Colloidal silver is a very effective home remedy, but it’s best used externally and never swallowed as it harms gut flora. More recent research has found that colloidal silver harms the brain.
What is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is one of the most effective natural antibiotics widely available to the public.
What’s more, colloidal silver is cheap and easily obtained at many health food stores. Some people make it at home. It consists of tiny silver particles suspended in liquid for use either externally or internally.
The remarkable antibiotic nature of silver has been known for centuries. In the early 1900′s, the founder of Searle Pharmaceuticals, Alfred Searle, wrote in his book The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease:
Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results…having the advantage of being rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin.
In the 1970s, Dr. Robert O. Becker at Syracuse Medical University began to intensively research colloidal silver. He discovered that silver not only kills bacteria, but it actually killed bacteria that were resistant to all known antibiotics with no undesirable side effects.
Moreover, unlike prescription antibiotics, pathogens do not become resistant or immune to silver over time. It even has the ability to eradicate antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA.
This is because colloidal silver doesn’t poison the microbes like antibiotics do, but rather smothers them by adhering to their cell walls and inhibiting their enzyme production.
Internal Use of Colloidal Silver
Despite its stellar reputation as a natural antibiotic, I never swallow colloidal silver and don’t allow my children to ingest it either. I only use colloidal silver for externally based infections such as swimmers ear. Others I know use it to gargle with as a strep throat home remedy.
My reasons are fairly simple.
First of all, silver is a heavy metal that accumulates in the body over time, the same as lead, cadmium, and aluminum. Why would anyone knowingly consume heavy metals?
It never made any sense to me which is why I have always avoided consuming any silver solution including silver nitrates, ionic silvers, colloidal silvers, silver chlorides, and silver proteins.
The claim that colloidal silver is the only safe silver solution has never been at all convincing to me.
Dr. Kaayla Daniel PhD writes in her marvelous piece Mad as a Hatter: How to Avoid Toxic Metals and Clear Them from the Body:
Although the mental and physical problems from metal toxicity have escalated in recent years, our very language tacitly acknowledges the historic toxicity of certain metals: “Mad as a hatter” from the Civil- War-era’s crazed use of mercury sizing in hat manufacture, “gold fever” from the murderous greed of early prospectors, “lead poisoning” as black humor for “getting shot,” and, more recently, “get-the-lead-out” exhortations from trainers who would have us exercise long and hard in order to sweat out toxins and melt excess fat.
Certainly, occasional use of colloidal silver internally probably does no harm. This would including gargling with it to resolve strep throat without antibiotics.
Why risk it when there are plenty of natural antibiotics such as garlic, turmeric, cayenne, manuka honey, and oregano oil (oreganol) that are highly effective and present no metal toxicity issues?
Risks to Beneficial Bacteria
While the fact that silver is a heavy metal with accumulation in the body that is difficult to undo (and yes, it can permanently turn your skin blue if you get too much which happens with some forms of silver solution) is reason enough in my book to keep the colloidal silver for external use only, the biggest reason of all is to protect the gut microbiome.
You see, colloidal silver works not by poisoning microbes like antibiotics do, but by smothering them by adhering to their cell walls and inhibiting their enzyme production.
While colloidal silver’s unique method of killing bacteria is highly effective and does not lessen over time as microbes do not become resistant to it, it is not selective in the bacteria it kills.
In other words, colloidal silver can decimate beneficial bacteria in the gut just the same as pathogenic strains. Isn’t this exactly why conventional antibiotics are so problematic?
Reducing the population in the gut of beneficial bacteria is serious business no matter what the cause …natural or drug-based.
Dr. Martin Blaser MD of New York University’s Langone Medical Center who writes in the August 2011 edition of Nature, warns against harming the beneficial microbes in the gut:
Early evidence from my lab and others hints that, sometimes, our friendly flora never fully recover. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people’s bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease.
False Marketing Claims
Some colloidal silver manufacturers claim that their product does not harm beneficial microbes. Even some prominent alternative physicians deceptively claim it does not harm flora.
However, this information is usually a ploy to sell product and ignores the chemical realities of the metal’s effect on living organisms.
Silver Kills Microbes Indiscriminately
Steve Barwick, author of The Ultimate Manual on Colloidal Silver sets the record straight about this false advertising regarding colloidal silver:
But the truth is, colloidal silver does indeed act as a broad spectrum natural antibiotic. As such, if enough mineral silver reaches the intestinal tract it most certainly can kill off the friendly (i.e., beneficial) bacteria that thrive there.
Colloidal silver simply has no way of knowing a beneficial microbe from an infectious microbe. If the microbe is sensitive to silver, then silver will kill it whether it is a beneficial microbe or an infectious one.
Proponents of small amounts of colloidal silver taken internally say it won’t harm delicate gut balance. However, I choose not to take any chances given that many food-based natural antibiotics work just as well or even better for resolution of internal infections. This article details the best natural antibiotics to choose from instead of colloidal silver when an internal agent is required.
Why risk it where your delicate gut microbiome is concerned? Colloidal silver is a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Just because it wasn’t obtained via prescription makes it no less of a risk to your delicate intestinal health.
Contraindicated on GAPS Diet
Due to its ability to upset the delicate gut balance and harm beneficial gut flora, colloidal silver is contraindicated on the GAPS Protocol for gut healing developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.
Certified GAPS Diet Practitioners trained by Dr. Campbell-McBride recommend avoiding the ingestion of colloidal silver. This is necessary while attempting to rebuild the gut environment with beneficial microbes and healing/sealing the gut wall to put autoimmune disease in remission. L. D. Moore, a practicing GAPS Diet Practitioner, had this to say:
As a certified GAPS practitioner protecting the gut is the highest priority. I am SO careful at what my clients ingest that may destroy that delicate balance. I put colloidal silver in the no ingest bucket.
Do you take colloidal silver internally? Why or why not?
Wouldn’t it be better to use plant-based medicines such as garlic that have no risk in comparison, don’t build up in the body, act as food for flora, and are equally effective?
I’m interested to hear your reasons for this as my research tells me to just say no.
(1) The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease
(2) How to Avoid Toxic Metals and Clear Them from the Body
(3) The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
(4) Stop the Killing of Beneficial Bacteria
(5) Does Colloidal Silver Kill Both Good and Bad Bacteria?
I have been taking cs, as I am so sick with an infection now. But after a few days, I am feeling better. I’ve always taken this when I get sick. Have been doing it for years. Not that I take it all the time, just when I’m sick. I have no issues with it
That’s like saying “I only take antibiotics when I’m sick and I’ve been doing this for years” …. why would destroying your gut flora only once in awhile be an ok strategy when there are plenty of other natural antibiotics that don’t harm your beneficial flora? Seems an inconsistent and very flawed argument to me.
I’ve been taking NAC and CS for many many years. Not blue and not sick! I believe Dr Mercola and so may others naturopathic docs. Sliver isn’t a heavy metal it’s a noble metal and ppl who haven’t used it but yet spread false into and I ain’t buying it…..
Even Steve Barwick isn’t correct about everything he says about CS! Why quote someone who only has 13 years experience and he’s Not a doctor of any kind ?.
Glad it is working for you, but your gut is no doubt in bad shape from the constant assault on gut flora. Silver kills ALL microbes both good and bad.
This is also from Steve Barwicks site….
No disrespect but by making no distinction of the particle size (nanometers) or concentration (parts per million) and dosage (milliliters) it’s impossible to say where it will end up when taken orally.
For instance, 1 oz. of 14nm 20ppm silver held sublingually for a minute and then swallowed will be mostly absorbed into the bloodstream with the residual cleansing the mouth, esophagus and upper digestive tract which there should not be bacteria, our digestive secretions normally keep these areas clean. The bulk of flora should reside in the color where they remain infected by the proper preparation and dosage.
From someone who bought their own colloidal silver generator and recovered within two weeks from chronic Lyme disease, please offer your guidance with a few more grains of salt. there is always more to learn.
This article was featured in today’s email from you in September 2020 (originally published in 2014) in the midst of the so-called Covid-19 Pandemic. I was grateful to read that you said there may be some instances where it may be helpful. This is not a time where one wants to go to a medcenter as who knows what will happen there. So when I discovered I had facial cellulitis (probably from cat bites) I immediately began treating it externally with essential oils like clove and frankenscense, I had already been taking Kyolic for my immune system, as well zinc liver chelaete, and upped my Vitamin C by Synergy significantly. Additionally, I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment, massage, and energetic healing, plus I ordered oregano from Synergy and began taking. I DID NOT want to go to the doctor as the treatment is a heavy dose of antibiotics and if it doesn’t work quickly, than to the hospital for IV antibiotics. I prayed like crazy and a friend mentioned CS. I remembered reading not to take it years ago… maybe from this very post, but I was desperate as my face was not improving enough, so I went to the health food store to look at what they had. There they told me that Sovereign Silverwas preferred by most of their customers. I went home and did a bunch of reading and I felt that for a short term it was safe to consume. Yes, I could have put it on my face, but this is a systemic bacterial infection, so I ingested it. For 2 weeks I took a teaspoon nearly 7 times a day in addition to all the other things I was doing (plus fresh garlic and fresh ginger tea and bone broth) and I continued to take my helping of sauerkraut at each meal. Fortunately I turned the corner and didn’t have to seek allopathic medical care. I hope to never have this condition return, but I do have the Sovereign Silver on hand if that happens. If you have additional thoughts I would greatly welcome them, either for other healing suggestions or helping my gut after clearing the infection. My situation was pretty scary and given this season of “pandemic” living, I’m glad my body seems back to normal.
Dr. Mercola has an interesting article on colloidal silver. Here is an excerpt:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Colloidal Silver:
Q: Is colloidal silver safe?
A: Yes, provided that you choose a high-quality product and it’s used in moderation, with the approval of your physician. Select colloidal silver products that contain high-quality true colloidal silver and are made from pure, twice-distilled or reverse osmosis water, which may help reduce your risk of argyria.34
Q: What is colloidal silver used for?
A: Colloidal silver is used to help alleviate various health conditions such as sinus infection, pink eye, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, eczema, herpes and ear infections. It may reduce your risk of cancer by triggering cancer cell death. Colloidal silver is also used for water purification, wound dressings, bone prostheses, catheters, reconstructive orthopedic surgery, cardiac devices and surgical appliances.
Q: How is colloidal silver taken?
A: Colloidal silver may be taken orally or used topically.
Q: Is colloidal silver good for cancer?
A: Published studies noted that colloidal silver may have antitumor potential by helping induce cancer cell death. It may also be used as an alternative to antibiotics in chemotherapy due to its low toxicity and high therapeutic activity against pathogenic microorganisms.35,36
Q: Does colloidal silver kill good bacteria?
A: No. Instead, its antibacterial action works against S. aureus, S. epidermidis (Gram-positive bacteria), and E. coli and P. aeruginosa (Gram-negative bacteria), which can cause various illnesses and diseases in humans, animals and plants.37
Sarah Pope MGA
Dr. Mercola isn’t right about everything … in this case he is wrong. Colloidal silver kills ALL bacteria both good and bad just like pasteurization does. It isn’t a nutrient like allicin in garlic that is both a prebiotic and a natural antibiotic but only for pathogens. Silver is a metal and it does not discriminate in the microbes it kills. It is deadly to all of them. He’s also been wrong before .. once claiming that the goitrogens in soy were deactivated by fermentation … they are not! https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/mercola-is-wrong-fermented-soy-is/
I wish I had found this article before taking colloidal silver. I have argyria and chronic diarrhea after taking only about six ounces over the course of 12 days. Yes that’s true – argyria after only 12 days of use! And diarrhea that has lasted for 2 months and counting. The product I used was 30 ppm and probably ionic silver, although marketed under colloidal. The rapid development of argyria may be because I took some sulfur-containing NAC while using the “CS”. I did not use the NAC everyday but did take some while using the “CS.” The packaging did not warn of silver’s ability to react to other elements to create toxic compounds. I’m currently researching laser surgeons who specialize in argyria but have no clue what to do about the diarrhea. Currently just taking probiotic gummies and those stop me up for awhile but it doesn’t last.
I should add that I think the silver wiped out my gut’s ability to breakdown histimines. I had to hive up yogurt and my probiotics gummies because they are high histimine. If I eat high histamine foods I get daily asthma attacks. I never had asthma before. It’s awful! I am really scared my gut has been destroyed foe good. I might as well be disabled now.
I also was taking NAC while taking Sovereign Silver over two weeks. Fortunately I didn’t receive any skin discoloration, but so sorry that you did. Best wishes for finding help and a true solution.