Right now I'm holding an off-the-shelf medical product that would not have existed five years ago. What is it? It's the Curad Silver natural antibacterial bandages. Yes, I have a box of 30 bandages that have the word "silver" prominently mentioned on the front cover. Now, it is actually good science and good medicine to use silver as an antibacterial agent. Silver -- colloidal or ionic silver, silver in solution -- is a potent antibacterial product. It has been demonstrated as such for well over 100 years. But the amazing thing about Curad Silver bandages and the fact they exist is that the FDA has allowed it. For decades, the FDA has been on a crusade to criminalize anyone who tried to sell silver for medicinal use. In fact, they conducted operation "Clean Sweep" a few years ago, in an attempt to put all the silver companies out of business.
And why, you ask? Why would they try to close down all of the silver companies that were selling a product well demonstrated to be a potent antibiotic? Because they compete with the antibiotics business, and that of course is bad for pharmaceutical companiesí revenue and profits. So here we have yet one more case of collusion between the FDA and Big Pharma. It's not even a conspiracy theory any more; it's out in the open with the FDAís recent behavior. Anybody with any common sense whatsoever realizes that the FDA has but one mission: to protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies. Otherwise, why would they demand that Vioxx and Cox-2 inhibitors be put back on the market, even after these drugs have killed tens of thousands of people even according to the FDA's own drug safety scientists?
Standard FDA tactics: fear and disinformation
But to understand the FDA's history on silver, you've got to look back a few years and realize how the FDA used scare tactics and disinformation to try to make people afraid of silver
products. Silver is indeed a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and perhaps, just as significantly, microbes do not build up a resistance to silver. It's not a chemical antibiotic like penicillin. I've seen many cases where it wipes out drug-resistant superbugs in hospitals, and I've seen people use silver to cure colds, flus, dysentery, and all kinds of things. In fact, I've had several personal experiences using silver in Peru, where it was a godsend, even though it wasn't even high quality silver.
But the FDA tried to scare everybody by saying that if you used silver products, it would turn you silver! The agency claimed you would suddenly have this silver discoloration in your skin. This was the tactic they used, and of course it was complete nonsense, because we're talking about a hundred parts per million in solution -- a miniscule amount of silver, and hardly enough to change the color of your body's largest organ (your skin).
People aren't turning silver from taking colloidal silver, by the way. The FDA did find one person who worked in the photography industry, where they use silver in some of the development chemicals. And there, they use silver at not 100 parts per million, but 300,000 parts per million: it's 30 percent silver. That's a huge difference in concentration. Moreover, these people were dipping their arms in the silver solution, taking in these huge quantities of silver, and sure enough they were experiencing skin discoloration from it. But that in no way means individuals who take silver at a teaspoon of 100 parts per million are going to turn silver like some careless photographers who dipped their hands in 30 percent silver solution. And in fact, I challenge the FDA to produce any person in the entire world who has turned silver from taking 100 ppm colloidal silver. There are no such people. The whole fear and disinformation campaign was nothing but hogwash, as usual.
Standard practice in burn wards
Now then, moving on to bandages. People in burn wards have known for a very long time that soaking bandages in a low concentration silver solution inhibits infection in burn victims; it literally saves their skin. In severe cases, it can even save their lives. Burn wards know this, and silver has long been used as an anti-infection agent with bandages or other medical supplies all around the world, especially in Russia, China, Japan, and Germany.
But when American companies tried to introduce silver-impregnated products onto the market, the FDA said, "No! You can't do that, because you're making a medical claim." And the FDA claims there is no evidence to back up the use of silver as an antibiotic or antibacterial solution, which is complete nonsense. It was just the FDA's way of protecting the antibiotics industry.
Still, Curad has managed to introduce a silver-impregnated bandage. This is an interesting milestone, as it shows that the FDA is becoming a little more lenient ... or they're finally giving in and realizing they can't forever hide the fact that silver is a potent antibiotic and antibacterial solution. But remember, this Curad bandage is a topical application, so it is not a product people ingest. The FDA is probably saying, "Well, as long as people don't take it internally, it's not going to threaten the antibiotics prescription drug industry very much ... We'll allow it in bandages and other topical applications." And that's what you see here.
I'm sure the Curad company has done some tests on this. And in fact, they say it right on the label, "Laboratory testing showed that silver in the dressing reduced bacterial growth for 24 hours.Ē I'm sure they petitioned the FDA and said, "Look, we've got the evidence on this. It's a topical product. You need to let us put this on the market.Ē And eventually the FDA probably caved in and agreed to allow silver on the market. So that's one way you can get silver into a product today. It took decades for this to be allowed in our oppressive FDA-drive medical system, even though it should have been on the market years ago.
Colloidal silver for internal use
Now then, let's move on to silver used internally, because here is where the FDA gets very uncomfortable. Why? Again, it threatens the antibiotics market. Silver is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, so when you ingest it, you might eliminate the need to take various antibiotics. People who experienced little success on prescription antibiotics have taken colloidal silver with great success. Even drug-resistant bacteria are killed by ingested colloidal or ionic silver
The catch is that if you go to your health food store, you'll find a lot of different silver products. Some of them claim 10 parts per million, while others claim 100 parts per million ... and that tends to be the only way that people compare these products. They think that more is better. Gee, if it's 200 parts per million, it must be better than 10 parts per million. Well, the truth is that's not the case at all. It's not a straight numbers competition; it has to do with the way the silver is structured. And frankly, in the initial research I've done on this, there are apparently a lot of con artists out there in the market selling lousy silver products.
I'm not going to name those companies right now. Instead I'm going to name a company you can trust. And, by the way, I don't earn any money whatsoever from recommending companies here. This is not an advertisement at all; I donít make commission or take kickbacks from the sale of these products.
Talking about what's wrong out there in the market, some of these companies are just outright lying. They say they have a certain size of particle and they don't. One company claims to have particle size so small that if they could actually produce those, they should be in the nanotechnology industry, rather than the nutritional supplement industry. There are no particles that small in silver solutions.
I'm doing more research on this, but in the meantime, one product I can recommend is by a company called Invision. It's called Silver 100, and you can go to the website http://www.silver100.com. This company makes an outstanding silver product that I have used and researched; I have checked out this company. They are the real deal, and I think they currently have the best technology out there for making silver as a supplement.
Only use as a last resort
So, when should you take silver? Well, first off, let's get the issue of friendly flora out of the way. Based on the research I've done (and my own experience), it is my belief that you're going to be wiping out some of your friendly intestinal flora by taking supplementary silver. Some companies say their silver product won't wipe out intestinal flora, but I have a big question about that. How does silver know the difference between friendly bacteria
and unfriendly bacteria?
See, I don't think silver knows that difference. I think it wipes out all the bacteria. So if you are taking a silver product, you should recognize you are going to create an imbalance in your intestinal flora that will significantly impact the nutrition you're absorbing from your small intestine. If you're taking silver products, you need to take some acidophilus and other probiotics at the same time. Rely on probiotics any time you're using silver internally, as you will need them.
With that out of the way, the question is what can you use it for? What does silver really treat? Now for this section, I'm going to say this is my own personal opinion, and it is not intended as medical advice of any kind. This is based on the research I've done independently. Yet it's widely available information, by the way, if you have a large enough library. You can use colloidal or ionic silver to eliminate UTIs (urinary tract infections), and UTIs can be quite persistent in some people, which also has to do with the acid/alkaline balance of their diet, by the way.
You can also use silver to fight colds and flus; this would be really handy to have around if a bird flu epidemic emerged. I wouldn't want to be caught anywhere in the world without some of this silver solution in my pocket. It can be used to treat food poisoning as well, although if the food poisoning has gone on for a very long time, there are already some toxic byproducts from the bacteria that you're going to have to get rid of. You're going to feel lousy for a while, but the silver can at least kill the bacteria and stop them from doing additional damage.
Using silver topically
Silver can also be used topically, so if you have an infection on your skin, or if you have a cut or a scrape, you can spray silver on it, rub it in, and it will function as an antibacterial agent. You can even use it in socks, if you don't want them to stink. Soaking them in a little bit of silver solution functions as an antibacterial additive and will kill the bacteria that cause foot odor. You can use silver in your swimming pool or hot tub, and then use less chlorine or even none at all. Ionic silver and hydrogen peroxide (35 percent food grade hydrogen peroxide) are two of the best things you can put in a hot tub or a swimming pool to kill the bacteria without chemicals. By the way, be careful handling the hydrogen peroxide, because at that concentration it will burn your skin. Hydrogen peroxide is potent stuff: at 90 percent concentration, itís rocket fuel.
Ingested silver can also treat resistant strains of bacteria, including MRSA. If you have a tooth or ear infection, for example, silver can do the job for you. Now, there is a huge disclaimer with all of that: First of all, I'm not giving anybody medical information. This is just my experience with this product. If you're going to use this product or eliminate antibiotics, you should be working with a medical professional.
The second thing is that if you use silver in this way, then you are using it allopathically, meaning that you are not really solving the core problem. If you have a urinary tract infection, and you've had them repeatedly, the infection exists in your urinary tract for a reason. There's something wrong with your body or your immune system, or your acid/alkaline balance, or your diet. If you use silver to treat the symptom, and you just keep using silver, then you really haven't addressed the core cause. That's a real problem in the way people use nutritional supplements, silver products, medicinal herbs, and so on; they tend to use them in the same way that an allopathic doctor would prescribe antibiotics, which is to simply mask the symptoms rather than solving the problem.
But as a holistic nutritionist and someone who is a huge proponent of natural health, I encourage you to go beyond that and treat the source of these problems. Change your lifestyle and your diet to the point where you aren't experiencing these infections over and over again. That's the way you're going to have a healthier life long term, not by having infections and then finding new, clever supplements to make them go away.
Not for daily use
So in my book, this silver solution belongs in the category of emergency first aid products. It is not something that I would use on a day-to-day basis; it is nothing that I would regularly use to eliminate infections. But it is something that I would certainly want to have on hand in case there was serious sickness, a really persistent cold or flu, or something came around like the bird flu. Also, if I had an ear infection or something like that, I would want to have this around.
I would even use it topically. In my first aid kit, by the way, I would also have living aloe vera plants. Aloe vera is perhaps the number one first aid herb out there. You can use it for many, many things, not just for burns, although that's a great use of the product. You can even use aloe vera in wounds, and I'm talking about huge, gaping wounds. If someone has their leg sliced open, you can actually stuff that wound with aloe vera gel, put some more aloe vera on top of the wound, spray it all with silver, wrap it all in a huge bandage and then go off to the emergency room for some stitches, surgery, or whatever needs to be done. Doing so will protect the wound. The aloe vera itself is not only antibacterial; it also accelerates the healing process.
So, silver has some major uses out there now, and we're starting to see a bit of progress in the FDA's acceptance of topical silver products, at least in the bandage industry. Maybe, in time, we will start to see greater acceptance of silver as a bona fide medical solution. This product should be in every emergency room and every ambulance in the United States and around the world. There is no reason why doctors and paramedics shouldn't be trained on the near-miraculous capabilities of silver as an antibacterial solution.
I think that in the long term, silver has tremendous potential in the world of medicine, and that it may even be accepted quite easily by modern medicine. That's because it's not an herb, so there's not a knee-jerk reaction to it by traditionally trained medical doctors. Silver is based on chemistry and physics, so it has a very scientific ring to it. And Western trained doctors tend to appreciate that more. They say, "Hey, if you can show me the chemistry, and explain it in terms of physics and molecules and the ion exchange between silver and bacteria, then yeah! We'll use it."
So silver has a good, strong future in medicine. In fact, it's being used in many medical devices right now. But doctors are still reluctant to prescribe silver as an antibiotic. Why? The drug companies keep feeding them all this propaganda about drugs, and doctors are not educated about using silver internally. They simply don't know about it. Again, this is not something that's going to be sold as a drug, so the FDA is never likely to back it. They would rather have it outlawed and force people to take antibiotics.
So that's part of the story on silver. The two products I mentioned here again were Curad Silver natural antibacterial bandages and the Invision Silver 100 product, at http://www.silver100.com. There are many other good products out there on the market as well, and I hope to bring you reviews of those products in time, as I'm able to try them out myself and investigate them a bit more.