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Common Sense Use Of Colloidal Silver

I recently had permanent makeup applied to my lips. Before you think I must be crazy, I have to tell you that applying and RE-applying lipstick over and over throughout the day is one of my major pet peeves! I’d never heard of permanent makeup for lips – eyeliner and eyebrows, yes – but not lips. The minute I learned about it I was calling to make an appointment. I’m happy to report it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. :-)

I mention this only because it’s this experience that introduced me to the subject of today’s post – colloidal silver. During the healing phase of my permanent makeup application, my makeup artist, Cristianne – Permanent Makeup Utah, gave me a small bottle of colloidal silver spray to spray on my lips several times each day. I’d never heard of this either! Since it was very beneficial in healing my lips, I decided I needed to learn more!

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What is colloidal silver you ask? Colloidal silver is simply a solution of water that contains suspended, microscopic particles of silver. If you’ve never heard of it, like I hadn’t, it’s not because it’s something new. Colloidal silver has been used for centuries. From the late 1800’s through the 1940’s silver was used often used as an antibiotic in medical practices. However, the shelf life was only about 15 minutes and therefore not very convenient. It wasn’t until the early 1990’s that researchers were able to make a true colloidal silver with an infinite shelf life.

Today, the interest in colloidal silver as a natural antibiotic is resurfacing both because of the rapidly increasing interest in natural health products and more importantly, because of the advent of Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) pathogens— microorganisms that are resistant to many antibiotics.

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How does colloidal silver work?

The action of the silver particles seems to disable the enzymes in bacteria and even viruses, thus killing disease-causing organisms in the body.  In general, bacteria do not become resistant or immune to silver over time.

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What can I treat with colloidal silver?

Many sellers of colloidal silver make claims that their product can cure a multitude of diseases. But according to Wellness Resources, much of the “science” used to support such claims comes from unpublished works in small labs and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, there are a few published studies showing that silver does have probable anti-viral properties.

The compound is most often used to treat burns, as it repairs skin and tissue damage, and to prevent scars. Rashes, cysts and acne can also be treated using the compound.

As it is an easily digestible compound that readily absorbs into the organs, colloidal silver can also help boost the immune system, including treating colds, flu viruses, intestinal parasites, bladder and urinary tract infections and a variety of other conditions.

Colloidal silver can use to care for your pets too.

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How do you use colloidal silver?

You can use colloidal silver either topically or internally when needed. Most sources that I came across said you should not take colloidal silver internally on a daily basis. The general consensus seems to be that it is safe to take internally for about two weeks. If you want to know how to treat a specific disease, do your research. But be sure to consult a trusted physician or naturopath before beginning any treatment. For information on healthy doses of colloidal silver, visit SilverSafety.com.


  • Apply a few drops directly to infected areas of skin.
  • Use an eyedropper to treat eye infections.
  • Put a few drops on a bandage to treat a wound.
  • Add to oil when oil pulling.
  • Add a few drops to your mouthwash or toothbrush.


  • Use as a nasal spray.
  • Add a few drops to a neti pot.
  • Breath colloidal silver into your lungs using a nebulizer.
  • Drink some in a glass of water.

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Is colloidal silver FDA approved?

Web MD states, “Colloidal silver products were once available as over-the-counter drug products, but in 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that these colloidal silver products were not considered safe or effective.”

However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Topical silver (used on the skin) has some appropriate medical uses, such as in bandages and dressings to treat burns, skin wounds, or skin infections. It’s also in medicines to prevent conjunctivitis (an eye condition) in newborns. However, there are no legally marketed prescription or over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver that are taken by mouth.”

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Are there any negative side effects to using colloidal silver?

In very rare cases, excessive doses of colloidal silver may lead to kidney damage and neurological problems.

High doses or low quality colloidal silver (usually ionic silver) can cause a condition called argyria – a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent. In fact, one potential origin of the term “blue bloods” is based on royal families who ate from silver plates and utensils and ended up with argryia.

Colloidal silver can also interact negatively with some drugs so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist if you take prescription medications.

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What should I look for when buying colloidal silver?

There are three different products that are usually marketed as colloidal silver: ionic silver, silver protein and true colloidal silver.

Ionic silver is not inherently bad, but will not be as effective as true colloidal silver. Ionic silver solutions will typically be clear or have a slight yellow tint.

Silver protein is the product you want to completely avoid! They are a combination of silver particles and a protein binder. Silver protein products do not allow your body to safely and effectively absorb the silver.

Make sure to do your research and only buy colloidal silver from a trusted source to ensure you get a quality product. I have seen a couple of different brands recommended while researching this post:

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Can I make a DIY version of colloidal silver?

Many websites claim to sell machines capable of making colloidal silver at home. But according to Inspired Nutrition, “All the machines sold for making colloidal silver use an electrolysis process and make ionic silver. There are no machines sold that are capable of making true colloidal silver.”

Helpful Resources

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • Hi Jillie! I started using Sovereign Silver Colloidal Silver Nasa Spray when I was suffering from a severe sinus infection that normally I’d take antibiotics for..I will say that the combination of the Sovereign Silver Colloidal Silver, SinuZyne, oregano oil gel tabs, and elder berry syrup healed my sinus infection..I was amazed..I found all of these products at a natural health store in my area called Fruitful Yield…

  • I’ve recently found a company called Norwex. They embed silver into amazing microfiber cloths. I can clean my entire house with their cloths and water. That’s it. Silver is really amazing. I never would’ve thought.

    • Have you ever used a TRUE colloidal silver to compare? What if you tried it and it worked even better than ionic? It is a bit unfair to say “this works better than that” when you have never even tried “that”.

      Sovereign silver is NOT colloidal. It is ionic silver. And homemade silver is NOT colloidal.

      The cool thing is that ionic silver STILL works. It is great. It is just not AS good…. as true colloidal silver.

  • Several years ago, a pressure cooker blew up in my face – yes, it was as painful as it sounds! However, I only used colloidal silver and a bit of emu oil (and a LOT of prayer!) to treat the burn and have absolutely NO scarring! I’ll forever sing the praises of silver!

  • Hi Jillee,
    I have been using Silver Shield from Nature’s Sunshine for years! There isn’t enough room here to tell you how many different ways it has worked but it’s amazing stuff & I always keep a bottle on hand. A dab of silver on a beginning fever blister + a dab of true raw honey applied every hour will stop a blister from forming within a few hours. Great post!!

  • oprah did an interview with a man that had been drinking colloidal silver for a long time and his skin turned blue. They called him papa smurf. you can look him up on youtube. He died about a year ago. Heart attack I think.

      • That man was making his own, which was not pure, and he was taking large amounts of it. We have used Silver Biotics for years and have never had a problem. You don’t take large amounts and you don’t take it daily as he did. We use it for colds, ear infections, pink eye, etc. Don’t be afraid because of one man’s unsafe use of homemade silver.

    • I had a patient in the psych unit because his mother had him drinking the stuff every day and too much. His skin was a bluish grey ugly color. His body image was too much for him and he was very suicidal. I use it when needed and it is great but this was a case of thinking that more must be better.

  • This is from Silversafety.com. Just some more info.

    What’s the difference between ionic silver and colloidal silver?

    Virtually all silver supplement products, whether called ionic or colloidal, deliver silver ions and are therefore ionic silver products. Colloidal silver is just one form of ionic silver product. There are others. In all cases, they are ionic silver products because they all function by doing the same thing: delivering ionic silver to the body.

    Any benefits that may be obtained from silver by the human body are obtained strictly from the ionic form of silver.

    A silver ion is a silver atom that’s missing an electron. Atomic silver is entirely inert and has no bioactivity whatsoever. Ionic silver is highly bioactive. However, silver ions are also very unstable and will bind up with chlorides and proteins in the mouth if not stabilized by a carrier agent. Various carrier agents exist in various silver supplements. These carrier agents may be citrate, oxides, proteins, or other substances.

    Colloidal silver is simply providing one form of those various carrier agents. It primarily utilizes oxides, in the form of “silver oxide,” as the carrier agent. Since so many colloidal silver products exist, they are called by different terms depending on the marketing strategy of the manufacturer: they may be called colloidal, ionic, true colloid, hydrosol, silver solution, and so forth. All of those products have essentially the same substance in the bottle, colloidal silver.

    Water-soluble silver citrate is another form of ionic silver delivery mechanism. Water-soluble silver citrate is not colloidal.

    The bottom line is that not all ionic silver product are colloidal, but all colloidal silver products are ionic.

  • http://silver-colloids.com/Reports/reports.html#CompTable

    If you go to this link above, you can see for yourself that Sovereign Silver is NOT colloidal silver. That is super misleading to advertise it as such.

    Here is the lab report to analyze Sovereign Silver to show you that it is ionic, not colloidal.


    Silver-colloids.com is a neutral lab that tests products. They don’t sell anything, so they do unbiased research.

    A tip to everyone is to not believe EVERYTHING that is posted on a sales site. If the site is trying to sell something, then you have to take it with a grain of salt and do your own research based on that.

    I sell a true colloidal silver product, (NutraSilver) on my website http://www.purifyyourbody.com/as_shop

    But I RARELY EVER link to my product page when I talk about silver, as “proof” that mine is better.

    Instead, I will explain how the particle surface area is what is going to be the #1 indicator of a good silver product. For example, let’s take 1 cube of ice. And put it in lukewarm water. And let’s take the same mass (1 cube of ice) but in a crushed ice form, and also put it in a glass of lukewarm water.

    The crushed ice has a MUCH LARGER particle surface area, and will melt a lot quicker, changing the temperature of the lukewarm water MUCH FASTER than the single ice cube.

    But they both have the same MASS.

    Same with silver particles.

    But this doesn’t mean ionic silver is not good stuff. I just feel that if you are paying so much for it, you are getting ripped off for an inferior product when you can get more for your money buying the real thing.

    I also have ionic silver in my house. It is great to spray topically as it doesn’t stain. It is great to use as a deodorant. So I am not dissing that product. What I am dissing is the ignorance and marketing fluff that these companies who “say” they are selling real colloidal silver when they aren’t. I am in marketing (that is what I do for a living) for an electronics company and I cannot stand when companies make unsubstantiated claims about their products.

    What I dislike more is the lemmings that actually believe everything they read.

    Which is why I like sites like this and others on the internet where we can teach and learn. :)

  • I met an old man in GNC who was buying colloidal silver and we chatted for a while. He told me he used to have a health-food store, but it burned down. He said he was too old to rebuild, but he still came in GNC to buy his silver. He said he took a half teaspoon daily in a glass of water and hadn’t been sick in 35 years.

  • I’ve used prescription silvadene cream for 25 years or more for treatment of all kinds of burns. Sunburn, hot curling iron (I sat on it — don’t put them on a chair or bed!), even chemical burns and steam burns. It does sometimes turn gray-blue on skin, but I’ve never had permanent discoloration.

    Not too far off subject, I hope, but all of my life, my mother immediately put vanilla extract on any burn. Just pour or dab it on the burn for instant relief and disinfectant action (from alcohol content). The doctor who treated me for curling iron burn was amazed that the skin on my leg was already healing when I saw her a week later. Vanilla extract is a quick fix in the kitchen.

  • Jillee, thanks for sharing with us every day. I get a lot of good ideas from your posts.

    I would suggest that no one start giving colloidal silver to their pets without a lot more information. There were no studies cited here and no explanation for possibly random dosages. Too many animals are hurt or worse by people who start doctoring them themselves without proper training or knowledge. Many prescriptions and home remedies for people can be toxic or even lethal to our pets. Why take a chance?

  • Hi! You mentioned treating acne with colloidal silver and I assume it would help with acne scarring. How would you apply it for this? Do you think it could be added to an EO serum and applied daily? Thanks!

  • Here is a link to a website with plenty of information on colloidal silver, ionic silver, and silver protein.


    I do not know how impartial it is, but it isn’t full of adverts, nor is it touting it’s own brand of silver.
    The FAQ’S link near the top may be most helpful.

    For those posting about people turning blue…as usual please use as directed by a professional; and research what you are ingesting! Unfortunately not ALL companies are upfront, or straight forward as to which kind of solution they are selling.

  • I have been making and using my own for at least 20 years with much success. My kids used to say i was crazy. Now they ask me for more when they run out. I cannot beging to tell you how many Dr’s visits we have not had to go to. We don’t use it often but when needed it is wonderful to not have to run to the Dr.s.

  • It would have been nice about this a few years earlier. A few years I decided to go for a motorcycle ride with my bro inlaw on a hot day and didn’t want to mess with wearing long pants. I accidentally burned part my leg on the tailpipe. The only thing that worked for me was silvadene cream. I’ll have to remember this next time m I or a family member has a serious burn.

  • Utopia Silver and MesoSilver are two highly rated Colloidal Silver solutions that I have used. They carry both ionic and colloidal products to be used for different purposes. Utopia Silver has good prices with frequent sales. Big pharmacy does not want us to be using silver, though it is being widely used in such products as shoe liners that are impregnated with microbial/odor killing stuff – it’s silver! Oral colloidal silver shortens my colds and prevents serious sinus infections or bronchitis from developing. My whole family uses it on a regular basis for all kinds of ailments – internal and external. Pets too. I gargle with it every day after brushing teeth. A dentist recommended it to a friend, for which he charged $50-$75 for 8 oz. while I only pay 1/4th that on sale at Utopia Silver. I am new to this website, but I certainly will be taking Jillee seriously now that I know Jillee sees the wisdom of an ancient remedy such as silver.

  • I am interested in trying colloidal silver internally for upper respiratory infections. Does anyone know if it kills the beneficial gut flora the same way antibiotics do?

  • […] I recently wrote here on the blog, colloidal silver is often used to treat skin conditions and […]

  • […] silver is able to attach itself to the virus and prevent it from replicating. Learn more about the uses of colloidal silver from my blog post a couple of months […]

  • This stuff is not safe. I am glad that Jillee mentioned in the article the precautions of using colloidal silver, but just stay away from it. There are other natural disinfectants without the scary side effects.

  • I’ve used colloidal silver for years…if used correctly, its amazing. My friend was diagnosed with Lymes disease, drs tried everything, tried colloidal silver (while she was hospitalized) and she’s disease-free today. Good for so many things, I cannot begin to list them all.

  • When my son was a little boy, (now 40!) he was at his friends playing and took his shirt off for the WHOLE afternoon! That night when I was getting him ready for bed and removed his shirt, I couldn’t believe my eyes…he had one huge blister all across the top of his back, shoulder to shoulder! We had to take him to the ER…working in a hospital with burn patients, I knew I should not pop or care for myself. He could have gotten an awful infection. At the hospital, the spray silver is just what they used! I will tell you though…They were really weird to my husband and me. There was a suspicion of child abuse and they almost called CPS!! Kind of scary…I felt like a HORRIBLE mom.

  • I have used colloidal silver for years – internally and externally – with no issues. I have successfully used it on myself and my family to treat UTI, conjunctivitis, sore throats, flu, eczema, tooth infections, yeast infections and even cellulitis (the painful bacterial skin infection). I’ve used it for cuts and scratches and even for my dogs and cats – for eye infections, ear infections, UTI and angry paw allergies. In fact, the vet said he had never seen such a bad (recurring) ear infection clear up so quickly before – AND the infection never came back. So I fail to see how it can be termed as unsafe. However, it is also true it can interfere with some medications (eg. thyroid medications), which is why it is advisable to check with your doctor. Additionally, it would be wise not to use on babies and children because there is not much information out there. All of the above issues, including the thyroid, are from personal experience.

    Apart from this, I use it in my laundry, to disinfect counters and groceries (because of covid), to disinfect bathroom surfaces, freshen up my dogs’ beds —- the uses are endless. I have a number of spray bottles all over the house. I even used it on one of my plants to get rid of spider mites.

    The generator I use to make colloidal silver (true colloidal, not ionic – you can do the research) is the one from http://www.TheSilverEdge.com. Please don’t take my word for it – do your research.

    I live in the United Arab Emirates, and just bought my 2nd generator. Unfortunately, in the UAE, food-grade distilled water is not available so we had to buy a water distiller too because you can only use distilled water to generate a true high quality colloidal silver solution. Thanks to CS we have saved a lot of doctor and vet bills. I hope this comment is of some help.

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