Health & Well-Being A-Z

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver molecule

Colloidal silver is a mineral. Colloidal silver products were once available as OTC drug products, but in 1999 the FDA ruled that they aren't safe.

Colloidal silver can kill certain germs by destroying proteins, which is why it was previously used in wound dressings. But silver has no known function in the body and is not an essential mineral. Taking silver by mouth can cause the skin to turn a permanent bluish color. It can also cause brain function problems.

Colloidal silver has been used for infections, hay fever, skin conditions, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any of its uses. There is also no good evidence to support using colloidal silver for COVID-19. It can be unsafe when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness header

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly ineffective
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the nasal cavity and sinuses (rhinosinusitis). Using a nasal spray containing colloidal silver does not work any better than saline nasal spray for reducing symptoms of sinusitis.

There is interest in using colloidal silver for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it Safe?


When taken by mouth: Colloidal silver is likely unsafe. The silver in colloidal silver gets deposited into the skin and various organs. This can lead to a permanent bluish color that first appears in the gums. Areas of the skin exposed to the sun will become increasingly discolored. It can also damage organs.

When applied to the skin: Colloidal silver is likely unsafe. The silver in colloidal silver gets deposited into the skin, which can lead to a permanent bluish color.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colloidal silver is likely unsafe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Increased silver levels during pregnancy have been linked to abnormal development of the ear, face, and neck in the baby. Colloidal silver supplements can also lead to silver accumulation in the body, which can lead to a permanent bluish skin color. Silver can also be deposited in organs and cause serious damage. Don't use colloidal silver when pregnant or breast-feeding.

Drug interactions

It is not known if Colloidal Silver interacts with any medicines. Before taking Colloidal Silver, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Herb interactions

Iodine: Colloidal silver may reduce how much iodine the body can absorb.

Food interactions

There are no known interactions with foods.


Despite safety concerns and warnings from the FDA, colloidal silver is still available in some dietary supplements and topical products. Colloidal silver products marketed for medical purposes are considered misbranded.

Other names

Argent Colloïdal, Argent Ionique, Argent Natif, Argentum Metallicum, Colloidal Silver Protein, Ionic Silver, Native Silver, Plata Coloidal, Protéine d'Argent, Silver, Silver Alginate, Silver in Suspending Agent, Silver Protein, Tetrasilver Tetroxide, Tétroxyde de Tétra-Argent.


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