8 Proven Colloidal Silver Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
If you haven’t heard of colloidal silver, you will soon enough if you’re on the lookout for alternative therapies to common health issues,
such as a sinus infection or
Most health food stores and pharmacies stock several brands of colloidal silver, and, of course, you can find a find a vast amount of information
about colloidal silver benefits on the Internet. Unfortunately, the information out there is confusing as many sources have conflicting opinions.
On one hand, you’ll run across thousands of personal testimonials about colloidal silver helping people with practically every disease you’ve
heard about. You will also stumble upon some well-known health sites that warn consumers about safety concerns. (1) Usually, these sources quote a statement made by the FDA in 1999 claiming that there is no scientific evidence to support the
use of colloidal silver. (2)
This type of information can confuse even the most savvy natural health enthusiast, which is why I want to lend a helping hand and provide some
evidenced-based information to help you make an informed choice.
How Colloidal Silver Benefits Work
According to a report written by Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute in a 1996, there are three primary ways that colloidal
silver can help heal the body: (3)
- Catalytic Oxidation: Silver naturally holds onto oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (H) groups that
surround bacterial and viruses. In turn, this helps block the life-preserving cellular process known as cellular respiration, which is defined as “the
set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.” (4)
- Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver ions can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same
- Binding with DNA: Shown to literally enter bacteria DNA, up to 12% of silver has been detected in Pseudomonas
aeruginosa. According to one source, “While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen
bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to
Top 8 Proven Colloidal Silver Benefits
By having a direct effect on cellular respiration, colloidal silver benefits the body in numerous ways. There are, however, eight proven healing
properties that I consider to be particularly supported by the medical literature.
First, colloidal silver’s ability to control antibiotic-resistant
superbugs is astonishing. While employed at UCLA Medical School in the 1980s, Larry C. Ford, MD, documented over 650
different disease-causing pathogens that were destroyed in minutes when exposed to small amounts of silver. (6)
Colloidal silver, unlike its modern prescription antibiotic counterpart, simply doesn’t create resistance or immunity in the organisms that
are killed by it. This point cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently
reporting that more than 2 million people in the U.S. suffer illness every year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die from
these infections. (7)
2. Wound Care/Skin Health
Robert O. Becker, MD, says that colloidal silver stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. (8) In a
research article produced by Pharmacognosy Communications in 2012, it was specifically recommended that certain colloidal silver preparations should
be considered for topical use to treat burns, thrush, periodontitis and other conditions. (9)
For instance, you can treat ringworm (Tinea capitis) at home with colloidal silver because it’s a potent anti-fungal. Caused by a fungus that
lives on the top layer of the skin, ringworm presents as round, scaly patches. It’s contagious and spread by skin contact and by contaminated
materials, such as clothing.
Colloidal silver benefits many skins conditions such as psoriasis and eczema as well. It’s soothing to scrapes and even repairs tissue damage from burns.
3. Pink Eye/Ear Infections
Pink eye is an inflamed mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and eyelid lining, and it’s primarily caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
Colloidal silver can be used for prompt action against this irritating and highly infectious virus and bacteria.
When applied on the infected eye, the tiny silver colloids pick up the infected cells by attracting them electromagnetically and sending them into
the bloodstream to be eliminated.
Our modern prescription antibiotic drugs are designed to work against specific classes of bacteria, but ear infections may be caused by multiple classes of bacteria or can even be fungal.
In this case, the prescription antibiotic will be useless, whereas colloidal silver is effective regardless of what may be causing your
Colloidal silver benefits can be experienced as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles and warts. Dr. Martin Hum, from the
Institute for Optimum Nutrition, lists colloidal silver as one of the natural remedies to stop viruses fast. (10)
Colloidal silver suffocates the virus and can even reduce the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients. There are also numerous anecdotal
accounts of colloidal silver’s efficacy against the hepatitis C virus.
Colloidal silver is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory remedy.
Case in point: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the effects of inflammation after being treated by colloidal
silver; they found that the inflamed skin of pigs treated with silver experienced near-normal skin after 72 hours, while other treatment groups not
treated with silver remained inflamed. (11)
Research is beginning to reflect what many people have already known anecdotally for years — that colloidal silver can reduce swelling, speed
healing, and boosts cell recovery!
Widely used to control sinus infections, colloidal silver can benefit people as a nasal spray, according to a study published in the International
Forum for Allergy and Rhinology last year. (14)
Specifically shown to kill Staph aureus, you can add a few drops of silver in a “neti pot” or by applying directly into your
nasal cavity and letting it drain down your throat by tilting your head back.
Also, it’s important to point out that recent research indicates that hidden infections by pathogens could be a cause of respiratory inflammation
associated with common allergies and asthma. Colloidal silver destroys Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections,
which may be the reason why airborne allergy sufferers often find such dramatic relief from colloidal silver.
Some claim that colloidal silver helps prevent all types of flu, including swine flu, as
well as the common cold. (15)
Few studies have been done to test this clinically, but in 2011 the NIH took 100 children under the age of 12 suffering from the common cold
and nasal congestion and assigned them into two groups; the first group was treated with a solution of colloidal silver and beta glucan, and
the second group with saline solution. Even though both groups benefited from the treatment, 90% of the people in the colloidal silver group
completely recovered! (16)
Our modern drugs have become limited in their efficacy when it comes to fighting bronchitis or pneumonia. Typically, antibiotics are administered
as the first line of defense, but when the pneumonia is viral, antibiotics won’t help in the least. The nice thing about colloidal silver is that it
can help regardless of the pathogen.
Colloidal silver is a remarkable product to help fight against bronchitis and pneumonia when ingested internally, but an even more effective way to
utilize it? Simply breathe it into your lungs.
This way, the silver directly contacts the germs residing in the lungs, which are causing bronchitis or pneumonia. It’s basically the same thing
as using respiratory support, and it works speedily, clearing it up within a couple of days.
Now, the most effective method to get the colloidal silver into the lungs is to use a nebulizer. Generally, use one teaspoon approximately three
times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
What is Colloidal Silver?
Before the invention of the refrigerator, it was common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk as a preservative because silver was known to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria and other undesirable
Dating back to ancient times, silver was also a popular remedy to stop the spread of diseases. Its use as a natural antibiotic continued all
the way until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics arrived.
Today, obviously, people don’t need to drop silver coins into their water to experience colloidal silver benefits! All you need to do is
carefully take a few drops from a bottle that you buy at the store, which is:
“A solution of water containing nanometre sized particles of suspended silver. The total silver content is
expressed as milligrams of silver per litre (mg/L) of water which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). The total silver content is
divided into two forms of silver: ionic silver and silver particles. (3)
There are basically three types of products that are marketed as “colloidal silver” and these can be categorized as:
- Ionic silver solutions
- Silver protein
- True colloidal silver
Ionic silver –
Ionic silver solutions are products whose silver content primarily consists of silver ions. Although ionic silver is
often marketed as colloidal silver, it’s not true colloidal silver. Because it’s the least expensive to produce, ionic silver is the most
popular product in this category. The problem? It simply won’t produce the same benefits that true colloidal silver can.
Silver Protein –
In order to keep large silver particles suspended, silver protein-based products add gelatin. Silver protein is the
second-most popular type of colloidal silver product on the market and can easily be made by adding water to silver protein powder. Again, it’s
also often marketed and labeled as colloidal silver, but should not be confused for the real thing. Silver protein is less effective for human use,
and you won’t experience the true colloidal silver benefits.
True Colloidal Silver –
Lastly, true silver colloids don’t contain any protein or other additives, as the vast majority of the silver content consists
of nanometre-sized silver particles. (4)
Colloidal Silver Side Effects
Although the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health reports that colloidal silver may cause poor absorption of some drugs, there
is limited research proving that side effects to colloidal silver use even exist. (17)
Nonetheless, you may come across many warnings about it causing an irreversible condition called argyria (when people turn blue). However, this is
caused by misuse not of true colloidal silver, but through other cheaper products marketed as colloidal silver, such as ionic silver or silver
One point to consider is that, because colloidal silver is such a potent antibacterial agent, you should be sure to supplement with probiotics
during use to be sure that you maintain a proper balance of microflora.
Colloidal Dosage & Use
Colloidal silver needs to be applied differently for each condition. To experience colloidal silver benefits, it may be taken as follows, always
keeping in mind to never use it for more than 14 days in a row.
- 2-5 drops applied directly to the skin
- 1 eyedropper taken orally for immune support
- 1-2 drops into eyes for pink eye
- 1-2 drops can help disinfect any wound or sore by applying onto a Band-Aid
- If prepared properly, it can be injected into a muscle, a cancerous tumor, or into the bloodstream
- 5 drops added into a neti pot or directly sprayed into the nose
- 5-10 drops can be applied vaginally or anally (18)
Silver Use by Doctors, Hospitals, and Medical Clinics
There is a great deal of information available on the web concerning the "pre-FDA" uses of silver by practicing medical doctors. While it is
certainly true that silver was considered a powerful medicine before the advent of antibiotics, this section endevours to focus on the present day
medical applications of silver, and current news regarding developments. The sections below delve into the practing and research world of modern
medical science, and clearly demonstrate that the prevelant belief that silver is simply a snake-oil cure peddled by unscrupulous scam artists is: Simply
Silver Use By MD's and other Medical Professionals
Dr. Robert O. Becker - Researching Medical Doctor
Dr. Robert O. Becker, a researching orthopedic medical doctor, was one of the early pioneers of silver experimentation for medical
applications. Dr. Becker re-discovered the broad-spectrum antibacterial properties of silver, and clinically demonstrated both the tissue healing
properties of silver ions and the antimicrobial properties of silver. By surgically inserting silver electrodes, and applying a small amount of
electrical current, Dr. Becker proved his famous "current of injury" theory and demonstrated the incredible healing properties of silver by
successfully mending infected non-union bone fractures.
Dr. Becker's in-vitro experimentation testing silver ions against cancer cells and subsequent observations documenting beneficial morphogenic
changes to living cells has paved the way to the eventual "discovery" of advanced medical technologies involving silver iontophoresis and
possibly even human regeneration.
Dr. Becker has never condoned the use of any colloidal silver products in the human body.
Dr. Becker's Research:
Body Electric" & "Cross Currents" - Robert O. Becker
View our research summary article: Dr. Robert O. Becker
View our follow-up Article: Silver Iontophoresis: Silver Ion Delivery
Published Journal Abstracts:
Induced Cell Differentiation: 2002
Silver Anode Treatment of Chronic Osteomyelitis: 1981
Silver Polymethyl Methacrylate Antibacterial Bone Cement: 1979
Treatment of Orthopaedic Infections with Electrically Generated Silver Ions: 1978
Dr. Becker Robert O. Quote, The Body Electric:
"...We were overjoyed to see that the silver hadn't corroded and the wound looked great. Carefully I took a bacterial culture and
applied a new silver nylon dressing...
"..by then all of our bacterial cultures were sterile -- all five kinds had been killed. The soft healing tissue, called granulation tissue, was
spreading out and covering the bone. In two weeks, the whole base of the wound, which had over eight square inches of raw bone, was covered with this
friendly pink carpet. The skin was beginning to grow in, too, so we could forget about the grafts we thought we'd need to do...
"By mid-1978 we'd successfully treated fourteen osteomyelitis patients with the positive silver mesh wire..."
Dr. Bart Flick, M.D.
Dr. Bart Flick of Argentum Medical LLC, another early pioneer in silver
medical research, invented FDA approved Silverlon wound contact dressing ( see our section on Silver Medical Products ). Dr. Flick, as a practicing
medical doctor, has been involved with over 300 wound treatment cases utilizing silver nylon as a wound dressing, with conditions ranging from
chemical burns, to post operative wounds, to brown recluse spider bites, and even diabetic ulcers.
Dr. Bart Flick Quote:
"The antimicrobial activity of silver rests upon the interaction of silver with the bacteria's cellular membrane. This interaction
can occur through the presence of a silver ion in solution or the release of silver in an ionic moiety directly from the surface of metalic silver
when a bacterial cell membrane comes in direct contact with the metallic surface."
More Information from Dr. Flick:
Read the Silver Ion Silverlon Commentary
Visit Dr. Flick's Argentum Medical LLC Silver Wound Care Dressing Website
Dr. Michael C. Biamonte D.N., CCN
Michael C. Biamonte, of the Biomante Center for Clinical Nutrition, a certified clinical
nutritionist and Naturopath, is a nutritional practitioner and has been involved in clinical research since the 1980's.
The Biomante Center for Clinical Nutrition has been involved in researching nutritional protocols for HIV and AIDS sufferers, among other chronic
Michael Biamonte Quote:
"...At this point I went back to the drawing board. I remained level headed enough to see that while Dr. Clark's program may not
be making people HIV negative, it still was helping people a great deal, so there were things right about it and truth to be had in it..."
"...The researcher mentioned that he had tested silver against HIV in a test tube and it had killed it. I then had the idea to try
silver on these HIV patients and monitor them with the viral load tests. I was careful to only use silver that had been tested by independent labs and
had its effectiveness verified. In addition to the silver, I gave them some other supportive factors. After 6 months of working on this protocol, it
[ please note that colloidal silver was not the only substance used ]
"...After an average of 8 months to 1 year on this program, 90% of the patients are reporting that their viral load tests are
scoring less than 400 copies, which in English means the HIV virus is no longer detectable..."
More Information on Michael Biomante:
Read the Full Article: A New Approach to HIV
Dr. Eric J. Rentz, D.O.
Dr. Rentz holds a Masters of Arts in Organic Chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa and graduated from the Kirksville College of
Osteopathic Medicine. He has served as Chairman of the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department of Nova Southeastern University, and is one of
less than 1,000 doctors nationwide to attain full Board Certification in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
"I am involved in on-going research in the use of silver hydrosols for different clinical conditions. I have a book on this subject coming out
In dealing with such defiant immune challenges, physicians are confronted with increasing numbers of new bacterial and viral mutations. The
Institute of Medicine, under the National Academy of Sciences, estimates that the annual cost associated with these new infectious situations may be
as high as $30 Billion. With the recent SARS outbreak, the cost to China alone last year has already been $70 Billion. "
Dr. Rentz' Research:
New Book on Silver Hydrosols: Colloidal and Silver Hydrosols
Dr Rentz' Website: www.oligodynamic.com
Dr. Issam I. Raad, MD - The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health: Internal Medicine
Dr. Issam Raad focuses on research specializing in device-related infections, molecular microbiology in evaluating the
epidemiology of multidrug-resistant bacterial and fungal infections and in diagnosing invasive fungal infections, and the evaluation of novel
antimicrobial agents in the prevention and treatment of cancer-related infections.
Dr. Raad Quote:
"...A novel antiseptic silver iontophoretic catheter that produces silver ions over long periods has also been developed. The ions
are generated by a low electrical current produced by a double helical wire structure around the catheter subcutaneous segment. This catheter has been
shown to be efficacious in vitro and in vivo in preventing catheter colonization. This technology is remarkable because, unlike catheters coated with
antimicrobial agents, it offers long-term protection and less potential for development of resistant organisms..."
More Information on Dr. Raad:
University of Texas, MD
Anderson Cancer Center
Abstract on Silver Iontophoresis: Silver iontophoretic catheter:
a prototype of a long-term antiinfective vascular access device.
Antelman MS. - Methods of using electron active compounds for managing cancer
Thirty Central American female patients diagnosed with breast cancer, age 32 to 52, were treated with with Ag404 ( Injectable
Tetrasil ). This polyvalent silver oxide, also known as tetrasilver textroxide, was administered intravenously to achieve a blood plasma
concentration of 10PPM.
After 30 days following the initial injections, all 30 individuals tested negative for cancer.
Dr. Eileen M. Wright , M.D., F.A.C.E.P - Great Smokies Medical Center, Asheville NC
Doctor Eileen M. Wright graduated from The University of South Florida College of Medicine in 1975, and served for two years in
General Surgery in the US Navy Medical Corps. She served as assistant professor, and, later, assistant clinical professor in Surgery, Division of
Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Dr. Wright suggests the use of a high quality colloidal silver as a part of a treatment protocol for infections:
"...At the very first sign of any symptoms continue taking the above products and also take one teaspoon of Argentyn-23 every
twenty minutes for 4 to 6 doses, then 1 tsp. three times daily. (The brand Argentyn-23 is an extremely small molecule of silver, accounting for its
superior antimicrobial effects. Don’t substitute other brands.) "
Read the entire article: Sars
The City of Hope's Helford Clinical Research Hospital,
in Duarte, California ( Completed in 2004 )
One of the most advanced research & treatment hospitals in the United States, The Helford Clinical Research Hospital will house
the nation's largest bone marrow transplant facility. Among its high tech state-of-the-art arsenal is a silver and zeolite powder coating used
specifically to harness the antimicrobial power of the silver ion. The antimicrobial powder coating ( AgION ) is applied to steel machinery and
equipment, and has EPA and FDA approval for use in a variety of applications.
The zeolite acts as a silver ion pump, and helps to maintain a sterile environment and prevent the proliferation of microbes. AgION is
a surface treatment solution, and is especially ideal for equipment used in the medical field and the food industry.
"The Helford Clinical Research Hospital is a reflection of City of Hope’s philosophy of fusing leading-edge technology and
research with compassionate care of the soul,"
- Gil N. Schwartzberg, president and chief executive officer of City of Hope
Visit The City of Hope website for more information.
The University of North Texas, under the supervision of Mark A. Farinha, Ph.D, conducted in-vitro time kill studies to test the
effectiveness of SilverKare Colloidal Silver at 15 PPM and 30 PPM.
Dr. Farinha's laboratory testing confirmed the direct antimicrobal effect of silver against Staph, Candida and
Psuedomonas. Read the details: Silver effective against
pathogenic organisms, and explore how silver can, via direct contact, reduce bacterial population counts from over ten million copies to
undetectable in under four minutes.