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Colloidal silver has been around for many years and before 1938, the substance was used as both a germicide and disinfectant.

What Is Colloidal Silver?

Medical professionals used the solution of  Colloidal Silver in eye drops for ophthalmic issues, various infections and they sometimes touted it as a cure for epilepsy, the common cold, gonorrhea and tropical sprue (malabsorption disorder of tropical origin). With the discovery of antibiotic medications, however, use of colloidal silver in the medical field ceased. [1]

In the early 1990’s, colloidal silver began to experience a rebirth as it was marketed as a treatment in the alternative area of health.  Colloidal silver products are readily available at health food stores and are also sold online in the form of a dietary supplement. It is illegal in the United States and Australia to market colloidal silver for medical purposes. However, some websites promote the product as a cure for the common cold, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, flu, cancer and diabetes among other diseases. No medical research or information claims colloidal silver is an effective treatment for any of these conditions and silver is not a part of an essential mineral needed by humans.

Colloidal silver is a liquid suspension of silver particles, and colloidal is the term used to describe the particles of silver that do not dissolve, but rather remain suspended in the liquid. The commercial term “colloidal silver,” refers to products made with silver colloids, ionic silver, silver proteins or ionic silver compounds. The solution is marketed for both internal and external use in alternative medical remedies, though there is no verifiable scientific evidence to suggest it is effective for treating any medical condition. [2]

When Is Colloidal Silver Used?

Colloidal silver has been used as a disinfectant and has been added to the water supplies of the Russian space station Mir and the International Space Station as well. The World Health Organization also includes the solution as one of the ways to disinfect drinking water in third-world countries. Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace has developed a water purification and disinfection system which consists of a ceramic filtration system lined with colloidal silver particles for use in developing countries. [3]

Colloidal silver has also been used in horticulture as an ethylene inhibitor, by competing for binding sites on the ethylene receptors of plants. Because of this fact, solutions that contain silver particles are used by florists to keep flowers fresher for a longer time. Ethylene is the chemical known for “sexing” plants, so by blocking synthesis, colloidal silver can be used for forcing male onto female plants.  Colloidal silver has also been used extensively in cannabis (marijuana) cultivation as well. [4]

Some independent studies have concluded colloidal silver can be an effective agent against many different types of infections and is toxic in certain amounts to many types of fungus, parasites, protozoa, bacteria and certain viruses. [5]

Today, products containing colloidal silver are sold in oral solutions, topical preparations, by injection, nasal, eye or ear drops. Silver can also be directly applied to cuts, scrapes, open sores and abrasions for antiseptic purposes.

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