Colloidal Silver: The Silver Bullet against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria?
Colloidal silver may well ae one of the most controversial remedies of the 21st century. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), “Colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.”,
The NCCAM comments further, “There is no scientific evidence for effectiveness and a severe risk for serious side effects from colloidal silver.”
But the story doesn’t end there. Interestingly, the NCCAM refers to colloidal silver as “a replacement for conventional medical care.” Yet, for nearly 6,000 years, silver has played a significant role as a known antibiotic in conventional medical care. This has been true even into the 20th century during which the medical community relied on silver’s effectiveness in preventing and treating bacterial infections.
In fact, a review of the medical literature led Dr. J. Wesley Alexander of the Department of Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to conclude, “Silver has been used for at least six millennia to prevent microbial infections. It has been effective against almost all organisms tested and has been used to treat numerous infections and noninfectious conditions, sometimes with striking success.”
Silver apparently ceased to be a part of conventional medical practice, not because of its ineffectiveness, but because of the introduction of antibiotics during the 20th century. So, why the current upsurge in interest about colloidal silver today?
Ironically, colloidal silver is again gaining popularity as an antimicrobial because the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has resulted in new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The ineffectiveness of antibiotics against these superbugs is so well recognized that a spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared this, “The end of antibiotics.” While that statement may be going a bit too far, you get the picture.
Recent research has demonstrated that colloidal silver can destroy antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA. In addition to colloidal silver’s innate antibacterial properties, it has been found to render antibiotics up to 1,000 times more effective against resistant bacteria.
“In the 1980s, Larry C. Ford, MD documented over 650 different disease causing pathogens that were destroyed in minutes when exposed to small amounts of silver.” Unlike antibiotics, because of the way colloidal silver works, the organisms that it kills are unable to become resistant to it.
Additionally, colloidal silver is a potent anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Colloidal silver has been shown to be an effective treatment against ringworm, eczema, pink eye, ear infections, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles and warts.
What of the Dangers of Colloidal Silver?
As a supplement, silver may come in three common forms:
- Ionic silver
- Silver protein
- Colloidal silver
Both ionic silver and silver protein are cheap substitutes for the real thing, because they’re less expensive to manufacture. But true colloidal silver is the only preparation recommended by healthcare professionals, and then only under supervision by a qualified health practitioner. The most commonly cited warning about taking silver internally is argyria, which permanently turns the skin a blue-gray color. This problem does not occur with recommended dosages of true colloidal silver.
However, logic prompts me to ask two questions about ingesting colloidal silver:
- Silver is a “heavy metal”. Do I knowingly want to introduce a heavy metal into my body? However, apparently colloidal silver is not classified as a toxic heavy metal. As with any substance—even oxygen or water—there is a level of toxicity. So too with colloidal silver. But when used properly, it has not been shown to be dangerous, only beneficial.
- Since silver kills bacteria, what about the good flora in my gut? Will silver kill the good microbes too (like antibiotics do)? Perhaps if I was fighting an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, I would risk taking colloidal silver to rid myself of such an infection. Many people do, apparently with no ill-effects. And those who find that colloidal silver depletes their good flora simply supplement with probiotics.
But on a daily basis, the body does not need silver. Silver is not an essential mineral. Therefore, I cannot see drinking colloidal silver as a routine supplement like one might take vitamin D or fish oil.
However, many people love colloidal silver and its varied applications. Below are 5 ways you might benefit from colloidal silver:
- Apply colloidal silver topically to a wound to prevent or halt infection.
- Use a spray bottle to mist a burn, sunburn, or insect bites for relief and to avoid infection.
- Colloidal silver can stop pink eye, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, toenail fungus, and shingles.
- Use colloidal silver as a natural hand disinfectant at home or in public.
- Colloidal silver also works as a disinfectant for your kitchen and bathroom.
Experts recommend never using colloidal silver for more than 14 consecutive days. Recommended dosage is as follows:
- For topical skin issues, apply 2-5 drops directly on affected area.
- For immune support, take 1 eyedropper-full orally.
- For pink eye, apply 1-2 drops into eyes.
- For disinfecting a wound, apply 1-2 drops onto a Band-Aid.
- For sinus infections, place 5 drops into a neti pot or spray directly into the nose.
Maybe the next time you have a cold, scratch, or pimple, try a drop of the silver solution to see if it shines for you. When it comes to other colloidal silver applications, just think “antibiotic, anti-viral, or anti-fungal.”
As antibiotics become less and less effective, we will have to turn to other means for battling bacterial infections. Perhaps colloidal silver will be that “silver bullet?”
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