Colloidal Silver, Part One: Backstory
- Colloidal Silver, Part Two: Explanation
- Colloidal Silver, Part Three: Homebrew
- Colloidal Silver, Part Four: Results
[ Disclaimer: Any time you write about something related to health and medicine, it seems you need a disclaimer. So here's mine. I am not a doctor. I am not an expert. I cannot be responsible for what you do or don't do. I am not making any claims, nor selling a product. Be careful, be reasonable, be intelligent. Do your own research. I'm just hear to share some experiences. Insert all the standard disclaimers here: Void where prohibited. Not a Flying Toy. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. ]
If you've never heard of colloidal silver, or if you've heard of it but don't know much about it, you're right where I was a few months back. In my ongoing quest to transition from semi-normal everyman to certified nut-bucket, I bring you this four-part series.
Colloidal silver is old-time medicine - pre-World War II. It's been used as an antibiotic (both topical and internal), antifungal, antiviral. And the first thing to keep in mind that a hundred years ago, infectious diseases like pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis were the leading cause of death.
Also, while silver sulfadiazine and silver nitrate are still used medicinally, colloidal silver has been demoted to "supplement" status. Improper use can give you a condition called argyria, which will give your skin and soft tissues a permanent gray hue. The FDA says this about human use, and this about use on livestock. (Surely, the FDA is immune to outside influence.)
On the flip side, proponents say colloidal silver will solve anything from a runny nose to stinky feet. In fact, you can probably find somebody out there who will tell you it cures AIDS, autism, bird flu, cancer, and anything else you want to name. Let's just say I don't plan on any such tests.
But back to the story.
Starting last fall, I developed a nagging cough that just wouldn't go away. After two weeks of coughing to the point of having a constant headache, I went to the doctor. She gave me amoxicillin and some cough syrup with codeine. Neither really helped at much, other than the codeine making me sleepy. Color me not surprised.
After 10 days of starter antibiotics, and another week after that with no improvement, I figured a Z-pack (zithromax) was next. (It was.) I didn't have especially high hopes, since it seems like antibiotics are becoming less effective every day. And I wasn't really convinced it was bacterial anyway, though a virus doesn't normally hang on so tenaciously.
So in the meantime, I did a some reading, asked around a bit, and decided to buy a little jar of colloidal silver from the local herbal store. For $16.98 I was the proud owner of two ounces of this reputed cure-all. Ouch. But if it worked, it'd be worth it.
It seemed to work. After six weeks of frustration, the cough went away. Maybe my immune system finally kicked in. Maybe the Z-pack deserves some credit. Or the placebo effect. I didn't much care.
But I got interested enough in colloidal silver to give it another chance. One problem: The price. $8.49 per fluid ounce is a bit steep.
Well, it turns out that with a few inexpensive bits and pieces, you can make it yourself. (You can also spend a hundred bucks to buy a "generator", but that didn't seem practical to me.) So I bought a book to fill in some details for me.
Next up: Colloidal Silver, Part Two: Explanation