Colloidal silver is an alternative medicine with a lot of controversy surrounding it. Advocates staunchly defend it; the FDA declared over-the-counter colloidal silver products unsafe.
What’s a prepper to do?
You and I both know that when (not if) a man-made or natural disaster occurs, it’s best to know how to take care of yourself and your family. We know help won’t be readily available. That includes health care, and during a time of shortages, you can be sure that medicines of all kinds are likely stuck in the supply chain somewhere far away.
Table of contents
- What if traditional medicine is not available?
- What is Colloidal Silver?
- Should I consider using it?
- How to Make Colloidal Silver
- Other Resources
- What is colloidal silver used for?
- A Testimonial from The Survival Mom
What if traditional medicine is not available?
If our modern, traditional avenues for health care aren’t available, what are some other options?
In the Great Depression, for example, people often had to get creative because they lacked access to doctors and medicine, or they lacked the money to pay for them. This included herbal medicines that are still popular today.
Colloidal silver is another option.
In this article we’ll look at:
- what colloidal silver is,
- some of its history as a medicine,
- whether you should use it,
- the pro and cons of medicinal use,
- and how to make it yourself.
What is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is a liquid containing tiny silver particles. Silver itself is a mineral but not an essential one. That is, it’s not an essential mineral your body needs, unlike calcium, which it does need.
Silver was the main antimicrobial before the days of modern antibiotics, like penicillin.
People purified their barrels of water by dropping pure silver coins in them. It’s also thought that wealthy people fed their children with sterling silverware; they seemed to have less foodborne illness and sickness than the rest of the population.
Should I consider using it?
Any medical treatment you consider is by its nature going to be highly personal. That’s true whether it’s a traditional medicine or homeopathic.
I did mention above that it’s controversial; not everyone agrees that colloidal silver is helpful as a dietary supplement or as alternative medicine. Therefore, I’ve linked to some articles that illustrate both perspectives. Do your research before using it for medical purposes.
However, that being said here is some information to get you started in the process.
What are some pros of colloidal silver?
Silver has shown effectiveness in fighting bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi. Its germicidal effects also kill many microbial organisms.
In the past, hospital labor and delivery departments put Silver Nitrate drops in newborns’ eyes. This helped prevent blindness from certain bacteria that could be present in the birth canal. Most states have laws requiring this. Nowadays, however, hospitals mostly use antibiotic drops.
Silvadene, a silver-based antibiotic ointment, has been used to treat burn wounds for infection, and also infected bedsores.
Additionally, Dr. Joe Alton, aka “Dr. Bones,” recommends colloidal silver foot washes for athletes foot.
Some studies show colloidal silver slows viral growth and sometimes eradicates it. That’s because bacteria can’t utilize oxygen when a silver ion embeds itself in the cell wall. Therefore, the bacteria die.
Some people take a teaspoon of colloidal silver per day, internally, or use it topically. The intent is to support their immune system, prevent illness, and hasten healing. Some people take it only when they are sick providing much anecdotal evidence of how it has benefited them, either as a cure or just offering some relief.
However, as with any medicine, its use must be approached from a place of knowledge and thoughtful intention.
What are the cons of colloidal silver?
On the flip side, misuse can cause serious side effects such as:
- neurological damage,
- liver and kidney damage,
- permanent skin conditions,
- and the poor absorption of some drugs.
Let’s look at those last two for a moment, as they seem to be the most common concerns.
Can colloidal silver turn you blue?
Let’s just address that right off.
If misused, it can discolor the skin. Some will tell you that it turns the skin blue.
It’s actually more of a bluish-gray color. However, if you ingest too much silver over a long enough time, you can develop argyria. It’s skin discoloration that’s permanent and irreversible.
The lesson here?
Everything in moderation. If one teaspoon of 10 ppm (parts per million) is recommended, don’t drink a pint.
How will it affect prescription drugs?
Colloidal silver decreases the effectiveness of some medications by interfering with their absorption. Thyroxine, for thyroid deficiencies, is one example.
Just as you would with any other alternative medicine, it’s important you research how it will interact with what you are already taking. That’s true whether it’s a prescription drug, something over-the-counter, or a homemade remedy.
Make an informed decision.
How to Make Colloidal Silver
You can purchase colloidal silver, but it can be very costly to stockpile. It is possible to make your own, though, and it’s inexpensive.
In prepper circles, those who can afford them are often encouraged to buy precious metals. However, if you cannot afford gold and silver bullion or coins, there’s still value in having some types of silver in your stockpile.
The value is maintaining your health by making your own colloidal silver.
Here is one method for making your own:
- Distilled water
- Glass jar (Mason jars work great for this.)
- 2 1-ounce ultrafine (.999) silver wire, bars, rounds, rods, or bullion
- 2 clothespins with springs
- 3 9-volt batteries
- 3 9-volt battery terminal clip snap connectors
- 2 small alligator clips with jumper leads
- Dark glass bottles for storage
- TDS meter (Total Dissolved Solids)
- Wash the glass jar and then fill it about 2/3 full with distilled water.
- Connect the 3 9-volt batteries in series to each other.
- Attach the snap connector to the empty positive terminal.
- Connect another snap connector to the empty negative terminal.
- Attach one alligator clip to the positive wire.
- Connect one alligator clip to the negative wire.
- Add one silver piece to each of the opposite ends of the alligator clips.
- Slowly place into distilled water in the jar, and clip it on with a clothespin.
- Repeat with the second silver piece.
- Make sure only the silver is touching the liquid and don’t let the silver touch each other.
- Once the wires are connected to power, watch for a white cloud to begin forming between them. After 10 minutes or so, you’ll notice tiny bubbles coming from the positive anode on the silver bar. The negative anode will become darkened. Check it frequently with the TDS meter until it reaches your desired parts per million (PPM). Then, it’s done. (The time varies depending on how fresh the batteries are and the PPM you want).
- The liquid should be either clear or a very light yellow. Running the process too long will create a dark or cloudy liquid which is less effective.
- When the process is complete, pour the liquid through an unbleached coffee filter to eliminate any dust or contaminants that may have fallen into the jar during processing.
- Store the liquid in an amber or dark blue glass container. These can sometimes be purchased at health food stores and on Amazon. Your liquid should be either clear or a very light yellow. Running the process too long will create a dark or cloudy liquid which is less effective.
- To check for a true colloidal silver result, shoot a beam of light through the solution. I use a red laser-type beam. The light will look like a thin line that gradually gets wider as it reaches the other side of the jar. If you have that, you have a true colloidal silver solution. It’s called the Tyndall effect.
The shelf life of direct current-generated colloidal silver is approximately 14-30 days. Shake well before using.
The following video provides very good step-by-step instructions on creating your own generator. He also includes alternative power sources including:
- regular 9V batteries
- re-chargeable 9V batteries
- a DC transformer
- solar panels
If you are concerned about your ability to build your own generator, some companies will sell you anything from a pre-fabricated generator to a complete generator kit.
What is colloidal silver used for?
SilverGen has an excellent list of uses for colloidal silver. Consider printing these suggestions and adding them to your Survival Binder or stashing the list next to your homemade version.
A Testimonial from The Survival Mom
The kids and I take a couple of teaspoons of colloidal silver a few times a week, although we’ve also used it for specific issues.
For instance, when my son had a mouthful of sores last year, I had him swish his mouth twice a day with colloidal silver. As a result, after just 2 days, the sores had cleared up. From personal experience I know they usually hang around a lot longer.
Most importantly, we should be educated consumers about any healthcare option we are considering. That applies to both traditional and homeopathic remedies. Therefore, do your research about using colloidal silver. Determine your risk. Whether it’s a store-bought version or having the supplies on hand to make it yourself, it could be an excellent item to add to your medical supplies.
What is your experience with colloidal silver? Let me know in the comments!
“This is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any disease. Consult your personal medical professional.”
This post was originally published on April 12, 2013, and has been updated and revised. It includes contributions from Mary Blandford, R.N.