Colloidal silver has been attracting a lot of attention lately. It has been reputed by various studies to be able to kill over 650 micro-organisms! It has been reported to be effective in fighting against: acne, AIDS, allergies, arthritis, athlete’s foot, boils, burns, candida, cystitis, diabetes, eczema, hay fever, indigestion, parasitic infections, psoriasis, ringworm, warts and yeast infections.
Naturally, with this much attention, there are going to be many marketing people who jump in with poor, inaccurate or intentionally misleading information. There are also serious researchers and people honestly trying to help others be healthy. We have spent considerable time sorting through the studies to find accurate information regarding colloidal silver. As much as we allwant natural remedies, we have to make sure they are real, healthy and safe!
We feel there is potential with colloidal silver but not everything claimed for it has scientific backing yet. This is our position as of June, 2009:
1. Small amounts of silver can naturally exist in some drinking water and foods. When it does exist, the health benefits (especially anti-pathogen) seem to be very impressive.
2. To internally take supplement silver in small amounts may also have general benefits in preventing illnesses.
3. To internally take larger amounts to address specific illnesses may also be of some benefit but it becomes much more important for it to be done correctly or there can be harmful effects!
4. The external benefits of silver are very effective very safe with proper formulation. Silver is often used topically by spraying onto cuts, burns, skin infections or acne.
As a result, we are limiting our current recommendations to the external application of colloidal silver. With our other recommended products, such as our essential oils blend and Monolaurin, we can afford to wait for more confirmation for the safe internal use of colloidal silver. However, our external Silver Skin colloidal silver has very complementary benefits that work in synergy with our essential oils Skin Infection Defense.
In this section of the A-Z index, we give some introductory information about colloidal silver. Additional articles will provide more details. Some of these articles do mention internal consumption and we are open to it in the future – but only as we are confident of the clinical results. However, the articles do provide encouraging antibacterial and antiviral principles that also apply to external skin application.
Colloidal Silver: Expert Opinions
Because of the research showing colloidal silver’s superior performance in fighting microbes, it has attracted the attention of leading scientists and medical researchers throughout the world. Its benefits are now stirring new interest as 50 prominent doctors are currently researching the efficacy and applications of colloidal silver in human health. As a result, many interesting studies have emerged.
According to experts, no microorganism ever tested has been able to stay alive for more than six minutes when exposed directly to colloidal silver!
Science Digest cites colloidal silver as “…a wonder of modern medicine”. It further states “Antibiotics kill perhaps a half dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills hundreds. Resistant strains fail to develop. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic. Colloidal silver, used as an anti-microbial agent, will not create super bugs as antibiotics do.”
Alfred Searle, founder of the giant Searle Pharmaceuticals (now Monsanto) stated, “Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results. For internal administration … it has the advantage being rapidly fatal to pathogens without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable.” Further information indicates that Colloidal Silver does not cause harmful interactions with other medications or topical treatments.
In laboratory tests with colloidal silver, bacteria, viruses, and fungal organisms are killed within minutes of contact. Larry C. Ford, M.D. of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UCLA School of Medicine, Centre For The Health Sciences reported in November 1, 1988,
“I tested them (the silver solutions) using standard anti-microbial tests for disinfectants. The silver solutions were anti-bacterial for concentrations of 105 organisms per ml of Streptococcus Pyogenes, Staphylococcus Aureus, Neisseria Gonorrhea, Gardnerella Vaginalis, Salmonella Typhi and other enteric pathogens, and fungicidal for Candida Albicans, Candida Globata and M. Furfur.”
How Does it Work?
Colloids are the smallest biological form of any matter. They are small enough to pass through membranes and therefore they skip past the digestive process and are easily absorbed by the body.
Another benefit is that colloidal silver has been recognized as a powerful, natural antibiotic. Research has shown that it works by acting as a catalyst, disabling the enzyme that single-celled bacteria, fungi and viruses require for the metabolism of oxygen. This then suffocates the invading cell whilst doing no harm to any human enzymes, resulting in the removal of disease-causing organisms from the body.
It also works through the negative charge on the silver clusters binding up with the positive charge on the germ/bacteria. This causes an interruption of the germ’s biological function, which means that it is then unable to reproduce.
The Hunza valley, in Pakistan, has attracted much attention due to the (at one time) incredible state of health of the people and their above average life spans. The colloidal silver content of their water supply is suspected to be a contributing factor. Increased levels of naturally occurring silver are also present in the surrounding soils as well. The Hunzakuts have been subject to above average levels of naturally occurring silver for generations upon generations with no adverse side effects.
Despite hundreds of references online that list colloidal silver as an antibiotic, it is not per se, since the action of colloidal silver is cellular-type specific (it is selective but broad coverage). Numerous laboratory tests, including those formally accepted by the FDA have shown that silver has significant biocidal and antimicrobial properties.
There is more than one documented method by which a silver ion may assist to either destroy, help in the removal of, or otherwise render a single-celled organism ineffective as an infection causing agent in the body. The primary method, however, is via special cell receptors located on the cell walls of bacteria. Silver ions attach to these cell receptors and inhibit cellular respiration.
As well as ionic silver works, many researchers (and clinical studies) have demonstrated that minute silver particles may be even more effective. They may penetrate the cell walls of virii and/or bacteria, inhibiting cellular respiration and/or reproduction. Some, such as Dr. Leonard Hirschberg of Johns Hopkins, believe that the potential of colloidal silver is just beginning to be discovered. Unlike antibiotics, which are specific only to bacteria, Colloidal Silver particles disable certain enzymes needed by anaerobic bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and fungus resulting in the destruction of these enzymes. Further indication is that these bacteria cannot develop a resistance to silver, as they do with antibiotics, because silver attacks their food source, rather than them directly.
External Silver Use
As we mentioned, colloidal silver is often used externally to address skin conditions and to reduce the spread of bacteria. The general usage philosophy is to apply as needed, since it is widely believed there is little or no associated risk with external use. Many experienced users believe that the colloidal silver must be applied to the area via a dressing or bandage, and henceforth keep the bandage hydrated with colloidal silver. Once the silver dries, it definitely becomes less effective. Others simply place their silver in a spray bottle and apply when needed.
(We will be providing more information about high quality Silver products in the recommended formulas section (here).