Colloidal Silver and Gold: Philosopher's Stone or Quackery?


If you spend any sleepless nights watching late night television (are you a writer, too?), then you've probably seen those cheesy commercials offering to buy your unwanted gold. Such a concept would have been preposterous to our ancestors for a number of reasons, one of which may not be what you think. Called the elixir of life or the philosopher's stone, the belief that precious metals could heal—and even lead to immortality—was passed down and studied for centuries.

While true alchemy is done by changing the protons in base metals like lead into a precious metal such as silver or gold, colloidals are precious metals that have been dissolved into microscopic particles and suspended in liquid (usually water). Taken orally since biblical times, the alchemist Paracelsus created 'potable' gold in the 16th century (Aurum Potabile), which he believed could enhance human health in a number of ways.

Colloidal silver was especially regarded as a curative throughout the early 1900s. Because it's a natural resource, it couldn't be patented and corporations directed focus towards the new rise in proprietary antibiotics that could make more money, despite colloidal silver's effectiveness in treating hundreds of conditions. No single-celled pathogen can exist in the presence of silver, and unlike antibiotics, humans cannot build up a resistance to colloidal minerals.

While the FDA does not regulate the use of colloidal silver or gold, the products are GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) and sold in health food stores, or easily made at home with generators—usually a pair of silver or gold electrodes and a power supply. Placed in water, the electrodes are charged and the microscopic particles disperse into the water.

From the Organic Authority Files

Colloidal silver is used to treat a wide range of conditions including viral and bacterial infections, allergies, burns, skin conditions and even cancer and AIDS. Colloidal gold is thought to improve memory and cognitive function, reduce stress, decrease headaches and improve overall health.

Skeptics, however, charge that not only are colloidal products ineffective (especially against life-threatening illnesses), but they claim they can contain varying levels of silver or gold and microorganism contaminations. But proponents of colloidal minerals suggest these are mere scare tactics pushed by corporate pharmaceutical agendas.

In light of recent antibiotic resistance, a number of people are returning to colloidal minerals for improved health, and several clinical studies support their effectiveness against fighting infection.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: BullionVault

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