Monday, 30 July 2012

Medical use of Silver

No one likes illness of any kind so discussions with friends turned to skepticism when they pointed out some ideas of alternative medicine. I never thought that silver could be used in a certain way as a form of medicine.
The chemical symbol is AG with an atomic number of 47 a soft white lustrous transition metal, the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any element. it is widely used in the electronics, photography and for mirrors in optics. The father of medicine Hippocrates wrote that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties.

The ancient semitic canaanite civilization situated on the coastline of the mediterranean over 300 years BC, stored water, wine and vinegar in silver bottles. in the early 20th century people would put silver coins in milk  bottles  to prolong the milk's freshness. Its germicidal effects increased its value in utensils and as jewelry.

The oligodynamic effect discovered by 1893 by swiss karl Wilhelm von Nageli as toxic effect of metal ions on living cells, algae, molds, spores, fungi even at low concentrations. This effect is shown by ion of mercury, copper, lead, zinc, bismuth, gold, aluminum and silver. Metal ions of heavy metals show this effect  the exact mechanism of action is still unknown. Data from silver suggest that these ions denature enzymes of the target cell or organism by binding to reactive groups, resulting in their precipitation and inactivation.

Silver is widely used in topical gels and impregnated into bandages because of its wide spectrum antimicrobial properties of silver. When the Ag+ ion forms a complex with these molecules, they are rendered unusable by the bacteria, depriving them of necessary compounds and eventually leading to their death.

In world war 1 silver compounds were used before the advent of antibiotics, silver nitrate solution used continued, then was largely replaced by silver sulfadiazine cream  (SSD cream), which be came the the standard cure for the antibacterial and antibiotic treatment of serious burns right up until the late 1990's

Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used as a germicide and disinfectant. Physicians used it as an eye-drop for ophthalmic problems, for various infections, and sometimes internally for diseases such as tropical sprue, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and the common cold. Colloidal silver preparations (CSP) were used to treat or prevent gonorrhea and gonorrheal conjunctivitis
With the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, the use of silver as an antimicrobial agent diminished.[6] One well known, highly successful, brand name, silver colloid product in the period before 1940 was Argyrol.
Electrolytically-dissolved silver has been used as a water disinfecting agent, for example, the drinking water supplies of the Russian Mir orbital station and the International Space Station. The World Health Organization includes silver in a colloidal state produced by electrolysis of silver electrodes in water, and colloidal silver in water filters as two of a number of water disinfection methods specified to provide safe drinking water in developing countries. Along these lines, a ceramic filtration system coated with silver particles has been created by Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace and used in developing countries for water disinfection (in this application the silver inhibits microbial growth on the filter substrate, to prevent clogging, and does not directly disinfect the filtered water).

Since about 1990, there has been a resurgence of the promotion of colloidal silver as an alternative medicine treatment, marketed with claims of it being an essential mineral supplement, or that it can prevent or treat numerous diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and herpes, as well as tuberculosis. Silver is not an essential mineral in humans; there is no dietary requirement for silver, and no such thing as a silver "deficiency". No medical evidence supports colloidal silver as being effective for any of these claimed indications.

The 1997 final ruling from the FDA said that any product contain colloidal silver or silver salt is not generally recognized as safe or effective and is misbranded if stated other wise. This has retreated the reputation of silver as a form of medicine into the arms of Alternative medicine. Despite of that silver is still used as a form of bandage today, there is no reason to dismiss this age old method of medicine. Instead embrace all methods of medicine as there is no one cure to fix the many diseases out there.

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