You might have been familiar with the word silver. Not the jewelry, but the chemical element which is antimicrobial, that is, it kills microbes. This explains why manufacturers often use silver in the bandages. However, have you ever heard about the term colloidal silver?
Colloidal silver is basically commercially sold as a product, in which you have microscopic flakes of pure silver suspended in the liquid. Now, this liquid can be demineralized water or any other liquid. It is best used orally.
Like silver, it is appropriately used as an antibacterial agent to dress the wounds. Some also claim that it can be useful to treat some serious ailments such as HIV or cancer, apart from treating common cold or infections.
What is colloidal silver?
As mentioned earlier, colloidal silver is basically minuscule amounts of silver particles used which are suspended in demineralized or other liquids. These particles are present in the form of iotas, therefore they are not even visible to the naked eye.
They vary in size, but most people claim that they are referred to as nanoparticles and present in the size, not more than 100nm. Before the advancement of technology and medicines, colloidal silver had been traditionally used for curing illnesses and serious diseases.
With the emergence of side-effects of the modern medicines which cannot be ignored, people have been turning to traditional methods of curing their ailments. These traditional treatments involve colloidal silver in them, which helps in curing bacterial, viral, fungal infections of the skin.
The colloidal silver can be taken in the form of a dietary supplement or could be applied topically in the form of liquid.
How does Colloidal Silver work?
No one knows how the colloidal silver exactly works. The workings of the liquid largely depend on the size and shape of silver flakes. It is believed that if smaller sized silver particles are available in large numbers as compared to the lower number of large particles, the healing process would take place faster.
Silver particles release silver ions when they come in contact with moisture, in this case, our body fluids. Ions are a biologically active part of any element which does all the work.
So, what happens is that as these silver particles contain silver ions, they attach themselves to the proteins on the bacterial cell walls and damage their cell membranes. Next, the ions pass through the cell membranes and enter them. After entering the cells, the silver ions disrupt the metabolic processes of the cells and damage the DNA, which eventually results in the death of the cell.
However, colloidal silver packaged as a commercial product can have some serious side-effects which cannot be avoided.
Health benefits of Colloidal Silver:
As mentioned earlier, colloidal silver has three major benefits: antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.
In the earlier period, people were not acquainted with antibiotics as they had not been invented. During those times, people mainly used colloidal silver as an antibacterial treatment. According to the various studies conducted in a test tube, it was revealed that colloidal silver can kill a wide range of bacteria.
That is why, colloidal silver can be found in wound creams, wound dressings, and other medical equipment.
Although sufficient research is lacking to prove this relationship, some researches do claim that colloidal silver has antiviral effects on the body. There are different types of silver nanoparticles which help in destroying some viral compounds.
Be that as it may, the exact number and amount of nanoparticles required in a solution vary. According to a recent study, colloidal silver is considered to be ineffective at killing viruses. Therefore, much evidence is required to prove the anti-viral qualities of colloidal silver.
According to a test tube study, it was revealed that colloidal silver also contains some anti-fungal properties which can kill the fungus and even prevent the spread of the fungi in human beings.
However, people still speculate this claim as there are many possible things which can kill a fungus. Moreover, not enough research has been done on what happens if this colloidal silver is ingested on fungal infections by humans.
What are the possible side-effects of colloidal silver?
Although colloidal silver is available only packed as a commercial product, we are all in contact with small minuscule particles every day in our lives. We are exposed to it through our water, food or even air that we breathe. This silver is safe.
However, when it comes to the colloidal silver, which contains the nanoparticles of silver, sufficient research is required. This is because ingesting colloidal silver has one of the biggest and most serious side-effects that is, argyria.
In argyria, due to the constant build-up of your silver particles, your skin turns a pale blue-gray color in the body and skin. These then further start depositing themselves in organs such as liver, kidneys and heart. Moreover, it is also not advised to directly apply it on a wound as it can cause silver build-up around the damaged tissue. This can even happen with silver if you are exposed to too much of it or you are constantly taking it in the form of food supplements.
However, other risks that are heralded through ingesting colloidal silver are unknown. But, the thing that makes these nanoparticles detrimental to your body is that it can easily pass through your cell membranes and destroy the blood-brain barrier.
Some people also try to inject colloidal silver intravenously (through IV). This is also not a good option. What happens is that this colloidal solution starts to get deposited into various organs such as skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscles, lungs and brain. Eventually, your skin starts changing color to a blue-grayish tone and it primarily appears on your gums. Moreover, some also claim that colloidal silver in the body can lead to melanin production and the areas of skin which are directly exposed to sun significantly change color.
Be that as it may, if you apply the colloidal silver topically, it is considered to be less harmful than directly ingesting it. But you need to be careful not keeping them far too long as they can penetrate through your skin and enter your bloodstream.