As antibiotics become more and more ineffective, the search is on
for another effective way to fight infections. Our forefathers had such
a cheap and effective tool - the metal silver - but this was
discredited with the ascendancy of antibiotics. Now, however,
breakthrough scientific research could restore colloidal silver to its
once-accepted status as the most versatile and effective natural means
to fight not only bacteria, but other organisms, such as fungi and
viruses, as well.
Silver has been used since antiquity to
purify water. While silver’s importance as a bactericide has been
documented only since the late 1800s, its use in purification has been
known throughout the ages. The Phoenicians, for example, used silver
vessels to keep water, wine and vinegar pure during long voyages.
American pioneers put silver and copper coins in their water barrels to
keep the water clean.
In fact, ‘born with a silver spoon in his
mouth’ is not a reference to wealth, but to health. In the early 18th
century, babies fed with silver spoons were found to be healthier than
those fed with spoons made from other metals.
aristocracy used to eat off silver plates with the use of silver
utensils and drank from silver goblets. In addition to ingesting
quantities of silver, they used to also inject themselves with it, a
practice which allegedly led to their being referred to as ‘blue
bloods’ due to the resultant change in skin colour. Certainly, it is
known that prolonged ingestion of certain forms of silver can lead to
argyria, which is characterised by a harmless - but unsightly - grayish
In the early 1900s, a reasonable number of
reports could be found in both British and American medical journals on
the use of silver for a variety of diseases (Lancet, 1912; Feb 3: 83;
BMJ, 1917; May 12: 85; JAMA, 1922; March 18: 442). Australian Dr Keith
Courteney has summarised many of these early results in his book
Colloidal Silver (Oracle Press, Montville, Queensland, 1999; available
in the UK from Nexus Magazine - 01342 322 854), which, while in need of
judicious editing, is a useful source of early applications.
until World War II, silver was a mainstream bactericidal and antifungal
that was used both intravenously and intramuscularly, as a throat
gargle and douche, as well as orally, topically and as eyedrops
(Baranowski Z, Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative,
Healing Wisdom Publications, NY, 1995). It is reputed to have been used
against some 650 bacteria and fungi (see box).
crude technology made it expensive to produce and, with the post-WWII
rise in pharmaceuticals, it rapidly fell into disuse in the new era of
antibiotics. However, in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
classifies silver as a pre-1938 drug and still allows it to be used so
long as such products 'are advertised and labelled for the same use as
in 1938 and . . . manufactured in the original manner'.
in the 1970s, silver began something of a comeback. Dr Carl Moyer at
the University of Washington worked with biochemist Dr Harry Margraf to
find a better treatment for burns victims. They initially used silver
nitrate but, finding it to be corrosive and painful, diluted it to a
0.5 per cent solution and observed that it killed Pseudomonas
aeruginosa bacteria and allowed wounds to heal (Surgical Forum, 1966;
17: 76-8). In addition, no resistant strains developed. This discovery
led to the increasing use of silver ions for burns and wound healing.
outbreaks of legionnaire’s disease in Britain during the 1980s, silver
was eventually found to be effective in treating it. Experiments showed
that even at lower water temperatures, ionisation of soft water with
silver and copper ions was effective against the bacteria. Silver is
now used in modern water purification systems. Many airlines use silver
water filters and NASA uses a silver system for the Space Shuttle.
the 1990s, further research was carried out at various centres in the
US. Dr Margaret Bayer at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia
showed that the growth and spread of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi,
the causal microorganism in Lyme disease, are measurably slowed, or
even stopped, by colloidal silver in vitro (Courteney, op cit, p 27).
also reports that, at Temple University School of Medicine in
Philadelphia, Professor of Microbiology Dr Helen Buckly found that the
growth of several varieties of Candida albicans (yeast strains) and a
number of Cryptococcus neoformans strains were blocked by very small
doses of colloidal silver in vitro.
However, in some of the
other cases reported, it is difficult to confirm exactly what results
were achieved since they appear not to have been published in
Dr Robert Becker, the
American orthopaedic surgeon, and pioneer in the field of regeneration
and bioelectromagnetics, reports on his success using silver electrodes
in his landmark book The Body Electric (co-author Gary Selden; William
Morrow & Co, NY, 1985). Describing his early work in 1973 on bone
regeneration using electricity, he stated:
tests, we found that silver electrodes - when made electrically
positive - would kill all types of bacteria in a zone about a half-inch
in diameter, apparently because of positive silver ions driven into the
culture by the applied voltage. This was an exciting discovery because
no single antibiotic worked against all types of bacteria.'
other metals, such as gold, platinum, copper and stainless steel,
stopped the growth of four types of bacteria tested at both poles,
these metals only succeeded when such high currents were used that
other toxic effects were produced. Only silver at the positive pole
killed or deactivated every type of bacteria without side-effects, even
at very low currents.
Becker then observed an extraordinary
effect on fibroblasts, the connective tissue cells that form a major
part of most soft tissues in the body. He describes his results with
pure-bred mouse fibroblasts:
'While doing their job of holding
things together, fibroblasts have a characteristic spiky shape, with
long sticky branches extending in all directions. In this region where
silver ions had been driven by the current, many of the cells had
changed to a static, globular form in which mitosis didn’t occur. They
seemed to be in suspended animation, floating freely instead of
adhering to other cells or the sides of the dishes as usual. Mixed
among them were many featureless cells with enlarged nuclei, the end
product of dedifferentiation. More and more of the rounded fibroblasts
turned into fully despecialised cells as the test progressed.'
goes on: 'It remains to be seen exactly what the various forms do, but
it’s obvious that, in the aggregate, they profoundly stimulate
soft-tissue healing in a way that’s unlike any known natural process
[our italics]. We ran a controlled study of the healing enhancement on
pigs, their skin being physiologically closest to that of humans.
Positive silver nylon accelerated the healing of measured skin wounds
on the animals’ backs by over 50 per cent as compared with identical
control wounds made on the backs of the same animals made at the same
And he ends by stating: 'We may only have scratched the
surface of positive silver’s medical brilliance. Already it’s an
amazing tool. It stimulates bone-forming cells, cures the most stubborn
infections of all kinds of bacteria, and stimulates healing in the skin
and other soft tissue.
'We don’t know whether the treatment
can induce healing in other parts of the body, but the possibility is
there . . . Just before our research group was disbanded, we studied
malignant fibrosarcoma cells (cancerous fibroblasts) and found that,
when electrically injected, their runaway mitosis was suspended.
important of all, the technique makes it possible to produce large
numbers of dedifferentiated cells, overcoming the main problem of
mammalian regeneration - the limited number of bone marrow cells that
dedifferentiate in response to electrical current alone.'
as a result of Becker’s work, silver has been used in wound healing for
many years and is now incorporated into bandages to speed up healing.
on difficult-to-substantiate findings reported by some researchers in
the 1970s and 1980s is now giving way to well-researched studies
carried out by university scientists. In particular, the recent results
of studies at two American universities are now available.
Research in Utah
in 1998, Professor of Microbiology Dr Ron Leavitt and microbiologist Dr
David Revelli at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, have carried
out a series of tests on a variety of bacteria and yeasts using a
proprietary product - The Silver Solution. Their results, which have
yet to be published (see box), show that they were able to kill all of
the important bacteria responsible for many major infections. These
data can be seen on their website
Commenting on their
results, Professor Leavitt said that, when testing for toxicity, he had
found no toxicity even at the maximum level required by the FDA (5 g/kg
body weight). The product he uses was manufactured by American Silver
in Alpine, Utah, which has patented their production process.
tested it against four or five other products and it contains no
precipitate and is 96 per cent elemental silver as opposed to the ionic
form,' he stated. 'Although most colloidal silver products have to be
kept in glass bottles, we’ve tested The Silver Solution and it remains
stable in plastic containers even after nine months.'
looking at malarial parasites which, in preliminary results, are killed
by colloidal silver. I hope to be looking at its anti-inflammatory and
antiviral properties also. As for the mechanism, its broad spectrum
suggests some sort of catalytic action, perhaps affecting ATP
[adenosine triphosphate, required for RNA synthesis] generation, but it
needs more research.'
In some three years of testing, he has
found no resistance to it developing in any microorganisms.
Anecdotally, he knows of clinicians who have had particular success
with otitis media in children. 'Using 2 parts per million (ppm)/mL in
the ear, it disappeared overnight,' he says.
'We’ve also done
some tests on cancer cells and found that they are much more sensitive
to colloidal silver than primary cells. We hope to do more work on
that. We also have early positive results on polio and tuberculosis,
and these need to be replicated.'
As far as animals are
concerned, he knows of poultry farmers who have successfully treated
turkeys with specific diseases, although no proper trials have yet been
done. Professor Leavitt has submitted some of his results for
Not only has The Silver Solution been proven to
kill harmful bacteria but, in recent tests carried out at the
University of California at Davis, The Silver Solution was able to
inhibit the ability of yeasts (such as Candida albicans) to grow.
According to microbiologist Jason Henrie, 'It is evident that a single
10-ppm application could prevent the further growth of a small
population of yeast for 24 hours, allowing one’s immune system time to
respond. Even more, multiple 10-ppm applications could conceivably
prevent the growth of yeast indefinitely.'
Research in Texas
of the Brigham Young University team and unknown to them, their results
were replicated for many of the same bacteria as well as others by
Professor of Microbiology Dr Mark Farinha at the University of North
Texas, Denton, Texas, during 2000. Similarly, his results have yet to
be published and can be seen on his website (www.silver-labs.com) along
with graphs that show the kill time for certain bacteria.
these graphs shows the killing power of colloidal silver against the
common skin bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. These microorganisms are
capable of causing many superficial skin infections and subcutaneous
abscesses as well as more serious infections, such as deep abscesses
and bone infections.
In addition, the emergence of
drug-resistant strains of S. aureus, such as MRSA
(methicillin-resistant S. aureus), makes this microbe a serious public
health threat. MRSA is endemic in many UK hospitals. Regardless of the
strain tested (MRSA or non-MRSA), colloidal silver showed a killing
rate that exceeded 10 billion bacteria/mL in under two minutes. This
should be of profound interest to all Health Trusts involved in
hospital management, and calls for immediate replication and clinical
Professor Farinha states: 'At Silver Labs, we are
dedicated to testing our products for efficacy of killing of
microorganisms. We have challenged a broad range of microorganisms with
our products and, in every case tested, we see remarkable killing in a
short period of time.'
The table above shows the organisms
tested to date for killing by Silver Labs’ colloidal silver. It
indicates the starting concentration of microorganisms and the time
required before no living organisms can be detected. As can be clearly
seen, colloidal silver is able to quickly kill all of the
microorganisms tested in the laboratory.
emphasises that the quality of the colloidal silver is of critical
importance in obtaining the fastest, most effective and most replicable
results. For this reason, he will only use a product made by SilverKare
Inc, based in Dallas (Box 670386, Dallas 75367, Texas), which has been
manufacturing colloidal silver for six years. 'It’s double-distilled
using an ultra-filter at 0.8 microns so no endotoxins are present, and
has a properly balanced pH,' he said. 'We found that 30 ppm is the
optimal dose - 3-5 ppm will kill the bacteria, but it takes longer. No
extra benefit is gained by increasing the dose to 100 ppm.'
Hadsell, who runs SilverKare, claims that theirs is the finest
colloidal silver on the market. Details of their production process are
given on their website (www.silverkare.com), which states:
the manufacturing process, silver particles and water have become
completely colloided; they have become simultaneously dispersed within
and bound to each other by an electrical current sent through the
combination. SilverKare’s Colloidal Silver contains 10-30 ppm of
superfine particles of 0.999 silver in the range of 0.005- 0.015
microns in diameter, electromagnetically charged and suspended in
deionised water. The silver particles stay in suspension without the
need of any chemical, protein, stabiliser or artificial additive. All
this makes SilverKare’s product a true colloid of silver.'
for the mechanism,' says Professor Farinha, 'the commonly held idea
that the silver starves the enzymes on which the organisms depend of
oxygen doesn’t really stand up because many of them are anaerobic and
it wouldn’t apply anyway for viruses. It may be having its effect at
the electron transfer level and, in the case of viruses, I suspect
silver ions are attaching to the surface proteins of the virus,
preventing attachment to cells. But it needs more time and money to
clarify the process with more experiments.'
Jim Hadsell is
aiming to set up the Foundation for Life Enhancement to enable
Professor Farinha to extend his research to viruses on the basis of the
claims of efficacy against them. Hadsell regularly dispatches their
Colloidal Silver free to missionaries and doctors in developing
countries to enable them to treat infected water as well as the sick.
One doctor using it in Ghana is apparently having great success
controlling E. coli infections.
Colloidal Silver is also being used in some five hospitals in the
Dallas area under the supervision of certified wound, ostomy and
continence nurse Cindy Ahern. She has used it for the past two years on
over 200 patients for acute and chronic would healing and confirms that
it has 'amazing bactericidal properties'.
'I have been using
it for pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, diabetic feet, especially
for dissection necrosis, and MRSA, which it knocks out in a matter of
days. In all cases, it produces dramatic improvement,' she told PROOF!.
'Combined with bovine collagen, it greatly stimulates tissue
growth as well as providing microbial control. I see 50 per cent
increased growth occurring within 10 days, whereas it would normally
take at least 30. As for scars, they are much cleaner, flatter and
smoother, with much less need for remodelling.'
corroborate the findings of Dr Becker, as already reported. Nurse Ahern
is now writing up some of her results and is encouraging hospital
clinicians to also report their experiences, most of which until now
have been communicated only by word of mouth. She can be reached on 001
903 873 2728.
As well as the anecdotal
evidence reported by Professor Leavitt at Brigham Young, vet Dr Eugene
Williams, based in Houston, has been using colloidal silver for two
years to treat horses, with very good results. 'I had one horse with
equine EMP [a form of sleeping sickness] that relapsed six months after
treatment. I gave him 30 cc of colloidal silver intravenously for 10
days and it cured him completely.'
'A mare that had an infected
uterus that was being treated with gentamicin [a powerful
broad-spectrum antibiotic] wasn’t getting any better. After three pints
of colloidal silver for three days when she was in season, she was
In the UK, Sir Richard Wylie, based in
Peterborough, runs one of the half-dozen or so small companies that
supply colloidal silver generators to the public to enable them to make
their own colloidal silver (tel: 01733 315 888; www.dazer.com).
Typically, such devices cost around £40-80.
'We treat a lot of
birds and have a large following among the pigeon-racing community,' he
says. 'I know scores of horse and dog owners who now openly praise
colloidal silver, and swear by its effectiveness in alleviating ear
infections, laminitis, sweetitch, mange, chronic kidney and liver
ailments, and a host of digestive maladies. Of course, it doesn’t cure
these conditions, but it does kill the organisms that cause them, thus
allowing the natural healing rhythms to become effective.'
of which begs the question: shouldn’t the authorities be urgently
investigating the possible effectiveness of colloidal silver against
foot-and-mouth disease? 'Absolutely,' says Sir Richard emphatically.
'In fact, we will supply a generator free to any farmer wanting to test
In response, the core results shown in this report have
been forwarded to the relevant authorities with the suggestion that
they urgently investigate colloidal silver’s potential benefit in the
Whatever the case, orthodox medicine should
waste no time in picking up the gauntlet of the American results and
replicating them, if not applying them immediately. In the face of the
ever-diminishing power of antibiotics, the threat of MRSA and other
resistant strains, here is a genuine low-cost, highly effective,
non-resistant infection fighter whose scientific validation is
beginning to arrive to back up what people have known for centuries.
Best produces the quarterly publication, Electromagnetic Hazard &
Therapy, which reports on the health effects of items such as mobile
phones, masts and powerlines, as well as the therapeutic uses of EM
fields. For more information, send an SAE to: Box 2039, Shoreham, W
Sussex BN43 5FE, or see his website at: www.em-hazard-therapy.com.
Simon also mans a premium-rate helpline (£1.50/ min) on 0906 401 0237.
Prior to antibiotics, colloidal silver was used to treat some 650 conditions, including:
AIDS, allergies, appendicitis, arthritis, athlete’s foot, bladder
inflammation, blood parasites, blood poisoning, boils, burns,
candidiasis, cholera, colitis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, dermatitis,
diabetes, dysentery, eczema, severe eye infection with pus, fibrositis,
gastritis, gonorrhoea, hayfever, herpes, impetigo, indigestion,
keratitis, leprosy, leukaemia, lupus, lymphangitis, Lyme disease,
malaria, meningitis, neurasthaenia, parasitic infections, viral, fungal
and bacterial pneumonia, pleurisy, prostatitis, psoriasis, rhinitis,
rheumatism, ringworm, scarlet fever, septic conditions of the eyes,
ears, mouth and throat, seborrhoea, septicaemia, shingles, skin cancer,
staphylococcal and streptococcal infections, stomach flu, stomach
ulcer, syphilis, thyroid, tuberculosis, tonsillitis, toxaemia, all
forms of viral infections, warts, whooping cough, yeast infections,
canine parvovirus and other veterinary uses, and fungal and viral
attacks on plants.
Brigham Young findings Drs Ron Leavitt and David Revelli at
Brigham Young University in Utah had the following results using a
brand of colloidal silver:
* Staphylococcus aureus (e.g.
pneumonia, boils, impetigo, cellulitis and postoperative wound
infections, osteomyelitis, TSS, meningitis, food poisoning) inhibited @
2.5 ppm and killed @ 5 ppm
* Shigella boydii (e.g. bacillary dysentery) inhibited @ 1.25 ppm and killed @ 2.5 ppm
* Salmonella arizona (e.g. food poisoning) inhibited @ 2.5 ppm and kill-ed @ 5 ppm
* Salmonella typhimurium (e.g. food poisoning, enteric fever) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm
Escherichia coli (e.g. food poisoning, urinary/respiratory tract
infections [UTI/RTI], diarrhoea, wound infections) inhibited and killed
@ 2.5 ppm
* Haemophilus influenzae (e.g. otitis media,
pneumonia, meningitis, epiglottitis, sinusitis, suppurative arthritis
in children) inhibited and killed @ 1.25 ppm
* Enterobacter aerogenes (e.g. wound infections, bacteraemia, meningitis, UTI) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm
* Enterobacter cloacae (as with E. aerogenes) inhibited and killed @ 5 ppm
Klebsiella pneumoniae (e.g. lower RTI, hospital-acquired infections,
wound infections, UTI, bacteraemia) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm
* Klebsiella oxytoca (as with K. pneumoniae) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (e.g. severe burns and wound infections,
keratitis, pneumonia, meningitis, hospital-acquired infections, UTI)
inhibited @ 2.5 ppm and killed @ 5 ppm
* Streptococcus pneumoniae (e.g. pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis, otitis media) inhibited @ 2.5 ppm and killed @ 5 ppm
Streptococcus pyogenes (e.g. skin infections, upper RTI, impetigo,
hospital-acquired infections, scarlet fever) inhibited and killed @
* Streptococcus faecalis (e.g. UTI, infective endocarditis, wound infections) inhibited @ 2.5 ppm and killed @ 5 ppm
* Streptococcus mutans (e.g. dental plaque and tooth decay) inhibited and killed @ 5 ppm
* Streptococcus gordonii (e.g. tooth decay, infective endocarditis) inhibited and killed @ 5 ppm
(strain designation) (CFU/mL) Kill time*
Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC6538) 50.0 billion < 2 min
Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC33592)** 17.0 billion < 6 min
Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC12228) 6.5 billion < 6 min
Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC19433) 0.4 billion < 4 min
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC9027) 26.0 billion < 4 min
Escherichia coli (ATCC8739) 2.0 billion < 4 min
Enterobacter cloacae (ATCC23355) 35.0 billion < 1 min
Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC13883) 8.6 billion < 1 min
Proteus vulgaris (ATCC13315) 6.3 billion < 1 min
Salmonella typhimurium (ATCC14028) 18.0 billion < 4 min
Serratia marcescens (ATCC8100) 29.0 billion < 1 min
Candida albicans (ATCC10231) 6.5 billion < 1 min
Aspergillus niger (ATCC16404) 3.8 million < 1 min
Trichophyton mentagrophytes (ATCC4807) 0.9 billion < 2 min
ATCC, American Type Culture Collection; CFU, colony-forming unit; <, less than;
* time till no living microorganisms detected; **methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strain of S. aureus
Strains in boldface are FDA-standard strains for antimicrobial susceptibility testing
Early, pre-WWII colloidal silver manufacturing techniques were
more expensive as well as less efficient than today’s methods, and
resulted in a silver particle that never reached its optimal
The highest grade of colloidal silver is
produced with an electrocolloidal (rather than mechanical grinding,
ultrasonic or chemical) method. The silver particles and water are
dispersed within and bound to each other by an electric current. This
preserves the homogeneity, minuteness of granules, purity and stability
to create a true colloid, with particles of ultrafine (about 0.01-0.001
microns in diameter), 99.999 per cent silver that is electrically
charged and held in suspension in deionised water.
to the Colloid Research Foundation, the highest-quality colloidal
silver has the maximum number of particles of the minimum possible
size, with the ultimate solution having a huge number of particles of
only one atom, each carrying an electrical charge.
silver colloid should not contain any artificial stabilisers or
chemical additives of any kind, which may be present in some silver
products on the market. Some makers even use an artificial yellow dye
to give their product the proper golden-yellow colour of a true silver
Darker colours indicate larger silver particles, which
tend to collect at the bottom of the container; these are not true
colloids. If a product contains a stabiliser or trace elements other
than silver, or if it needs to be shaken, it is inferior. If a product
requires refrigeration, then some other ingredient is present that
could spoil. The container and dropper must be of glass as most
plastics cannot preserve silver in liquid suspension for any length of
time. High concentrations of silver (see text) will kill organisms
quicker - but not necessarily more effectively - than the usual range
of 3-5 parts per million (ppm).