Silver (Colloidal Silver)
Botanical Name: Silver (Colloidal Silver)
In alchemy and Western medicine, the metal silver has long been used as an antiseptic. Studies remain inclusive about any other health claims or benefits.
Below is an overview of silver, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of silver.
Western Name: Silver (Colloidal Silver)
Also Known As: Silver Protein, Silver Salts
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antiseptic NOT antibiotic. Used as an antimicrobial in a variety of industrial, healthcare and domestic applications. Used as a dietary supplement and homeopathic remedy. Silver nitrate has been used in the eyes of babies to prevent gonorrhea. Also used in various forms (Silverdene or Silver Sulfadiazine) to treat burns but nowhere near as good as using honey or aloe. Silver is also used in bone prostheses and reconstructive orthopedic surgery, and cardiac devices. Thought by some to prevent cancer.
Pin Yin: Not used medicinally in TCM.
Also Known As: N/A
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: N/A
Parts Most Frequently Used: Silver slufasiazine or silver nanomaterials; silver nitrate and silver proteinate used in diluted form
Caution: The body has no known need or use for silver in any form. Too much accumulation in the body can cause blue/grey discoloration of skin called argyria, which is a nonreversible condition. Renal, neurological and hepatic complications may also be caused by ingesting colloidal silver. Some people are allergic to silver.
History/Folklore: Hippocrates discussed the use of silver for healing wounds. At the beginning of the 20th century, silver was used in surgical tools like sutures, to reduce the risk of infection, as well as in eye drops to treat ophthalmic ailments and infections. It has also been used internally to treat gonorrhea, epilepsy, and the common cold. In World War I, it was used to treat infected wounds prior to antibiotics because it was thought to be an antibiotic (when it actually is only an antiseptic). Used in church chalices to prevent spread of disease. Ancient Greeks noted that food stored in silver preserved better then food stored in pottery or iron. In the Chinese culture, silver is symbol of wealth, trustworthiness, and romance. In Miao culture (ethnic minority in China), silver is worn as a status of marriage, beauty, and wealth.
Silver ion is bioactive and in sufficient concentration readily kills bacteria in vitro. Evidence inconclusive if it is actually better at killing bacteria than materials not coated with silver. One study found that it might be potentially better for treating long term wounds that are resistant to healing.
No Medical Studies
Despite availability as a supplement and cure-all, there remains no current medical study or report that clearly supports or identifies the healing capacities of silver in any form.
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