History of the use of silver

Silver has been known to mankind for over 5 thousand years as a powerful natural antimicrobial agent. All known civilizations used silver to treat and prevent disease.

Since ancient times, mankind has used the antimicrobial properties of silver in the manufacture of household items. Thanks to its disinfecting effect, the water or milk stored in silver jugs, even in hot weather, remained fresh for a long time. The Romans kept the wine in silver dishes, the Druids used silver to store food, and the Chinese emperors ate silver sticks to preserve their health. In traditional medicine of the East, silver has traditionally been used for more than a thousand years. The first American settlers threw silver coins at it to keep milk on the road. In church ceremonies, it is no coincidence that silver goblets are used with the sacrament - this prevents the spread of infections among parishioners. In addition, the superior antibacterial properties of silver have been used for centuries in the treatment of many inflammatory diseases. Mention of its medical use can be found in the writings of the ancient Egyptians. Avicena used silver filings as a blood purifier. Paracelsus used silver nitrate as a cleansing and cauterizing treatment for wounds, a practice that continues today.

Nowadays, one of the first contributions to the medical use of silver was made by James Sims (1813–1883). Convinced of the healing properties of silver, he began to use a thin silver wire to suture wounds. Sims was the first American surgeon to achieve international fame. He toured Europe to demonstrate his successful practices. The use of silver sutures was one of his main contributions to surgery.

The next contribution was made in 1880 by Dr. Carl Crede (CarlSiegmundFranzCrede), a German obstetrician who introduced the use of a 1-2% silver nitrate solution as eye drops to prevent gonorrhea ophthalmia in newborn babies. After success, this method has been widely accepted around the world and has survived until the introduction of modern antibiotics.

The study of the disinfecting properties of silver began at the end of the 19th century, at the same time the first silver-containing medical preparations were obtained. As a result of systematic studies, it was found that silver is an effective antimicrobial agent for almost all unicellular organisms (at least for 650 species), in addition, after the discovery of viruses, antiviral activity of silver was detected.
At the beginning of the 20th century, colloidal silver preparations consisting of small particles of silver suspended in a liquid appeared on the commercial market. Such drugs were distributed as drugs registered for sale in pharmacies under the brands Collargol, Argyrol, and Protargol. Over a fifty-year period, their use has become widespread. These products have been used by doctors to treat various diseases caused by bacterial infections.

By the 40s of the last century, there were about four dozen different silver compounds that were used to prevent and treat infectious diseases.

Prior to the use of antibiotics in the 40s of the last century, silver and its compounds remained the most powerful antimicrobial drug.
Recently, the antimicrobial properties of silver have again begun to attract attention. This is due to the increase in allergic complications of antibiotic therapy, the toxic effect of antibiotics on internal organs and suppression of immunity, the occurrence of fungal infections of the respiratory tract and dysbiosis after prolonged antibiotic therapy, as well as the emergence of resistant strains of pathogens to the antibiotics used.

Colloidal silver effectively fights against cells of pathogens and at the same time does not harm mammalian cells, including humans, is an integral component of human body tissues (a large amount is found in the brain, nuclei of nerve cells, endocrine glands, iris and is a component of bones), does not create toxic compounds in the body, does not cause pathogenic changes, does not lead to addiction. The normal content of silver in the human body strengthens the heart, improves vision, helps with urological diseases, supports and stimulates the immune and nervous systems.

A lack of silver can lead to a decrease in the protective functions of the body, the development of cancer and premature aging.

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