Nano Silver and Colloidal Silver
The alternative medicine community has, in the past, touted the use of silver (colloidal or nano) for numerous ailments and to treat infections in particular. Silver has no known function in the body, thus one must think long and hard before introducing it into the human body.
The article in Environmental Health Perspectives “Nanosilver: Weighing the risks and Benefits” (you can read it here… ) was well referenced and informative. It seems the most likely valuable use (in small amounts for short periods of time) may be as a powerful anti-microbial. The nano silver particles are small enough they may be able to enter all cells and cross the blood brain barrier, giving them far reaching possibilities for serious infection in the era of antibiotic-resistant organisms and untreatable viral infections.
A nano silver gel called SilvrSTAT has known methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) killing ability within minutes and has been approved by the FDA for use in elder care centers to treat ulcers, surgical wounds, and grafted sites.
There are concerns about how much nano silver is safe. The NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) says very clearly that colloidal silver is not safe (read more… ). They add that colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually not treatable or reversible.
For a video illustrating argyria see here…
I reserve judgment on the use of silver in medicine. I suspect careful use for certain infections may have an important role and this may be one of those preparations to go to when you cannot use antibiotics or they won’t or don’t work.