Silver History and Myth

The ability of silver to interfere and stop the growth of disease causing microbes without harm to the human body has been observed since ancient times and has led to long standing traditions of use and applications.  Earliest applications surround the purification of water by containment in silver vessels and this application continues to present times with various filters and other devices including water cleansing on the Space Shuttle.  The founder of Precious Waters, raised in a rural coal mining town of Pennsylvania, remembers his grandfather putting a silver dollar in the milk pitcher to keep the still warm milk of the cow from spoiling.  Such traditional practices were handed down from generation to generation long before modern production and packaging methods all but relegated silver’s beneficial uses to lost memory.

Medicinal use of silver, even before the existence of disease causing organisms was scientifically understood, was in vogue long before modern times.  The nobility and the rich in general lived longer and healthy lives than peasants for many reasons but in part it was likely furthered because silver utensils and vessels were very much a part of their everyday lives.  Many old adages such as ‘Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth’ and the tradition of giving a new born a silver spoon are likely descendant practices woven into our history because of generation after generation of observed common wisdom regarding silver.  In the 1800s up until the early 1950s colloidal silver compounds and other forms of silver were used regularly because of silver’s natural antimicrobial powers.  Silver based compounds, particularly topical antiseptics, probably reached their peak in use and availability in the 1940s.  While silver in various forms has continued to be used in homeopathic practices and by individuals, widespread acceptance/prescription or even understanding and interest by today’s medical professionals is limited in part due to the complexity, expense, and regulatory environment of the industry.

A common concern often brought up by those first exposed to use of a silver solution is the myth that one will turn blue or will be subject to toxic build-up with extended use.  Many may recall the Oprah Winfrey show in which a guest had permanently discolored his skin a grey/blue by self inducing a condition known as Argyria.  While the condition has no known side effects accept the skin discoloration, it is caused by the excessive consumption of silver salts.  Some silver products produced in the 1970s had as much as 530% silver [50,000 to 300,000 ppm] and in most cases were salts containing large particles which the body cannot easily excrete and thus build up in the skin.  Some marketers of silver compounds continue today to tout large concentrations of silver, possibly in the ‘more is better’ theory but this is not true and confuses the potential user and beneficiary of silver’s dietary value.  Precious Waters’ solution has been shown to kill bacteria at levels of between 2.5 and 5 ppm because of its better and proprietary manufacturing technology that produces more useful (bacteria lethal) product.  Precious Waters’ less than 10nm average particle size is easily used by the body and can pass in and out of cells.  The manufacturer for Precious Waters has had independent toxicity tests on its products.  The independent medical testing laboratory stated that the solution was found to be completely non-toxic to the test animals.

The EPA IRIS Report (Integrated Risk Information Systems) states that a number of tests on absorption and retention of ingested silver were completed in animals (including primates).  The test work indicated that between 90-99% of ingested silver was excreted on the second day after ingestion and greater than 99% was excreted in less than a week.  In other words, almost all the ingested silver is out of the body in only two days.