Silver has a long history in human health care. It has been developed for use in water purification, wound care, bone prostheses, and re-constructive surgery. Silver has been proven against antibiotic-resistant germ strains, which is why silver is used as a preservative.
Our Chitosan is a natural polymer derived from mushrooms.
The silver is processed to bond to the chitosan. The biodegradable film of the chitosan is cationic (positively charged), which naturally bonds with anionic (negatively charged) human skin. The result is an effective skin protective layer that is naturally eliminated as we shed skin cells.
History Of Silver In Medicine
Silver is a natural antimicrobial and has been used for centuries to prevent the growth of bacteria without the high toxicity to humans that is normally associated with some other metals. Since ancient times silver has been highly regarded both as a versatile healing tool and a means to prevent spoilage. Around 1000 years BC, the Phoenicians kept water and wine in silver vessels to prevent them from spoiling.
The popularity of medicinal silver especially arose throughout the Middle East from 702 AD through 980 AD, where it was widely used and greatly esteemed for blood purification, heart conditions and controlling halitosis. In late medieval France, entire hospital wards were plated with silver to help protect the patients from harmful bacteria. These crude and inferior forms of silver were reported by Sala to rarely cause the bluish skin discoloration (Argyria) due to overuse.
It is widely thought that during the Middle Ages, silver utensils and goblets contributed a bluish hue to the skin tone of the upper class, resulting in the term “bluebloods”. Plausibly, “born with a silver spoon in his mouth” was coined during that time for the same reason, as an attribute for describing the good fortune of being healthy more than being wealthy. Bluebloods were noted to have been afforded a measure of protection from the rampant plagues common to Europe in those centuries.
In the early 19th century, surgeons used silver sutures to close incisions in surgeries and Americans would put a silver dollar in milk to keep it fresh. During the wars with Napoleon, the armies of Tsar Alexander used water casks lined with silver to clean drinking water from rivers and streams. This practice by the Imperial Russian army was continued through World War I and by some units in the Soviet Army in World War II. During the World War I, medics carried silver compound bandages because of their anti-bacterial properties. The silver fought off infections in wounds and helped save soldiers’ lives.
Medical Uses Of Silver
Before the discovery of synthetic antibiotics and antibacterial drugs in the early 20th century, conventional medical doctors used silver medicines to treat many serious medical conditions, including gonorrhea, tonsillitis, whooping cough and typhoid.
With the advent of antibiotic therapy, medicinal silver products fell largely into disuse (circa 1940–1945), with the notable exceptions of topical silver salves and neonatal eye drop preparations. These salves advanced the science of “silver salt-derived” Ag+ delivery and effectiveness in the mid-1960s. According to research in the mid-1970’s, “With the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, silver is re-emerging as a modern medicine because all pathogenic organisms have failed to develop an immunity to it (Ag+).”
Since about 1980 silver has been used to prevent infections in many implanted medical devices including intravascular catheters, urological catheters and vascular grafts. Very recently both Curad and Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid introduced silver-based wound-care products into the marketplace as part of a growing trend in using silver as a natural antibacterial.
Germ-Free Culture of America
Of all of the “New Worlds” – Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. – none are more culturally aware of so-called dirt and germs than the United States. Not only are they aware, many truly believe that the only good germ is a dead germ.
In the past decade, more than 700 consumer products have been introduced to market whose main or sole attribute is that they are antibacterial, antimicrobial and/or anti-fungal. Everything from toilet sprays and kitchen wipes to rubber stamps and supermarket shopping carts have been created with coverings, coatings, inclusions and infusions to kill germs.
Antibiotics are made to actually kill bacteria. Antimicrobial products are made to prevent the spread of bacteria. Many of the anti-bacteria consumer products will kill germs on contact. Since these offending creatures are microscopic, consumers can’t see what really happens.
Most people do not wash their hands long enough or at the temperature needed for the antimicrobial soap to work.
Wiping a kitchen counter with an antimicrobial wipe kills some of the bacteria or at least the weaker bacteria – leaving the strong ones to multiply. The wipe is indiscriminate, killing “good” bacteria as well as the “bad”.
And as soon as one of the kids coughs near the “dead zone” of the counter top, new bacteria are introduced. Open the kitchen door and lean a now-contaminated hand on the counter, same result.
The truth is that, unless the average homemaker was to maintain the sterile environment of an osteo operating room, there is no way to eliminate bacteria from the area. Even a sterile operating room has some bacteria present.
Yes, some microbes are bad. They make us sick. Some will even kill us. There’s a case to be made for killing them.
However, science also tells us that while we humans may be 97% water, we are also partly microbes, bacteria and fungus and these creatures, in a symbiotic relationship that has evolved over millennial, make the difference between life and death. They help digest our food, live at the base of our eyelashes (for some unknown reason) and assist in cellular interaction.
Drug-Resistant Super Bugs
Microbes are survivors. Bring on a threat and they adapt to survive. Over the past century from the first uses of penicillin to the exotic synthetic drugs of the present, the theory of the survival of the fittest (or most ready to adapt) has been proven by microbes. Today we are faced with a growing pantheon of drug resistant “super bugs”. The probable cause is overuse of microbe killing antibiotic products, speeding up the evolution of these microbes.
Of course, the germ-killing action of silver has been known for some time. The Soviets use silver ions to sterilize recycled water aboard their space stations. It kills even antibiotic-resistant strains and also works on fungus infections.
It stimulates bone-forming cells, cures the most common stubborn infections of all kinds of bacteria and stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. As a result, regeneration of whole areas of lost skin is now accomplished with the use of silver treatments.
The chitosan-silver complex exhibits great versatility in that it can be incorporated into either a water or an oil based medium with a wide range of pH tolerance. This adaptability allows utilization in personal care products from water thin sprays to thick pastes.
On the medical side it can be incorporated into a variety of bases from gels to a unique proprietary technology “petrolatum like” medium which is itself composed of GRAS list ingredients.