Chapter Three: A Condensed History Of Colloidal Silver
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I think it is worthwhile to give proper attention to the historical uses of colloidal silver. People who are not familiar with the important uses of colloidal silver are often shocked by the quality and quantity of information in this regard. People are also surprised at the level of understanding, broad range of use, extensive documentation and detailed accounts recorded for posterity by well known and to this day respected authorities. People are also shocked at he volume of such data has accumulated over such a long period and that they have not heard nor read such accounts before. People are incredulous to review such information and often find themselves at odds within the realm of their reasoning mind. Particularly when such historical content flies in the face of often more visible negative attitudes, bias, unreasoning and stupidity. At first, this can be disconcerting.
In order to dynamically illustrate these points, and in order to develop a proper historic account of the history of colloidal silver, let us begin by quoting some significant and highly relevant passages from well respected historical material from our personal reference collection. We will start with quotes from the book “Colloids in Health and Disease” by Alfred B. Searle, published in 1920.
“Colloidal silver, containing 0.05 percent of the metal in a colloidal form and not as a salt, is clear cherry red liquid.”
‘Its destructive action on toxins is very marked so that it will protect rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanic or diphtheritic toxin.”
“taken internally, the particles of colloidal silver are resistant to the action of dilute acids and alkalis of the stomach, and consequently continue their catalytic action and pass into the intestine unchanged. The importance of this is apparent in such conditions as ulcerative urticaria and other forms of dermatitis suggestive of toxemia, bacillary dysentery, diarrhea, and colitis.
The use of collosol argentum (a particular brand of true colloidal silver manufactured and available at the time -Ed) in ophthalmic practice and in the affections of the ear and in nasal catarrh and its clinical effect by intravenous injection in septicamia are reported in medical journals.
Colloidal silver has been used with marked success in the following cases, cited by C. E. A. Macleod:
Septic and follicular tonsillitis, Vincent’s angina, phlyctenular conjunctivitis, gonorrhoel conjunctivitis, spring catarrh, impetigo (contagious acne of face and body), septic ulcers of legs, ringworm of body, tinea vesicolor, soft sores, suppurative appendicitis after operation (the wounds cleaned rapidly), pustular eczema of scalp and pubes, chronic eczema of meatus of ear with recurrent boils, and also chronic suppuration in otitis media, bromidrosis of feet, axillae and blind boils of neck. By injection: gonorrhoea and chronic cystitis (local), boils, epiditymitis.
Sir James Cantlie has found it particularly effective in cases of sprue, dysentery, and intestinal troubles. Being non-toxic, the dose can be increased from 1 to 2 or more drachms twice or thrice daily.
A. Legge Roe regards stable colloidal silver as a most useful preparation in ophthalmic practice, and particularly in cases of gonorrhoeal ophthalmia, purulent ophthalmia of infants, infected ulcers of the cornea and hypopyon ulcer (tapping of the interior chamber and cautery and other operative procedures being now rarely required, whilst if perforation does occur it is smaller and more manageable), interstitial keratitis, blepharitis, dacryocystitis, and burns and other wounds of the cornea. According to this authority the great chemosis which usually accompanies the use of silver nitrate is avoided and, in his opinion if colloidal silver were adopted in every case of purulent ophthalmia of infants “there would be no such thing as impaired sight or blindness from this cause.” He has had many cases of interstitial keratitis in adults, in which the complete opacity of the cornea has become absolutely clear in from three to five months, and anyone who has had much experience of this disease in adults knows how often permanent impairment of sight results, and how long the treatment used to last, especially if irritants had been used prior to colloidal treatment.”
” T. H. Anderson Wells used it intravenously in a case of puerperal septicaemia without any irritation of the kidneys and with no pigmentation of the skin. This physician has found that a series of intravenous injections, each of collosol argentum, every forty-eight hours produce no untoward effects and that recovery is rapid.
Sir Malcom Morris has found that colloidal silver is free from the drawbacks of other preparations of silver, viz. the pain caused and the discoloration of the skin ; indeed, instead of producing irritation it has a distinctly soothing effect. It rapidly subdues inflammation and promotes the healing of lesions, He has had remarkable results in the enlarged prostate with irritation in the bladder in pruritis ani and perineal eczema, and in haemorrhoids. It can be used in the form of suppositories whilst a solution is simultaneously applied to the irritated skin. In bromidrosis in the axille and feet it quickly gives relief. It causes a rapid disappearance of warts. Being non-toxic, it can be given internally in urticaria and other forms of dermatitis which are suggestive of toxamia. In such cases, it is quickly beneficial.
In ophthalmology, colloidal silver has now largely replaced silver nitrate.
J. Mark Hovell has found colloidal silver beneficial for permanently restoring the potency of the eustachian tubes and for reducing nasopharyngeal catarrh. Colloidal silver has also been used successfully in septic conditions of the mouth (including pyorrhoea alveolaris-Rigg’s disease), throat (including tonsillitis and quinsies), ear (including Menier’s symptoms and closure to Valsava’s inflation), and in generalized septicemia, leucorrhoea, cystitis, whooping cough, and shingles.
A preparation of colloidal silver which is opaque to X-rays has proven invaluable in certain diagnoses.
J. MacMunn has successfully used silver sol in cases of gonorrhoel prostatic gleet by injection through an endoscope into the substance of the prostate gland.
Collosol argentum has also proven useful in influenza, both as a prophylactic and for curative purposes when applied as a spray to the nostrils, for bathing the eyes, and as a gargle for the throat.
B. Seymour Jones has used an intranasal spray of colloidal silver in a case of cerebrospinal meningitis. He has also used colloidal silver with marked advantage in several cases of rhinitis and oedematous enlargement of the posterior ends of the middle and inferior turbinates without true hyperplasia.” 1
– End Quotes.
These quotes from Colloids in Health and Disease pages 83 – 86 illustrates that there was already a profound knowledge of the use of silver as early as the 1920s, even if the medical terms are dated, not only was the knowledge of colloidal silver well established, but adequately documented by an authority and one of the founders of colloidal chemistry.
The logical question is, ok, if it was considered safe, effective and proven in the mind and practice of physicians and heads of the medical industry at that time, why isn’t it still used? Furthermore, how could such knowledge have been lost if it was true?
It is clear to me from a historical analysis of not only Searle’s book, but a host of other reliable sources as well, that the knowledge regarding the effectiveness of colloidal silver was not lost, it was obscured. The good news is that the technology and knowledge of colloidal as well as ionic silver is emerging from obscurity rather quickly at the time of this writing.
It is particularly interesting to note that shortly after the original penicillin discovery by Sir Ernst Chain et al., that the U.S. government purchased the patent rights to penicillin in 1940. Later harsh criticism was leveled that British publicly funded scientific research in at least part funded the discovery of penicillin that was, to some, inappropriately sold to US interests. Reportedly, the reason that the National Research and Development Corporation (NRDC) was formed, to prevent such events from happening in the future. The patent rights to penicillin were later divvied up by the U.S. government among prominent U.S.A. pharmaceutical companies that worked in tandem with governmental objectives, to mass produce penicillin during the war. It is also important to understand the role of University research and the economic dimension that formed during that time and the future consequences.
One of the leading factors that colloidal silver did not rise to traditional widespread and well-understood medical status in the early 1900s was cost. However, after careful analysis it is evident that many products of the time were just confused with and inappropriately associated with colloidal silver.
The primary cause of confusion and a bad rep that prevented colloidal silver had perhaps prevented it from becoming preferred to the use of antibiotics in the public mind at the time. However, it is clear that is was the preferred treatment choice of physicians, when they were adept regarding colloids and had access to actual colloidal silver.
However, we would be remiss to dismiss key factors such as who the beneficiaries of the resulting trends were, in addition to whom it is that had the most pull in terms of effecting and establishing public opinion and policy. We will address this issue more thoroughly later. Many factors converged to create what became the history of colloid silver.
For example, when pure problem-free forms of colloidal silver became popular among leading health practitioners of the early 1920s, knowledge about these products by practitioners at-large was lacking.
Worse still, there was widespread confusion due to the other various available forms of silver all being called colloidal silver even if inappropriately. There was an abundance of products competing with true colloidal silver products, which were called colloidal silver that were not colloidal silver that seems to be at the core of the problem.
Many of the products called colloidal silver were compounds, the use of which was questionable at best, and flawed when compared to the benefits, safety, lack of adverse conditions and effectiveness of actual colloidal silver.
It is hard to comprehend how compounds and other forms of silver continued to be confused with colloidal silver when they were of unreliable consistency and results, not to mention they were downright problematic and caused the condition called argyria (a gray skin discoloration). It seems obvious that manufacturers of compounds and lower grade silver products continued to push their products even in the face of scientific and medical data that proved their products to be problematic or inferior to their competition, the true colloidal silver products.
Even though Searle pointed out in 1920 that true colloidal silver, such as the product that he explicitly referenced by the brand name “Collosol argentum” and specifically stated that it did not have such problems as argyria associated with it. That information apparently was not commonly known by medical practitioners in general.
Many if not the majority of physicians were unaware of these facts, evidenced by the fact that a book titled “Argyria The Pharmacology of Silver” written in 1939 that details the products used, amounts used and conditions treated with primarily silver compounds that resulted in argyria as a condition. Nowhere in that book is Collosol argentum mentioned to have caused argyria, even though it was mainly in use during the same period that book covers. If Searle’s information and the product he mentioned had been widely used rather than nitrates etc., the need to write a book that chronicled cases of argyria haver been unnecessary and irrelevant.
To put the events of the time into perspective, we must also consider that, in 1923, Weimar Germany had a collapse of the physical-economy and monetary system, which sent shock waves across the world in every conceivable manner. A few short years later the U.S. stock market crashed.
During this time, while colloidal chemistry and the use of colloidal silver and silver hydrosols was emerging, there was a competing technology developing called antibiotics.
At a time of economic depression, when the world was threatened by fascist governments and tough decisions at all levels, it is easy to see how the cheaper to produce, and much more highly profitable antibiotics such as penicillin became popularized to the disadvantage of colloidal silver.
As we now know, economic conditions of the great depression, war and the ravages of war altered the course of human history. In 1937 when the FDA was formed, public-safety, expediency, consistency, reliability and affordability were prominent considerations of pharmaceutical industry leaders who were now faced with dealing with the newly created agency called the FDA.
When faced with the choice of the ease of bringing very profitable antibiotic drugs to market, as opposed to the high cost of producing colloidal silver and its associated drawbacks regarding complexity and image, the choice became easy. Think about it, the true colloidal state was understood by very few, true colloidal silver was gaining a bad image due to the problems associated with similarly labeled products made by manufacturers that were NOT colloidal silver. Pharmaceutical executives realized the difficulty of correcting the misconceptions was difficult and could be expected to continue to be difficult to turn around. The choice for pharmaceutical executives was a no brainer, easy money won. Oddly, what happened back then, in many ways has happened again.
It would be easy to add even more perspective, but we must move on. For clarification, the cherry red color that Searle describes as the colloidal silver of the 1920s was much more concentrated than what is now commonly known as colloidal silver today. Regardless of the process used to create it, the particle size was certainly larger than can be produced with current state of the art processes. True colloidal silver of today is more golden than red although as it approaches 20 ppm and higher, it acquires a brownish tea color. In higher concentrations, it would still take on a reddish hue, so the absolute truth regarding particle size of colosol argentium is also still in doubt. But it can be reasonably presumed that it would likely measure in the sub-micron range because is was known NOT to accumulate in the body and cause argyria.
Instead of hundreds or thousands of parts per million, today’s colloidal silver is on average 10 -20 parts per million. Some products available are hundreds or thousands of parts per million, but they are usually actually silver particles held in suspension by proteins (mild silver protein). The effectiveness in lab tests of 10-20 ppm true colloidal silver exceeds virtually any previous form of colloidal silver, even though current concentrations are hundreds or thousands of times less than used in the past. Tody’s products are mostly colloidal and not suspensions, the increased surface area and other technical factors and improvements regarding the technology as a whole discussed in more detail elsewhere in this material.
Recent historical colloidal silver perspectives
Research by Dr. Robert O. Becker in the 1970’s is thought by some to be the leading cause that sparked a renewed interest in colloidal silver. However, our investigation leads us to believe that the primary cause was from the so-called underground, social phenomena if you will.
Research results published in periodicals and books such as Dr. Robert O. Becker’s “The Body Electric,” which chronicles the exciting laboratory and real life results he observed & demonstrated regarding the practical health benefits of colloidal silver. Undoubtedly, this did rekindle public interest, even though Dr. Becker never advocated the consumption of colloidal silver for the treatment of ailments.
Other information and research results about colloidal silver before the 1970’s also began to circulate. Initially very few people had acquired the knowledge to produce colloidal silver. With the advent of low voltage safe techniques used to disperse silver, allowed those with such knowledge to make silver dispersions very inexpensively. Even though the low-voltage dispersions are 60-90 percent ionic silver, people still consistently shared anecdotal reports that a wide variety of ailments were either reversed entirely or significantly improved rapidly.
Word of mouth spread these convincing personal accounts, as person after person, voluntarily shared their healing experiences with others, most often as far as we can discern with no monetary gain to be had, but not in every case. If the experiences of such people was simply a bunch of and the trend would surely have died out in time? With so many people convinced of profound healing and disease prevention attributed to their use of colloidal silver, as well as astounding laboratory test results, preliminary and ongoing “In Vivo clinical trials,” an atmosphere was created that fostered both good and bad consequences. One consequence was that the demand for access to colloidal silver and information about colloidal silver increased.
As the demand increased, the number of producers increased. Virtually every product marketed as colloidal silver ranged from primarily ionic silver, or a mild-silver-protein (particles held in suspension not by zeta potential – but by colloidal proteins) to very rarely actually colloidal.
Initially colloidal silver was sold as a “natural antibiotic.” The understanding manufacturers and consumers held, was that colloidal silver had been grandfathered by the (FDA) as a pre1938 drug, thus exempt from their scrutiny. It was FDA exempt so long as any company still made a USP form of it, but authorities took notice that no one did still manufacture it in a USP manner for years, allowing them to swoop in and regulate colloidal silver.
In essence, the view commonly held in the early 1990s was that colloidal silver was a harmless mineral water substance. Most thought that could be produced packaged and marketed without dealing with FDA regulations, so as long as it was used in the same manner as done before the FDA was formed in 1938, and that is how people marketed and sold it.
Information about colloidal silver was distributed even faster as the world wide web became popular. Instructions that outlined how to make CS began to spread, and as you can imagine that information is not always reliable, and errors were bound to occur, from many angles.
High demand created a scenario that was too tempting for some. These individuals proceeded to place profit above genuine caring. For a time, there were obvious problems, as products with little or questionable-negligible value found their way to the marketplace such as colored water imitations. The activities of the ill-informed, misdirected and the unscrupulous, collectively, served to marginalize and discredit the emerging industry as a whole.
As an example, for a time in the mid-1990s people selling colloidal silver advertised in their sales literature, that; “the FDA has no control over colloidal silver because it is a pure mineral element”.
After several rulings, such as in 1997 on January 16, the FDA issued new guidelines regarding colloidal silver labeling that went into effect. It was then no longer permissible to label colloidal silver as an antibiotic but was allowed to continue to be labeled and sold as a mineral supplement.
Too many individuals that entered the market and sold products they called colloidal silver, made blatant unsubstantiated medical claims about colloidal silver, with little or no supporting evidence.
The following is an article in the public domain at The United Nations website in the (WHO) World Health Organization section. “WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter (world Health Organization) Nos. 5&6, May&June 1997”
Colloidal silver or silver salts – proposed rule: no longer acceptable in over-the-counter products in the United States of America. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule establishing that over-the-counter products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for internal or external use are no longer acceptable.
The agency is issuing this proposal because colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts are being marketed for numerous serious disease conditions and the agency is not aware of any substantial scientific evidence that supports their use for these diseases, which include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, cancer, and many infectious diseases.
The dosage form of these colloidal silver products is usually oral, but product labeling also contains directions for topical and, occasionally, intravenous use. Some products have been offered for sale by mail order.
Manufacturers are invited to submit any existing data and information that support the safety and effectiveness of colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for use other than as an astringent (silver nitrate), a smoking deterrent (silver nitrate or silver acetate) or mild silver protein as an ophthalmic anti-infective, all of which have already been reviewed by the agency and found ineffective.
Reference: Federal Register 61(200): 53685-53688 (1996). ” (End of quote)
The FDA went head on with the issue of Colloidal Silver. Manufacturers were reportedly given an opportunity to present to the FDA proof of safety and effectiveness, that met their criteria, before they made a final ruling. A final ruling was made, and use as a medicine or medical claims associated with the “Grandfather Clause” were disallowed. See:
[Federal Register: August 17, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 158)]
[Rules and Regulations]
Originally from http://www.access.gpo.gov
US Government archived: PDF TEXT
Colloidal silver is still allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement as well as for any other non-medical purposes. Wound preparations in certain forms are allowed. In other words, the FDA ruling merely overturned the previous status of colloidal silver, which protected its USP manufactured form by the grandfather clause as a pre-1938 drug (a drug used before the creation of the FDA).
The term over-the-counter in FDA-speak means sales of DRUGS sold at a pharmacy = over-the-counter. Geez, lets’ confuse people why don’t we? In short the colloidal silver was then not allowed as a formal treatment by licensed medical practitioners. Even though it sounds like the words, over-the-counter means any sales counter, it is only about pharmaceutical and medical sales.
For detailed information about the ruling, and considerations for anyone considering any commercial use of colloidal silver should check with the appropriate Federal agency relevant to that use and industry.
Factoids and timeline of the use of silver. Ancient uses of silver.
- The use of silver is as old as human history. Although silver’s importance as a bactericide started to be documented during the mid to late 1800s, its use in water purification and medicine is known throughout the ages.
- Archeologists Discovered an Untouched Ancient Tomb In Syria from one of the world’s first city-dwelling civilizations, undisturbed for about 4,300 years that contained a silver cup and silver pins. The people of this tomb lived around the time of the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia (Iraq).
- Since ancient times silver has been used as a material used for water vessels because it was known to keep or cause water to be safe to drink, even if the water source would otherwise produce illness. The historical account of Herodotus records that the King of Persia used silver flagons in which water was boiled to preventing disease.
- In ancient Sumeria, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Phoenicia, and Macedonia, silver was used as a material to make water vessels ( cups & pitchers), eating utensils and as a preservative to prevent food spoilage. During voyages, the Phoenicians used silver vessels to keep water, wine, oils and vinegar pure. Skeletons found in Egypt that have silver pins once used to repair bones via surgical procedures.
- Hippocrates, the so-called Father of medicine, recommended the use of finely ground silver powder for various conditions including ulcers and wounds.
- Aristotle reportedly advised Alexander the Great to boil water and store it in silver vessels to prevent waterborne diseases. ref. Russell (1994)
- Vikings would apply strings of silver and copper below the waterline on the hull of their ships to prevent barnacles and the growth of algae. This practice is still in use on modern ships (Laubusch 1971). (2)
- It is thought that the practice of medicine and alchemy during the Medieval period extensively employed the ground silver powder recommended by Hippocrates. The extensive (overuse of) or exposure to finely ground powder silver is known to cause a bluish hue to the skin called argyria caused by silver being deposited in dermal cells. This is thought to be the cause and reason for the name blue-bloods, who used silver to treat or ward off disease. So-called blue-bloods also extensively used silver eating and drinking utensils, however, such use does not ready produce the bluish skin tone, even after long-term repeated use, thus the use of powder silver is very well supported as the actual cause of the blue blood phenomena. Blue-bloods use of silver is noted by to have protected them from widespread diseases and plagues of that time.
- The phrase “Born with a silver spoon in his mouth” developed from the use of silver spoons as pacifiers, as well as silver pacifiers purposefully made for the children of blue-bloods and nobility. These children were with silver spoons. Although the idea now represents being born into favor and riches, in those times it was more akin to the idea of the have and have not’s of silver as a form of health insurance for children against disease and plagues.
- Ayurvedic medicine prescribes the use of pure silver tongue scrapers as a part of dental maintenance, as well as for other conditions.
- In the Middle East, silver was very widely used for the treatment of heart problems, blood purification, and other conditions as well as foil placed on wounds.
- Virtually all civilizations used silver because it was known to infuse drinking water with health properties. Silver has been used in many other medical therapies and devices, such as bone prostheses, ophthalmic surgery, treatments for venereal disease and veterinary medicine. Ancient surgeons used silver pins to fuse bones, silver wire to suture wounds, silver powder on ulcerations, silver infused poultices/plasters and silver foil to protect wounds against infections. This predates Pasteur’s Germ Theory of Disease (published in 1877) and Sir Alexander Fleming, who isolated the antibiotic substance penicillin from the fungus Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared a Nobel Prize with Florey and Chain.  .
- Tsar Alexander used silver lined water casks to purify water from rivers and streams to make it fit for drinking.
- The Imperial Russian Army continued the practice of using silver lined barrels through World War I, and to a lesser degree by the Soviet Army during World War II.
- Throughout American history, silver coins were used in wooden milk casks, or milk was drawn into smaller silver milking buckets before transfer to a larger container to prevent it from spoiling. This practice was continued to some degree as late as the early 1900s.
- Silver has been used since the early in the space program to sterilize recycled water aboard the MIR space station and the NASA space shuttle.
Modern uses of silver
- Raulin recorded the first description of the water cleansing effect by silver in 1869. He observed that Aspergillus niger could not grow in silver vessels.
- In 1617 FABRICIUS of Aquapendante, fed patients suffering from tetanus by inserting a small silver tube via the nasal passage.
- In 1656, Sir Christopher Wren, an English astronomer, mathematician, and architect, developed the technique of administering intravenous medications. The first use was for (dogs) by use of an animal bladder attached to quills to inject a nutrient solution, later silver cannula (tube with a sharpened end ) was connected to a small leather bag as a syringe-like apparatus.
- In 1853, Charles Pravaz, a French physician, created the first true hypodermic syringe made entirely of silver, the volume of this syringe was one cubic centimeter of liquid.
- In 1881, the first documented ‘modern day’ medical use of silver was generally attributed to Credé for the prevention of eye infection in neonates as well as for internal antisepsis in 1901. Ref. Russell AD, Hugo WB. Antimicrobial activity and action of silver. Prog Med Chem 1994; 31: 351-70.
- In 1884, Crede, a German obstetrician began administering 1% silver nitrate solution on newborns to prevent blindness (3). This was the treatment of choice to prevent blindness of children born to a parent with venereal disease or post-partum infection (3). Although Searle et al. gave ample evidence that colloidal silver was superior in this regard, yet this use of silver nitrate continues to this day. “the introduction of colloidal silver by Crede* in 1896 was the first instance of the employment of a colloidal metal because of its colloidal nature.” Ref. Bechhold, H, Colloids in Biology and Medicine, translated by J. G. M. Bullow, D. New York: Van Nostrand Company;1919; p. 365.
- In 1887 Emil Von Behring ( Won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1901 regarding his work on serum therapy) illustrated that 0.25% and 0.01% silver nitrate solutions were effective against typhoid and anthrax bacilli, respectively. – Ref. Grier N. Silver and its compounds. In: Block SS (ed). Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, Third Edition. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lea + Febiger;1983.
- In 1888, Variot developed a procedure using silver nitrate for disruptions of the skin surface after punctures and incisions. Ref. Variot G. Nouveau procede de destruction des tatouages. Compte-Rendu Societe Biologie (Paris). 1888;8:836.
- Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli ( March 27, 1817 – May 11, 1891 ) a Swiss botanist, as a point of interest, he discovered what he called transitory cytoblasts, which are what we now know as chromosomes. The antibacterial effects of metals against bacteria and lower life-forms described by von Nageli. His scientific designation describing the intense antibacterial activity caused by minute amounts of extremely fine silver, copper as well as other metal hydrosols was dubbed oligodynamic effect.
- 1910-1913, Henry Crookes documented germicidal action of silver in a manner that was widely published and acknowledged. For example: “Colloidal Preparations of Silver in Pharmacy,”February 1923: “Pure Silver is entirely non-irritant. In tests at very high concentrations, it has been shown repeatedly that the rapidly exerted disinfectant action is of considerable therapeutic value.” – Ref. The British Medical Journal. Nov, 1913, Dr. Henry Crookes. Additionally Dr. Crooks published the following statement: “silver in the colloidal state is highly germicidal, quite harmless to humans and absolutely non-toxic. Rather than in a chemical compound, the silver in the colloidal state may be applied in a much more concentrated form, with correspondingly better results. All virus, fungus, bacterium, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and other pathogenic organisms are killed in three or four minutes upon contact. There are no side effects whatsoever from the highest concentrations.” – Ref. Use of Colloids in Health and Disease. Dr. Henry Crooks 1928 Katadyn of Switzerland developed a silver impregnated ceramic gravity fed water filter, used in remote areas where clean water is not readily available by NGOs, Relief Agencies, and Missionary groups and military around the world.
- As of 1939 there were 94 Proprietary silver preparations listed as in use by medical practitioners in a book titled ‘Argyria The Pharmacology of Silver; by William R. Hill, M.D. (Baltimore) The Williams & Wilkins Company; 1939. Not surprisingly, these silver preparations are inappropriately ALL listed in this ‘self-published’ book as “Proprietary Silver Compounds.” Which illustrates in a blatant manner the lack of understanding on the part of the author regarding the proper designation of the term compound, as well as a lack of necessary knowledge regarding chemistry, as evidenced by the authors’ inability to differentiate between compounds and colloids. Moreover, this also illustrates a similar lack of understanding by current-day so-called experts who reference the above work when seeking to discredit the use of colloidal silver.
- 1940s In FBI declassified document 100 – 93211. 247 dated December 21, 1949 and declassified 09/09/2004; it is recorded therein, that Alexander Goetz, Associate Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, worked with the U.S. Navy. “He helped perfect the process for conversating sea water into fresh water by the use of silverized carbon pellets,” which no doubt was of great benefit to the World War II effort, although the exact date of the development is not given in this document. It appears this knowledge was held in confidence as a strategic edge against the enemy as other references to this evolution are otherwise lacking.
- In 1965, Moyer et al were the first to document the use of silver nitrate for the treatment of burns. They recorded pronounced antibacterial activity via the use of compresses soaked with 0.5% silver nitrate that was then applied to bad burns. Ref. Moyer CA, Brentano L, Gravens DL, Margraf HW, Monafo WW. Treatment of large human burns with 0.5% silver nitrate solution. Arch Surg 1965; 90 : 812-67.
- In 1968, sulfadiazine was introduced as a formal treatment for burns and is still in use worldwide. – Ref. Moyer CA, Brentono L, Gravens DL, Margrat HW, Monafo WW. Treatment of large human burns with 0.5% silver nitrate solution. Arch Surg. 1965;90:812
- Silver needles are used for acupuncture by doctors of Chinese medicine.
- The space program has routinely used silver since the Apollo missions to sterilize recycled water. Silver ion exchange materials are still in use aboard the MIR space station and the NASA space shuttle.(5)
- Indians consume large amounts of edible silver foil used to wrap sweets and betel nut products. Indians regularly buy silver-foiled sweets for weddings, special occasions and everyday snacks such as silver foil wrapped leaves for “paan masala,” a chewy concoction of betel nut and spices. Other Indian foods include an edible silver foil called Varak . In 2005, it was estimated that Indians eat around 2,75,000 kilograms (605,000 pounds) of silver foil each year. As reported by the Industrial Toxicology Research Center of India. Depending on who you talk to, silver used in this manner originated and had a known health impetus, or is merely ornamental or currently is detrimental due to adultery of the silver.
- Present (at the time of this writing), the following applications rank among the growing list of accepted and applied applications of silver: Wound and surgical care products, coatings and treatments to prevent the growth of pathogens. It was and still is used for catheters, heart valves, dental devices, orthopedic devices, hospital curtains – bedding and examination gowns as well as surgical garb and surgical scrubs, to list but a few of the main applications. We cover this issue in more detail within this report.
- As previously mentioned serious considerations are in the works as concern the use of colloidal silver and ionic silver for use in municipal water treatment and biowarfare remediation. That ends this section, although this is far from an exhaustive history.
We know that colloidal silver has been used formally for a long time as a medicine. So, our question now is, how could, after more than 100 years of formal medical use, a day arrive that there is a simple declaration made that colloidal silver is ineffective, never had been, end- of story, move on nothing to see here? Isn’t that exactly what happened when the FDA made its final ruling regarding the medical use of colloidal silver in 1999, at least concerning the general treatment of the subject?
We are not suggesting that the FDA crafted reality and caused this situation as-a-whole to occur, but we do think it is a valuable point of interest for the reader to consider. The various influences and conditions that converged to create what is now historical fact concerning the topic at hand leads one to ask; to what end does policy such as this get created, whom does it benefit?.
If silver water is effective against organisms such as HIV in lab tests, as was scientifically proven since 2005, why isn’t such a finding heralded as a breakthrough that offers hope and garners funding support for further research?
Since losing the pre-1938 FDA drug status colloidal silver had in 1999, it would now require the same expensive process to prove safety and effectiveness that pharmaceutical products must endure before colloidal silver could classify as a medicine. The cost of getting a new drug approved costs, by several accounts, at the time of this writing, potentially costing 100s of Millions of dollars for each drug.
Who possesses the resources to accomplish such a task? The same people who are already in the pharmaceutical business.
Attitudes are changing. As has now been confirmed by this writer, evidenced below, the U.S. Government and Veterans Administration has formal contracts to purchase colloidal silver for a wide array of approved and proposed purposes.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but the U.S. Military and Veterans Administration has not only warmed up to the idea of considering the use of colloidal silver, but in fact as of 2005 already has rather large contracts to purchase an array of colloid silver based products.
Gone is the era of viewing colloidal silver as snake oil by the government. These colloidal silver based products are approved or in the process of being approved by the FDA. For example, a recent U.S. Government contract for colloidal silver, as but one example is: (GSA # GS-07F-0826N).
Some of the intended uses about these contracts or potential future contracts include: Disinfectant FDA approved for: Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Nosocomial pathogenic bacteria. “Noted as approved for disinfectant use in Hospital operating rooms, Any medical facility, Industrial facilities, Commercial facilities, Residential or home uses.”
What may come as an even bigger surprise to some of you is the extent of proposed uses of colloidal silver for the U.S. Military.
One supplier, ABL, stated in a public disclosure page that has since been “taken down for updates” regarding a proposed product slated for potential U.S. Military procurement of a colloidal silver based product; “Direct antimicrobial testing that has been completed, but not yet added to our public approved claim list, currently includes numerous other superbugs and possible bioweapons including MRSA 1, MRSA 2, Anthrax, Y. Pestis or Bubonic Plague, five different pathogenic strains of Streptococcus, E. coli, Salmonella, yeasts and even some deadly viruses including NIH tests on SARS, etc.”
The proposal also stated: “It could be spread by airplane and helicopters to decontaminate hospitals, government buildings, military installations, command centers or even a city.”
One final quote regarding this proposed product: “also the fact that it will not harm people, plants or animals, it is currently theorized as the perfect product for decontamination of large-scale operations. It could be spread by airplane and/or helicopters to decontaminate hospitals, government buildings, military installations, command centers or even a city. Used in portable fogging sprayers, towed behind four-wheeler units, it could be used to decontaminate hallways and buildings from the inside.”
Again proving that colloidal silver is no longer viewed by those in the know, as fools gold.
The Veterans Administration also issued a contract for colloidal silver products, Contract number V797P-5762X. This illustrates that the US government itself accepts and validates the effectiveness of colloidal silver in a substantial way and opens up military and other mainstream commercial considerations for product development.
We also know that the Army via a Patent issued to Westpoint includes colloidal silver and UV as a viable and affordable method for such things as municipal water treatment. Furthermore, I know this to be true, because, at the time of this writing, I have personally been engaged in formal discussions with the relevant Department of Defense concerns about taking the above mentioned patented technology to the private sector.
Will colloidal silver be outlawed if it becomes an officially sanctioned medicine? Answer: No! Why? Because forms of colloidal silver approved by the FDA, which has been, and is being, done, concerns that particular patented or proprietary manufactured type and name brand, which is approved for specific purposes individually and separately. All products manufactured and sold as dietary supplements would be unaffected. Dietary forms of silver would not suddenly be allowed to used for medical purposes, the status of current regulation of any such products would remain the same.
Success in getting a form of colloidal silver approved for medical use, regardless of who accomplishes such a feat, would then allow doctors to use such a product in formal medical treatment. Currently doctors have very limited access, and depending on the area of intended use, do not have access to FDA-approved colloidal silver products. Realistically, due to the cost to get a new drug approved in the USA, it is more likely that legal medical use of colloidal silver will continue to be adopted in other countries, long before it becomes available in the U.S.A.
We forecast that colloidal silver will eventually become a pharmaceutical medicine. In fact, it is already approved for medical use in some countries, and clinical trials, sanctioned with the cooperation of governments and the hospital systems in places such as Uganda. In Uganda, there is a need to treat diseases such as AIDS affordable, and cost-effectiveness is the primary impetus that is driving such use already, as well as serious research regarding colloidal silver in general.
Although pure silver in water may not conform to a patentable substance. We are sure that colloidal-state silver can be integrated with other materials in such a way that it could then be patented. We believe that process is going on right now, and some products have already been fast-tracked.
All we know for sure is that we do not have 100s of millions to invest, so we will focus on all the other potential applications of colloidal silver instead, and since the potential is enormous, we are not without hope.
History is full of success stories, and alternatively tragedies.
We still find it hard to reconcile how quickly history can be altered or forgotten within the mind of the general population. Colloidal silver had a well established and documented history of being used an antibiotic alternative, even by the U.S. Navy, yet today this is not widely known, and worse, that information, in some cases, seems to be intentionally obscured.
Since 1999 when the FDA ruled that colloidal silver can’t be used as medicine, and supposedly that it was found to be ineffective for medical purposes, it is as if some big switch was flipped that shutoff history and common sense and opened up a memory hole.
Then the impression was and is parroted from many quarters, that, these things never did happen, and colloidal silver never had been legitimately much less very effectively used for medicinal purposes, and that no such use is valid. Meanwhile, the U.S. military, humanitarian organizations and the Veterans Administrations, and the Army patent via Westpoint’s actions speak to the truth of the matter.
All I can say quickly regarding this topic as a whole is that I am truly amazed.
In our experience, it is not just colloidal silver that has had its history switch flipped to the off position. Many switches appear to have been flipped off.
Still the seeds of truth have their season, and we know without a doubt that regardless of appearances when the truth is buried its indestructible seeds spring forth again in due course prolifically in a manner that cannot be eradicated, as is history will attest.
One last thought:
“All life processes take place in a colloidal system,”
– Prof. Wolfgang Ostwald