Copyright © W.G. Peters 2008 (Updated 2 Feb 09)
What is Colloidal Silver?
True colloidal silver (CS) is a suspension of metallic silver particles (colloid) in water which is believed to have antibiotic properties. Colloidal Silver is also called nano-silver and silver nanoparticles. Although I have never seen supporting data, it is said to be effective against more than 650 different bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Proponents of colloidal silver claim It is also very safe to use. It can easily be made at home with a very modest investment.
This information is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice. Use it at your own risk.
Silver has long been thought to have germ killing properties. It wasn’t until the invention of antibiotics that silver fell out of favor.
Roman soldiers were required to swallow a silver coin once a week to keep them disease free. They would “reclaim” the coin, clean it, and swallow it again next week.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘born with a silver spoon in his mouth? This referred to the times when only the very wealthy could afford silver eating utensils. Common people had pewter or wood utensils. It is said that the silver utensils provided the rich people small amounts of silver in their food, which made them less susceptible to nasty bugs like plague, smallpox, cholera, and whatever else came their way. So, to be born with a silver spoon in the mouth gave a person an automatic advantage in the fight to survive childhood.
In American colonial days, I am told that settlers would put a silver coin in the rain barrel to keep the water fresh, and another in the milk jug to keep the milk fresh longer.
Veterinarians knew of the antibiotic effects of silver also. An old vet trick was to place a silver coin in a wound that wouldn’t heal, sew it up for a week, and then remove it. This almost always cured the infection and resulted in a healthy animal.
Silver was an important weapon in the fight against diseases up until the time penicillin was invented. Then it was gradually forgotten, except for a few who championed alternative medicine. Early preparations of silver compounds were: Argentol, Argonin, Argentamine, Protargol, Largin, Actol, Itrol, Icthyargon, Collargolum. Now that so many disease agents have become resistant to modern antibiotics, silver may once again become a miracle drug.
The FDA has recently approved a product called Silverlon(TM). Silverlon(TM) is basically a bandage containing silver plated onto the material. According to the manufacturer, and the FDA, it is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and hypoallergenic because of the silver. However, the FDA does not approve of the use of colloidal silver (probably because no one has ever submitted it to the testing procedures required for the FDA to approve it.). Silver is also woven in the fabric of space suits to inhibit bacteria.
In a recent article published on PhysOrg.com, Aug 1, 2005; the author says: “Silver nanoparticles could help fight hospital-related infections that afflict 2 million patients and lead to 90,000 deaths in the United States each year ”
LG, an appliance manufacturer has announced a new washing machine with the inner workings coated with silver nano-particles. According to the manufacturer: “The silver nano particles provide antibacterial action and sterilization to clothes and water during the washing and rinsing processes. When clothes are washed and rinsed, the bacteria contained in the water are sterilized as they come into direct contact with the silver nano particles on the surface of the washing tub. As a result, using the LG washing machine provides antibacterial and sterilization benefits for doing laundry. ”
Samsung has also developed a washing machine which has a built in Colloidal Silver generator, which adds silver to the rinse water. Because of this machine, the EPA has undertaken steps to ban silver nanoparticles as being a pesticide, and requiring regulation of any machine which produces Silver nanoparticles (Colloidal Silver).
Recently an organization called “Potters for Peace” have come up with a cheap reliable water purification system for use in areas where clean drinking water is not available. It is clay mixed with a material such as sawdust, and shaped like a bucket. When fired, the sawdust is burnt away leaving pores in the clay for water to flow through. A colloidal silver solution is then painted onto the clay to provide bacteriocidal action. This seems like an item that everyone should have in their survival gear.
So it seems that silver as a disinfectant is coming into the mainstream once again whether the drug companies and the FDA approve or not.
Is there any danger to colloidal silver?
The short answer is… probably if it is taken internally, especially if it is not really true colloidal silver. The FDA classifies colloidal silver as also being silver salts, mild silver protein, strong silver protein, and several other silver compounds which are not really colloidal silver at all. Many home brewers unknowingly make silver chloride by adding salt to their water thinking they are speeding up the process. Silver chloride is a light sensitive compound that turns dark when exposed to light. Taking enough silver chloride could turn a person into a large piece of photographic film. If salt is not added, the result is usually silver oxide, which if ingested, reacts with stomach acid to again produce silver chloride. Two of the best known argyria victims, Stan Jones and Paul Karason, are known to have made silver chloride, and consumed large quantities. The third famous argyria victim is Rosemary Jacobs, who used silver nose drops prescribed by a physician. Apparently Ms. Jacobs does not know the composition of the silver she used, but crusades against all use of any silver products.
Argyria is permanent, there is no known way to reverse it. Most promoters of CS say that taking colloidal silver in low concentrations presents no appreciable danger of argyria. Never the less, use it at your own risk. Living as a smurf would be a very difficult situation I suggest also that you do a search on Argyria with one of the search engines before ingesting any, whether it is homemade, or purchased from a retailer.
How to Make your own
Excellent quality colloidal silver can be made at home quite easily. The best way is to obtain a quality colloidal silver generator like the SilverTron available from the SilverTron Store. Lacking that, you should have a pure silver wire or bar to use as the positive electrode, a voltage supply of at least 27 volts, a current limiter with a set point between 2 and 15 ma, pure distilled water, and a timer.
You do not need laser pointers or TDS meters. Instructions for making colloidal silver is available at the Colloidal Gold and Silver Forum.