Colloidal silver can be a very good antibacterial agent. And now that so many antibiotic-resistant pathogens exist, it is important to know about all of our effective natural options. For some, the benefits of colloidal silver can be great.
But what exactly is colloidal silver and how does it work?
What is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver (also known as ionic silver) is a solution containing pure water and colloids, very small particles of silver suspended in the water. Silver was used extensively in the early 20th century, but as modern chemistry took over, antibiotics were chosen more often.
Colloidal silver, as a liquid solution, can be used as a broad spectrum antibacterial agent. Silver has also been used for water purification in areas such as the International Space Station, and in bandages for wound dressings.
Benefits of Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver can be used in a number of ways. I use the silver solution as the water part when making soap. When lye is added to the silver solution it turns bright silver, then dark gray before becoming completely clear. The silver is left behind in a form that is usable by the body. When you wash with soap made from colloidal silver, 99.99% of bacteria is killed and removed. (You can find all-natural colloidal soap here.)
In addition to soap making, colloidal silver can be beneficially used in the following ways:
- an antibacterial gel using colloidal silver and aloe vera gel (make your own or find it here)
- antibacterial bandages for dressing wounds
- antibacterial throat spray (find some here)
- to support a healthy immune system (find immune drops here)
- sprayed on sunburn to help speed healing
- as a tonic or infection fighter (I use the liquid form as a spray for wounds.)
But is Colloidal Silver Safe?
Silver is completely safe to use when used within recommended limits. But there have been safety concerns raised and confusion created about colloidal silver.
Don’t people turn blue from using it?
The main concern is the bluish tinge to the skin after drinking it. This condition, called Argyria, can occur if colloidal silver is produced with impure water, impure silver, faulty equipment, or is produced as a larger size. This is when large particles of silver are deposited under the skin and get stuck in skin tissue.
The Environmental Protection Agency has created guidelines for safe consumption of silver supplements. (You can see it here.) I purchase a silver solution that is about 75mcg per teaspoon, so according to EPA guidelines, even 4 teaspoons would be safe for me to consume daily. And I mostly use colloidal silver in homemade soap, so there is not much that gets absorbed into the skin once it is rinsed off.
Forms of Silver to Avoid
There are some forms of silver that may be harmful: silver nitrate, silver citrate, silver chloride, and mild silver protein. Mild silver protein is perhaps the most dangerous. This is usually not listed on a label. The silver particles are so large that a protein such as gelatin is needed to keep them suspended. You can check this easily enough without a lab test. Simply shake the bottle. If a foam appears, keep an eye on it for a few minutes. If it dissolves, it’s probably fine. If the foam stays for a while, then it contains proteins and you should not use it. Inferior silver may be darker due to the larger particle size or may be yellow in color.
What about Other Colloidal Products?
Colloidal copper is another liquid agent working much the same way as colloidal silver, but with different results. Copper is one of the building blocks of collagen. Collagen helps to keep our skin looking young and healthy. Copper is also essential to building red blood cells and is part of what is responsible for the color of our skin and hair. You can’t get a tan from spraying colloidal copper on your skin, but it may help your skin be more resistant to burning.
Colloidal gold has been used to enhance the delivery of drugs to difficult-to-reach areas, such as the brain or tumors. It has been used in cancer research extensively to locate tumors. For most users, it can help enhance brain function and promote a sense of general well being.
Will it Work for Me?
Since we are all unique, nothing works in the same way for everyone. While some people have very good results using these products, some can not detect any difference.
Aside from the risks of using an inferior silver product, there are virtually no side effects. I have been able to use colloidal silver on wounds such as scrapes and poison ivy rash. I’ve also used the spray on my dog when he had a very bad infection in his back. The healing process was less than a month and after that time you could barely tell that he’d been injured.
I also use colloidal copper soap for my face. I have very oily skin and still have breakouts, even at 52. I can always tell when I use the copper soap as my face remains smooth and clear. I also use a copper toner spray.
Will these products work the same for you? You’ll just have to try them to find out. Remember that skin cells generally take 21 days to turn over, so give yourself at least a month to fairly try them. If you have any problems, discontinue use and try something different.
Have you tried colloidal silver, copper, or gold? If so, how did it work for you? Tell us about it in the comments below!
References & Resources:
- Spectrum of antimicrobial activity associated with ionic colloidal silver
- Colloidal Silver Benefits: The Truth About Colloidal Silver
- EPA Reference Dose for Silver
- New Guidelines for Safe Usage of Colloidal Silver