Silver Throughout the Ages – A Short History and Explanation of Silver Use & Lyme Disease


Silver has been used as a means of purification and preservation for thousands of years. The use of silver for health purposes can be traced back to before Alexander the Great. Even before the “true birth of modern medicine” people found that bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms couldn’t survive in silver’s presence. 

Below is a timeline detailing how silver has been used over the last couple millennia.

Silver Use Throughout Time

Ancient Times 

In 550 BC, Cyrus (once a great king of Persia) refused to drink water that was not transported in silver containers; which kept the water fresh for years. 

Silver containers came in especially handy during ancient military conflicts where fresh water from national sources wasn’t available.

Born in 460 BC, Hippocrates, the “Father of Western Medicine” used silver to heal wounds and control infection. He promoted the use of powdered silver for the treatment of ulcers and other conditions.

In 335 BC, Alexander the Great demanded his water be kept and served in silver vessels. Silver was, and continued to be, the standard of royal health for centuries.

The Middle Ages

Silver has been used throughout time. Silver containers help keep water fresh.European royals and wealthy families stored water, wine, and food in silver containers to prevent spoilage. They also used silver utensils and dishware to eat, believing this would add to the cleanliness of their meals. On top of being a sign of wealth, silver was also a sign of health and prosperity. 

Wealthy grandparents gifted silver spoons to their newborn grandchildren, which is where the phrase, “born with a silver spoon in the mouth” is suspected of coming from. Not only does this symbolize being born into wealth, but it also symbolizes being born into a higher, cleaner way of life. 

Silverware is even believed to have protected the wealthy from the full brunt of the plague. 

During the Middle Ages, monks popularized the use of silver nitrate, a salt formed by reacting silver with nitric acid, to treat ulcers and burns. 

Chinese emperors and their courts ate with silver chopsticks, as well. 


Settlers in the Australian outback suspended silverware in their water tanks to slow down spoilage.

Pioneers trekking across the American West dropped silver coins in their drinking water to keep it safe from algae and bacteria. 

Dr. Georgia Arbuckle Fix used a silver plate in a Cranioplasty surgery. Legend has it, she pounded the thin plate out herself from a silver coin. She did this in hopes of preventing the wound from becoming infected.

The Germ Theory of Disease

In 1864, The Germ Theory of Disease was finally accepted. This theory changed the entire field of medicine. Stated simply, the Germ Theory of Disease hypothesized that microorganisms, like bacteria, virus, and fungi, cause disease. Once this was proven and accepted, scientists and medical professionals had the evidence they needed to go forward with their research. 

The uses for silver then became much more complicated and beneficial. Though not all applications of silver were known this early on, silver was thought to inhibit the growth of these disease causing microorganisms. Doctors could now push silver further, testing it’s antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral potential. Eye drops, surgeries, colloids, coatings, and more began to surface. Silver was on fire.

The Late 1800s

In the 1880s, Karl Crede, a German obstetrician found that dilute solutions of silver nitrate reduced the incidence of neonatal eye infections from 10.8% to under 2%, significantly lowering the percentage of blindness in newborns. Administering silver eye drops after birth became common practice in the United States by the early 1900s. 

Doctor William Halstead became the first Chief of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889. Among his other surgical successes, Halstead used silver wire suture for hernia repair, and found silver foil to be an effective way to control and prevent infection after surgery.

The 1900s 

Medical researcher Henry Crookes discovered in 1910 that silver had germicidal properties while in a colloidal state but was harmless to humans.

In 1928, leading scientist G.A. Krouse added silver coatings to swimming pool water filtration systems.

From 1900 to 1940, silver was the main antibiotic used in the medical world. By 1939 more than 96 different silver-based medicines were in use, including IV preparations.

Out of This World

In 1962, NASA, after conducting a study concerning the use of silver for control of microbial contamination in water supply subsystems, concluded that silver was a viable option and used silver in their water decontamination process for the Apollo space mission.

Silver Falls By the Wayside

The discovery of antibiotics replaced the popularity of silver, but most include unfortunate side effects.In 1928, at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. This discovery led to the introduction of the antibiotics we know today. By the mid 1930s, silver usage majorly declined. Much of the medical community stopped pursuing silver and turned fully toward antibiotics. Instead of discovering the true potential of silver, they left it behind in favor of their shiny new discovery. 

Unforeseen Problems With Antibiotics

This single-minded approach to medicine overlooked one major thing: the adaptation of disease. Diseases are becoming immune to antibiotics creating superbugs. These diseases have learned how to survive in the face of antibiotics and have only become stronger in the process. 

Long-term Effects of Antibiotics

Using antibiotics for an extended period of time can be more harmful than helpful. If antibiotics don’t kill an infection within the first couple of rounds, they most likely never will.

The side effects that come from taking antibiotics can be devastating and painful. Some of the side effects are worse than the infection you started taking antibiotics for in the first place. A few of the side effects that can occur from taking antibiotics are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions (both severe and mild)
  • Yeast Infections of the mouth or vagina

Antibiotics are generally the first thing doctors will prescribe for Lyme. There are those who are lucky enough to be diagnosed with Lyme quickly and get on antibiotics immediately. These individuals may be completely healed in a matter of weeks. For the unlucky, however, antibiotics don’t get rid of the infection after the first two rounds. And unfortunately, continued use of antibiotics in chronic Lyme patients has been proven to be ineffective, and even dangerous, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Any benefits that can result from antibiotics will come in the first two rounds—or not at all. 

By definition then, chronic Lyme is Lyme bacteria that antibiotics have failed to take care of. So what do we do then?

Silver Resurgence 

There is a long history of silver use, but recently scientists have been studying the modern effects of silver.

There has been a recent resurgence in the use of silver. Those who have been let down by traditional antibiotics now search for an alternative that can help. Because silver hasn’t suffered the same overuse and doesn’t behave as antibiotics do, it can be a viable option to help those whom antibiotics have failed.

Silver can also be used as a supplement to antibiotics for additional support. One study showed that taking a 200 parts per million silver weakens bacteria, making them 1000x more sensitive and vulnerable to antibiotics.

The silver we have today is more advanced than Alexander the Great could have ever dreamed. The applications are more than antibacterial—they’re life changing. Colloidal and topical silver can be used for a plethora of health issues and have been shown to support the immune system. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what silver can do for our health. 

Silver and Chronic Lyme

As you can see from the timeline, silver is a versatile and powerful tool. For those whom antibiotics have failed, silver can be an effective option.

An independent study was done with a 200 parts per million Advanced Cellular silver, attempting to find out how powerful silver can be. This silver was able to kill off every bacteria, virus, and fungi it was tested against, including Borrelia burgdorferi.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme, is a master of adaptation and comes in many forms. The three morphological forms of Lyme are, Spirochetes, Round bodies, and Biofilm Colonies. These forms are hard to tackle and often, antibiotics lack the finesse to get the job done. Silver, however, can. 

Silver operates in ways that antibiotics can’t, penetrating biofilm colonies, and attacking the elusive spirochete. Additionally, advanced cellular silver doesn’t come with the miserable side effects that antibiotics do and is safe for long-term use; making it a compelling option for chronic Lyme sufferers.

To learn more about Lyme and silver, click HERE.


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