Circa 400 BCE, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, applied silver to heal wounds. The term “born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth”, comes from the fact that during the Dark Ages wealthy people ate off of silver plates, with silver utensils, drank from silver cups and used silver storage containers, in order to protect them from the plague.  During the Civil War, doctors used silver needles with silver thread to suture wounded soldiers in order to limit infection. Pioneers would put a .999 silver coin in their milk to extend freshness, and in water to kill bacteria. During the First World War, soldiers used silver leaf to treat infections. Silver nitrate was administered to cure ulcers; we now know the cause of ulcers is a bacterium. Through research it has been found that silver interferes with the metabolism of the bacteria and causes cell membrane walls to become more permeable and damages their DNA. Diluted silver nitrate was put into the eyes of newborn babies to protect them from infection. When penicillin was invented, silver was virtually forgotten for use as an antibiotic, antiseptic and disinfectant.
Modern uses of silver include, coating catheters to prevent infections, some podiatrist use silver nitrate to cure fungal infections in the nail bed. A cream of silver sulfadiazine has been used in burn centers for over 40 years. Some fabric manufacturers incorporate silver threads in socks, to prevent jungle rot in feet and body odors. Some hospital sheets and bandages are made with silver. Silver is being used in water filtration systems at the Cincinnati Zoo and the International Space Station.
The overuse of antibiotics has created resistant strains of bacteria. Antibiotics also kill the good flora in the gut, the largest organ of the immune system, of people and animals. It is a routine practice to give livestock antibiotics to stimulate growth; without signs of illness. Eighty percent of all antibiotics sold are used for livestock.  Recent research reports that 81% of ground turkey, 69% of pork, 55% of beef and 39% chicken parts purchased contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This needless medication of livestock is passed on to humans and animals, including your pets.
Depending upon who is doing the research, mixed data is published and adds to the confusion of the effectiveness or negative side effects of using silver. Some research states that the use of silver may interact with the efficient use of some prescription medications and some antibacterial drugs. While other research says that adding silver may make the anti-biotic more effective against antibiotic-resistance strains.
Colloidal silver can be purchased as a supplement and is used in homeopathic remedies.  Colloidal silver is a suspension of microscopic particles of silver in water. Bacteria is said not to become resistant to silver. Many people are advocates of the use of colloidal silver as an internal and topical application to cure diseases. It is believed by some to improve the immune system, can be used as an antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal remedy and helps to cure colds and flu. When used topically it’s known to cure athlete’s foot and vaginal infections.  It has been shown to cure Candida Albicans and 650 other disease pathogens. The use of colloidal silver is controversial. The FDA considers any of the health claims to heal as not true, and has not approved it for medical use.
International clinical studies have found that colloidal silver is an effective cure for the deadly MRSA, Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is a mutated form of the well-known pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (also known as staph). MRSA is responsible for approximately 19,000 deaths a year; more than the yearly deaths due to AIDS.
Silver is a metal and can accumulate in organs. Excessive consumption of silver can have side effects, such as argyria, which is a darkening of the skin, and may cause more serious complications of neurological, renal or hepatic damage. As with any use of supplements, please do diligent investigation and consult your health care provider regarding safety of using silver.
Hopefully, more investigations of silver and the use of colloidal silver will be done in the future as a natural cure, however big pharmaceutical companies don’t want the competition of natural cures; they make their money selling US FDA approved drugs.