Ionic Silver - The Story of Silver

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.

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. 

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. ‘Silvadine,’ 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. 

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 over 50 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.


How does Silver work? 

When the early Greeks and Romans were wrapping their wounds with silver foil, the body fluids coming into contact with the silver oxidised the silver slightly. This leads to the release of silver ions and it was these ions that were attacking the bacteria and killing them. 

In the same way the water storage containers were slowly oxidising the silver and releasing silver ions, helping to keep the bacteria count in the water low.

The royals of England were drinking wine, which has a very low pH, out of silver goblets and this was accelerating the release of silver ions into the wine and also into the food on the silver plates and cutlery. As they ingested these ions it helped to control not only bacteria, but virus and fungus as well.  

Silver ions inhibit the growth of bacteria by deactivating the bacteria’s oxygen metabolism enzymes. In turn, this destroys the bacteria’s cell membranes, stopping the replication of the bacteria’s DNA and preventing the bacteria from multiplying.



A single virus will invade a living cell and then this insidious pathogen will take over the nucleus of the cell and alter its reproductive mechanism to replicate that of the virus instead of the enzyme, hormone or other chemical the cell would normally have produced for the body. Later, the newly produced viruses will be released from that cell into the bloodstream to infect another cell and so on. However another interesting process happens. As the virus changes the DNA in the cell for its own purpose, part of the response of that living cell is that it reverts back to a more primitive cell structure and chemistry. The oxygen metabolizing enzyme in the cell wall reverts to a more primitive form also. This more primitive form of enzyme is vulnerable to the effect of Ionic Silver. 


Ionic Silver

Silver ions have distinctly different properties when compared to metallic silver (Colloidal). They carry a positive electrical charge, being short an electron and have the unique ability to disable the enzyme system of Bacteria, Virus, Yeasts and other harmful parasites. They are actually water-soluble and thus extremely bioactive. The only real measure of the quality of any silver product is its effectiveness or bioavailability and bioactivity. 

Optimum bioavailability is obtained from the ionic form. Put another way, you would need large doses of 'regular' Colloidal Silver to obtain similar benefits to those that Ionic Silver delivers. A single 10ml dose of 15-PPM Ionic Silver has more silver ions than the number of our body cells.


Colloidal Silver

When Colloidal Silver is manufactured, silver ions are generated as a by-product. The more silver ions there are, relative to the silver colloids, the more effective the product is. 

The silver colloids in Colloidal Silver are atoms of metallic silver clustered together, suspended in water as metal and are not water-soluble. 

As a result Colloidal Silver is inherently unstable and is prone to 'dropping out' — the colloids will drop out of suspension eventually and collect as small particles on the sides or bottom of the container. They can sometimes be seen drifting down when the bottle is inverted and held up to the light. 

This is an indication that the product is poorly made or has hit its 'use by' date. These colloids have no antibacterial or antiviral properties and are simply miniature chunks of silver that carry a negative or neutral electrical charge. 

The silver ions that are produced as a by-product of electrolysis however are the key to why some colloidal silver products do have some benefit. 

Colloidal Silver Manufacturers who understand this are now shifting from low voltage electrolysis (30 volts) to high voltage electrolysis (10,000 – 15,000 Volts) and producing predominantly Ionic Silver rather than Colloidal Silver in an attempt to increase the ion to colloid ratio and so produce a more effective product.

One way to check whether the product is made with low voltage and hence low ion content is to half fill a white china cup with the silver and observe its colour. If it has a slight greyish tint to it, or any colour at all apart from crystal clear it is an inferior colloidal product. As a further test place the cup into direct sunlight for a few hours and then see if it darkens. 

The reason it darkens is because the silver colloids are unstable and so will clump together and darken the solution, whereas silver ions cannot clump together and so the solution will always remain clear.


Multi Drug Resistant Germs

Multi Drug Resistant (M.D.R.) germs are now at near epidemic proportions through the overuse of antibiotics, responsible for an ever-growing number of ‘untreatable’ strains. 

Antibiotic resistance is quickly becoming a public health nightmare. Traditional antibiotics continue to lose their ability to kill certain strains of bacteria. To date, nearly every disease causing organism known has become resistant to at least one antibiotic, and several are immune to more than one. Scientists have known since the dawn of the antibiotic age that the more an antibiotic is used, the quicker it tends to become ineffective due to bacterial resistance.


Common Uses 

Helping around the home

Silver is an approved water sanitiser. HealthWest  Ionic Silver can be used domestically or when traveling at home or abroad by adding 50ml per litre of water. This simple process will reduce the risk of contracting debilitating gastro problems. 

Many of the tablets that are sold for water purification change the taste—HealthWest Ionic Silver will help your water to taste fresh and chemical free, the way water should be.

In the garden or greenhouse, plants will flourish when HealthWest Ionic Silver is added to the water or sprayed onto the foliage. It may also help improve the life of cut flowers if you add some to the water before putting flowers in.


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