Historical Uses of Silver: A Brief History

October 7, 2010

Today, silver is mainly thought of as decoration, although there are still some of us who understand the value of taking colloidal silver as a natural supplement. Although many of the traditional uses of silver have been replaced by antibiotics, it is, possibly surprisingly, still used in certain modern situations such as purifying drinking water on space craft.

Traditional uses of Silver include:

  • A drinking water disinfectant
  • Silver salts in the use of treating warts and burns
  • Silver salve for burn victims
  • A dilute solution sprayed in newborns eyes for the prevention of opthalma neonatorum (also called infantile purulent conjunctivitis). Opthalma neonatorum is an eye infection contracted during passage through the birth canal, usually from an STD such as gonorrhea. Prevention is practiced regardless of infection status, and today antibiotics are instead sprayed into newborns eyes (unless parents opt differently).
  • In the early half of the 20th century, silver was used therapeutically, especially as a natural antibiotic against syphilis.

In most cases, the use of silver was replaced by more cost-effective options. Recently, there has been a resurgence in medical uses of silver–as natural antibiotic protection on catheters and other instruments used inside the body.

As for the negative side effects associated with the uses of silver, there have been no studies that demonstrate a negative effect–the only known side effect is argyria, which is extremely rare. For an in-depth look at the rise of criticism against all natural colloidal silver, check back next Thursday.

For now, what other uses of silver have you heard about? Are there any criticism of the uses of silver you’d like explained or discussed?

{ 2 trackbacks }

Does Colloidal Silver, By Any Other Name, Work As Well? — Colloids For Life Blog
March 2, 2011 at 6:08 am
Nano Silver Safety Is Being Increasingly Analyzed — Colloids For Life Blog
June 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

{ 4 comments }

Emma Spera October 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Andrew, have you had your nose checked by a dermatologist? If you’re implying Argyria from the silver, it usually effects more than just a spot. Make sure to get a proper diagnoses in case it’s something serious.

Knarr, sorry to hear about your foot. Hope you’re doing better now.

Connie, I’m glad that you also enjoy the benefits of colloidal silver. I grew to love it when I had bronchitis and the doctors weren’t prescribing antibiotics.

Connie Collins October 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I’ve been taking colloidal silver for most of 3 years now and have had no side effects. I recommend it to everyone, including my adult children and grandchildren. As usual, natural remedies are critized because big pharma is not making a ton of money on it.

knarr October 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Had a silver screw put in my foot once to hold a broken bone in place. After some weeks the bone started de-calcifying around where the screw was. They had to take the screw out.

Andrew Kenny October 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I developed dark area on my nose next ot my eyes after treating my sinus with colloidal silver many years ago.

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