- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Colloidal Silver - Miracle or Madness?
Silver - Can Medicine Be This Easy?
What is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is made from tiny silver particles which are suspended in water. It is the same silver found in jewelry, dental fillings and silverware. Colloidal silver products that are for sale are listed as “dietary supplements” and usually come as a spray or in liquid form to apply on skin, inhale as a nasal spray or to drink. Medical uses have included colloidal silver as an antiseptic, disinfectant and as a general alternative medicine. Some people believe that colloidal silver has treated and healed cancer and HIV.
In 1999, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) banned colloidal silver sellers from being able to claim any preventative or therapeutic value. The FDA officially said that the isolated case reports that it received from marketers and consumers was not followed up by any scientific evidence.
That said, the FDA has approved a range of different silver-impregnated dressings for wounds, (which are often used in burn units). Silver (Ag+) is bioactive and can kill bacterial in vitro while in sufficient concentration. Silver kills bacteria in the living tissue of external wounds. This is why physicians continue to use dressings containing silver sulfadiazine to treat external infections. They believe they play an important role due to the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacterial.Silver is also used to reduce bacteria on catheters and endotracheal breathing tubes. The use of silver on breathing tubes has reduced ventilator-associated pneumonia. Silver compounds are still used in external preparations such as antiseptics, which include silver nitrate, used in an eye drop solutions to prevent conjunctivitis in newborn babies. Dermatologists also use a silver solution in a solid stick form to treat some skin conditions including corns and warts.
Silver - (colloidal silver) has been used as a disinfecting agent. It was used to disinfect water supplies on the Mir Orbital Station and the International Space Station. It is also recognized by WHO (The World Health Organization) to be used in water filtration systems to provide safe drinking water in developing countries. This has led to the development of ceramic filtration systems which have been coated with silver particles to aid in the disinfecting of water in developing nations.
A Brief History
The "father of medicine", Hippocrates wrote about silver having beneficial healing and anti-disease properties. The Phoenicians apparently stored wine, water and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling and silver coins were placed in milk bottles in the early 1900s to keep milk fresher for a longer period of time. During WWI, prior to antibiotics, silver was used to treat and even prevent infection.
Prior to the invention of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used as a disinfectant and germicide. In the 1940s, colloidal silver was replaced with more effective medicines.
Various Methods of Making Colloidal Silver at Home
My Experience with Silver Water
The first time that I ever heard of Colloidal Silver was through a friend of a friend. My roommate at the time was suffering from an outbreak of shingles on his shoulder which we were told there were really only a few treatments on the market to help him. The same medications used for herpes that could be used to help minimize his situation. (In his case, Valtrex was used). Shingles are very painful and once the outbreak has occurred, it's a waiting game for the patches of little blisters to dry up and disappear - often leaving some scarring. The bad news is that most people who get them once, will probably get them again.
A friend showed up with a jar filled with water that was covered with a thick black cloth. She told us it was Colloidal Silver and that her mother made it. In fact, she said her family had been making it for generations. She said her grandfather used it to help minimize his shingles throughout his life by applying this silver water to his skin when he would either feel the tingle of a breakout coming on, or once the breakout had begun. She called it a "miracle".
My father is a pharmacist and I tend to be leery about this kind of thing. I don't like taking medicines and I have to say, I'm bad at it as well...I'm the patient that skips doses and stops taking pills when I feel better and always forget to take medicine at the correct time each day. I would change my entire diet and eat herbs every meal to avoid having to take pills. I will admit, I am a lazy, defiant patient.
We decided together that he would not ingest this magical water, but just dab it on his skin with a cotton ball. We were both a bit freaked out with the nature of the presentation of this jar; clear liquid in a mason jar hidden under an ominous black cloth that was reminiscent of an executioner’s hood. It could have been timing, or it actually could have worked, but the shingles dissipated unusually fast. Faster in fact, then what the doctor said would happen while taking the prescribed Valtrex.
I should tell you, that prior to using this silver water - we researched it on the internet. We first went to Dr. Weil, which if you don't know him, you should. He's an expert in nutrition, general medicine and alternative therapies. He's not paid off by pharmaceutical companies and usually has insightful ideas for remedies. I consider his approach holistic - meaning he incorporates the body and mind when dealing with an illness. His website was not friendly to Colloidal Silver. He actually tells people to save their money.
Soon after my friend’s shingles had been healed, I had a cold sore and used the colloidal silver on it. It healed amazingly fast. Faster than any other medication that I have ever tried. Since then, I have used it on pimples and it does help similarly to tea tree oil. I have spoken to many friends who use colloidal silver and boast about its effectiveness and it's ability to lesson the effects of their colds and even stop the flu. Because of my personal experience, I am a fan of silver water.
I will not ingest it. That is something that I will never do. I have also researched my fair share of stories of silver water being a quack medicine and turning people blue with a disease known as argyria. This is when the body stores too much silver in the tissue and similar to a photograph, the particles darken with exposure to sunlight, creating a blue or gray discoloration of the skin. It is considered a permanent dermatological condition and there is no treatment for it. I have also looked at websites thatdispute the quackery. There are plenty of both on the internet.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories that talk about how much money the pharmaceutical companies stand to lose if people started making their own cures at home. I suppose this could be true. I also suppose my positive experience with colloidal silver could have been timing and luck. I like to look at both sides and determine my own fate. I do recommend colloidal silver for external use, especially when healing basic abrasions and viral outbreaks (shingles, herpes, cold sores) or as an antiseptic for pimples. I am not a doctor, nor have I ever trained to be one. I'm just a researcher and my own guinea pig. I must say, if I ever had a terminal illness for which there were no other solutions, I'd be drinking this stuff by the gallon - even if I ended up looking like a smurf.
I will give a warning that is stated in many websites: Colloidal silver products also may interact with medications, including penicillamine, quinolones, tetracycline and thyroxine medications.
If you have the correct materials, you can easily make colloidal silver at home. In very basic terms, you run an electrical current through silver rods that are in distilled water. Please look at MANY recipes prior to trying this at home. Your final solution will need to stay out of sunlight as will you if you put it in or on your body. As with any drug, consult your physician before experimenting with it - especially if you are currently on other medications. And, if your medical problems persist or you experience side-effects, go see a doctor.