Colloidal silver is, basically, microscopic particles of silver suspended in a liquid medium which is usually taken orally. But is it effective as a natural gout remedy and, more importantly, is it safe?
Using silver as a natural remedy is nothing new: it has been used as both a disinfectant and an antiseptic dating back to the days of the Roman Empire and beyond.
Prior to the availability of antiseptics and antibiotics soldiers were known to dress their wounds with silver to help prevent infection. And silver has long been used in the traditional medicine of India, Ayurveda.
Even today silver is used in medicine: silver sulfadiazine is used in certain dressings and creams to help prevent infection in wounds and burns. It’s also used for its disinfectant and antiseptic properties in medical appliances such as catheters and breathing tubes.
Historically, colloidal silver was prescribed for a whole range of diseases and conditions, but this more or less came to an end in the 1940’s with the greater availability of antibiotics, along with increasing concerns about the negative side effects of colloidal silver.
But, since the 1990’s, colloidal silver has made something of a comeback with manufacturers and sellers claiming that it is effective in treating a whole range of diseases and conditions including gout, allergies, acne, herpes, diabetes, TB (tuberculosis), HIV / AIDS, and even some cancers.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any solid clinical evidence to support the wide-ranging medicinal claims made for colloidal silver, and certainly not for treating gout.
In fact, in 1999, the FDA in the USA banned manufacturers and sellers from promoting colloidal silver as a medicine, antibiotic, or in any way that implies that it has any medical or therapeutic value at all. As a consequence many producers and sellers now promote their products as dietary supplements to help get round this, even although the evidence for this assertion is lacking too.
In terms of gout, it’s hard to understand how colloidal silver could help in any case since, where it is used in medicine, it’s used externally for its antiseptic properties, whereas for gout we need to reduce inflammation, manage the pain, and lower and maintain healthy uric acid levels. There’s no substantive evidence that colloidal silver can do any of those things.
Possible Colloidal Silver Side Effects
If you’re considering taking colloidal silver for your gout keep in mind that colloidal silver, like anything else that you put into your body, can have some adverse side effects…
Some people are allergic to silver, so that if you’re one of those people who cannot wear silver because it causes an adverse reaction, then you definitely should stay well away from colloidal silver.
There’s also a chance that colloidal silver will react with, and limit, the effectiveness of some prescription medications such as quinolone, penicillamine, thyroxine, and tetracycline.
Another concern is that colloidal silver can accumulate in your body over time; the most common result being a permanent blue or grey tint to the skin — a condition called ‘argyria.’ And it really is permanent: the discoloration does not go away even after stopping taking the colloid.
So if you are tempted to try colloidal silver for your gout because of the plethora of marketing and advertising around you and the many anecdotal success stories you may see online, then you need to think very carefully and weigh-up unproven benefits against well documented risks. At the very least you should talk to your doctor before embarking on it.