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The Dangers of Colloidal Silver


It makes my blood curl every single time I see a ‘so called health advocate’ promote colloidal silver. And worse yet, seeing colloidal silver in the health food isles makes me cringe and shutter. Unfortunately, people are too quick to believe the cure-all claims of this dangerous supplement.

In my opinion, colloidal silver does as much damage to your health as lead or other heavy metals. In truth, the body cannot eliminate any type of metal from your body and it will accumulate in the vital organs. In effect, it will cause immune dysfunction and extreme damage to your vital organs.

WebMD Newsflash

According to WebMD, colloidal silver products used for medical purposes are now considered “misbranded” under FDA law (1999). However, it is still used as a dietary supplement and as a homeopathic remedy.

WebMD also states that colloidal silver is likely unsafe if injected intravenously (by IV), taken orally or applied to the skin. This is because the silver gets deposited in vital organs such as the kidney, liver, skin, brain, spleen and muscles. The accumulated toxin can cause serious damage.

Taking colloidal silver can also lead to permanent bluish skin discoloration (argyria). As well, it can stimulate melanin production plus it discolors the skin if it has been exposed to the sun. As well, WebMD states that raised levels of silver in pregnant woman have been connected to abnormal development of the face, ears and neck of their babies.


Mayo Clinic Newsflash

According to the Mayo Clinic, colloidal silver is not considered effective or safe. In addition, the Mayo Clinic states that colloidal silver is not an essential mineral and has no known purpose in the body. Although, colloidal silver manufacturers claim that it is a ‘cure all’, there are no scientific studies to back it up. In fact, the FDA took action against some manufacturers of colloidal silver products for making unproven health claims.

Although it is not certain how much colloidal silver may be harmful, it can build up in your body’s vital organ over months or years. The most common side effects are argyria which is a blue-gray discoloration of the skin, eyes, gums, nails and internal organs. With excessive doses, colloidal silver can possibly cause serious irreversible health problems such as kidney damage and neurological problems like seizures. Additionally, colloidal silver products may interact with medications like tetracycline, penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), quinolone antibiotics and thyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid).

What is Colloidal Silver?

Colloidal silver is a suspension of miniscule particles of silver, generally in water. Basically, it is small bits of silver in a colloidal mixture. Colloidal silver is available in many countries as a homeopathic remedy and dietary supplement.

raw silver 2The extensive “cure-all” claims include the following:

  • Ebola
  • Cholera
  • Leprosy
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Tuberculosis
  • Scarlet fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Bubonic plague
  • Yeast infections
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Parasites (ringworm, malaria)
  • Viruses (HIV/AIDS, shingles, herpes, pneumonia, warts)

Colloidal silver is also used for lung problems such as bronchitis and emphysema; skin conditions including eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, impetigo, and cradle cap; inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), bladder (cystitis), colon (colitis), prostate (prostatitis), appendix (appendicitis), nose (rhinitis), sinuses (sinusitis) and tonsils (tonsillitis).

Other uses of colloidal silver include treatment for lupus, diabetes, cancer, leukemia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, gum disease, trench foot, allergies like hat fever, and prevention of the flu, common cold and H1N1 (swine) flu. Colloidal silver is also applied to the skin for certain conditions such as acne, fungal infections, burns, eye infections, skin infections and staph (Staphylococcus).

The Most Horrifying: Some women take colloidal silver during pregnancy to assist the baby’s growth and development.

Safer and more Effective Products

echinaceaOne of the biggest colloidal silver health claims is its antibiotic properties. Even Hippocrates discussed how sliver was good for wound care. In the early 20th century before the discovery of antibiotics, doctors used silver to lower the risk of infection, as eye drops to treat ophthalmic issues and as a topical for health problems like epilepsy, tropical sprue and the common cold.

Generally, colloidal silver was used as a disinfectant and germicide. Once modern antibiotics were developed (1940), the use of colloidal silver basically diminished. However, silver sulfadiazine (SSD) was established in 1968 (a compound that contains silver and the antibiotic sodium sulfadiazine).


What is more, people were unaware that vitamin C was important for the immune system. And since there were no known antibiotics, colloidal silver was considered a life saver.

But there are far safer and more effective products other than colloidal silver that can be used as a natural antibiotic and to support the immune system. There are also safe natural antibiotics and antifungal agents that have health promoting properties. For instance, people who take vitamin C on a regular basis rarely get sick. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Natural Antibiotics: Garlic, Echinacea , Pau D’Arco , Andrographis , Green Tea Extract, Turmeric Extract , Oil of Oregano and Olive Leaf Extract .
  • Cancer Fighting: Both turmeric extract and green tea extract are said to be powerful chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. In fact, it is said that these herbs can cause cancer cells to self-destruct. Additionally, turmeric and green tea extract are powerful anti-inflammatories.
  • Bacteria Fighting: Olive leaf extract and oregano oil have been said to effectively destroy pathogenic bacteria, fungus’s, viruses and protozoa such as malaria. The herbs are also known to help treat infections like AIDS.

Great Alternatives


Picture credit

Pieces of silver: photo credit: Silver sprues via photopin (license)
Echinacea: photo credit: Purple Coneflower via photopin (license)
Colloidal silver water splash: Stylish Ranch Girl
People with argyria: Documenting Reality
Raw silver: Images of Chemical Elements


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11 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    This is a fabulous article! I just wished I would have read it years ago before taking this awful supplement.

  2. Casey Bales says:

    What you fail to mention in this article is that 99% of the products on the market are not Colloidal Silver. Yes they may be labeled colloidal however they are not. I agree that no one should ingest these toxic solutions because they are dangerous however there has been not one single reported cases of argyria from using a true colloidal silver nor a reported case of it reacting with medications as you claim. As they were testing Colloidal Silver in the 1930’s the same things were taking place as people found out about the benefits they tried to make their own which cause they same problems as there are today argyria, internal organ damage, and naysayers who havent experienced the real thing.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Casey

      I was tempted to delete your comment for I really do not like to argue. I find that Colloidal Silver manufacturers have a very high sales pitch. Unfortunately, you really are mistaken. But to give you the benefit of the doubt, I went online to Amazon. Below are the first three Colloidal Silver products listed. All three products contain pure silver. If like you said “99% of the products on the market are not Colloidal Silver” then these 3 products would not contain any silver. Note: I am leaving out part of the manufacturers names.

      1. Dietary Mineral Supplement, Colloidal Silver, 500 PPM, 4 fl. oz. / 120 ml: Contains a pharmaceutical grade of Mild Silver Protein (99.9% silver and 0.1% casein).
      2. Wellness Colloidal Silver, 30 ppm, 2 Ounce. Contains Silver 30 ppm (parts per million) Other ingredients are potassium alginate, distilled water, and EDTA.
      3. Labs Silver Biotics, 32 Fluid Ounce. Contains Adult Serving Size: 5 ml(1 teaspoon). Amount per Serving: Purified Silver 50 mcg. Other ingredients: Deionized Water. Contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or additives.

      So, silver is silver weather manufactured or homemade. It is still a metal that accumulates in the body’s organs (like lead, etc).

      • Beto says:

        You were “tempted to delete” his argument just because it wasn’t aligned with your thoughts? No need to reply, my comment has no intention for argument, and please feel free to delete it if you feel intimidated by a contrarian thought to yours 🙂

        • Mary says:

          I am never intimidated.

        • Mary says:

          I just wish people would realize the dangers of all heavy metals in the body!

        • andre says:

          she delete also my very detail reply about doctors who as study and have prove the benefits of coloidal silver, this people have a EGO and they dont want to see the trued and help people. they are like small pharmaceutics try to sell there products. hulda clark she was a doctor that save many many people and she give the information for free in her books.

          • Mary says:

            If you do not believe this article, then take a look at history where silver is mined. For instance, Wallace, Idaho is the principal town of the Coeur d’Alene silver-mining district, which produced more silver than any other mining district in the United States. The silver mining began in the late 1800’s. Trappers and traders recorded ghastly sights of the river being so polluted from the waste of silver that the water was a milky white and no life existed near the river or in the valley downstream 100 miles away. It has taken decades to regain what was lost. And still, traces of silver waste can be found in the valley below.

          • andre says:

            is not a question of believe or not. is facts. in late 1800’s they extract silver with the process call Pan amalgamation, and if you do not know what is this process you look please(, they use mercury! Everything died because of mercury not the silver! nanoparticles of silver is not the same as silver salts.
            nanoparticles of silver are small then all the particles in your body so they ill never block your organs. and if you get blue skin because of big particles of silver than you make the hulda clark liver cleaning and your skin came back to normal. i use colloidal silver for more then 10 years and sometimes i drink 1 full glass in 1 go, and i never get sick.
            With all due respect I think you have to do some deeper research. this book “use of colloids in health and disease” by alfred b. searle, He had a pharmacy and he conducted dozens of tests to prove the effects and benefits of colloidal silver. i hope that you dont delete this comment.

          • Mary says:

            Sorry, mercury is much heavier than water and will slide around without leaving any residue. Silver is a soft, white, lustrous transition metal. It has the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.
            Yes, you are right about Mercury being a health hazard in the silver mining industry in the U.S. It can be naturally present in ore and produced as a by-product in silver ore processing and production. But instead of using mercury to mine silver, LEAD is now used. Once the silver is mined it is then processed. The silver is reduced in size by crushers and then and slurry is added to the leaching tanks. The slurry solution is composed of a weak cyanide solution to the slurry, which leaches the silver into the solution. This process removes up to 70 percent of the silver from the ore. Carbon granules are then added to the solution. Ned I say more!! All in the name of silver. And you really feel consuming it is healthy!
            The environmental impact of silver mining is outrageous.! Even today we are trying to clean up the mess in Wallace ID (once known as the silver capitol of the world). In fact, there is silver mining waste cleanup in Silver Valley (Wallace) the cost is estimated at $20 million work of environmental cleanup work in the historic mining district this year (2017) and will create about 400 jobs.

            Oh, big Pharma and anyone associated with it is all about money, NEVER about health. No different than the tobacco companies that knew their product was a big health issue but lied.. then they started adding chemicals to their tobacco. In fact, today there are more chemicals in a cigarette than nicotine. My point is, big Pharma will lie through their teeth in order to make a profit.. I will say no more

        • Mary says:

          Beto, I am tempted to delete your comments not due to evading argument but out of sheer rudeness. All your slide remarks are very unnecessary. No, you are not aligned with my thoughts and experience. No, I am not intimidated by name calling e.g. contrarian. It is just downright rude and disrespectful.

          If you do not believe this article, then take a look at history where silver is mined. For instance, Wallace Idaho is the principal town of the Coeur d’Alene silver-mining district, which produced more silver than any other mining district in the United States. the silver mining began in the late 1800’s. Trappers and traders recorded ghastly sights of the river being so polluted from the waste of silver that the water was a milky white and no life existed near the river or in the valley downstream 100 miles away. It has taken decades to regain what was lost. And still, traces of silver waste can be found in the valley below.

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