Paul Karasas, the “blue man”, infamous for his appearance on Oprah in 2010, recently died at the age of 62. He had a medical condition called argyria, caused by deposition of silver into the tissues that turns the skin blue. The controversy is the claim that the condition was caused by drinking colloidal silver and applying it to his skin. Silver has been used as a medical treatment for infection for literally thousands of years. Today silver is used in topical creams for infection, in several medications, and is required by law as an application to newborn infants eyes in most states.
Silver is a heavy metal and can be toxic. It is found is many forms, chemically bonded to acids such as silver nitrate (used on newborns) and silver chloride (used in film). Colloidal silver is made by passing a low electric current through silver electrodes in distilled water. This creates a microscopic suspension of solid silver molecules in the water that varies from about 5 to 10 parts of silver per million parts of water. I have successfully used colloidal silver in my practice for the past 20 years. Eye infections, outer ear infections (swimmer’s ear), sore throats, sinus infections, intestinal flu, and even vaginal infections respond well to direct application. I particularly like to use it in a Netti Pot for sinus infections. Personally, I keep a bottle on hand at all times. If I wake up in the middle of the night with a little sore throat, a simple 30 second gargle and swallow, and the sore throat is gone. I also recommend colloidal silver when patients have symptoms of both viral and bacterial infection, or maybe even a fungal element as well. The classic example is a “head cold that moves into the chest”. Often there are at least two different infective agents involved. Colloidal silver has anti-viral, anti-biotic, and even anti-fungal activity. There have been 4 recent studies showing colloidal silver to be effective against MRSA.
Dosage is the big issue. Colloidal silver is for occasional, intermittent use only. Paul Karasas admittedly drank 10 ounces of silver per day for 15 years. Some critics claim he used silver chloride, not colloidal silver. We may never know the truth about the “blue man”, but my entire family doesn’t use 10 ounces in a year.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Colloidal silver is safe, and very effective for treating a variety of infections. Like niacin, and omega 3 fatty acids, and most things, a little bit is good, too much can be an issue.