Is Colloidal Silver Really Safe?

by lydia on May 24, 2012

I know that colloidal silver is a popular home remedy, natural ‘antibiotic’, that many people use and swear by. I also know that people have received benefits from it’s usage.  I personally have never used it and don’t plan to. I think there are plenty of wonderful ways to treat and heal the body aside from it. After having studied minerals in the body (see my two recent posts on minerals here & here), I am all too aware of how easily minerals can get out of balance in the body and actually become toxic. So let’s take a peak at colloidal silver a bit more, so the risks are more known. (This is by no means an extensive research paper on the subject of colloidal silver – it is simply a brief article to bring up the question of the possible risks of CS).

 COLLOIDAL SILVER

Colloidal silver can be a very toxic mineral, but also may be essential in the body in very minute amounts (it’s not even listed within the listings of trace minerals). Colloidal silver appears to negatively affect the colon flora as well, something I do not believe anyone can afford to have happen in this day and age. (This is something I’d like to research and understand more personally.)

Here is what is stated about colloidal silver by The Doctor Within Website;

It is hawked by many as a “natural antibiotic.” Extremely uninformed physicians recommend daily doses of colloidal silver, in order to “prevent” colds, in the absence of any studies or trials whatsoever. As Dr. Kidd points out:

“…the body is not well-equipped to handle silver. This element can poison the kidneys, become deposited in the brain, and even give to the skin a gunmetal type of gloss.” [21]

Silver:

questionable as a single-dose antibiotic, consistent intake of silver accumulates in the blood-forming organs – spleen, liver, and bone marrow, as well as the skin, lungs, and muscles. Serious pathologies have resulted: blood disorders, cirrhosis, pulmonary edema, chronic bronchitis, and a permanent skin condition known as argyria, to name just a few. Silver is better left in the ancient lakes, and in tableware.

Does Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, a trusted/respected more holistic minded doctor,  recommend using colloidal silver?

‘No, I do not. Silver accumulates in the body: people, who take it for long periods of time get a grey skin colour. It is a very old antiseptic; it was proposed around the same time when mercury was used as an antiseptic. It is indiscriminate in attacking the microbes: it attacks the good and the bad, just like antibiotics do.’

Considering the simple fact that minerals are like a delicate balancing act, most lay people do not understand how they work within the body therefore will not likely know how to carefully utilize silver in a safe manner. My personal conviction is that silver should not be used long term unless you work with a qualified health care professional and you are already aware of any possible existing heavy metal issues you may have. Otherwise, I personally would not recommend working with it on any regular basis. Better to be safe, and there are plenty of other holistic approaches to take. But, suffice it to say, I am raising this concern to bring awareness to never just blindly supplement, get all the facts and do some research before you consider using this as a regular home remedy. I am also not suggesting that colloidal silver does not have any benefits. I know it does help people and is useful in place of antibiotics if one is truly needed. My main concern is with hearing of it’s use regularly for many things without understanding the possible down side. I also think it’s very important to consider the source and form you take, and even then study up on how those forms have been tested.  So, this post is to bring up the question, just how safe is using colloidal silver and what are the down sides?

Here is an article by the Mayo Clinic that discusses the use of colloidal silver in further detail. Dr. Mercola has an article about the safety of colloidal silver and some guidelines to follow if you choose to use it, and what types are best. Check out this story about a man who has consumed silver regularly long term and how it has indeed changed his skin color. Even if you do decide to supplement with colloidal silver regularly, you may want to get some hair tissue analysis done at some point to assess your overall mineral status or metal toxicity. All in all, supplement very carefully and responsibly, and consider that with any other mineral as well.

For more reading on this topic;

Every Silver Lining Has a Black Cloud (read the document linked at the end of the first paragraph)

 

 

[Cover Photo Credit]

{ 12 comments }

Evelyn Barney May 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I use it, but as a TOPICAL antiseptic. Metals have been used this way for centuries – not always with the best results, true, but the active ingredient in Mercurochrome was, after all, mercury.

My rationale is that if I can wear silver without harm (I’d never ‘wear’ mercury, even if that were possible) then colloidal silver should be safe, even on broken skin, as an occasional home remedy.

It works well.

Kathryn Arnold May 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I like your work and have benefited from it, but on this I’m not so sure you’ve actually researched the subject very far. I’m seriously considering colloidal silver treatment and have read a great deal about it. I’ve tried everything else, from conventional medicine to homeopathy to herbs. I asked someone who deals with CS extensively what he thought of this post, and here is his reply to me (hope you don’t mind, but you did bring up the subject): “Kathryn, she takes partial truths and then exaggerates them. For example, she says, “Colloidal silver is a toxic mineral…” Well, EVERY mineral is “toxic” at some dosage level. So you could just as easily say “Iron is a toxic mineral.” Or “Magnesium is a toxic mineral.” And it would be true, but only at some excessive level of usage. At normal dosage levels, both iron and magnesium are very beneficial minerals, and not toxic at all. It’s the same with silver. At normal, common-sense dosage levels users find it to be very beneficial. But at excessive dosage levels taken over long periods of time, it has been demonstrated to cause problems, mostly argyria, which is a staining of the skin. Regarding toxicity, you might want to check out the newest clinical study in which researchers gave guinea pigs super-high concentrations (i.e., 2,000 ppm) of nanosilver for several days and found no toxicity over the short-term. See: http://www.thesilveredge.com/New%20Research%20–%20Silver%20Nanoparticles%20Not%20Toxic.shtml. This would indicate that it’s the long-term ABUSIVE use of high doses of colloidal silver that can cause problems. In the short-term, even very high concentrations of colloidal silver appear to be relatively harmless. In the next week or so I’ll be posting an article on the results of another cliinical study in which tiny mice were given 5,000 ppm of colloidal silver nanoparticles for several days, and here too, researchers found no harm, no toxicity. Keep in mind most humans take between 5 ppm and 20 ppm colloidal silver — relatively low concentrations by comparison. it could be estimated that giving a mouse 5,000 ppm colloidal silver nanoparticles would the the human equivalent of 1,000,000 ppm! It’s a shame how some people exaggerate things, but that’s basically what the lady who wrote the article at the link you posted was doing. You might want to get a copy of the Colloidal Silver Safe Dosage Report at http://www.ColloidalSilverSafeDosageReport.com, as it goes into more detail on this topic.”

lydia May 25, 2012 at 7:55 am

Hi Kathryn,

Yes exactly, every mineral can be toxic -that is certainly part of my point. The main point of this post was not to do an extensive research paper on the subject, but to raise the question of is it really safe to supplement with. My concern is that I see people these days supplementing with just about anything without realizing that the body has a delicate balancing act going on at all times. After my research on minerals it has become clear to me that supplementing with just one aside from others can cause an imbalance that can lead to toxicity and be very harmful to the body and difficult to re-balance. Especially when one does not know what is going in the body without working alongside a qualified practitioner. Even at normal dosage levels as your friend states, there is still the fact that supplement iron without understanding how it works synergistically in the body, how it is absorbed, digested etc is not taken into consideration when simply reading a ‘normal dosage level’ as prescribed on the bottle or deemed safe by the FDA or whomever else. Do you see my point?

I am not trying to exaggerate anything here, I am genuinely concerned about this. I’ve had good friends swear by CS and I have remained hestitant about it’s use simply because silver is not needed by the body to thrive as far as we know. I included the Mercola article so people who do decide to use CS can see what the safe dosages are (as far as is known) and what forms are best. I am sure that low levels of silver are likely insignificant, as silver is available in the water supply (though that’s iffy considering filtration etc…) It’s also often place in charcoal water filters – are people aware of that – this is why I suggest hair tissue mineral analysis. Did you also know that silver antagonizes selenium and vitamin E in animals – so if one were to take silver regularly that would be something to consider. This is what I’d want to know if supplementing with it, how does my body absorb it, use it and deal with any excess? My main concern is with it used carelessly and in excess.
We have not yet determined just how much silver is truly needed by the body as there is currently no requirement for it in biological systems. One of my purposes in writing this post is to simply raise questions for people – I also know that I am going to be more objective about the subject than someone who already promotes silver or sells it. It’s always good to get an opposing view of your own so you can then challenge your thinking a little bit.

I hope that helps you understand where I am coming from a bit more. By no means do I consider myself an expert on the subject of silver – nor was this post ever meant to be an in depth research paper – I just wanted to raise the question, is it safe to regularly use?

Emma @ Craving Fresh May 25, 2012 at 12:43 am

Hey this was interesting. I’ve never used it either, but had thought it would be a good thing if I ever needed to. Now I’ll think more carefully about that.

lydia May 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

Kathyrn,

I’ve edited the post to include a link at the end – check that link out, namely the pdf that she links at the end of the first paragraph. This may be helpful information for you!

Kathryn Arnold May 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Well, malnutrition via a canned food childhood and SAD adult consumption led to anxiety and adrenal dysfunction. Then doctors did their unintentional best to destroy my health. After calling that effort a mistake and taking myself off most of the fourteen prescription medications that accumulated, I found out quickly that NDs are beyond my financial resources. I spent what I had on organic foods and supplementation, as well as whatever I could afford in the way of a number of other modalities. I got imptessive results from the better diet, supplementation, acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbs… but I guess you can’t repair 57 years’ damage in two years. Now that I’m down to the dregs of my financial resources and facing some tough health problems, I had hopes that CS might fast-track some improvement and buy some time for me to refinance and resume what had been helping. I have my doubts about silver supplementation… serious doubts. It would be a desperate measure, I think. But for me these are desperate times. Your links definitely added more to consider. What to do?

Laura Black May 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I’ve always had colloidal silver in my “medicine” cabinet. I don’t use it every day, and I don’t think you should or need to. I use it for yeast infections. I don’t get yeast infections as much anymore from modifying my diet and lifestyle. But when I did, I would take a dropper full of CS each time I went to the bathroom for a couple of days and I swear it really helped get rid of the yeast infection. Everything in moderation.

mary June 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

So what do you use? I used silver to get rid of a bladder infection a few months ago and NOTHING else had worked on it BTW, the stupid doctor thought cipro would be a better option. I didn’t even try that one. I think the prescriptions are way worse than worrying about taking silver when needed.

lydia June 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Mary, I agree that taking a high quality colloidal silver would be better than taking medications.
For a bladder infection I would probably use Fermented cod liver oil, magnesium and herbs to support the kidneys. I’d also perhaps drink diluted cranberry juice concentrate. Test my urine with pH tape several times a day, you want it to be between 5.5-6.4. Avoid sugar, coffee and get to the root of why you got the infection in the first place. Is it bladder or kidney dysfunction, is it related to edema or high blood pressure. The silver was a bandaid to clear it up, but it doesn’t solve the root of the issue. I understand wanting to deal with it somehow because who wants the discomfort of a bladder infection? However, it’s possible you have something going on that needs more attention. Just my thoughts!

Mariam Jensen April 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Colloidal silver is a highly useful mineral for fighting MRSA and other such pathogenic diseases and those who downplay it’s benefits either do not understand how to use it or wish to obsure the truth for their own questionable motives.
Mariam Jensen
Cidesco Diplomat
Bio-energy therapist
Nutritional coach
Author and Beauty Advisor

Ron March 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

You are right on Mariam.
Argyria (blue skin). One of the first documented cases was caused by MD prescribed eye drops of silver NITRATE not to be confused with colloidal silver. Other “blue people” have made their own cheaply with home made battery devices that produce a silver of unknown particle size. Many, if not all, used water that was not distilled and who knows what the hell the finished product was. I don’t believe their is a single case of argyria traced to pro…

Ron March 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

(cont.)
properly made colloidal silver unless maybe somebody drank a pnt a day for a prolonged period.
PERIOD.

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