The medical uses of silver include its incorporation into wound dressings to treat external infections, and its use as an antiseptic and disinfectant in medical appliances. Silver is also promoted within alternative medicine in the form of colloidal silver, although it has not been proven to be safe or effective.
Since the 1990s, "colloidal silver", a liquid suspension of microscopic silver particles, has been marketed as an alternative medicine, often claiming impressive "cure-all" qualities. The effectiveness of these products has never been scientifically proven, and in some jurisdictions, it is currently illegal to include such claims in product advertisements. Medical authorities and publications advise against the ingestion of colloidal silver preparations, because of their lack of proven effectiveness and because of the risk of adverse side effects, such as argyria. Historically, colloidal silver was also used as an internal medication to treat a variety of diseases. Their use was largely discontinued in the 1940s, due to the development of safe and effective modern antibiotics and concern about adverse side effects.
Silver has had some medicinal uses going back for centuries. The Phoenicians are said to have stored water, wine, and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling. In the early 1900s, people would put silver coins in milk bottles to prolong the milk's freshness. Hippocrates, the "father of medicine", wrote that silver had beneficial healing and antidisease properties. In the early 1900s, silver gained regulatory approval as an antimicrobial agent. Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used as a germicide and disinfectant. Physicians used it as an eyedrop for ophthalmic problems, for various infections, and sometimes internally for diseases such as tropical sprue, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and the common cold. Colloidal silver preparations (CSP) were used to treat or prevent gonorrhea and gonorrheal conjunctivitis. Although "silver products were infrequently promoted for oral use, benefits have been even more questionable." With the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, the use of silver as an antimicrobial agent diminished. One well known, highly successful, brand name, silver colloid product in the period before 1940 was Argyrol.
There are many benefits of colloidal silver. Colloidal silver supports the natural defence system of the body and is powerfully alkaline. It is created when an electromagnetic process pulls tiny particles of silver from a larger samole of pure silver into (usually distilled) water. The minute electric charge on each atom holds these silver particles in suspension. This is essential to the effectiveness of the silver as it allows the particles to move more easily throughout the body.
Silver and most silver compounds have an oligodynamic effect and are toxic for bacteria, algae, and fungi in vitro. The oligodynamic effect is typical for heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, but, among the elements that have this effect, silver is the least toxic for humans. The antibacterial action of silver is dependent on the silver ion. The effectiveness of silver compounds as an antiseptic is based on the ability of the biologically active silver ion (Ag+) to irreversibly damage key enzyme systems in the cell membranes of pathogens. The antibacterial action of silver has long been known to be enhanced by the presence of an electric field. Applying a few volts of electricity across silver electrodes drastically enhances the rate bacteria in solution are killed. The antibacterial action of silver electrodes is greatly improved if the electrodes are covered with silver nanorods.
Electrolytically-dissolved silver has been used as a water disinfecting agent, for example, the drinking water supplies of the Russian Mir orbital station and the International Space Station. The World Health Organization includes silver in a colloidal state produced by electrolysis of silver electrodes in water, and colloidal silver in water filters as two of a number of water disinfection methods specified to provide safe drinking water in developing countries. Along these lines, a ceramic filtration system coated with silver particles has been created by Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace and used in developing countries for water disinfection.
Colloidal silver has been reputed by various studies to be able to kill over 650 micro-organisms. Please be aware, that this does not mean that taking colloidal silver will cure diseases that can be caused by such germs - the human body is a very complex system which works within a number of different environments and systems.
Nonetheless, it has been reported to be effective in fighting against: acne, AIDS, allergies, arthritis, athletes foot, boils, burns, candida, cystitis, diabetes, eczema, hay fever, indigestion, parasitic infections, psoriasis, ringworm, warts and yeast infections.
It can be used either orally or topically. When taken orally you can either place droplets directly under the tongue or it can be put into water and drunk. Silver is often used topically by spraying onto cuts, burns, skin infections or acne.
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisible to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.