What Is Colloidal Silver?

Since ancient times, humans have thrown coins into enclosures or places with water, such as a well or a fountain. Why? Well, making wishes has not always been the motivation to do so. One theory is that silver’s antibacterial properties were already known, and it was made to make the water safer to drink.

Today, there is growing evidence that silver may have many other health benefits, especially in the colloidal form, a solution in which silver nanoparticles are suspended in water.

Colloidal silver has become popular in recent decades, but its health benefits are taking advantage of a millennium. The earliest known medical use of silver was nearly 2,000 years ago: Hippocrates has used silver to heal ulcers and wounds on the skin.

During the 4th century, it was-used by the Egyptians and in 980 AD. C., Avicenna used silver to purify the blood and treat heart palpitations and bad breath. In the 14th century, Conrad von Moeggenberg pointed out that this silver “scum,” when applied topically, could be used to treat scabies and bleeding hemorrhoids in the Book of Nature.

Hahnemann (1755-1843), the-founder of homeopathic medicine, also used silver to treat health problems, including silver nitrate to help stop bleeding. Even today, doctors use silver nitrate to stop minor bleeding after a dermatological procedure. However, if overused, a person’s skin can turn blue, condition doctors call argyria.

Before antibiotics, colloidal silver was a standard treatment for infections. However, this therapy was discontinued until the 1990s, when the risk of antibiotic resistance began to concern many healthcare professionals.

How does colloidal silver work?

Silver nano molecules are believed to enter bacteria and adhere to their proteins, causing them to change the structure (denaturation) and stop working. Silver is also thought to bind to specific enzymes in viruses, fungi, and parasites, deactivating them.

Here are some possible benefits of colloidal silver.

Antibacterial

Since the advent of antibiotics-in the 1940s, bacteria have gotten smarter and have developed mechanisms to protect themselves from antibiotics. Bacteria form-a type of “force shield” to defend themselves against drugs designed to “kill” them: scientists call this protection “biofilm.” A 2014 study showed that colloidal silver could help break the force shield that certain bacteria create, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Another 2011 study revealed that silver particles could directly destroy bacteria by disintegrating their cell walls. A strong cell well is crucial for-bacteria to reproduce. According to a 2018 study, silver can also kill some good bacteria in your gut, so you should consider using a probiotic if you routinely take silver.

Antiviral

Viruses are infectious agents-for which modern medicine has limited treatment. For example, there is still no cure for the common cold, while flu-fighting medications only reduce the amount of time you are sick in one day. As a result, many are looking for antiviral alternatives. A 2005 study in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology found that silver could prevent HIV from binding to the carrier’s cells. A 2013 study of the herpes virus revealed that silver nanoparticles could make the virus less infectious. Silver has also been-studied against other viruses. While these studies offer some hope for future treatments, colloidal silver should not be used as a method to prevent HIV or herpetic infections.

Antifungal

Fungi surround us everywhere. Some can be useful and serve as food, such as mushrooms. However, others can cause infections due to their overgrowth. Balance is the key. A 2016 study showed that silver had antifungal properties when tested in various concentrations.

Tooth decay

Some studies suggest that colloidal silver could be beneficial in preventing dental decay and reducing the risk of infections in people with dental implants. Therefore, using a mixture of colloidal silver and water in the mouth may be considered.

Scarring/skin burns

Chronic wounds due to diabetes-or burns present a challenge for both patients and caregivers. Finding the-best topical medication to apply is critical, not only to prevent infection but also to speed up the-healing process. A 2006 study-concluded that silver ” can be used for second-degree burns and may decrease the risk of wound infection and speed healing.” A 2009 study defended the use of silver to heal second-degree skin burns. The topical ointments silver is available-for use.

Sinus health

Millions of people worldwide-visit their doctors each year with complaints related to their sinuses, a term commonly used to describe what doctors call sinuses. The hollow “cavities” in the human skull are undeveloped in newborns but are fully formed by eight. However, the sinuses reach their full size at puberty. 

Avoid specific foods, medications, minerals, vitamins, essential oils, and homeopathy. These remedies can be considered options to help prevent allergies, nasal congestion, and ultimately sinus tract infections. Maintaining good sinus health is critical to overall health and well-being.

Many claim the benefits of using the colloidal silver spray to prevent sinus infections. Some studies have shown a potential benefit. However, studies are still lacking in demonstrating its overall effectiveness. 

Sinus inflammation did not improve in a small 2017 study of 22 patients who used colloidal silver to alleviate their sinus problems. More studies are needed before using colloidal silver for sinus infections, or their prevention can be recommended. Learn more about other ways to maintain sinus health.

The use of silver in hospitals

UTIs are a reasonably common hospital infection, mainly when a Foley catheter is used to help urinate. A 2017 study showed that silver-lined Foley catheters could help prevent urinary tract infections. Similarly, a 2017 study found that certain intravenous (IV) tubes, when lined with silver, gave fewer bacterial infections to patients in the intensive care unit. Another article from the same study showed that yeast infections were also reduced in silver-lined intravenous (IV) catheters.

Silver toxicity

The maximum dose should not exceed 14 mcg/kg per day. Never take more than is-recommended on the label-of the product used. On rare occasions, when silver levels are elevated in the skin and irreversible, bluish-gray skin color may occur, called argyria. Most of the reported cases of this disease did not involve colloidal silver but rather the use of homemade silver salts. Also, it should be-noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider colloidal silver to be safe. However, many of its defenders allude to the safety of its use throughout history when used moderately.

Can silver be used during pregnancy?

No studies show any harm, but it’s probably best to avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

Are there interactions between the drugs?

Taking colloidal silver simultaneously as certain medications may reduce the absorption of those medications. This includes antibiotics and the medicine used for the thyroid, levothyroxine. However, there is no known interaction with other drugs.

The recommended dosage for adults:

Topical

  • Topical silver balm – use as directed.
  • Colloidal silver can also be applied to skin and wounds.

Oral

The recommended dosage guidelines below are found in the 2013 book Colloidal Silver, The Natural Antibiotic.

  • Low dose: between 3-5 ppm once or twice a day for preventive purposes
  • Moderate amount: between 25-30 ppm two or three times a day for up to two weeks for bacterial and viral infections
  • High amount: 100 ppm once a day for up to seven days for fungal infections

* It is not recommended-to take more than 200 ppm, especially if it is taken for more than five days.

* For children, half the dose is generally advised. Please consult with your child’s doctor before administering it.

Note: Due to the antibacterial properties of silver, bacteria beneficial to the gut can also be affected when taken for long periods. It would help if you considered taking probiotics to help counteract this effect.