Prior to 1938, colloidal silver was the most commonly used antibiotic in the world. It is claimed to be a natural way to ward off viruses. Other plus points of colloidal silver include the fact that it is inexpensive; can be purchased without the need for a prescription and it can apparently kill bacteria that have become immune to modern antibiotics. Silver was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans amongst other cultures as a form of medicine and preservative. The use of silver to fight bacteria continued in the 19th Century Wild West in the United States as pioneers routinely placed silver in drinking water in order to make it safe to drink.
Silver and Disease
Thanks in part to the discovery of writings from ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans who suggested that silver was an effective means of fighting disease, physicians in the late 19th century used it to combat bacteria which had recently been discovered to be a cause of illness. Conditions such as compound fractures and skin ulcers were treated with silver nitrate. It was discovered in 1893 that the silver ion was responsible for silver’s effectiveness against bacteria. The early 20th century saw silver foil dressings used by doctors to treat the wounds of patients.
Enter Colloidal Silver
Physicians in the late 19th century discovered that all of the human body’s fluids were colloidal. This means that bodily fluids such as blood are actually comprised of particles suspended within fluid. Colloidal silver was created by doctors who realized that a colloid that could be absorbed into the body would be extremely effective against bacteria. The discovery and utilization of electricity allowed doctors to create electro-colloidal silver in 1924 and the technique was improved upon over the years.
By the 1940s, there were almost 50 silver compounds available which claimed to be a cure against every known infectious disease. Not all of these products were colloidal silver. Some of them were silver salts with certain cures made up of 30% silver. Once modern antibiotics were discovered, silver lost its place as an important antibacterial medicine. Its use dwindled rapidly until the 1970s when Dr. Robert Becker discovered proof that colloidal silver aided bone growth while destroying bacteria. It came while he was researching the regeneration of organs, limbs and spinal cords. Dr. Becker found that colloidal silver destroyed anthrax, typhoid, infections in wounds and pink eye amongst other maladies.
The 90s Craze
Yet it was the 1990s when the colloidal silver craze really took off with hundreds of individuals marketing it as an alternative medicine. It is once again claimed that colloidal silver has the ability to cure hundreds of different illnesses and is especially effective against bacteria that have built up a defence against modern antibiotics. Companies in the United States in particular ran adverts in newspapers and magazines in the mid 1990s claiming that modern people suffered from a severe lack of silver in their diet. They claimed that while antibiotics only killed a handful of different disease organisms, colloidal silver had the capability to destroy at least 650.
Such claims were not taken seriously by various world health organizations with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States approving silver wound dressings but not considering colloidal silver as a viable alternative to modern antibiotics. Health organizations have dismissed claims that colloidal silver has the ability to deal with cancer, AIDS or diabetes as has been claimed by certain companies. Medical evidence suggests that silver is not an essential mineral so therefore, it is impossible to have a silver deficiency. Nonetheless, thousands of people around the world believe in the medicinal properties of colloidal silver and continue to purchase it from stores and pharmacies that stock it.