For thousands of years, silver has been used as a healing and anti-bacterial agent by civilisations throughout the world. The use of its medical, preservative and restorative powers can be traced as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman Empires.
Early Discovery of Silver
Long before the development of modern pharmaceuticals, silver was employed as a germicide and antibiotic. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and many peoples from the “Dark Ages” used silver in one form or another to preserve food and water. Early Greeks and Romans would beat silver into very thin foil and wrap it around wounds to prevent infection and aid healing. They would also line their water storage containers with silver to help prevent the water from going ‘bad’ and causing disease.
Historically, royalty in England would drink from silver goblets, eat off silver plates and use silver cutlery and as a result, were less likely to succumb to the myriad diseases that ailed the common folk. They did not know why silver kept them well—they only knew that it worked.
Development of Silver
In the early nineteen hundreds, man was beginning to develop more sophisticated forms of silver to kill germs. After the discovery of penicillin and the subsequent development of the modern pharmaceutical industry, the use of the more expensive silver preparations receded from favour.
The use of some silver preparations in modern, mainstream medicine has survived, however. Among them is the use of dilute silver nitrate placed in the eyes of newborn babies to protect them from infection. ‘Silvadene’ a silver-based salve, is used in virtually every burn ward in America to fight infection. A silver coated nylon material was patented as ‘Silvalon’ and licensed by the FDA in America as an anti-microbial bandage. In more recent times Elastoplast and other makers of ‘band-aids’ and wound dressings have incorporated silver ions in their products to help accelerate wound healing.
Future of Silver
Because of the research showing silver’s superior performance in fighting microbes it has attracted the attention of leading scientists and medical researchers throughout the world. Its benefits are now stirring new interest as many prominent doctors are currently researching the efficacy and applications of silver in human health. As a result, many interesting studies have emerged. In laboratory tests, silver killed bacteria, viruses, and fungal organisms within minutes of contact.
Because of the many organisms that have developed strains resistant to modern antibiotics, Dr Robert Becker’s finding is of particular importance. Becker, of Syracuse University, stated, “All of the organisms that we tested were sensitive to the electrically generated silver ions, including some that were resistant to all known antibiotics…In no case were any undesirable side effects of the silver treatment apparent.”
“What we have actually done was rediscover the fact that silver ions kill bacteria, which had been known for centuries… when antibiotics were discovered, clinical uses for silver as an antibiotic were discarded.” Dr Robert O Becker, MD.