What Are the Uses of Colloidal Silver?

R. Bargar

The use of silver for its antimicrobial properties dates to ancient times when various cultures used it to retard spoilage and treat disease. During the first half of the 20th century, disinfectant uses of colloidal silver became widespread, while internal use to fight disease was practiced less frequently. With the advent of antibiotics, the various uses of this silver went into decline. Since the 1990s, though, colloidal silver has been promoted as an alternative medicine for a wide variety of conditions. It is used topically to fight infection, internally to combat diseases and as a disinfectant on a wide range of surfaces.

Colloidal silver's antimicrobial action sterilizes drinking water.
Colloidal silver's antimicrobial action sterilizes drinking water.

Disinfectant uses of this compound vary from water purification to coatings on urinary catheters to prevent bacterial infections. The antimicrobial action of colloidal silver is used to sterilize drinking water and is listed for this purpose by the World Health Organization. Silver’s recommended household uses include keeping damp towels and sponges free of bacteria and mildew, preventing odors in garbage containers, and stopping the spread of athlete's foot when sprayed in shoes. In addition, air conditioning units and heating vents sprayed with colloidal silver are thought to have less microbial growth. Research is being conducted to create antibacterial surfaces with impregnated silver particles.

A sore throat might be relieved by gargling colloidal silver.
A sore throat might be relieved by gargling colloidal silver.

Using the compound topically is said to help prevent infection in all types of skin wounds and conditions. Silver can be applied directly to insect bites, sunburn and rashes. Bandages sprayed with colloidal silver may prevent infection in burns and wounds. Infants used to receive silver nitrate drops in the eyes at birth to prevent neonatal conjunctivitis, but this substance is rarely used now. Gargling with colloidal silver is recommended for sore throats, tooth decay and mouth sores.

Internal uses of colloidal silver are promoted for diseases ranging from diabetes to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Clinical trials have not been conducted to evaluate colloidal silver’s efficacy for combating most disease, but user testimonials and anecdotal evidence support silver’s use to treat a wide variety of diseases and chronic conditions. Silver is being studied as a possible alternative to antibiotics for treating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Colloidal silver contains tiny silver particles. Many commercial products called colloidal silver actually contain mostly silver ions in solution. Both silver ions and silver particles are antimicrobial, but when ingested, silver ions combine readily with chloride ions and lose their effectiveness. Ionic silver retains its antimicrobial properties when used as a surface disinfectant or when applied topically to clean skin.

In vitro studies have shown mixed results concerning commercially available colloidal silver’s effectiveness against microbes. Most information concerning the benefits of the various uses of colloidal silver preparations is anecdotal. Despite the lack of clinical and laboratory studies confirming the anti-microbial properties of commercial colloidal silver, it is promoted as effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

A potential side effect of colloidal silver is the development of argyria. This is a condition where silver particles build up in the skin and other tissues, causing a blue or gray pigmentation. The blue-gray coloration might also appear in nails, gums and internal organs. Localized discoloration occurs from topical application of silver, while whole-body argyria develops with prolonged internal use of colloidal silver preparations. It is believed that long-term, high intake of silver is responsible for argyria.

Colloidal silver can be sprayed into shoes to prevent the spread of athlete's foot.
Colloidal silver can be sprayed into shoes to prevent the spread of athlete's foot.

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Discussion Comments


Colloidal silver should never be ingested in an inert state. The products that are marketed to the public, are all inert The only way that Colloidal silver should be ingested is when it is in a charged state after a process of electrolysis within distilled water. It is consumed like a glass of water. It has a shelf life of maybe an hour pending how much light it is exposed to, thus, it is unmarketable. Colloidal silver is the most powerful antibiotic known to mankind in this state. Big Pharma does not want you to know this. You can find Colloidal Silver makers online, along with several other products that are designed to cure you of disease and ailments. Remember , there is no money in cure only in treatment, and the AMA and pharma companies make hundreds of trillions a year.


I don't mean to give anyone medical advice, I'm certainly not qualified to do so. But my sister uses colloidal silver for various ailments. She uses it to aid digestion when she has an upset stomach. She also uses it for infections like food poisoning, skin infections and the common cold. She also puts some in her dog's water when the dog eats something that he's not supposed to and gets sick. I've learned from her that there are many uses for colloidal silver.

I personally don't use colloidal silver because I'm not sure if it's safe. My doctor told me not to use it. But sometimes I am amazed by how my sister uses it to treat different health problems.


@ZipLine-- I have not used colloidal silver for acne but I have used it topically to clean cuts. Colloidal silver has antimicrobial properties, so it can kill bacteria and fight infections. I think it might work for acne for this reason. You could try drinking it or applying it topically. Make sure that you use pure colloidal silver and buy it from a reputable brand.

Also, you should not use colloidal silver for a long period of time. Colloidal silver can deposit into tissues and cause discoloration like the article said. I've actually never seen anyone who experienced this side effect, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


Has anyone used colloidal silver products for acne? Does it work? Should I drink it or apply it topically?

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