Colloidal Silver Health Effects (Good or Bad?)

Natural Philosophy

Colloidal Silver Health Effects (Good or Bad?)

Intro- Colloidal Silver Health Effects

Colloidal Silver use is a controversial subject, with heated views on either aisle, but the truth is not that complicated. This article will explain everything you need to know  about the pros and cons of colloidal silver and colloidal silver health effects. 

Some people swear by colloidal silver, others think it’s pure quackery. After reading this article, you’ll realise that neither opinion is true. Like the ailment which excess silver consumption leads to (the grey-blue tinging of the skin called argyria), the answer is a mixture of black and white. We’ll take a look at what colloidal silver is, what the scientific literature says about it, and by using our own common sense we can come to a balanced understanding of colloidal silver and make a personal choice about whether to use it for our health. 

Is colloidal silver superior to antibiotics? Is it a cure for cancer, AIDS and Covid-19? Read on to find out. This subject isn’t complicated, but it’s an important one to know.

(If you’d just like a quick answer, see the synopsis at the bottom of the page.)

 This article discusses everything you need to know about colloidal silver health effects. 

What is Colloidal Silver?

Essentially, colloidal silver is tiny silver particles combined with a fluid. 

What does “colloidal” actually mean? A colloid is a solution of two or more elements without either dissolving into each other. To understand better, take the example of combining particles (e.g. salt, silver) with water: When you mix sugar or salt with water, you have a “pure solution”, where the salt/sugar particles completely dissolve into the water. A colloid is different, because the particles are larger and do not completely dissolve into the water. A colloid has very small particles, and is very close to the pure solution in that the particles will never settle out of the water, but the water and particle (e.g. silver) never fully dissolve into each other, and often a colloid will have a somewhat murky appearance as a result. 

Colloidal silver is therefore the intimate (but never dissolved) combination of microscopic silver with some type of fluid, usually water (but the fluid could also be alcohol, oil, glycerin, gel-bases, and some other organic compounds).

Usually a solution of colloidal silver will be clear to the naked eye, despite being a colloid. If the colloidal silver you have is visibly greyish or cloudy, you have a strong concentration of silver in the mixture. 

colloidal silver health

 Another example of a colloid is the phenomenon of “God Rays” seen through trees; you can see the light rays because the air is a colloid, either containing water particles or dust which causes a scattering of the light, making it visible. The trees create shadows which highlight the effect. Think also of dust particles in a sunny room. 

colloidal silver health

Legality & Covid-19

Legally colloidal silver is in a bit of a grey area. In April and May of 2020 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued multiple WLs (Warning Letters) pertaining to a number of claims for alternative treatment for COVID-19, colloidal silver receiving 11 WLs alongside other treatments such as Elderberry, Vitamin D, Zinc, CBD, certain hand-sanitizers, etc. (Bramstedt, 2021). According to the study, 100% of the WLs referred to subjects that were investigated under ‘quackery’ in the FDA’s Operation Quack Hack project aimed at finding bogus COVID-19 claims in an environment where online shopping and sales-persons abound. 

Notably, in 1999 the FDA banned colloidal silver as “not generally recognised as safe for internal or external use”, prohibiting over-the-counter sales which made health-claims (Federal Register, 1999). This is gotten around by supplement companies claiming colloidal silver as a dietary supplement without making health claims (Bramstedy, 2021). 

Should we trust the FDA? The process of reasoning whereby the FDA suggests that Colloidal Silver, Zinc, Vitamin D and a myriad of medicinal herbs (with known anti-microbial and anti-viral effects), are all ‘Quackery’ remedies regarding Covid-19, should muddy the validity of the FDA’s analysis to a thinking observer; it suggests a narrowness of outlook by the FDA and an authoritarian approach to dissonance. But just because an official organisation like the FDA acts in a seemingly corrupt manner (not for the first time), doesn’t necessarily mean that the opposite of their suggestion is a wise course. 

colloidal silver side effects

Is Colloidal Silver Safe? Historical & Scientific Evidence

The use of silver in medicine can be dated back to the eighth century, and it was revitalized in the last 130 years by Dr. Halstead and Crede as an anti-infective before the invention of anti-biotics (Wadhera and Fung, 2005). 

In 1890, the internal use of silver was claimed to cure: chronic nerve problems, epilepsy, chorea, tabes, and a myriad of other nervous system illnesses. In these cases silver was prescribed for long periods of time to patients, and in most of these cases there was a side-effect of a greying discoloration of the skin called argyria. In one anecdotal case around 1940 at the South York Mental Hospital, a patient who was believed to have syphilis took silver salts for 8-9 years. An autopsy was performed after the patient’s death, where it was discovered that grey pigmentation not only affected his skin but was widespread throughout his organs and particularly upon the choroid plexus (a structure in the brain) which was strikingly blackened. The patient’s cause of death was attributed to coronary occlusion (Hall, 1942). 

It has been shown that rats administered silver caused accumulation of the mineral throughout their body, particularly in their brains and spinal cords (Rungby and Danscher, 1983). Upon further research, I found a multitude of sources relaying cases where the long-term ingestion of silver first leads to argyria, and upon autopsy it is discovered that silver has accumulated in the brain, spinal cord, digestive tract, arteries, etc. This evidence seems to be credible and overwhelming enough in number to convince me that the long-term use of colloidal silver has an accumulative effect which, as well as coating the organs and tissues, can occlude the blood vessels and cause death (Hall, 1942). 

But despite the long-term negative health effects of colloidal silver, can a short-term use of colloidal silver be beneficial? Is it less detrimental to health than anti-biotics? Does it actually work against microbes, or have a significant beneficial effect against other illnesses?

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colloidal silver uses and benefits

Colloidal Silver Uses and Benefits

Colloidal silver is used primarily as a defence against pathogens such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Even without scientific studies, based on the extraordinary popularity of the supplement and the number of proponents claiming these effects, it likely does have good effect at diminishing or destroying these types of acute pathogens

We also dwell in a world where allopathic medicine has over-prescribed and continues to over-prescribe antibiotics. The use of antibiotics not only destroys the healthy microbiome of our gut and lymphatic system, causing detrimental long-term effects from a diminished immune system; but the pathogens have built up a resistance to these antibiotics. 

Some Science

Silver’s germicidal action appears to act by the process(es) of binding to proteins and other compounds present in micro-organisms, including enzymes, and amino, phosphates and carboxyl groups (Fung and Bowen, 1996). Colloidal silver is purportedly capable of causing bacterial membrane damage, resulting in the death of some bacteria; and is additionally able to denature proteins and enzymes affiliated or descriptive of bacteria or viruses; it’s also suggested that silver is capable of inhibiting the copying of the SARSr-CoV-2 RNA processing enzyme (Ignatov, 2020). The author suggests, in the case of COVID-19, that colloidal silver inhibits the copying of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which would neutralize COVID-19’s replication process. In the field of recent nano-technology, silver nanoparticles have the potential to act as a good anti-biotic. Due to the large surface area of silver which allows them to bind to bacterial biomolecules, as well as their ability to penetrate cells due to their nano size, silver nanoparticles exhibit strong oligodynamic effects (Sallah et al., 2020). Based on this research I believe there is a strong correlation between colloidal silver and anti-bacterial effects. There are a also a number of studies comparing the effects of silver to antibiotics with equal or similar results. 

Colloidal Silver: Synopsis

The range of Colloidal Silver’s effects in an anti-bacterial setting appear to be substantial and real, and some evidence has shown a direct effect on COVID-19 by inhibiting one of its necessary replicating enzymes. However, it is also a toxic element when consumed in large quantities, as it has a cumulative effect within the body. It initially shows up as argyria which is a greying pigmentation of the skin and nails, and progressively silver accumulates throughout the organs and tissues of the body, in the brain and spine particularly, with at least some cases of death being attributed to occlusion of arteries. It seems to me that a short-term use of colloidal silver may outweigh the negative effects of particular viruses or bacteria, particularly if it could effectively neutralise COVID-19 (though hopefully that wars already over with).

Is the FDA right to ban health claims made of colloidal silver? Essentially they are misusing power, believing the public too uninformed to realise that the short-term positive effects are mitigated by the detrimental long-term ones (that doesn’t stop them from approving steroidal anti-inflammatory hormones or opioids, though, for some reason). I’m sure there’s a monetary incentive behind their decision, which may have tipped the scales. But the public should know the long-term effects of colloidal silver and should be cautious in their use of it. 

I personally would rather use colloidal silver than an antibiotic for short-term relief of bacteria, fungi or viruses. But I wouldn’t use either antibiotics or colloidal silver, I would use herbs and diet. Herbs have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects, with no side-effects. They have lymphatic/immune system bolstering actions, and a myriad of other helpful actions. Herbs don’t suppress, they expectorate the sickness; in other words they attack the pathogen by bolstering our own natural immune systems, which then clear it outside of the body. The end result is a stronger immune system, a cleaner body, and long-term health. 

Should you use colloidal silver when you’re feeling sick or as a long-term immune support? Nah. 

Try Echinacea, Goldenseal, Thyme, Cinnamon, Sage, Ginger and some fruit instead. 

colloidal silver alternatives

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Justin McArthur

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