Other Names: Argent Colloïdal, Argent Ionique, Argent Natif, Argentum Metallicum, Colloidal Silver Protein, Ionic Silver, Silver Water, Native Silver, Plata Coloidal, Protéine d’Argent, Silver, Silver Alginate, Silver in Suspending Agent, Silver Protein, Tetrasilver Tetroxide, Tétroxyde de Tétra-Argent.
What is Colloidal Silver?
Before the invention of the refrigerator, it was common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk as a preservative because silver was known to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria and other undesirable organisms. Dating back to ancient times, silver was also a popular remedy to stop the spread of diseases. Its use as a natural antibiotic continued all the way until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics arrived. Today, obviously, people don’t need to drop silver coins into their water to experience colloidal silver benefits! All you need to do is carefully take a few drops from a bottle that you buy at the store, which is:
“A solution of water containing nanometer sized particles of suspended silver. The total silver content is expressed as milligrams of silver per liter (mg/L) of water which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). The total silver content is divided into two forms of silver: ionic silver and silver particles.”
Colloidal silver is a product that is sold as a liquid supplement, nasal spray and ointment, and it is marketed for the treatment of a variety of disorders. It is made with silver colloids, ionic silver and silver proteins; and colloidal is the term used to describe the particles of silver that do not dissolve, but instead remain suspended in the liquid. Colloidal silver is generally considered safe and beneficial as a topical analgesic, but consult your doctor before taking it internally.
There are basically three types of products that are marketed as “colloidal silver” and these can be categorized as:
Ionic silver – Ionic silver solutions are products whose silver content primarily consists of silver ions. Although ionic silver is often marketed as colloidal silver, it’s not true colloidal silver. Because it’s the least expensive to produce, ionic silver is the most popular product in this category. The problem? It simply won’t produce the same benefits that true colloidal silver can.
Silver Protein – In order to keep large silver particles suspended, silver protein-based products add gelatin. Silver protein is the second-most popular type of colloidal silver product on the market and can easily be made by adding water to silver protein powder. Again, it’s also often marketed and labeled as colloidal silver, but should not be confused for the real thing. Silver protein is less effective for human use, and you won’t experience the true colloidal silver benefits.
True Colloidal Silver – true silver colloids don’t contain any protein or other additives, as the vast majority of the silver content consists of nanometer-sized silver particles. Colloidal silver is a liquid solution created using electrolysis to suspend pure, metallic elemental silver (in groups of particles 15 atoms or fewer, each with a positive electric charge) attached to simple protein molecules, in distilled water. Colloids of silver should stay suspended, rather than sinking to the bottom, as the electric charge is stronger than gravity. Good quality colloidal silver should therefore not require shaking before use, or be dark in color. Clear or pale yellow colloidal silver is the best as the particle size affects the color of the solution and the larger particles produce a darker colored liquid, and aren’t easily absorbed by the body.
More Information About Ionic Silver Products
- all products called ionic silver, colloidal silver, nano silver, hydrosol, or mild silver protein, are in fact just various forms of “ionic silver” products, because all of them function by providing a delivery mechanism to release silver ions in the body. Otherwise, they would be useless.
- when it comes to PPM or “parts per million,” there is no such things as a “safer” level of PPM, and there is no such thing as a “more effective” level of PPM, simply because PPM is literally nothing more than a measure of how much water you’re getting along with the silver in the product.
- particle size is in no way an indicator of safety or of effectiveness and, in fact, can be very misleading, partly because the results are sometimes the opposite of what you might expect and partly because there is an enormous proliferation of so-called “photos” that are being used in marketing that claim to be images of various products taken under a microscope when in fact they are, more often than not, images generated the the “back room” of the company that’s using them for marketing and not by reputable independent labs (which of course would be the only basis under which you should ever give credence to such images).
- representing that a given dosage of a given silver product is safe because that much silver “matches” the EPA RfD limit is simply a false representation of the facts, since it fails to allow for the silver that’s in your daily water and food intake, which is using up a good part of the RfD daily limit.
- A silver ion is a silver atom that’s missing an electron. Atomic silver is entirely inert and has no bioactivity whatsoever. Ionic silver is highly bioactive. However, silver ions are also very unstable and will bind up with chlorides and proteins in the mouth if not stabilized by a carrier agent. Various carrier agents exist in various silver supplements. These carrier agents may be citrate, oxides, proteins, or other substances.
- Colloidal silver is simply providing one form of those various carrier agents. It primarily utilizes oxides, in the form of “silver oxide,” as the carrier agent. Since so many colloidal silver products exist, they are called by different terms depending on the marketing strategy of the manufacturer: they may be called colloidal, ionic, true colloid, hydrosol, silver solution, and so forth. All of those products have essentially the same substance in the bottle, colloidal silver.
IS MORE PPM REALLY BETTER?
PPM of colloidal silver needs to be understood in its entirety. PPM means parts per million. By definition 1 PPM is 1 milligram of silver deposited in 1 liter of water (1,000 ml) (1,000,000 mg). If one were to ingest that 1 mg. piece of silver, it would not do much good. If you were to divide that 1 mg. into 1,000,000 particles of silver, it would then have much more efficacy because it takes one particle of silver to disable 1 pathogen. The silver is now 1,000,000 times better than 1 piece of silver even though by definition it is still only 1 PPM. If one were to further divide the 1 mg piece of silver into 100,000,000 particles, it would be very beneficial indeed. And so as the silver is more finely divided the PPM by definition remains the same.
So, what really counts is not how many PPM the silver is but how many particles the silver has been divided into. That is why it isn’t necessary to have high PPM but it IS important to divide the silver as finely as possible. To see how small the silver can be divided by our colloidal silver generators, please look at the electron microscope photos. It is not better to try to take high PPM colloidal silver but to take CS that is properly made. If you think more silver is necessary, just take more of better made low PPM colloidal silver and you will be further ahead than if you took poorly made, high PPM colloidal silver.
Another factor is the form silver is in. 90-95% of the silver made with the SG6 Auto is ionic and up to 98% of the SG7 Pro silver water is ionic. Ionic silver is like sugar or salt dissolved into the water. It is invisible and can only be sensed with a test meter such as the PWT we sell. Ionic silver is conductive whereas colloidal silver is not. Colloids are like small ball bearings floating around in the water and separated from each other by what is called Brownian Motion. They carry no electrical charge. The ions are silver atoms missing one electron in the outer shell and therefore are positive in charge. The ionic portion is evenly dispersed like dissolved sugar or salt. The generator determines the shutoff point by measuring the ionic water conductivity.
If the colloidal silver is properly made it will be crystal clear. This is because the particles are too small to reflect any light. If it shows any color, the particles are too large. The first color seen is yellow. As the particle size increases other colors such as red, green, blue, brown or black may be seen. Any color seen will indicate CS that is not very good.
How Colloidal Silver Works
With ionic silver products, the two factors that determine effectiveness are the delivery agent and the total quantity (mcg) of silver you consume. The one key factor that determines safety is the total quantity (mcg) of silver you consume. The EPA RfD safety guidelines for safe total daily intake of silver are expressed strictly in terms of mcg of silver per day. PPM never comes into the picture! This is because mcg measures the actual silver consumed. PPM alone can’t tell you anything about how much silver you’re actually consuming. The size of the particles in colloidal silver makes zero difference on effectiveness or safety. What matters for effectiveness is the carrier agent to stabilize and release silver ions in the body, and what matters for safety is the total mcg of silver you consume. Neither of those factors is at all related to particle size. According to a report written by Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute in a 1996, there are three primary ways that colloidal silver can help heal the body:
- Catalytic Oxidation: Silver naturally holds onto oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (H) groups that surround bacterial and viruses. In turn, this helps block the life-preserving cellular process known as cellular respiration, which is defined as “the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.”
- Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver ions can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same respiration-blocking effect. Colloidal silver is thought to suffocate single celled organisms by disabling the oxygen metabolism enzyme. This allows the body’s own immune system to become more effective at removing these residue pathogens, and thereby become more effective at fending off disease.
- Binding with DNA: Shown to literally enter bacteria DNA, up to 12% of silver has been detected in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. According to one source, “While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.”
Uses of Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria (tuberculosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera); parasites (ringworm, malaria); and viruses (HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, warts). Colloidal silver is also used for lung conditions including emphysema and bronchitis; skin conditions including rosacea, cradle cap (atopic dermatitis), eczema, impetigo, and psoriasis; and inflammation (sometimes due to infection) of the bladder (cystitis), prostate (prostatitis), colon (colitis), nose (rhinitis), stomach (gastritis), tonsils (tonsillitis), appendix (appendicitis), and sinuses (sinusitis).
Other uses include treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease.
Colloidal silver is also used to prevent flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, and the common cold.
Colloidal silver is applied directly to the skin for acne, burns, eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, skin infections, and Staphylococcus infections.
Eye infections. Some research shows that using colloidal silver eye drops in both eyes shortly after birth does not help prevent certain eye infections in newborns. Other research shows that applying a colloidal silver solution to the eye surface of people undergoing eye surgery does not prevent infections as well as applying povidone-iodine solution.
Top 8 Proven Colloidal Silver Benefits – DrAxe.com
Antibacterial – First, colloidal silver’s ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs is astonishing. While employed at UCLA Medical School 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. Colloidal silver, unlike its modern prescription antibiotic counterpart, simply doesn’t create resistance or immunity in the organisms that are killed by it. This point cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reporting that more than 2 million people in the U.S. suffer illness every year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die from these infections.
Wound Care/Skin Health – Robert O. Becker, MD, says that colloidal silver stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. In a research article produced by Pharmacognosy Communications in 2012, it was specifically recommended that certain colloidal silver preparations should be considered for topical use to treat burns, thrush, periodontitis and other conditions. For instance, you can treat ringworm (Tinea capitis) at home with colloidal silver because it’s a potent anti-fungal. Caused by a fungus that lives on the top layer of the skin, ringworm presents as round, scaly patches. It’s contagious and spread by skin contact and by contaminated materials, such as clothing. Colloidal silver benefits many skins conditions such as psoriasis and eczema as well. It’s soothing to scrapes and even repairs tissue damage from burns.
Pink Eye/Ear Infections – Pink eye is an inflamed mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and eyelid lining, and it’s primarily caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Colloidal silver can be used for prompt action against this irritating and highly infectious virus and bacteria. When applied on the infected eye, the tiny silver colloids pick up the infected cells by attracting them electromagnetically and sending them into the bloodstream to be eliminated. Our modern prescription antibiotic drugs are designed to work against specific classes of bacteria, but ear infections may be caused by multiple classes of bacteria or can even be fungal. In this case, the prescription antibiotic will be useless, whereas colloidal silver is effective regardless of what may be causing your infection.
Antiviral – Colloidal silver benefits can be experienced as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles and warts. Dr. Martin Hum, from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, lists colloidal silver as one of the natural remedies to stop viruses fast. Colloidal silver suffocates the virus and can even reduce the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients. There are also numerous anecdotal accounts of colloidal silver’s efficacy against the hepatitis C virus.
Anti-Inflammatory – Colloidal silver is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory remedy. Case in point: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the effects of inflammation after being treated by colloidal silver; they found that the inflamed skin of pigs treated with silver experienced near-normal skin after 72 hours, while other treatment groups not treated with silver remained inflamed. Research is beginning to reflect what many people have already known anecdotally for years — that colloidal silver can reduce swelling, speed healing, and boosts cell recovery!
Sinusitis – Widely used to control sinus infections, colloidal silver can benefit people as a nasal spray, according to a study published in the International Forum for Allergy and Rhinology last year. Specifically shown to kill Staph aureus, you can add a few drops of silver in a “neti pot” or by applying directly into your nasal cavity and letting it drain down your throat by tilting your head back. Also, it’s important to point out that recent research indicates that hidden infections by pathogens could be a cause of respiratory inflammation associated with common allergies and asthma. Colloidal silver destroys Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, which may be the reason why airborne allergy sufferers often find such dramatic relief from colloidal silver.
Cold/Flu – Some claim that colloidal silver helps prevent all types of flu, including swine flu, as well as the common cold. Few studies have been done to test this clinically, but in 2011 the NIH took 100 children under the age of 12 suffering from the common cold and nasal congestion and assigned them into two groups; the first group was treated with a solution of colloidal silver and beta glucan, and the second group with saline solution. Even though both groups benefited from the treatment, 90% of the people in the colloidal silver group completely recovered!
Pneumonia – Our modern drugs have become limited in their efficacy when it comes to fighting bronchitis or pneumonia. Typically, antibiotics are administered as the first line of defense, but when the pneumonia is viral, antibiotics won’t help in the least. The nice thing about colloidal silver is that it can help regardless of the pathogen. Colloidal silver is a remarkable product to help fight against bronchitis and pneumonia when ingested internally, but an even more effective way to utilize it? Simply breathe it into your lungs. This way, the silver directly contacts the germs residing in the lungs, which are causing bronchitis or pneumonia. It’s basically the same thing as using respiratory support, and it works speedily, clearing it up within a couple of days. Now, the most effective method to get the colloidal silver into the lungs is to use a nebulizer. Generally, use one teaspoon approximately three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
COLLOIDAL SILVER DOSING
Colloidal silver needs to be applied differently for each condition. To experience colloidal silver benefits, it may be taken as follows, always keeping in mind to never use it for more than 14 days in a row.
- 2-5 drops applied directly to the skin
- 1 eyedropper taken orally for immune support
- 1-2 drops into eyes for pink eye
- 1-2 drops can help disinfect any wound or sore by applying onto a Band-Aid
- If prepared properly, it can be injected into a muscle, a cancerous tumor, or into the bloodstream
- 5 drops added into a neti pot or directly sprayed into the nose
- 5-10 drops can be applied vaginally or anally
WebMD Disclaimer – The appropriate dose of colloidal silver depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for colloidal silver. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Colloidal Silver is Generally Safe in Suggested Doses
Colloidal silver, used as a supplement, has very few, if any, negative side effects. It is generally safe to take 1 to 2 tbsp. of 5 parts per million (ppm) colloidal silver once or twice per day. This is true even for first-time users of colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is not known to have a cumulative effect. Colloidal silver particles are excreted by the body in a short period of time.
Even in larger does, colloidal silver, if properly manufactured to produce a very small particle size and using only pure, distilled water and 0.999 sterling silver, should result in no side effects in the majority of regular users.
There is simply no such thing as a silver supplement that is not capable of discoloring the skin if sufficiently excessive quantities are consumed, and no molecular structures are known to be more or less prone to contributing towards the total it would take to cause potential problems. It is the silver ion that is bioactive, both in terms of providing any potential benefits and, likewise, in terms of being able to bind up with substances in the body and deposit in the skin. Therefore, if the silver product can provide any benefits, then it can also discolor the skin with excessive intake because it’s releasing silver ions in the body. The bottom line is that one should not ignore such claims but also be very wary of any manufacturer that would make such claims.
Colloidal Silver, if used sensibly, is completely non-toxic and will not harm the immune system in any way. Critics of colloidal silver will often warn that regular consumption of colloidal silver might lead to Argyria, a bluish/ gray discoloration of the skin. Dr. Bob Beck debunks this statement as a scare tactic by pro pharmaceutical interests. Dr Beck has indicated that Argyria is caused by silver compounds, such as silver nitrate, silver sulfate, silver sulfadiazine, etc., and not micro particles of pure elemental silver. Apparently, silver colloids are mostly absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, since colloidal silver does not seem to adversely affect friendly bacteria in the lower intestines. Silver can be toxic to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, but is normally prevented from entering those areas by the blood-brain barrier. Silver has not demonstrated any evidence of carcinogenic activity.
The body eliminates excess silver via the metallothiones. These ubiquitous proteins, first characterized in 1957, have the property of binding with heavy metals, such as silver, into metal-thiolate-cluster structures which aid in transportation, storage, and elimination of nonessential trace metals which enter the body.
Colloidal Silver Side Effects – DrAxe.com
Although the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health reports that colloidal silver may cause poor absorption of some drugs, there is limited research proving that side effects to colloidal silver use even exist. Nonetheless, you may come across many warnings about it causing an irreversible condition called argyria (when people turn blue). However, this is caused by misuse not of true colloidal silver, but through other cheaper products marketed as colloidal silver, such as ionic silver or silver protein. One point to consider is that, because colloidal silver is such a potent antibacterial agent, you should be sure to supplement with probiotics during use to be sure that you maintain a proper balance of microflora.
The Herxheimer Effect
The most often cited negative side effect among colloidal silver users, although it is rare and the manifestation of the symptoms are generally mild. The scientific name for this phenomenon is Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. The main caution with colloidal silver is to new users whose bodies may be excessively toxic. For the first week or two of usage, new users should be careful to take only the minimum suggested dosage. With any natural supplement or antibiotic that works by eliminating pathogens from the body, there can be such a rapid detoxification that the body cannot assimilate the changes. This can result in some discomfort that may include chills, fever, headaches, weakness and flu-like symptoms as the cells in the body release harmful bacteria.
Colloidal Silver Can Destroy Beneficial Bacteria
Excessive use of colloidal silver has the reported side effect of intestinal discomfort and constipation. This side effect is generally mild. It is the result of colloidal silver attacking beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. In affected individuals, it is suggested that the amount of colloidal consumption be reduced to suggested dosages until the problem subsides. The natural flora of the intestinal tract will be restored over time. But, it can be expedited by supplementation with enzymes such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifodophilus. These probiotics can be purchased in capsules and are naturally found in yogurt and kefir that contains live cultures and are available at most health food stores.
The Argyria Controversy
Because of the efforts of the popular media, colloidal silver is wrongly associated with the medical condition known as argyria. Properly made colloidal silver does not cause argyria. Most modern cases of argyria are found in people who work in some aspect of the silver industry and are the result of tiny silver particles that become embedded in the skin. In the past, argyria was iatrogenically induced by the use of silver nitrate (a silver compound that should not be confused with pure silver) in the form of drops applied to mucous membranes or injected into patients. There are a few modern cases of argyria that have been induced by the consumption of silver compounds, most commonly, silver chloride, which is a compound of silver and sodium. This compound is not the same substance as colloidal silver.
COLLOIDAL SILVER SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY – WebMD.com
Colloidal silver is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or injected intravenously (by IV). The silver in colloidal silver products gets deposited in vital organs such as the skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle, and brain. This can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration that first appears in the gums. It can also stimulate melanin production in skin, and areas exposed to the sun will become increasingly discolored.
Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colloidal silver is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin or injected intravenously (by IV). Increased silver levels in pregnant women have been linked to abnormal development of the ear, face, and neck in their babies. Colloidal silver supplements can also lead to silver accumulation in the body, which can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration known as argyria. Silver can also be deposited in vital organs, where it does serious damage.
What the Science Says About the Safety and Side Effects of Colloidal Silver
- Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.
- Colloidal silver can also cause poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and thyroxine (used to treat thyroid deficiency).
- The FDA also warned in 1999 that colloidal silver isn’t safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
- The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against a number of companies for making misleading claims about colloidal silver products.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with COLLOIDAL SILVER – Colloidal silver might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking colloidal silver along with antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. Some antibiotics that might interact with colloidal silver include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).
Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with COLLOIDAL SILVER – Colloidal silver might decrease how much tetracycline antibiotics the body can absorb. Taking colloidal silver with tetracycline antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of tetracycline antibiotics. To avoid this interaction, take colloidal silver two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines. Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
Levothyroxine interacts with COLLOIDAL SILVER – Colloidal silver might decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. Taking levothyroxine along with colloidal silver might decrease the effectiveness of thyroxine.
Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) interacts with COLLOIDAL SILVER – Penicillamine is used for Wilson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Colloidal silver might decrease how much penicillamine your body absorbs and decrease the effectiveness of penicillamine.
Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs) – Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Colloidal silver might harm the liver. Taking colloidal silver along with medications that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take colloidal silver if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver. Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.