The Healing Power of Silver
Silver has powerful antiseptic and wound-healing properties. So just what are the health secrets of this precious metal? Also, how does colloidal silver produced by colloidal silver generators provide an alternative to conventional antibiotics?
According to Professor Valerie Edwards-Jones research has shown that silver is a powerful antimicrobial agent that is non-irritating and non-toxic. Recent studies have shown that silver can kill up to 650 species of pathogenic microbes .
‘The metal consists of thousands of tiny silver ions,’ she says. ‘These prevent bacteria, viruses and fungi from spreading by entering the cell and deactivating proteins. The microbes cannot reproduce and die, so the spread of infection is prevented.’
According to Prof Edwards-Jones there has been a resurgence of medical interest in silver because it effectively kills antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA.
Silver-based Medical Products
In 2007, the NHS spent more than £23million on silver dressings for leg ulcers. The Health Protection Agency has recommended that silver-coated catheters be introduced for the prevention of urinary tract infections. Silver is set to be increasingly added to medical equipment and hospital furniture as a way of preventing hospital-based infections. ‘Research with the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has found that silver, incorporated in the surfaces of hospital equipment furniture, can reduce bacterial levels by 99 per cent’. (Source: Dr Richard Hastings, microbiologist for BioCote, a Wolverhampton company that makes silver-based medical products). ‘This, in turn, cuts infection risk from superbugs such as MRSA, E. coli and salmonella.’ Silver is also emerging as an effective tool for the treatment of skin conditions, burns and wounds .
Colloidal Silver Generators and ‘nanosilver’
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs or ‘nanosilver’) act as efficient broad-spectrum decontaminating agents, and have been used for applications such as prevention of bio-film formation in food contact surfaces, such as chopping boards and kitchen surfaces. Advances in nanotechnology give the impression of a completely new application for silver. Analysis shows however that nanosilver in the form of colloidal silver has been used for more than 100 years. Also, colloidal silver has been registered as a biocidal material in the United States since 1954. Fifty-three percent of the EPA-registered biocidal silver products likely contain nanosilver. Most of these nanosilver applications are silver-impregnated water filters, algicides, and antimicrobial additives . Current research suggests that AgNP are also able to inhibit viral replication .
- Edwards-Jones, V., Letters in Applied Microbiology, The benefits of silver in hygiene, personal care and healthcare, 2009, 49 (2), pp 147-152
- Stephens, A., The Daily Mail, Shining secret that makes silver precious for your health, 2010, 27th February
- Nowack, B., et al, Environmental Science and Technology, 120 Years of Nanosilver History, 2011, 45 (4), pp 1177-1183
- Speshock, J. L., et al, 2010. Interaction of silver nanoparticles with Tacaribe virus. Journal of Nanobiotechnology 8, 19.