Silver has a long history of use as a medicine, preservative, and treatment for a variety of ailments. Some of the first citings were around 4,000 B.C. where the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome used metallic silver vessels for purifying water and wine. During the Roman empire, the medicinal use of silver salts saw their first application as a medical treatment for open wounds in battle and in the Middle Ages, silver coins were placed in milk and water bottles to prevent spoilage and growth of bacteria.
During the 15th century's bubonic plague, silverware came into fashion among members of royalty. Chinese emperors and their court ate with silver chopsticks. Silverware was used to prevent the spreading of microbes associated with food handling. Hence, the term "blue blood" came into being as prolong exposure to silver ions (released when acidic food is brought into contact with silver metal) can lead to the bluing of the skin. For the next 6 centuries, there was limited growth in the use of silver due to its exclusivity. However, in the mid-19th century, silver began to see some usage among common citizens. American pioneers used silver for the treatment of illness and preservation of food during their long, isolated trek across the frontier. It wasn't until the late 1800's when we saw rapid progression in the popular use of silver. Silver salts began to see usage for their germicidal properties. In 1881, Carl Crede began using 2% silver nitrate solutions in neonatal units to prevent gonorrheal opthalmia, a technique used to this day. Furthermore, during this time, silver in colloidal form was found to be the most effective because it lacked the caustic properties of the salts. Around 1910, the use and study of colloidal silver began to grow dramatically and was extensively written about in the scientific literature. In 1910's researchers found that low concentrations of colloidal silver was effective at killing multitude of disease-causing bacteria. Literally hundreds of studies confirming the antimicrobial effectiveness of colloidal silver were reported during the first half of the 20th century. However in the 1940s with the advent of modern antibiotics and the enthusiasm surrounding them, the research into colloidal silver reduce remarkably. Investigation into colloidal silver slowed dramatically with only occasional studies being published. One such rare publication in 1966 in the Surgical Forum found that colloidal silver was extremely effective in the treatment of burn victims. To this day, the use of silver in the treatment of burn is commonplace. In recent decades, with the discovery of antibiotic-resistant stains of various germs, a resurgence of interest in other antimicrobial materials has formed.
Silver has been shown to kill hundreds of disease organisms including bacteria, viruses, molds, & fungus and it appears that these microbes do not develop resistance to silver. Silver is an oxidation catalyst and kills anaerobic & aerobic pathogens in two primary ways, either by inhibiting enzymes that metabolizes oxygen thereby suffocating the bacteria, or by electrostatic-ally binding to pathogenic cells leading to disruption of internal cellular function. Silver doesn't affect the cytoplasm of multi-cellular organisms. There is a difference in cell structure of sub-microscopic organisms and that of animals and plants. Thus colloidal silver is harmful to single celled microorganisms, but is harmless to cells of plants and animals. Due to these properties, silver has found its ways into many modern-day, antimicrobial applications. A few of the many applications include: household water filtration systems, commercial aircraft & NASA spacecraft water purification systems, burn bandages, washing machines, catheters, deodorant, mouthwashes, & fungicidal creams.
Types of Silver Products
There are three prominent types of "colloidal silver" on the market, ionic, silver protein, and true colloidal silver. While the first two of these have beneficial properties they also suffer drawbacks. Most notability causing bluing of the skin and other bodily tissues when taken in excessively large dosages. This condition, known as argyria, Is caused due to the bio-accumulation of silver in the body. While cosmetically unpleasant there are no known adverse health affect associated with it. True colloidal silver does not bio-accumulated and does not undergo reactions leading to argyria. Silver Botanicals only uses true colloidal silver in our products.
The majority of products labeled as "colloidal silver" are not true colloidal silver solutions, but are ionic or silver protein solutions.This is due, in part, to the low degree of manufacturing complexity and low cost of production. Ionic silver products, produced by electrolysis, contains silver in the ionic form i.e. charged silver ions while silver protein solutions contain silver in ionic silver bound to proteins. Since the majority of the silver content in these products are dissolved silver rather than metallic silver particles they are not true colloids. The difference is important because of the reactions that take place within the human body. Inside the body silver ions quickly combines with chloride to form an insoluble compound called silver chloride. Silver chloride is not an effective form inside the human body.
True colloidal silver products contain mixtures of metallic silver particles suspended in solution. These products are least prevalent on the market due to the high degree of manufacturing complexity and resulting in high cost of production. These products provide the benefits associated with silver solution without the drawbacks. The most important factor to consider when using true colloidal silver is particle size. In general, the smaller the particle size, the more effective the colloidal silver. Silver botanicals uses colloidal silver nanoparticles that contain approximately 30 atoms and are typically measured in terms of nanometer. These are extremely small particles and provide for a superior form of colloidal silver. The do not bioaccumlate and easily enter and exit the body. Silver botanicals designs our products with concentrations that are suited for each specific product.
True colloidal silver is an extremely safe anti-microbial material. While concentrated silver salt solutions do have toxicity, true colloidal silver has been shown to be non-toxic at extremely high doses as they are inert to virtually all biological processes. The EPA has confirmed the non-toxic nature of colloidal silver in its documents.
The EPA has suggested colloidal silver may represent a potential threat to the environment by eliminating the bacteria which are useful in normal waste degradation. However, recent studies have shown that colloidal nanosilver does not pose a threat to the environment and are safely deactivated via natural processes.
Colloidal Silver Education
Silver Botanicals is aware of the importance and need for trustworthy information related to product ingredients. We are, therefore, dedicated to continually improving and expanding our learning resources pertaining to colloidal silver, natural ingredients, and other useful information and on our website. Please stay tuned.
Can silver alloy catheters reduce infection rates? | Practice | Nursing Times. (n.d.). Nursing practice and peer-reviewed clinical research for all nurses. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/home/clinical-zones/co...
Coburn, D. L., & Dignan, P. D. (2012). The Wonders of Colloidal Silver. USA: Moonfeather Press.
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D'Raye, T. (1998). The Wonder Cure Time Forgot, Colloidal Silver. Keizer, Oregon/USA: Quick Read Health Books.
Farber, M. P., & Trowbridge, J. P. (1995). Mild silver protein: The micro silver bullet, an autobiography of a holistic physician, scientist, researcher, author, philosopher, musician and poet. Houston, TX: Professional Physicians Pub.
Gibbs, R. J. (1999). Silver colloids: Do they work?Newark, DE: Ronald J. Gibbs.
Peterson, M. (2009). Colloidal Production Guide (2nd ed.). Lexington, Kentucky: Pride Scientific Labs.
Powell, J. (1978, March). Silver, Our Mightiest Germ Fighter. Science Digest.
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Silver Shield Deodorant | True Colloidal Silver Deodorant. (n.d.). Silver Botanicals | Natural Products for Health and Happiness. Retrieved from http://silver-botanicals.com/silver-shield-deodora...
Silver Sulfadiazine Cream. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.silversulfadiazinecream.org/
Spinoff 2004-WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS MAKE A BIG SPLASH. (n.d.). NASA Spinoff Homepage. Retrieved from http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2004/er_1.html
Water Filter Elements. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://propurusa.com/Water_Filter_Elements.html
Retrieved from http://www.nnin.org/doc/NNIN-1025.pdf