A couple of decades ago, someone sent me a bottle labeled colloidal silver. When I talked with the sender he made all sorts of health claims for the stuff. After I looked it up on the internet I became leery about drinking it. Health authorities had issued warnings that it could damage the kidneys. I threw it out and haven’t thought about it until I recently heard that the New York attorney general had issued a cease-and-desist order to televangelist Jim Bakker to stop promoting colloidal silver as a coronavirus cure. You may remember Mr. Bakker and his wife Tammy Faye. Mr. Bakker served five years in prison for fraud in the early 1990s.
A surprising number of colloidal silver products are available online. All sorts of health claims are made for them but among its drawbacks, medical experts claim it can turn you blue. The FDA banned its use in over-the-counter products, but it’s still available as a dietary supplement. Enough warning exists to discourage its use and apparently once you turn blue, there’s no going back.
Nevertheless, silver is a known bactericide. The Chicago Tribune reports, “In hospitals, silver is used to help burn victims, to combat germs on catheters and even to wipe out dangerous ‘superbugs’ that have grown resistant to traditional antibiotics… Ancient civilizations used the metal to treat open wounds and American pioneers tossed silver coins into water storage barrels to keep water fresh.” With all these attributes, it certainly doesn’t hurt to handle silver. I’ve taken to carrying around a two-ounce silver coin in my pockets to ward off evil spirits. I use a coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint featuring a Canadian goose. It’s big enough to fill your hand, but it’s not too heavy. I like to handle it and even rub my hands on it. When the coronavirus fears abate, I’ll put it back in my safe.