Silver powder has long been used as a natural antibiotic to treat many types of bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. But it’s not as effective as the antibiotics your doctor prescribes for serious illness. In fact, consuming colloidal silver can interfere with your body’s ability to fight infection and cause dangerous side effects including skin discoloration (argyria). The mechanism of action is not completely understood, but it seems that the silver binds to bacteria’s cells and damages them by destroying their DNA (8). This kills the bacteria and prevents them from multiplying. The process also appears to prevent bacteria from developing resistance to silver (9).
Colloidal silver is most commonly sold as a liquid tincture at health food stores. It’s also available as a powder to sprinkle on food or to use topically on wounds and skin conditions.
There are no large studies on ingesting colloidal silver in humans, so scientists don’t know how safe or effective it is. But in vitro studies have found that silver may help to prevent the growth of bacteria, as well as some viruses and fungi (10).
But there’s no scientific proof that ingesting colloidal silver strengthens the immune system or prevents disease. In fact, the only evidence that it is safe and effective comes from in vitro studies and the fact that it has been used historically for infections like colds and the plague (11). If you want to try using colloidal silver, be sure to choose a product with high-quality silver and no other ingredients. Some manufacturers mix in ionic silver, which is mostly made up of silver ions and won’t be as effective as true colloidal silver.