Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell

Posts Tagged ‘colloidal silver safety’

Is Colloidal Silver Safe?

I have been using colloidal silver now for 7 plus years without much question. Sure, I had heard of argyria and read the Rosemary Jacobs story (which I must say, definitely did give me a healthy and appreciable dose of caution in terms not exceeding the recommended dosage stated on the label of my own colloidal silver bottle). Jacobs states on her home page that she became grey from ingesting colloidal silver, but then goes on to say that in actuality, her particular case was due to a type of medically prescribed nasal spray. When questioned about the contents of the drugs she was formally prescribed, she states “All I know is that they contained silver” . But all that was long before the “blue man”  story hit the media. Recently a friend of mine looked at me quite quizzically when she overheard me explaining to another friend how I could literally stop a sore throat in 20 min by taking a tbsp of colloidal silver at the first sign of discomfort. To paraphrase, my perplexed friend exclaimed, as she leaned in closer to peer at my complexion for signs of impending “smurfness”, “Haven’t you heard about the blue man? I wouldn’t touch that stuff”.

According to, a website created by a committee consisting of a group of silver industry experts, scientists, and medical and legal professionals formed for the purpose of providing reliable information on the safe and responsible use of silver in health, “Too much silver in the body can cause a harmless but nonetheless undesirable skin discoloration called “argyria.” This factor has fueled a controversy where passions and biases have greatly overshadowed facts, level-headedness and the dissemination of reliable, useful information to foster safe use of silver products …. To put things in perspective, however, this only occurs with extremely irresponsible use. As is demonstrated by referring to the U.S. EPA safety guidelines on silver, responsible use of a dietary supplement that contains silver introduces less silver to the body than what could exist in the average person’s drinking water intake….fully meeting EPA guidelines.”

Silver facts has created a chart that can be found at: that states how many drops via body weight a person can safely ingest ranging from 3-3000 ppm (most brands that I have seen in supplement stores are 10ppm). While researching for this article, a friend mentioned that NASA uses silver ions to purify water for astronauts while in space . According to one source the amount of silver used by NASA during the Apollo Lunar Landing Program was 100 to 300 parts per billion . It seems to me that the level used for water purification is much less than that used for medicinal purposes. It proves at least in my mind that silver does in fact kill bacteria.

All that said, the question remains, is colloidal silver safe for internal ingestion? It is no secret that argyria does exist, yet we do not know why it happens to some people, and not to others. We also do not know for certain,  if there are certain specific forms of silver that cause it, and others that do not (although there is much speculation about that all over the internet!). What does seem plausible is that the abuse (overconsumption) of silver, regardless of its form is correlated to argyria, in at least some individuals. Then again, there are also many people taking it on a daily basis as a cure-all, who themselves do not develop argyria. Is it just a matter of time? Could it be that certain people, due to their unique biological individuality, have a propensity for being unable to metabolize silver and as a result, deposit it in their skin? Whereas, other people simply excrete what their body has no use for?  Does the health of a person’s liver have anything to do with it, being that the liver is a major organ of metabolism and detoxification? Or is there some other unique physiological factor inherent in some individuals that make them susceptible to argyria?

To put it in perspective, excessive ingestion of water and salt can cause death; yet silver on the other hand, has no other known side effects other than skin discoloration, which may be temporary in some individuals .

However, just because there are no other known side effects other than skin discoloration, doesn’t mean there aren’t any. “No known side effects” means just that. It is reasonable to assume that there may be other impacts on health that we cannot see with the naked eye; so as with any other non food, I suggest that we must exercise caution when taking anything into our bodies in an unnatural way or form. While colloidal silver is found in nature, it is certainly not natural to consume it singularly from a bottle. It comes down to reasonability in application. Don’t fear it, but don’t drink it by the cupful either.

Efficacy of Colloidal Silver

While I can attest to my personal success with colloidal silver, from administering it for sore throats to mastitis to ear and tooth infections, there are no scientific studies that either prove or disprove the safety of the internal use of colloidal silver in humans. But that hasn’t stopped people from using it and getting results; nor has it stopped drug and supplement companies from trying to patent their own manufactured versions of it.

According to Bruce Gibbins, founder of, and lead researcher and chief technology officer for AcryMed, “In minute concentrations, silver is highly toxic to germs while relatively non-toxic to human cells. Microbes are unlikely to develop a resistance against silver, as they do against conventional and highly targeted antibiotics, because the metal attacks a broad range of targets in the organisms, which means they would have to develop a host of mutations simultaneously to protect themselves”.  This is good news in the current age of antibiotic resistance. That in itself, is a good enough reason, in my humble opinion, for conventional science to launch studies that test the safety and efficacy of silver in its many forms and functions for internal use. According to outspoken industry expert Jay Newman, the founder and President of Invision International Health Solutions, Inc., a privately held company that specializes in the research and development of ionic silver delivery solutions for human use, “In addition, evidence is mounting that silver ions have powerful antiviral effects as well. A recent university study suggested ionic silver to be effective against the SARS virus. In Europe, ionic silver is a medically approved treatment used to combat systemic viral conditions, including the common cold and flu….. Silver ions, while being lethal to single-celled microorganisms, are harmless to human cells and, in fact, are increasingly being used in wound care due to their remarkable ability to facilitate the healing of tissue”.

So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do we wait for the experts to prove that colloidal silver is an effective agent against bacteria and viruses, or do we test its validity for ourselves and then establish personally, whether or not silver is worthy of taking up space in our own medicine cabinet? Based on my own inquiry via extensive reading and personal experience, I have come to the following conclusions:

1) Don’t make it at home if you are worried, (better safe than sorry)

2) Research the company that you are purchasing your silver from. Make sure that they are a reputable company (what they say is in the bottle, is in the bottle and that they offer sound advice about how to administer it).

3) Follow the amount stated on the label; less is more.

4) Be reasonable. It is questionable whether any non food product should be taken in by the body on a long term basis. Consider colloidal silver to be medicine, not a medicinal food; and take it when you are fighting a virus or bacteria, but don’t take it as a cure-all elixir.

References & Resources

  1. “What the AP Press release doesn’t tell the general public, is that Stan brewed his home-made colloidal silver by using tap water and salt with a battery colloidal silver generator, and let his generator run for an hour, which not only produced an abundance of silver chloride, but also produced larger particles of silver due to agglomeration caused by a runaway electrolysis reaction. He drank eight ounces or more of this product containing an extremely high concentration of silver daily for at least two years”.
  2. “Life Support Systems: MIR”
  3. “Water Purification Systems”, Caribbean Clear Inc.
  4. Case report: skin discoloration following administration of colloidal silver in cystic fibrosis.
    Curr Opin Pediatr. 2007 Dec;19(6):733-5.
  5. “Nanosilver Fights Infections”, United Press International, 2005
  6. “Ionic Silver Complex Designed for Use in Humans Receives U.S. Patent”, Invision International Health Solutions, 2005
  7. Cosmetic Argyria & Cure The Truth Behind all of the Hype: Argyrosis Exposed
  8. Colloidal Silver Pregnancy

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