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Colloidal Silver Primer

Colloidal silver is a completely natural, liquid mineral supplement found in almost every health food store in North America and increasingly found in Mexico and Central American including Costa Rica. It is much like mineral water, except that in this case, the only minerals in the water are tiny, sub-microscopic particles of pure silver.

Pure silver, by itself, has been known for thousands of years to have powerful, broad-spectrum infection-fighting qualities. So when the process for making colloidal silver was discovered in the late 1800's, shortly after Edison harnessed electricity, it immediately became a popular natural infection-fighting agent, used both topically on cuts, burns and infections, and internally as a remedy for a wide variety of infectious diseases.

Numerous medical studies were conducted on colloidal silver throughout the early 1900's, and the substance was used in hospitals and laboratories around the world, in a wide variety of forms, to help fight infection and disease. Studies documenting its phenomenal infection-fighting qualities were written up in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the British medical journal Lancet, and many others. Indeed, as far back as 1919, Alfred Searle, founder of the giant Searle Pharmaceuticals firm, had written, "Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to parasites without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin."

Colloidal Silver is a Catalyst

As you probably know, the FDA places many restrictions on what can and cannot be said about this subject. Therefore, we will simply quote from the work performed and published by others and The Silver Institute, which is a nonprofit international association that draws its membership from across the breadth of the silver industry. Established in 1971, the Institute serves as the industry’s voice in increasing public understanding of the many uses and values of silver.

Colloidal silver works as a catalyst. A catalyst is best described as a substance that brings about (causes) a reaction or occurrence, without itself participating or being consumed.

Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute, in a 1996 monograph entitled "The Development and Functions of Silver in Water Purification and Disease Control", discussed three mechanisms of deactivation that silver utilizes to incapacitate disease causing organisms. They are:

1) Catalytic Oxidation

Silver, in its atomic state, has the capacity to absorb oxygen and act as a catalyst to bring about oxidation. Atomic (nascent) oxygen absorbed onto the surface of silver ions in solution will readily react with the sulfhydryl (-S-H) groups surrounding the surface of bacteria or viruses to remove the hydrogen atoms (as water), causing the sulfur atoms to form an R-S-S-R bond; blocking respiration and causing the bacteria to expire. Employing a simple catalytic reduction/oxidation reaction, colloidal silver will react with any negative charge presented by the organism's transport or membrane proteins and deactivate them.

2) Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes

There is evidence that silver ions attach to membrane surface radicals of bacteria, impairing cell respiration and blocking its energy transfer system. One explanation is based on the nature of enzyme construction: Specific enzymes are required for a given biochemical activity to take place. Enzyme molecules usually require a specific metallic atom as part of the molecular matrix in order to function. A metal of higher valance can replace a metal of lower valance in the enzyme complex, preventing the enzyme from functioning normally. Silver, with a valance of plus 2, can replace many metals with a lower, or equal valance that exhibit weaker atomic bonding properties.

3) Binding with DNA

Studies by C.L. Fox and S.M. Modak with pseudomonas aeruginosa, a tenacious bacteria that is difficult to treat, demonstrated that as much as 12% of silver is taken up by the organism's DNA. While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.

Since silver kills only bacteria that is anaerobic or nitrogen breathing, the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract are immune to it due to the fact that they are oxygen breathing, (aerobic).

How Is Colloidal Silver Made?

Colloidal silver is made through a simple electromagnetic process that pulls microscopic particles of silver from a larger piece of pure silver immersed in water. These tiny silver particles are held in suspension in the resulting solution by the electric charge on each atom. When ingested, these tiny particles of silver travel throughout your body like any other mineral before being excreted through your normal channels of elimination.

100 Year Medical History - The simple process for producing colloidal silver was developed shortly after Edison harnessed electricity in 1892. It was then used for decades by doctors, in a variety of forms and under a variety of brand names, as a natural infection-fighting agent. But it fell out of widespread usage after the advent of prescription antibiotics in the 1940's.

Then, in the mid-1970's colloidal silver experienced a dramatic resurgence in popularity after doctors discovered that many pathogens were developing immunity to prescription antibiotics, but not to pure, elemental silver. According to science writer Jim Powell in the March 1978 issue of Science Digest, "Thanks to eye-opening research, silver is re-emerging as a wonder of modern medicine. An antibiotic kills perhaps a half-dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills some 650. Resistant strains fail to develop. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic."

In the 1980's Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, noted bio-medical researcher from Syracuse Medical University, and author of the best-selling books The Body Electric and Cross Currents, discovered a distinct correlation between low silver levels in the body, and sickness. He wrote that silver deficiency is often responsible for the improper functioning of the immune system. Using hair analysis, he discovered that people with very low amounts of silver in their bodies tended to experience more severe infections, or infections of prolonged duration, while people with moderate levels of silver in their bodies tended to experience fewer severe infections, or infections of shorter duration. Regarding the profound ability of silver to control infection, Dr. Becker wrote, "All of the organisms that we tested were sensitive to the electrically generated silver ion, including some that were resistant to all known antibiotics." Regarding the safety of silver, he wrote, "In no case were any undesirable side effects of the silver treatment apparent."

Dr. Becker had simply re-discovered what had already been known for thousands of years, i.e., that pure silver is one of the most powerful natural infection-fighting agents on the face of the earth.

Colloidal Silver Controversy

Many commentators claim that as electrically generated colloidal silver usage grew during the 1970's, '80's and '90's, the major pharmaceutical firms began to view it as a distinct threat to their sales of prescription antibiotic drugs, and began exerting behind-the-scenes pressure on the FDA to ban it. True or not, in 1996 the FDA did indeed publish their intentions in the Federal Register to ban colloidal silver. This evoked a firestorm of protest from natural health enthusiasts.

After a three-year investigation during which the FDA could apparently find no grounds to issue an outright sales ban, they published their "Final Ruling." It stated that, like all nutritional supplements, colloidal silver could continue to be sold over-the-counter, as long as no claims were made for it in terms of healing illness or disease. If such claims were made, the claimant would have to show that he had successfully completed the FDA's stringent testing procedures for over-the-counter drugs, and had submitted the appropriate applications to sell the substance as an over-the-counter drug. In short, the well-known infection-fighting properties of pure silver could no longer be listed on the label, or mentioned in the advertising, of colloidal silver products, unless years of FDA-approved testing was undertaken. In the meantime, it could only be sold as a nutritional supplement, and no claims could be made.

Many observers believe the FDA simply acted at the behest of the big drug companies to prevent the public from knowing about the dramatic infection-fighting properties of colloidal silver. But in reality, they simply reiterated for colloidal silver what was already true for all nutritional supplements: they cannot be sold as "medicine" that provides a "cure" or "treatment" for a specific illness. But they can be sold as food supplements, i.e., nutrients that supplement your daily food intake.

Nevertheless, as news of the FDA's Final Ruling became more widely known, outrage among natural health enthusiasts grew. The perception that the FDA was acting at the behest of the major pharmaceutical firms to restrict colloidal silver usage, or to restrict information about colloidal silver usage, dramatically increased public curiosity about the substance. And the popularity of colloidal silver quickly soared. Industry insiders estimate there are now as many as 10 million regular colloidal silver users throughout the U.S. and Canada, and millions more throughout Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. It has also become one of the most popular natural substances used by missionaries in Third World countries, where it is openly used to help control infections among the native poor who cannot afford expensive prescription drugs.

How Does Coloidal Silver Work?

Researchers say pure silver works in three powerful ways: First, it works as a catalyst, disabling the enzyme that single-celled bacteria, fungi and viruses use for respiration and metabolism. Second, much like iron, it is a powerful carrier of oxygen. When it comes into contact with an infectious microbe, it releases an oxygen "burst" which kills the pathogen in much the same manner as hydrogen peroxide. Third, brand new research published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology has shown that when tiny silver particles were introduced into an in vitro solution containing active HIV-1 viruses, the silver particles were able to attach themselves to the DNA of the virus and thus prevent the virus from replicating. This holds tremendous implications for future HIV research, as the potential for being able to stop viral replication means that one day medical scientists may be able to use silver-based medicine to stop the spread of HIV infection altogether!

Resistant Strains?

Unlike antibiotics, resistant strains of pathogenic microorganisms have never been known to develop to silver. What's more, recent in vitro research from Brigham Young University, published in the journal of Current Science, has shown that when colloidal silver is added to certain prescription antibiotic drugs, the infection-fighting qualities of the drugs are dramatically heightened against multiple drug resistant pathogens. This has led to speculation that silver will soon be added to antibiotic drugs in order to enhance their effectiveness when dealing with drug-resistant pathogens!

What Can Colloidal Silver Be Used On?

Here is a short list of diseases against which colloidal silver has historically been used, according to historical medical texts: acne, allergies, appendicitis, arthritis, bubonic plague, burns (topical silver is one of the few treatments that can keep severe burn patients alive), cancer, candida, cholera, chronic fatigue, colds and flu, Pink Eye, styes and other eye infections, diabetes, gonorrhea, hay fever, herpes, leprosy, leukemia, lupus, lymphangitis, Lyme disease, malaria, meningitis, pneumonia, rheumatism, ringworm, scarlet fever, infections of the ears, mouth and throat, shingles, skin cancer, staph infections, strep infections, syphilis, toxemia, trenchfoot, certain viruses, warts and stomach ulcers. (For additional comprehensive historical and current data on the uses of colloidal silver, see The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, 547-pages, Life & Health Research Group, LLC)

Is There Anything Colloidal Silver Does Not Work On?

Actually, by law colloidal silver cannot be claimed to "work" on anything in terms of its internal use in the human body. It is not a medicine, but instead, a simple, nutritional supplement. And it can only be sold and used as such. This does not stop many people from claiming that colloidal silver is "effective against every pathogenic microorganism known to man." However, this assertion is flatly contradicted by a variety of medical studies on the infection-fighting properties of pure silver, which have shown that there are indeed some silver-resistant pathogens. In other words, for those who may be violating FDA guidelines and using colloidal silver as a natural, infection-fighting agent, it is important to understand that it will not "work" on everything. Indeed, there are pathogens on which silver appears to have no effect whatsoever. For example, The Colloidal Silver Manual (252-pages, Life & Health Research Group, LLC) documents several medical studies which demonstrate that the following eight pathogens are silver resistant:

Citrobacter Freundii
Enterobacter Cloacæ
Enterobacteriaceæ (some strains)
Escherichia Coli (some strains)
Klebsiella Pneumnoniæ
P. Stutzeri (some sträins)
Proteus Mirabilis
Vegetative B. Cereus Spores

This is not unusual. After all, standard prescription antibiotics such as penicillin might work on only a dozen or so of the 20,000 catalogued pathogens known to man. And broader spectrum prescription antibiotics such as cephalexin might work on only 20 or 30 different pathogens. So even individual prescription antibiotics are quite limited in scope and effectiveness.

But how many pathogens are sensitive to pure silver? The truth is, the answer is not fully known. Independent in vitro medical research conducted by Dr. Larry C. Ford, M.D. (formerly of the UCLA Medical Center) demonstrated that pure silver by itself was effective against well over 600 different pathogenic microorganisms. If this number can be confirmed in additional research, it demonstrates phenomenal broad-spectrum anti-microbial killing power for pure silver that goes far beyond anything that can be provided by traditional prescription antibiotics.

Nevertheless, there are at least 20,000 catalogued pathogens in existence. And there are probably many tens of thousands more which remain uncatalogued by modern science. Therefore, claims that silver can kill all forms of pathogenic microorganisms are hyperbolic at best, and purposely deceptive at worst. Such claims simply do not meet the "smell" test. In short, while pure silver has historically been demonstrated to be one of nature's most powerful infection-fighting agents, there is no form of silver - colloidal or otherwise -- that is "effective against every pathogenic microorganism known to man."

How Is It Used?

Regular colloidal silver users most often ingest colloidal silver orally. But it can also be sprayed externally onto cuts, scrapes or burns. As a daily mineral supplement, millions of Americans take anywhere from a tablespoon to an ounce a day of a standard 10 ppm concentration of colloidal silver. Others use it only when they are sick or feeling particularly run down. People have been known to take as many as one to 12 ounces a day (or sometimes even more) of a standard 10 ppm solution, for very short periods of time such as a week or two. Users claim that doing so will generally clear up a mild to moderate infection in only a few days, while more serious infections may take longer. Some people put several drops of colloidal silver directly into their eyes, to help eradicate eye infections such as Pink Eye or styes. Some use it in a spray bottle to help eliminate sore throats. Some simply swish it around in their mouth to help prevent or eliminate teeth and gum infections. Others have been known to put a drop or two in their ears to help eliminate ear infections.

In accord with FDA guidelines, it is very important to note that there is no evidence for colloidal silver's safety or efficacy when used in such a manner, as it has never been put through the FDA's rigorous testing procedures for sale as an over-the-counter drug. Additionally, experts warn that it is very important not to continue taking colloidal silver at high dosage levels for long periods of time, because it is possible that long-term use of excessively high dosages can eventually overwhelm the ability of the liver and kidneys to excrete excess silver, which can in turn lead to silver deposition in the tissues, organs and skin. This, in turn, can result in a rare cosmetic skin condition known as argyria, in which the skin turns grey due to silver deposits. (Always consult with a licensed and skilled health care practitioner for serious health conditions. Never self-treat.)

On Vacation?

Pure silver has been used for thousands of years, by a variety of cultures, for preventing water from becoming bacterially contaminated. The Roman Legions, for example, were said to have placed silver coins in their water containers during long treks into battle, in order to help prevent the spread of bacteria in the water supply. Numerous studies have shown that very small amounts of electrically charged silver particles injected mechanically into city water supplies are effective at keeping levels of fecal coliform and other bacterial contaminants under control.

Because of this, many travelers use colloidal silver to help keep drinking water free of harmful bacterial contamination while on vacation. Others use it in their emergency water storage programs for the same purpose. Users frequently claim that adding one or two ounces of colloidal silver per gallon is all that's needed to keep drinking water from becoming bacterially contaminated, or to kill existing bacterial contamination.

Additionally, many colloidal silver users swear by colloidal silver for use as an antidote for food poisoning while traveling out of the country. Some users suggest that during instances of food poisoning, taking one ounce of colloidal silver every 10 minutes throughout the day until symptoms subside is an effective nutritional remedy. (We remind readers that under FDA guidelines there is no evidence for silver's safety or efficacy when used in such a manner, as it has never been put through the FDA's rigorous testing procedures for sale as an over-the-counter drug. You should always consult immediately with a licensed and skilled health care practitioner for serious health conditions. Never self-treat.)

Where Can CS Be Found?

Colloidal silver is widely available through health food stores and on the internet. There are literally thousands of vendors across the United States and Canada, offering a variety of colloidal silver products for about $30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle. That's quite expensive, when you consider how quickly a tiny four-ounce bottle might be used up.

Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the phenomenal benefits of colloidal silver. Why? Because you can very easily make your own high-quality colloidal silver, at home, for about thirty six cents per quart, using a safe, simple electronic device called a colloidal silver generator. These tiny devices, frequently ranging from palm-sized models for travel and home use, to more sophisticated counter-top models, are available through a number of companies.

With a colloidal silver generator, there's no reason to pay upwards of $30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle of colloidal silver, when you can make your own - for the rest of your life -- for just pennies per quart! In fact, with a colloidal silver generator, you can make colloidal silver so inexpensively that you can actually afford to give it away to friends, family members or neighbors. You can even afford to bathe in it. In fact, many users simply throw a quart or so of colloidal silver into the bathwater, for its soothing effects on the skin and scalp! Others use it in their spas or hot tubs, in place of chlorine, bromine and other harsh chemicals.

The Bottom Line

For thousands of years silver has been recognized as one of nature's most powerful natural infection-fighting agents. And today, colloidal silver is one of the most popular nutritional supplements in the world.

What's more, if current medical research on silver itself continues to demonstrate how effective it is against drug-resistant pathogens, it may well turn out to be an important part of the solution to today's frightening infectious disease crisis in which multiple drug-resistant pathogens simply no longer respond to traditional prescription antibiotics.

For comprehensive information on colloidal silver, order a copy of the recently expanded 252-page edition of The Colloidal Silver Manual: Introducing the Powerful Natural Antibiotic They Want to Take Away From You, available from Life & Health Research Group at Or call toll-free: 1-888-846-9029.

[IMPORTANT NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. Therefore we cannot and do not offer medical advice. Information on this web site is derived from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee, express or implied, can be made regarding the accuracy or reliability of same. Therefore readers are encouraged to verify for themselves and to their own satisfaction the accuracy and reliability of all reports, recommendations, conclusions, comments, and opinions. We do not make any claims or promises as to health benefits accruing from the use of any product. There is plenty of publicly available independent documentation -- both pro and con -- regarding the uses and efficacy of colloidal silver and its long history in health and medicine. For a comprehensive overview, you may want to obtain a copy of The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual (547 pages, from Life & Health Research Group, LLC, 1-888-846-9029).

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