History of colloidal silver

For thousands of years silver has been used as a medical treatment by civilisations all over the world. Before it was used as a healing agent, silver was used as an anti-bacterial disinfectant. With the creation of antibiotics, silver fell from favour in the medical world. Today colloidal silver is popular as a natural remedy in alternative medicine. Here is a brief history of colloidal silver:

 

Origins

The people of Ancient Greece and Rome were the first to acknowledge that those who ate and drank from silverware became ill less than those who ate from ceramics and iron. The Romans also stored all perishable liquids in silver containers. Herodotus, the Father of History wrote that the Persian kings exclusively drank water carried in silver containers. In his writings, as early as 400 BC, Hippocrates described silver as the only treatment for ulcers. He also noted that silver could be used to heal wounds and control disease. It was likely that silver was also used for medicinal purposes in Rome as it was mentioned in the pharmacopeia in 69 BC.

 

Modern use

In the early 1800s, a German obstetrician, Dr Carl Siegmund Franz Crede became one of the first surgeons to use silver nitrate to prevent infection in wounds. He also promoted the benefits of using silver to treat eye infections. Not long after, Dr William Halstead was the first to use silver wire in hernia operations and silver foil to prevent wound infection. By the late 1800s, it was common medical knowledge that silver was lethal to bacteria with several physicians applying the antibacterial uses of silver to their work.

 

Birth of colloidal silver

In the 1990s, scientists discovered a way to attach small silver particles to protein, creating the formation of colloidal silver with an indefinite shelf life. This was the birth of electro-colloidal silver. The use of colloidal silver was widespread in the medical sphere as late as 1938. This popularity was short-lived as modern antibiotics and synthesized medications overtook silver as the superior fighter of infection.

 

Colloidal silver now

These days colloidal silver is only used as an alternative medicine. While the benefits of colloidal silver have not been proven in mainstream scientific studies, there is an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence to support its positive results. One of the main reasons colloidal silver is not used in mainstream medicine is the risk of side effects. Side effects have been known to include argyria, a grey skin discolouration. Despite the risk of side effects, many people swear by colloidal silver as a successful treatment and prevention of illness and infection. In Australia, it is illegal to sell colloidal silver as a medicine or dietary supplement, it is however legal to sell for water purification purposes.