As a lover of nature, I always want to find ways to make the most of what’s around us. I have come across the health benefits of colloidal silver and was intrigued to learn more.
So what is colloidal silver?
Colloidal silver is a liquid solution of suspended silver containing 15 atoms or less with a positive electrical charge linked to protein molecules in a distilled water medium. The process is made possible through electrolysis. Silver does not exert its effects in solid metallic form as it is not reactive. However, this metal produces its effects in an ionic form. Therefore, it must lose an electron to in order to be positively charged.
What are colloids?
These are chemicals that do not dissolve in the medium that they are in and therefore, remain suspended. In this case, the silver colloids remain suspended rather than producing sediment. This is due to the electrical charge being stronger than gravity and hence may not need to be shaken before use.
The ideal colloidal silver appears to be translucent pale yellow which seems to confirm the best particle size of 5-100nm. The larger the particle size the darker the colour and this may subsequently limit absorption.
Colloidal silver has a glow especially when shining a light through it; this is known as the Tyndall Effect named after the 19th-century physicist John Tyndall. This effect produces a scattering of light by the particles in the colloidal mixture.
In the early 1900s, colloidal silver served as an antibiotic. However, in the 1920s with the introduction of antibiotics, the popularity of colloidal silver has somewhat diminished. In the past, a number of antibiotics were developed; unfortunately, they do not work against new resistant organisms.
Pharmaceutical companies have not developed an antibiotic for some time now. In fact, the last antibiotics developed were almost 25 years ago as the investment is mostly placed on developing drugs for long term conditions.
What happened to silver?
Silver was thought to be abundant in the soil. Plants can convert silver into bio-available form to be used and are generally encapsulated in soil through chelation. Agricultural advances may have influenced the level of silver in the soil and may have resulted in its depletion.
The first Antibiotic Awareness Week took place in November 2015 with the aim to spread the message of global resistance and promote better practice from healthcare professionals and the public in order to decrease antibiotic resistance,
Dame Sally Davis, the UK Chief Medical Officer described the threat of antimicrobial resistance as catastrophic, where people could die from simple routine operations. If nothing is done, even the standard procedures would be impossible to perform.
In May 2016 a review on antimicrobial resistance chaired by Jim O’Neill has also highlighted the detrimental effects of antibiotic resistance. What is interesting is that Jim ONeill is not a scientist but in fact, an economist demonstrating that antibiotic resistance is not only a medical issue but also an economic one.
The Department of Health and The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have set a UK five-year antimicrobial resistance strategy from 2013-2018 with the aim to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The aim is to:
- Promote awareness of antimicrobial resistance.
- Ensure current therapy is used appropriately.
- Spur the manufacture of future antibiotics.
A worldwide awareness of antibiotic resistance should be in place to educate the public regarding the challenges faced and the steps to limit the spread through education and hygiene.
This got me thinking, can you we tackle antibiotic resistance by asking nature to give us a helping hand?
It seems that colloidal silver is effective in preventing and combating bacterial infections as it is not subject to corrosion.
So how does colloidal silver work?
Silver does not produce its effects in solid metallic form as it is not reactive. The metal produces its effects in an ionic form. It must lose an electron to become positively charged.
As an antibacterial, it inhibits bacterial respiration needed for survival. In essence, it suffocates the organism. The positively charged ions interfere with bacterial cell wall and effects microbial mechanism.
As an antiviral, it prevents replication through host by preventing the penetration of viral RNA into the host cell thereby inactivating the organism.
Colloidal silver has also a negative impact on yeast and moulds. Colloidal silver creates an environment that makes it impossible for pathogens to survive and multiply. All in all, colloidal silver makes it impossible for parasites to grow and nest their eggs.
How do we use colloidal silver?
It seems that those who have burns can use colloidal silver to promote healing and keep infections at bay. Colloidal silver plays a part in reducing the appearance of acne that is of bacterial origin. In addition, it maintains a healthy digestive system.
Those who use colloidal silver tends to develop their own ways of potentiating the effects. Individuals who suffer from conjunctivitis sometimes drop colloidal silver directly into their eyes several times a day. Sore throats are also treated by gargling with colloidal silver. It seems that the most common way to ingest colloidal silver is to mix three or four drops into a large glass of water.
What are the side effects?
It is interesting to learn that the human body has no essential need for silver. People who over consume colloidal silver may experience a build-up of the metal in their organs and therefore a negative side effect of colloidal silver is a condition called argyria. This results in the skin and eyes to become grey in colour. This pigmentation change can cause cosmetic problems. Previously, there were no effective treatments for argyria.
Recent research has shown that a low-fluence Q-switched 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser of approximately seven sessions can provide a safe and effective treatment for skin discoloration associated with argyria.
The benefits of colloidal silver seem to be vast. However, these benefits should be fully supported by evidence-based medicine and research to determine its true effects and safety profile.
Find Out More
To buy premium colloidal silver, please visit www.healthrange.co.uk/nano-minerals.php
For more information, please visit the links below:
Chemistry LibreTexts. (2013). Tyndall Effect. Online at: http://chem.libretexts.org/Core/Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry/Physical_Properties_of_Matter/Solutions_and_Mixtures/Colloid/Tyndall_Effect, accessed 8 September 2016.
Department of Health. (2013). Antimicrobial resistance poses ‘catastrophic threat’, says Chief Medical Officer. Online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/antimicrobial-resistance-poses-catastrophic-threat-says-chief-medical-officer–2, accessed: 28 May 2016.
Department of Health. (2014). Progress report on the UK 5 year AMR strategy: 2014. Online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-report-on-the-uk-five-year-amr-strategy-2014, accessed: 6 May 2016.
Han, T., Chang, H., Lee, H. and Son, S. (2011). Successful treatment of argyria using a low-fluence Q-switched 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser. International Journal of Dermatology, 50(6), pp.751-753.
Mayoclinic.org. (2016). Colloidal silver: Is it safe or effective? – Mayo Clinic. Online: at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/colloidal-silver/faq-20058061, accessed 8 September 2016.
O’Neill, Jim. (2016). Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations the review on antimicrobial resistance. Online at: http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160525_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf, accessed: 29 May 2016.