, IV lines and breathing tubes with silver. This prevents bacterial infections in the bladder, blood and in the lungs while intubated on a ventilator. Silver sulfadiazine and silver bandages are used widely in burn units to prevent infections. Hospitals also use silver filters to kill off the multi antibiotic resistance infections caused by MRSA. The World Health Organization uses silver in water filters to disinfect water in developing countries. If silver is of no benefit, why do we find modern medicine continuing to use it?
The only difference between their medical products and colloidal silver is patented rights that yield profits for the establishment.
How Does Colloidal Silver Work?
- Catalytic Oxidation: Silver attracts and binds to oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (S-H) groups that happen to be around bacteria and viruses. This helps to block the pathogens’ cellular respiration which converts biochemical energy from food and nutrients into ATP, or usable energy. Without energy, they perish.
- Binding with DNA: Silver is excellent at blocking bacterial DNA by entering into it and disrupting DNA unwinding, which is essential for DNA replication to occur. It is still unknown how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds, but somehow it accomplishes this. Up to 12% of silver has been detected win Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.
- Attacking Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver ions can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same respiration-blocking effect which halt ATP formation.
Amazing stuff huh?
“Scientists have discovered that the body’s most important fluids are colloidal in nature: suspended ultra-fine particles. Blood, for example, carries nutrition and oxygen to the body cells.
This led to studies with colloidal silver (electrical silver atoms). An electro-colloidal process, which is known to be the best method, is used for manufacturing the colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver appears to be a powerful, natural antibiotic and preventative against infections. Acting as a catalyst, it reportedly disables the enzyme that one-celled bacteria, viruses and fungi need for their oxygen metabolism.
They suffocate without corresponding harm occurring to human enzymes or parts of the human body chemistry. The result is the destruction of disease-causing organisms in the body and in the food.”
— Nanotechnology in Medicine and Antibacterial Effect of Silver Nanoparticles, Department of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, published in the Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures Vol. 3, No.3, September 2008, p. 115-122
What Are The Benefits of Colloidal Silver:
- Antiseptic-I say antiseptic because its not just antibacterial. It also is effective at killing viruses and fungi too! Heres the best part though. With years of antibiotic overuse, we are now seeing “superbugs” that have found ways to go around antibiotics and have developed resistance to even the most potent ones. This is one clue that antibiotics may not be the full answer. Perhaps nature could help us out? So far, silver resistant bacteria have not developed and silver remains detrimental to many of these pathogens. It even works against MRSA. This is one of the main bugs that doctors use silver sulfadiazine on to prevent infections in burn victims. Also keep in mind that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, but not fungus or viruses. Silver works on all three. It is effective against aerobic and anaerobic bacteria by disrupting cellular respiration and oxidizing them, respectively. Another area to consider is that silver is positively charged and therefore will attract negatively charged bacteria. The majority of gut friendly bacteria are positively charged and therefore are not attracted to the silver.
- Helps with wounds, cuts, skin issues and inflammation-silver, as well as ozonated oils, work wonders for cuts, bruises, burns and wounds. This makes sense if you remember its use in burn units. Not only does it prevent the spread of infection, but it decreases inflammation and pain. It works on many skin conditions, including like eczema, psoriasis and even ringworm (which is a fungus!) One study by the NIH found that the inflamed skin of pigs improved after 72 hours to near normal while the placebo group remained inflamed.
- Gum Disease/Root Canals-Research is now being conducted that shows promising evidence that colloidal silver prevents infections in root canals. A 2013 study looked at silver nanoparticles and found significant effect against pathogens by making their cellular membrane more permeable and interfering with cellular metabolism, producing toxic and reactive oxygen molecules. I predict that cutting edge dentists will be using silver in the near future. Many are already incorporating ozone into their practices!
- Can be used as a Deodorant: Since we know it is effective at safely killing bacteria, it makes great sense that it is then an effective deodorant as well. Bacteria under our arms are what cause that body oder smell that so many of us cringe at! Just buy at good quality silver gel and place a pea sized amount under each armpit. You can even add essential oils to the gel prior to applying it to pack an even more powerful punch.
- Sinusitis: You can totally turn colloidal silver into a nasal spray. Even the International Forum for Allergy and Rhinology confirmed this last year! Just add a dropper full to your Neti Pot. You can even apply it directly to the nares inside the nose or to inflamed gums.
- Colds, Flu, Asthma and Pneumonia: I know, I know, I already said its an antiseptic, but I would really like to stress that colloidal silver does serve a role in viral and bacterial infections. Some even claim shorter length of duration from Influenza A, B and even Swine flu. The most effective way to fight a bronchitis, upper respiratory infection or pneumonia is by putting drops of colloidal silver in a nebulizer machine and inhaling it. Do this three times a day for 20 min each time.
My favorite time to be proactive with colloidal silver is when traveling and confined on airplanes. You can take it acutely during this period to prevent infections. The people who ended up with a blue skin condition called Argyria were drinking a pint a day FOR YEARS of impure silver like ionic silver. My very favorite colloidal silver is Argentyn 23 and here is the link: https://www.natural-immunogenics.com/products/argentyn-23.html
Colloidal silver can be used routinely for a number of amazing benefits. It is one of my favorites. To experience colloidal silver benefits, it may be taken as follows, always keeping in mind to never use it for more than 14 days in a row.
Skin condition: 2-6 drops applied directly to the skin
1 eyedropper taken orally for immune support for acute days of illness
1-2 drops into eyes for pink eye
1-2 drops can help disinfect any wound (mix in with ozone for added improvement)
5 drops added into a net pot, nasal spray or into a nebulizer machine
Try colloidal silver combined with some of my other herbal recommendations whenever you have a cut, an infection or even as a deodorant!
Way to be your own best doctor!
Dr. Jess (MD)
Dr. Jess (Dr. Jessica Peatross) is a western trained medical doctor who began her journey into healing in 2009.
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