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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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7 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 🙂

  3. andre says:

    good morning,

    I think you guys are messing with the silver salts. there are false claims about the use of colloidal silver, for example that it can cause argyria. Argyria is a poisoning by silver compounds resulting in an intense blue coloration of the skin, but this only happens if silver salts are taken, not ionic or colloidal silver.
    In 1920, Albert Searle, founder of the pharmaceutical company that bears his name, wrote a book titled The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease, which gained a wide following.
    Robert Becker a U.S. orthopedic surgeon and researcher in electrophysiology/electromedicine. He worked mainly as professor at Upstate Medical Center in State University of New York, Syracuse, and as Director of Orthopedic Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Syracuse, New York., concluded after numerous observations that it is not only a powerful germicide, but also promotes tissue regeneration, the healing of wounds, and increased bone mass, especially in the elderly. He rightfully said that colloidal silver is like a second immune system.
    I have been using colloidal silver for years without any side effects, small particles can leave the body without any problem, but when you take colloidal silver above 20ppm it is not as beneficial as 10ppm, and if you make your colloidal silver you will see That water from 20ppm will turn yellow. Due to the large amount of silver in the water.
    Skin problems are mostly related to the excess of toxins in the liver as Dr. Hulda Clark explains in his books, the cure for all diseases, doing a cleansing to the liver the bluish skin should return to normal, you can do your Search or see results of cleaning stones in liver on youtube.
    I was always a little septic about alternative cures, but I experienced the power of these cures myself, I had headaches for 10 years and all the therapists I went to told me that I had liver problems, so I tried doing the cleaning of Dr. Hulda Clark after my second cleaning my headaches disappeared completely.
    I hope you have helped,

    peace and love for all

  4. andre says:

    You have to realize that the doctors are misled by the pharmaceutical companies, they conduct the drug tests to be applied on the patients,
    and we can not forget that IG Farben was the fourth largest company in the world holding all the chemical production for Nazi Germany,
    which produced The Zyklon B pesticide that was used in gas chambers to kill millions of people,
    at the end of World War II the company was divided into smaller companies forming new pharmaceutical companies like Bayer that produces neonicotinoids,
    which are toxic to bees, in the our days joined the Monsanto company that produces genetically modified food that is bad enough for our health.
    Pharmacists will publish any type of article to discredit the benefits of colloidal silver, since colloidal silver can not be patented, so they can not make millions with it.

  5. Dixon Miller says:

    Andre, really? Skin problems are due to an excess of toxins in the liver? What universe do you live in where leprosy, eczema, skin cancer, impetigo, flesh-eating bacteria, and tinea versicolor, just to name a few skin conditions, are caused by an imbalance in the “humors” of the body? You sound like one of those quacks from the 16th century who bled their patients in an effort to restore the balance of these humors…

    Where do these people get their data? Not a single scholarly article or endorsement from a recognized authority!! I have been a Registered Nurse since the 20th century and I have seen folks come into the ER with some of the most jacked-up ideas about homeopathic medicines and their effectiveness..Ask where they get their information and they tell me the ‘Lady at Whole Foods in the supplement section” or that they ‘Saw it on the internet”… I can resuscitate a dead child after it has drowned and been under water for a full ten minutes but I can’t fix stupid…I can only sedate it…

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