Promoted as an amazing cure-all for decades, colloidal silver has been referred to as both a homeopathic remedy and a dietary supplement. But what is it exactly, and how could it possibly be so good at curing so many illnesses and diseases?
What Is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is a liquid that contains submicroscopic particles of actual silver. Proponents claim that these silver particles are so small that they can penetrate cells and destroy bacteria, fungi and viral pathogens. It can be applied directly to the skin, inhaled through a nebuliser, used as eardrops or taken as a tonic. Colloidal silver is supposed to also speed up the healing process of skin and tissues.
There have been so many claims as to what colloidal silver cures, and these can range from mild infections to serious diseases that to date have not been cured by modern medicine. Some of these include herpes virus, MRSA (superbug), AIDS, cancer, yeast infections, boils and warts and tuberculosis.
Fact Or Fiction?
To date there has been no proven medical evidence that supports any of these claims. In fact, the FDA has issued several warnings relating to the manufacture, sale and use of colloidal silver as an alternative medicine. Since 1999, the FDA has banned the promotion of any therapeutic values for colloidal silver, yet there are still many manufacturers and sellers who flout this ban by claiming it as a dietary supplement.
Since 2009, the FDA was compelled to issue a consumer advisory warning about the curative claims surrounding colloidal silver. They reiterated that there were no legal medical preparations for oral use that contained silver particles. From what has been researched and studied about silver, there is absolutely no proof to any of the claims made regarding the health benefits of using colloidal silver.
What Does Research Say About Colloidal Silver?
Because of the potential seriousness of side effects, research studies into the consequences of using colloidal silver have not been completed using humans. However, studies undertaken using mice have shown how the silver does accumulate in the brain, and the mice also had a much lower activity level. This result alone should be enough to make people very cautious about taking colloidal silver, particularly on a long-term basis.
Colloidal Silver: Side Effects And Advice
The Downside – Side Effects
Those that market colloidal silver will sometimes allude to the side effects of taking this product, but they tend to play the potentiual risks down quite significantly. One of the most common adverse effects is a condition called Argyria. This condition occurs because the human body is unable to remove the silver particles and so they build up in the eyes, the skin, the organs and the brain.
Argyria is characterized by a blue discoloration of the skin. Although some may see this as a cosmetic problem, would you really want to be walking around looking like a smurf all day? The more colloidal silver ingested, the stronger the blue tinge, and once you have it, it is almost impossible to get rid of. So, you are stuck being blue. There have been some reports of laser treatment being useful, but, this involves a lot of anesthesia and painful treatments that may not even be that effective.
Now, the promoters of colloidal silver will claim that this occurrence is rare, and that it really comes down to how much the person is taking each day. This may be true in some respects, but then perhaps they shouldn’t also be selling a special piece of equipment for making your own colloidal silver at home. Responsibility has to start somewhere.
If you thought being blue was bad, it's just because you haven't heard what else can happen. The collection of silver particles in the organs can lead to serious complications of the kidney and liver, and these conditions are not reversible either.
Warnings also exist for the effect of colloidal silver on some medications, particularly the decrease in efficiency in drugs used to treat thyroid disease, copper overload, infection and rheumatoid arthritis. Specifically, the absorption rate of thyroxine, tetracycline, quinolone antibiotics, and penicillamine has been shown to suffer a decrease when combined with colloidal silver. This can have serious consequences for the patient, especially those with hypothyroidism.
Colloidal Silver: To Take Or Not To Take?
If the FDA considers the potential side effects to be dangerous enough to issue warnings, and to consider the claims by manufacturers and promoters to be fraudulent, that should speak volumes on the safety of taking colloidal silver. Using is as a topical solution may not present as much harm as taking it internally, and for this reason it is relatively safe to use on minor skin irritations and wounds.
A lot of people seem to think that you have to adhere to either allopathic medicine or alternative medicine, but this is not entirely accurate. Whilst some alternative medicines can be useful for relieving symptoms, the risks and side effects must be taken into consideration. It is true that regular medications also have side effects and risks, but the difference is that they have been rigorously trialled, analyzed and studied before being deemed safe to be prescribed for patients. There are no such standards for alternative medicines.