Colloidal silver is a relatively new natural remedy that has been making waves. It can be useful in certain situations when you want a natural therapy, but many people aren't quite sure what it is or what it can do.
The main benefits of colloidal silver are for skin and immune support due to its powerful ability to fight certain pathogens.
Here's more about what this alternative remedy is and how you can safely use it for health.
What Is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is a liquid solution that contains microscopic particles of suspended silver. Good quality supplements will use highly purified water as the liquid. The exact size of the particles can vary, but they are usually in the nanometer range.
The amount of silver in any given supplement is usually labeled as milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (PPM). Comparing this number will give you an idea of the strength of different options.
Most colloidal silver supplements are in spray form. You simply spray in your mouth or on your skin for your "dose". Some also come in a dropper for easy measurement.
History of Silver
Silver actually has a long history of use as a medicinal substance, stretching back several thousand years.
It was used to prevent infections, particularly as far as wound healing was concerned, before the discovery of antibiotics. Before refrigeration, it was also common for people to drop a piece of silver into a milk jug to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microbes that would cause spoilage. (1)
Today, it's making something of a comeback, although in a different form than it would have been used in the past.
Top Benefits of Colloidal Silver
Most of the power of colloidal silver comes from its antimicrobial properties.
Lab studies have repeatedly shown that silver can kill or inhibit a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. This includes well-known strains like E.coli and Staphylococcus as well as antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. (2)
It has also demonstrated anti-fungal power, although not as strongly as it acts against bacteria. However, one notable fungus it inhibited was Candida albicans, which is often responsible for yeast infections. (3)
Along with fighting bacteria and other microbes, colloidal silver also has anti-inflammatory benefits, specifically when applied to skin. In one animal study, a silver solution was able to restore inflamed skin nearly back to normal in just three days. (4)
This is confirmation for the traditional use of colloidal silver to reduce inflammation and swelling of the skin.
Promotes Wound Healing
Because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory nature, it shouldn't come as any surprise that colloidal silver can promote the healing of damaged skin. In fact, silver dressings for wounds was one of the most common uses for this natural substance in the past.
Even today, researchers are still looking into options, like a silver-based nanogel, for certain surface wounds (the study found it helpful for superficial pellet wounds). (5)
Immune-Boosting + Antiviral
There are many anecdotal stories of the benefits of colloidal silver as an immune enhancer and a remedy to fight the common cold and flu.
Research in this area has been lacking, but one study from 2011 found that colloidal silver could indeed help with recovery from a cold. The study found that about 90% of participants who used the silver completely recovered after treatment as compared to only 66% in the group that didn't. (7)
Other studies have shown that colloidal silver possesses some degree of antiviral properties, which could explain some of its potential immune-boosting effects.
Specifically, silver has shown an ability to inhibit the HIV virus, hepatitis B virus, and H1N1 influenza A virus. (8)
May Help With Sinus Conditions
Colloidal silver has been used for a wide array of health issues, but it seems to have special potential for aiding sinus conditions.
When used as a nasal spray or nasal rinse, colloidal silver may be able to relieve chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). One study found that it was just as effective as oral antibiotics, perhaps due to its antibacterial nature. (9)
Another way to use colloidal silver for your sinuses is by adding a few drops to a neti pot and using it to flush out your nasal cavity.
Helpful for Other Infections
Each person seems to have their own preference for when colloidal silver is most helpful for them. Keep in mind that research hasn't confirmed the use of silver for any particular infection, but it can be supportive for your body due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Respiratory issues, like pneumonia or bronchitis, can potentially be helped by colloidal silver as can the cold and the flu.
As long as you use it short-term, there's no harm in trying silver when you're sick to see if it makes your symptoms disappear more quickly.
How to Use Colloidal Silver
For internal use, it's as easy as spraying or dropping the liquid in your mouth. The bottle should have a recommended amount to take daily on it, so be sure to follow this carefully.
For skin support, you can spray colloidal silver directly on skin or apply it to a bandage that you use to cover the area of skin that needs attention.
No matter how you use it, most natural health experts recommend it for short-term use only- no longer than 14 days at a time.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the safety of colloidal silver, and it can be difficult to get to the facts. Those against it point to the fact that silver can build up in the body and cause toxicity. They also argue that nanoparticles are still poorly understood and may cause unknown health concerns. (10)
However, others point out that there are clearly benefits of colloidal silver, and the silver is present in such small amounts that it's unlikely to cause toxicity unless taken in extremely large doses for a long period of time.
Several studies have also shown the safety of colloidal silver when taken in appropriate amounts, including one that showed it did not alter the gut microbiome in animals- something that can not be said for antibiotics, which are widely used. (11)
At the end of the day, short-term use of colloidal silver (14 days or less) in appropriate amounts has not had any documented side effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it because studies have not been done on its safety for the fetus, but healthy adults should not have any problems with it.
As needed, consult with a natural health professional if you have questions about how to best use colloidal silver.
An Ancient & Modern Remedy
Now that you know what colloidal silver is, you may want to keep this remedy on hand for minor skin issues and immune support. It has a long, long history of use and is proving to still be effective, even in the world of modern medicine.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider, herbalist, midwife, or naturopathic physician before taking herbs, supplements, etc. Here's the link to our full disclaimer.