Silver is known for its metallic importance since ancient times. It is well known that silver is harmless to human body. Its usage ranges from silver vessels to teeth filling. Colloidal silver is another addition to its vast list of utilities. In layman terms, colloidal silver is very fine particles of pure silver, suspended in water. The particle size is in the order of nanometer. The total silver content is expressed as milligrams of silver per liter (mg/L) of water which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). Silver concentrations usually range from 20 ppm to 1500 ppm.
Colloidal silver has been particularly effective against skin disorders. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungus action makes it perfectly suited for soap making. No wonder that colloidal silver is being used extensively as a soap ingredient by many soap manufacturers. Regular use of such soaps help in prevention of various skin diseases like acne, skin rash, athlete’s foot, eczema etc. The germ fighting capability of colloidal silver results in much more cleanliness. Various testimonials of people substantiates the fact that soaps with colloidal silver adds a healthy and neat appearance to the skin.
There are always some myths associated with good things. Colloidal silver is no exception to it. From time to time, certain section of society has raised doubts about the safety of its usage. It has been often reported that use of colloidal silver causes Argyria, an extremely rare condition causing a permanent discoloration of the skin. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned over the counter sales of colloidal silver products claiming therapeutic value, or their advertisement as providing health benefits. While there is some truth about the above, the fact is that Argyria is caused only by consuming excess quantity of colloidal silver. While it is not known how Argyria occurs, it is thought that silver combines with protein, forming complexes that deposit in the skin and are processed by sunlight (as in traditional photography). The real issue concerning Argyria is how silver, in ionic or particulate form, is handled by the body. The greatest determining factor in the cause of Argyria is the concentration of silver and the actual amount of silver intake. There is no definitive data that suggests one type of silver, based on the anion, protein, or salt associated (or lack thereof), is less of a risk than any other. We only know that silver particles with silver salts (even colloidal silver made with salt added), proteins, and other ionic compounds have caused Argyria. The common factor was a daily intake that exceeded the EPA’s recommended safety levels. Therefore, it is always advisable to moderate the consumption of colloidal silver.
There has always been a concern about the adequacy of concentration in parts per million (PPM) of colloidal silver. There are many technical considerations to address in making this determination. Generally speaking, a 15 – 25 PPM high quality colloidal silver product is a sufficient concentration for effectiveness in the body. For topical use, such as ingredient of soap, greater concentrations may be desirable to increase the amount of actual silver exposed to the skin. However, with most available production methods, a higher concentration yields a lower quality end product. The result is an unstable solution with large particles. Various data shows that colloidal silver with 20 PPM is optimal for its usage in soap making.
Another myth about colloidal silver has been that it has no positive effect on skin. This is totally false. In fact, colloidal silver has been accepted as the best product as far as skin friendliness is concerned. This has been substantiated from time to time by various researches. Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, noted biomedical researcher from Syracuse University, concluded after extensive research in this area that “all of the organisms that we tested were sensitive to the electrically generated silver ion, including some that were resistant to all known antibiotics. Colloidal silver stimulates bone-forming cells, cures the most common stubborn infections of all kinds of bacteria, and stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues.” Later, colloidal silver was termed as the powerful germ fighter with no side effects, which again is a bone of contention among the pro and cons of colloidal silver.
While traditional antibiotics do result in side effects as it kills the harmful as well as beneficial bacteria in the body, the same is not the case with colloidal silver. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, which destroy beneficial enzymes, colloidal silver leaves these tissue-cell enzymes intact, as they are radically different from the enzymes of primitive single-celled life. Also, colloidal silver doesn’t kill bacteria or a virus. When a particle of silver comes into contact with these living beings it inhibits their ability to reproduce. It does so by disabling the oxygen metabolism enzyme found in single celled organisms such as bacteria and fungi, as well as the enzyme found in most viruses. The disease causing organisms either starve or suffocate, for many others their internal protoplast collapse if their bodily charge is opposite to the silver particles, and still others are unable to reproduce themselves. This inhibits the growth of disease.
Contrary to the popular belief that colloidal silver is not effective in the cases where antibiotics has failed, it is the other way round. Over the past several years the medical establishment via the news media, has released a barrage of reports on the new strains of ‘Super Bugs’ that can not be destroyed by antibiotics. Many of these organisms have built a resistance to these drugs, which is not the case with colloidal silver.
It may be concluded therefore that usage of colloidal silver is totally safe for human beings if taken in moderate quantity.