Herpes is an incurable sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Symptoms of infection come in the form of outbreaks which typically occur on the lips and mouth (HSV-1) or genital area (HSV-2 and also HSV-1) depending on which form of the virus one has contracted.
Some people infected with the virus may experience outbreaks on a regular basis, while others may experience only one or a few outbreaks in a lifetime.
With no definitive cure, most people direct their efforts toward finding various means of managing symptoms whether through pharmaceutical drugs, diet and lifestyle changes, or alternative medicine.
Alternative medicine covers a vast range of treatments and cures. Some treatments and cures have a long history of traditional usage, while others might be fairly new. Despite the history of any one alternative approach, not all have been studied and approved by the medical establishment.
A number of alternative approaches are still under research; and it may take years for the medical establishment to study the long term effects of any given treatment. Colloidal silver is one such treatment that currently finds itself polarized within the field of professional medical opinion. However, due to its history of usage and claimed effectiveness, it may be worth considering but with professional guidance and a healthy dose of caution.
Colloidal Silver As An Alternative Cure
Although silver has been used for thousands of years as a purifier, preservative, treatment, and cure, its first modern documentation as a bactericide took place in the late 19th century with German doctor Dr. Carl Credé.
Dr. Credé explored the use of silver nitrate in treating postnatal eye infections and preventing a number of various wound-related infections. This was followed by, Dr. William Halsted, Chief Surgeon of the John Hopkins Medical School, who undertook pioneering work in using silver to treat wound infections. By the early 20th century, silver became a common antibiotic used by many medical practitioners.
The status of silver as an antibiotic soon changed with the development of penicillin and sulfa drugs. The reason for this is that silver was very unwieldy to prepare and apply. It had a poor shelf life of 15 minutes – silver particles would not stay in suspension beyond this time frame; and treatments had to be painstakingly prepared and customized for each individual patient.
In contrast, penicillin and sulfa drugs were easier to prepare, store, measure, and apply; they were efficient and practical. To a considerable extent, penicillin and sulfa drugs also proved to be more effective than silver. The downside, however, is that over a period of years, the overuse of antibiotics paved the way for antibiotic-resistant strains. Fortunately, this has not been the case with silver, as most bacteria do not or cannot develop resistance to it.
In the 1990’s, researchers were able to develop what would be considered “true colloidal silver.” In contrast to silver-related treatments of the past, true colloidal silver has a consistent grade of purity and much longer shelf life; the preparation process became more efficient and the quality more predictable. With this development came a great deal of renewed interest in silver as an alternative medicine. As with the development of any “new” cure, there are risks that go along with the benefits.
How Colloidal Silver Helps Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
Micro-organisms, whether viruses, bacteria, or fungi – need certain enzymes to help with cellular respiration. In other words, they need to breathe. Colloidal silver does not attack microorganisms directly, but rather disables the enzymes that microorganisms need for their preservation. Colloidal silver essentially suffocates microorganisms. The ions in colloidal silver also attach directly to bacteria cell membranes, producing the same anti-respiratory effect.
Although it may not be fully understood yet, some studies have shown that a percentage of silver particles can enter bacteria DNA, preventing the unwinding process that is necessary for cellular replication. There’s also a working hypothesis that colloidal silver has the potential to bind to viral particles and either interfere with a virus’ function or its capacity to bind with human cells.
Purity And Dosage: Seek Professional Opinion To Minimize Risk
There are different types of silver solutions marketed as “colloidal silver.” As you can imagine, not all manufacturers are scrupulous with regard to purity and not all products on the market are effective. You need to be able to distinguish a true colloidal silver solution from one that is not.
For instance, ionic silver solutions are the most popular products in the market because they are the least expensive to produce. However, an ionic silver solution is not true colloidal silver. It contains a much lower percentage of silver particles and does not have the same effect as true colloidal silver. In fact, most home-use colloidal silver generators produce ionic silver solutions, not true colloidal silver.
There are also silver protein-based products that are added to gelatin that are labeled as colloidal silver. These products are the second most prevalent in the market and can be quite dangerous. Manufacturers bind silver particles to proteins to keep them in suspension. Many of these products claim to have high concentrations of colloidal silver (between 30 to 20,000 ppm) which is a tip-off that they might not be the real thing. Other indications include: foaming which persists for several minutes after shaking; and light amber to black color with concentrations of silver.
The main risk in using silver protein-based products is that you may get an irreversible skin condition called argyria, which turns your skin permanently blue-gray. Once again, this condition is irreversible and warrants a great deal of caution.
It is claimed that pure colloidal silver taken in the proper dosage will not expose you to the risk of argyria. True colloidal silver is actually hard to find in the market as the cost of producing it is very high. In true colloidal silver, colloids will contain between 50 and 80 percent particles with the balance being in silver ions. Because the concentration of ionic silver is low and the particle size being very small, true colloidal silver supposedly does not cause argyria.
If you were to attempt to do your own research as to what makes “real” colloidal silver, you would end up finding a number of sites detailing the chemical properties and conversion process of colloidal silver – information that most lay people will not be able to comprehend. For this reason, you need to consult a trusted professional. Remember, despite its history of usage, the use of colloidal silver is still an experimental field of treatment.
Should I Try Colloidal Silver To Prevent My Outbreaks?
Ultimately, this is up to you. Remember that colloidal silver as a medical treatment is still speculative. First of all, you need to consult a professional and do lots of additional research to decide if this is something you might want to try.
If you decide to move forward with this treatment, you have to be able to distinguish true colloidal silver products from those that are not (despite their marketing). Once you are able to find true colloidal silver, you have to know the proper dosage to match both your condition and physiology.
Keep in mind that there are other ways to manage your herpes outbreak with less risk; for instance, maintaining a healthy diet that is high in Lysine and low in Arginine. But if you are compelled to try colloidal silver, do so under professional guidance to minimize the risks while maximizing the potential benefits.