NEXUS vol. 4, no. 1 for silver water article -- Colloidal Silver - The Universal Germicide
Historical Background and Research Silver has long been known for its special properties. The people of ancient Greece and Rome used silver containers for keeping liquids fresh. Through the centuries royal households carried on this practise by storing their provisions in silver containers. Privileged family members used silver eating utensils: they had their meals served on silver plates and their drinks served in sliver cups. Indeed, the skin of 'blue bloods' reportedly had a bluish tinge due to the minute traces of pure metallic silver they regularly consumed. In American pioneering days, new settlers travelling to the West would put silver dollars in their milk to delay spoiling.
By the turn of the 20th Century, silver was regarded as a proven germ-fighter. In medicine, a solution known as colloidal silver was commonly used as a mainstay of bacterial treatment. Although considered to be 'high tech' at that time, the type of solution used was technically inferior to today's colloidal silver solutions. One of the drawbacks was that the particle size of the silver never reached its optimum ultramicroscopic size and thus its highest levels of absorption.
Back then, highly effective colloidal silver was very expensive to produce. The pharmaceutical industry wanted faster-working drugs that were cheaper and patentable. In addition, when manufactured improperly or taken at hundreds of times the proper dosage with extraneous silver compounds included, a permanent skin discolouration called argyria could result. For these reasons, colloidal silver fell out of favour. Even so, prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet (1914) published the results of scientific studies and examined the many successful uses of colloidal silver.
In 1910, Dr Henry Crooks a pioneer in colloidal chemistry wrote that:
"É.certain metals, when in a colloidal state, have a highly germicidal action but are quite harmless to human beingsÉ it may be applied in a much more concentrated form and with better resultsÉ. Bronchial tuberculosisÉStaphylococcus pyogenes, various Streptococci and other pathogenic organisms are all killed in three to four minutes: in fact no microbe is known that is not killed by this colloid in laboratory experiments in six minutes, [and] the concentration of the [silver] does not exceed twenty-five parts per millionÉ."
In 1919, Alfred Scarle, founder of the pharmaceutical conglomerate of the same name, wrote in his book The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease that:
"Éapplying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results. For internal administration, orally or hypodermically it has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to parasites without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable."
Colloidal Silver Reappraised Much later in the 1970's colloidal silver once again became a valued substance. Doctors at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, stumbled upon it while searching for effective treatments for burns victims, having tried many other medicines.
Biomedical research has shown that no known disease causing organism-bacteria, virus or fungus can live for more than a few minutes in the presence of even minute traces of metallic silver.
Jim Powell reported in an article, 'Our Mightiest Germ fighter' published in Science Digest (March 1078, pp. 59-60):
"Thanks to eye-opening research silver is emerging as a wonder of modern medicine. An antibiotic kills perhaps a half-dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills some 650. What's more, resistant strains fail to develop when using silver. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic."
Larry C Ford. M.D., of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the UCLA School of Medicines Centre for the Health Sciences reported in a November 1988 letter:
"I tested them [the silver solutions] using standard antimicrobial tests for disinfectants. The silver solutions were anti-bacterial for concentrations of 10 organisms per ml of Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Gardnerela, Vaginalis, Salmonella typhi and other enteric pathogens and fungicidal for Candida albicans, Candida globate and m. furfur."
Biomedical researcher Robert O Becker. M.D. from Syracuse University has reported that "Silver stimulates bone-forming cells into growing new bone where it had not healed for long periods of time." Dr Becker is the author of The Body Electric and Cross Currents and is also known for his work in regenerating the amputated legs of bullfrogs.
According to Dr Becker, "Silver did more than kill disease-causing organisms, it promoted major growth of bone and accelerated the healing of injured tissues by over 50 per cent". In his research he discovered cell types that looked just like the active bone marrow of children. "These cells grew fast," he wrote, "producing a diverse and surprising assortment of primitive cell forms able to multiply at a great rate, then differentiate into the specific cells of an organ tissue that had been injured, even in patients over fifty years old. This ability overcomes the main problem of mammalian regeneration".
Dr Becker also discovered that silver profoundly stimulates healing in skin and other soft tissues in a way unlike any known natural processÉ kills the most stubborn infections of all kinds, including surrounding bacteria and fungus. He concluded that "What we have actually done is to rediscover the fact that silver kills bacteria, which had been known for centuriesÉ when antibiotics were discovered, clinical uses for silver as an antibiotic were discarded."
Colloidal Chemistry The term 'colloid' refers to a substance that consists off ultra-fine particles that do not dissolve but remain in suspension dispersed in a continuous medium. These ultra-fine particles consist of many atoms or molecules of the original material, but so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Not all types of colloidal silver are true colloids. Properly manufactured colloidal silver is a liquid solution consisting of a minuscule number (3 to 5 parts per million) of submicroscopic particles of silver, held in suspension in pure water by a tiny electrical charge placed on each particle.
In a 'true' colloid of silver, the ideal size of the silver particles falls within the range of 0.005 to 0.015 microns in diameter. The particles are animated by what is known as Brownian movement, which keeps then in suspension almost indefinitely. You could fit 1,000,000,000 of these submicroscopic particles into a cube that measures four one-hundredths of an inch or 250 thousandths to 25 millionths of an inch.
Production Methods Many methods were used to produce colloids in the early 1900s- most commonly, the grind process and the electrocolloidal process.
The main drawback to the grind method is that the silver particles are so large that they settle towards the bottom of the solution and much of the colloid's value is lost. To offset this problem, some manufacturers add a stabiliser. By so doing, the silver particles tend to settle to the bottom much more slowly. Typically, the stabiliser used is a protein. The use of a stabiliser tends to disturb the charge on the silver particles, thereby blocking their action and reducing their effectiveness. A 'true' colloid does not require an artificial stabiliser or additive of any kind.
In recent years, the chemical process has been widely employed to replace the grind method. The chemical method provides a convenient shortcut, but it, too, falls short of the superior quality of 'true' colloidal silver. The reaction used is the reduction of a solution of a silver salt. The problem with using chemicals to produce colloids is the difficulty in getting them back out of the solution. These are powerful acid solutions which can cause negative side effects in the consumer. Also, the use of chemicals has been shown to affect the overall pH of the solution. Typically, a chemical-produced colloid of silver is quite acidic, having a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, while a 'true' colloid of silver has a pH in the range of 6.5.
The electrocolloidal process allows extremely fine silver particles to be suspended in solution by the tiny charge placed on the particles. It is done by striking an electric arc between poles made of the metal under water. If done properly, this method replaces the need for any chemicals, stabilisers or proteins, so the product can be called a 'true' colloid of silver. However, much of the efficacy of the colloidal solution depends on the actual size and uniformity of silver particles. Particles that are too large may cause harm by lodging in the fine lining of the digestive tract and causing scar tissue to form.
Colour A critical indicator of the quality of colloidal silver is colour. As the size of each silver particle gets larger, the colour of the solution ranges from yellow to brown to red to grey to black.
Colloids of silver that are produced using the proper electrocolliodal method are a different colour than the grind-or chemically produced colloids, except in the case of some products that contain artificial food colouring to get the right colour. The ideal form of colloidal silver is a golden yellow colour.
Biochemistry Medical researcher Dr Gary Smith suggests that silver may be linked to the proper functioning of the body's natural defence system and that people with an inadequate intake may be more prone to illness.
Medical tests indicate no known adverse effects from the use of properly prepared colloidal silver. Indeed, there has never been a recorded case of adverse interaction with any other medication. Some lab tests have shown that 'true' colloidal silver in the range of 3 to 5 ppm (parts per million) has little effect on 'friendly' bacteria, while being highly useful against infections and in eliminating various microbes viruses and fungi. Colloidal silver that is too concentrated (above 5ppm) may upset the delicate balance of the digestive tract by destroying significant amounts of friendly bacteria.
With a 98 per cent uptake rate, colloidal minerals are much more easily assimilated compared to mineral supplements derived from crushed and processed clay rocks and soil. And unlike many vitamin and mineral supplements where a higher concentration is sometimes more beneficial, with colloidal silver and excess in quantity does not mean more quality. In fact the opposite is true.
FDA evaluation A number of forms of colloidal silver have been officially recognised as pre-1938 drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, not all forms listed were true colloids of silver because the size of the particles and the effectiveness varied markedly.
The FDA's Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research has stated:
"Colloidal silver is considered to be a pre-1938 drug. These products may continue to be marketed without submitted evidence of safety and effectiveness [required of all drugs marketed after 1938] as long as they are advertised and labelled for the same use as in 1938 and as long as they are manufactured in the original manner."
Colloidal Silver Treatment Colloidal silver is tasteless, odourless and non-stinging to sensitive tissues. It may be taken orally as well as put on a band-aid and applied directly to cuts, scrapes, sores and warts.
It may also be used as a rinse for acne, eczema and other skin irritations. It can be gargled, dropped into eyes and ears, used vaginally and anally as well as atomised and inhaled into the nose or lungs.
The following is a partial list of the more than 650 diseases that have been successfully treated with colloidal silver:
More Clinical Evidence "A 65-year-old diabetic cut himself on the leg. He washed and bandaged it but as often happens with diabetes, the pain persisted and the cut grew into a sore. Soon it became bigger than the bandage and he had to apply a dressing. Still it grew bigger and ugly. In desperation he went to a clinic. His sore was diagnosed as a 'statis ulcer'. For a year one treatment after another was tried. Nothing, including penicillin and sulphonamide could heal the ulcer. If his condition had continued unchecked, his leg probably would have been amputated. But finally he was referred to a clinic that treated skin ulcers with a silver compound. This promptly stopped the growth of all bacteria. In less than two months, the ulcer was completely healed." (Science Digest March 1978)
"We have had instant success with colloidal silver and immune-compromised patients. A few examples are: pink-eye totally resolved in less than 6 hours (topical): recurrent sinus infections resolved in eight days (oral ingestion): acute cuticle infections, twenty four hours (topical). Another major area in which we have improved our clinical results is in the area of the bowel detoxification and dysbiosis. The colloidal silver has provided excellent removal of abnormal intestinal bacteria: also it has proved to be a great adjunct to our Candida albicans, Epstein Barr Virus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome protocols." (Dr Evan M Kansas)
Who's using colloidal silver?
In Canada, Switzerland and the US, physicians use various forms of silver to treat a multitude of infections.
In the US, silver is used in bone surgery and in 70 per cent of US burns centres.
Naturopaths and chiropractors use colloidal silver to treat the effects of Cryptosporidium. Ayurvedic and Chinese practitioners regularly use silver in their treatments.
Colloidal silver water filters are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency and also by the Swiss government for use in homes and offices.
The American space agency NASA uses a silver water purification system for its space shuttles, as do the Russians.
The airline companies Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Canadian Pacific, Japan Airlines, Pan Am SAS and Swissair use silver water filters to curtail waterborne diseases.
Silver is often used in place of chlorine in swimming pools because it doesn't sting the eyes.
Japanese companies are using silver to remove cyanide and nitric acid from the air. Nexus Magazine, Vol.4,No.1
PHILLIP DAY'S COMMENT: Colloidal silver is one of the bulwarks of natural anti-fungal/bacterial treatments and is simple to use along with other therapeutics. As many know, there are a whole host of diseases that are being stirred up by fungal and yeast pathogens, as well as oft-slated bacteria. We see colloidal silver used in natural cancer treatments especially where the cancers, such as leukaemia, melanoma, lymphoma and lymphosarcoma, are fungal-driven.
Further Resources: The ABC's of Disease by Phillip Day Colloidal silver has become one of the most popular natural treatments for ... reports and suggestions from experts covered in the article below might lead .... and Alzheimer's (see Nexus Magazine, Volume 8, Number 5 August-September 2001). ..... ppm colloidal silver mixed with one ounce of distilled water four times a day