Throughout history silver has been used as a preservative and to fight infections. Colloidal silver is a suspension of the element silver in a solution, usually water. Silver, like mercury, was used as a medicine starting in the late 1800s. Its primary application was as a topical antiseptic. Use of silver, in the form of silver nitrate solution, is still required by law in most states to be used in newborns as a topical eye drop to prevent eye infections.
Benefit of Colloidal Silver
when used as eye drops 1-2 drops 3-4 times a day– quickly healed their conjunctivitis or sty, or reduced the severity of pharyngitis when gargled in water, but the one study I have come across recently did not indicate it was able to prevent bacterial growth on an agar plate. Perhaps colloidal silver is effective against viruses, but it should not be used for longer than one week at a time. It’s use should be done under medical supervision by a health care provider who is familiar with its properties.
Colloidal silver side effects and potential toxicity
Argyria is a condition of excess silver in the body. The estimated amount of silver accumulation over a one-year period that is required to produce argyria is 1 to 5 grams. This amount is very large compared to the 50 mcg typically recommended and consumed by people using over the counter colloidal silver products. Using the most conservative figure, 1,000 mg (1 gram) of silver corresponds to the silver content in 100 liters of 10 ppm colloidal silver. PPM stands for parts per million.
The use by the general public of colloidal silver can lead to side effects, namely blue-gray hyperpigmentation. Argyria was common in the past when oral medicines contained silver. However, since colloidal silver supplements have become more popular, colloidal silver ingestion should be considered as a cause when a patient present to the doctor’s office with blue-gray hyperpigmented skin.