Whether it’s for preventing or treating colds or influenza, used on cuts, scrapes, burns, dropped in eyes for pinkeye and ears for ear infections, colloidal silver is praised as a cure-it-all by many. But not me. I’m a bit of an oddball when it comes to this one. It has never sat right with me. But recently, I went against my better judgement and bought some.
I was desperate.
My daughter developed pinkeye on the heels of my son having pinkeye. I was unprepared for this one because it had never struck our house before! Or maybe it had when my kids were younger. I reaped the benefits of breastmilk for nearly a decade while I was nursing my children or had some in the freezer in between babies. Whenever an eye looked a little off, I just dropped some in, and nothing ever got worse.
But a couple months ago, my son’s eyes quickly turned red and watery and gunky, and one of his eyelids started swelling a bit. He’s my nervous nellie when it comes to health issues, so he wanted it better fast. I got my hands on some Similasan eye drops, used some chamomile tea topically, tried an ice pack, raw cow milk from a friend, homeopathy (which is always hit or miss for me) and it didn’t quite seem to be working, so I resorted to only the second prescription he’s ever had in his 12 years of life and got him some steroid eye drops at the advice of our holistic eye doctor so that things wouldn’t get worse with the swelling. It worked.
Then a few days later, my daughter started with all the same pinkeye symptoms. In an effort to not end up with the swollen eyelid situation, I ran out and grabbed some colloidal silver and began using it on her. Then my son was sure he was getting pinkeye back, so to ease his mind, I put the colloidal silver drops in his eyes too. I’m not going to lie…I thought about using them on myself too because my eyes were itchy from all the itchy eyes around me! But I didn’t.
Just when I thought all was well with the eyeballs in our house, my daughter seemed to come down with a bit of a fever, tiredness, and decided to take a nap, which is out of character for her. When she woke up, I thought her eyelid looked a bit swollen, but this was over a week after her eyes had cleared up, so I didn’t think too much of it. Well, the next morning, she woke up with her eyelid swollen even more. So I began using the colloidal silver again, chamomile tea compresses, ice packs, and went to Facebook to ask about homeopathic remedies. I tried a couple different ones that didn’t work. Her eye got worse. And worse.
I felt so helpless.
Finally, I was getting concerned. I scheduled a virtual appointment through our insurance with a doctor. The doctor took one look at her and told me that I needed to immediately take her to the ER, which I did. $1200 later, and I am seriously wondering if that was the right move. But alas, her eye and eyesight are intact, and I got at least some reassurance that we were still “only” at the periorbital cellulitis stage and not into orbital cellulitis territory. I’ll save my rantings about the medical system for another post.
On the way home from the ER, I was able to get an appointment with a homeopath who prescribed a remedy. I told him that I was willing to give the remedy until bedtime to kick in, and that if it got any worse, I was going to use the antibiotics.
It got worse.
So I caved and started the antibiotics and updated the homeopath who told me to immediately switch to a different remedy. That was one of the most sleepless nights I’ve had since she was a baby…and she’s nine now. Between dosing the remedy and the antibiotics and her tossing and turning all night, it was rough.
But daylight came, and her eye wasn’t worse. Throughout the day, it got ever so slightly better. By the following morning, it was better yet! Praise the Lord!!! She went on to make a full recovery over the next week or so.
All done with eyes, right? Nope.
A couple days later, my son kept telling me that his eye felt like something was in it. I finally discovered that he had a weird growth growing from inside the outer corner of his eye. I asked our eye doctor who said it looked like a pyogenic granuloma and told me that they can grow pretty big. It freaked me out, so I went back to the homeopath who helped me with my daughter. (By the way, he and I both feel like homeopathy actually deserves a LOT of the credit in my daughter’s eye turning around so quickly.)
He helped my son with a remedy, and his eye is now fully healed.
So where am I going with this? I really think that for both of my children, the colloidal silver suppressed their body’s natural ability to heal, not unlike antibiotics. And because they have built up such strong constitutions, their bodies quickly tried to push it back out again, just in a more severe way than I personally would have liked!
From the reading I’ve done on homeopathy and holistic health in general, the more we suppress, the more the body will try to push it out in other ways. Sometimes this shows up quickly (like it did for my kids), and sometimes it shows up years down the road in the form of chronic illness, autoimmune conditions, skin conditions, and more.
I think the allure is that people can buy colloidal silver to treat all the things an antibiotic would, but they don’t need a prescription for it. Heck, many women make their own! But that’s where I think we go wrong.
I believe very strongly in building the body up so that it can be resilient against whatever comes its way. But colloidal silver doesn’t do that. Especially for those who take it daily, I have a couple concerns.
For starters, it’s not that dissimilar from using low levels of antibiotics in commercial animal feed to keep them from getting sick. Those daily antibiotics don’t make the animals healthier or stronger. They just (hopefully) work against any illness that might threaten them.
Second, silver interferes with copper in the body. This one is actually a bit unique because most minerals are connected to at least a couple and up to a half dozen other minerals that they directly impact. But don’t be fooled. Copper is a biggie. It is one of the hardest minerals to balance. And the symptoms related to a copper imbalance are many. They include everything from hormone imbalance to anxiety to depression to yeast or fungal or parasite issues, and so much more. I would not personally ever recommend to anyone that they take anything that would interfere with copper knowing what I know about it. That includes colloidal silver.
I am so much a fan of herbs, and herbs have kept my family out of the doctor’s office for many years. I think that the closer we get to God’s creation, the better off we are. He gave us plants for our use, and it doesn’t take fancy machines to turn them into something our bodies can use. Tea is available as soon as you carry your freshly picked plant leaves, flowers, or roots into your house and pour freshly boiled water over it. Tinctures are about as complex as it gets, and still all they use is the plant material plus glycerin or alcohol.
The very best part about herbs is that they contain many vitamins and minerals, so they’re not likely to throw any other mineral out of balance, especially for an acute need like a cold or an ear infection. Herbs have kept my kids out of the doctor’s office for nine years (when I started learning more about herbal options). They have worked INCREDIBLY well for everything from cuts, scrapes, bruises, viral infections, you name it. It’s so easy to pick up a book and start building your herbal stash one by one. My personal favorite beginner book is this one by Dr. Aviva Romm.
Now you’re probably thinking, “The herbs didn’t work for your kids’ eyes! How can you think they’re the best?” Well, the truth is that the colloidal silver didn’t work either. The homeopathy did, and I’ve continued to work with the homeopath that helped us through the eye stuff for myself. The learning curve is just so much steeper for homeopathy than it is for herbs (in my opinion), and my homeopath has always told me that it’s fine to use herbs alongside homeopathy.
So for me, it makes the most sense to learn herbs first, and then seek out homeopathy if those aren’t working for some reason. But everyone is going to have their own preference. If homeopathy makes a lot of sense for you, then by all means, use it as your first line defense! If your gut tells you to stay away from something or to move toward something else – LISTEN! If I had listened to my instincts, I may have spared my kids from enduring some pretty uncomfortable fallout. And I might have avoided some extreme stress. Of course, I also might not have. It has occurred to me that the Lord was serving me up a big ole piece of humble pie…trying to get me to recognize that *I* cannot always handle everything on my own.
I’ll never really know this side of Heaven. But what I do know is that in my house, we’ll continue to work on ways to build up our bodies and immune systems so that they’re resilient against anything that they come up against rather than utilizing colloidal silver, essential oils, or even daily use of certain herbs like oregano in an effort to kill off invaders before levels can rise high enough to make us sick.