by Michelle Behm
Coconutz Health, Thorp
Throughout history, silver has been used across the world as both a medicine and a preservative. In fact, hundreds of years before scientists and doctors understood microbes and how they cause illness, colloidal metals—particularly silver—were known for their health benefits.
Ancient Greeks used silver vessels for water purification. American pioneers trekking westward used silver to keep their water safe and to prevent dysentery, colds, and flu. They also put silver dollars in their milk containers and wooden water casks to slow bacterial growth. Settlers in the Australian outback suspended silverware in their water tanks to prevent spoilage. Topical silver antiseptic solutions were used during World War II. Even the superstition of throwing silver coins into a well is based on the legend of the metal’s healing properties.
The use of silver for purification purposes continues today. Silver water purification filters are used in Switzerland and by international airlines, and silver catheters are used in hospitals. More recently, NASA has used silver in its space shuttle water purification systems. Silver is also used in residential homes. Electrical ionization units designed for swimming pools help sanitize the water without the harsh effects of chlorine.
Since 1973, silver has been shown to have topical activity against 22 bacterial species (643 isolates), including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The potential of silver in treating pathogenic infection is so great that the New York City board of physicians gave its stamp of approval for its use as a homeopathic medicine.
Interest in silver has grown in recent years due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and the growing ineffectiveness of many antibiotics. More than 95% of staph bacteria are now resistant to penicillin, the mother of antibiotics. In the 1960s, methicillin replaced penicillin as the standard staph treatment. Today more than 60% of staph bacteria are resistant to methicillin (these are known as MRSA strains).
A recent report from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) states that public health authorities estimate MRSA strains are the cause of more deaths in the US than AIDS. The good news is that silver preparations may be the answer to this problem—they do not have the same problem with bacterial resistance; even MRSA strains and avian flu respond to therapeutic silver preparations.
Colloidal or Ionic Silver is simply silver particles dispersed and suspended in distilled water. Colloidal silver is missing one electron in its outer shell. When it encounters bacteria it removes an electron from the bacteria and in that way destroys it. Because silver affects such a basic mechanism of normal microbial function, it is effective against a broad range of pathogens. Even if the DNA and RNA structure varies or if the mode of attack is different, the basic structure of the pathogen is the same and can be addressed by silvers nontraditional mode of attack. While typical drugs or antibiotics are effective against 6 or 7 microbes, silver is effective against more than 500 different disease-causing pathogens—all without encouraging drug resistance and without side effects.
Not all silver is equally effective. Old silver products were often brown or yellow. They contained more silver but were far less effective, often requiring 50,000 to 300,000 ppm (parts per million) of silver to kill a harmful pathogen. Newer silver products are colorless, odorless, and exhibit only a faint metallic after taste. Silver can terminate entire colonies of harmful bacteria at concentrations of 5 ppm or less.
It is important to realize that not all new silver products are the same. One product on the market has been sown to inhibit the growth of E. coli at 1500ppm, while ours has been shown to kill E. coli at a concentration of 10ppm. That is many times more effective!
[Next Week: Silver and Bacteria, Viruses and Mold]
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.