“Natural” Parents are Harming Children with Colloidal Silver

“Natural” Parents are Harming Children with Colloidal Silver March 26, 2019

Naturally minded parents are foregoing pharmaceuticals and using an unregulated supplement to treat their children’s multitude of diseases. Colloidal Silver is a supplement marketed to treat and cure various ailments. The product contains tiny particles of silver suspended in liquid. Some of the most brazen claims made by the companies are that the products can cure cancer, HIV, and herpes.

Despite the claims of curing illness, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists colloidal silver as not safe for consumption. Additionally, silver has no known purpose in the body. There are no studies published that prove the claims made by sellers.

Even though there are no known health benefits, sellers and users promote the effectiveness of the supplement. A Facebook group dedicated to the healing benefits of colloidal silver provides a forum for individuals to share best practices, offer medical advice, and ask questions.

In the group, parents consistently inquire about uses of silver to treat children’s illnesses. While some of the ailments are minor such as a scrape or cold, others are more serious like asthma, strep throat, hypothyroidism, staph infections, and influenza.

Desperate parents seek relief for their ill and uncomfortable children, and the group members reassure them that the silver will help their child. Perhaps most distressing are parents willing to abandon needed pharmaceuticals for their children in lieu of the silver.

One grandparent of a child with persistent infections and hypothyroidism questioned the group about the possibility of using silver instead of medications. Her grandson had chronic bacterial infections which required antibiotics to treat. Tired of using the medicines, she sought a natural alternative.

Group members insisted that oral use of colloidal silver could treat the ear infections. The group assured her treatment of bacterial infections was possible with colloidal silver. Also, several urged her to consider taking her grandson off the thyroid medications.

After numerous people suggested stopping levothyroxine, she admitted that she consulted a naturopath that will work to take him off the medication. According to the “doctor,” diet and supplements can treat hypothyroidism.

Unfortunately for the grandmother, the advice by the naturopath and the group is inaccurate and potentially life-altering for her grandson. Hypothyroidism is a disease of the thyroid or pituitary gland where the thyroid does not release enough hormones to the body.

The thyroid is tasked with providing energy and affects all organs in the body. Dysfunction of the thyroid is not related to diet. Causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune disorders, thyroid cancer, nodules, and diseases of the pituitary gland.

Levothyroxine is a drug used to treat hypothyroidism and is useful in the management of the disease. Without medication, individuals are at risk for heart disease, memory loss, brain damage, depression, goiters, liver disease, and neuropathy.

By suggesting the grandmother stop levothyroxine, the group is putting the five-year-old at risk of developing serious health issues.

Another ailment parents seek help within the group is asthma. Many parents feel frustrated about having their child use steroids to treat their lung disease. Instead of using drugs, they seek to replace the drugs with colloidal silver.

The group consistently suggests using colloidal silver in a nebulizer as a breathing treatment. When one parent asked about a child, members suggested using a teaspoon of colloidal silver in a nebulizer multiple times per day.

The question posed by the woman is one of more than a dozen in the group about asthma. Frequently the response from the group is to replace pharmaceuticals with the silver.

Asthma is a life-threatening disease that causes narrowing of the airway. When asthma is not controlled, the airway can become so inflamed and narrowed that breathing becomes nearly impossible.

In 2015, the CDC reported that 3,518 people died from asthma. Most of the deaths resulted in individuals that failed to treat their disease correctly.

By parents withdrawing pharmaceuticals, they are putting the child’s life at risk. Additionally, there is evidence that inhaling silver particles into the lungs may cause inflammation and long-term damage.

A study published in The International Journal of Molecular Science concluded that inhaling silver is a health hazard. Testing performed showed the particles inflame the lungs, impact other organs of the body, and can produce long-term abnormal lung function.

By placing the colloidal silver in a nebulizer, parents are introducing metal into their child’s lungs. These metals could permanently damage their child’s lungs.

The FDA has issued multiple warning letters to vendors regarding their marketing of the product. In the letters, the FDA says that colloidal silver is not safe and effective. There is no proof the product cures or treats the diseases listed on the packaging.

Despite the risks, parents continue to use the untested product on their children. Marketed as a supplement the products do not undergo any testing for safety and may contain harmful additives. By purchasing these products, parents risk harming and potentially poisoning their children.

Facebook plays a role in the dissemination of misleading information about silver. The Facebook group “Colloidal Silver Healing” has over 14,000 members. Additionally, the group is full of naturopaths and quack providers that prey on people desperate to relieve their pain and illnesses.

When parents withhold medication from ill children, they are irresponsible, neglectful, and abusive. By refusing necessary drugs, they risk permanent health issues and in some cases death. Colloidal silver should never be used to treat any illnesses.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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  • Mark in Ohio

    The group consistently suggests using colloidal silver in a nebulizer as a breathing treatment.

    I shudder to think of this. I’m no doctor, but this sounds like something designed to induce something like “Black Lung Disease” / silicosis, or possibly worse. Silver is a reactive element, and the body doesn’t deal well with heavy metals in an elemental form. I believe that welders can have issues with nickel and manganese from welding processes, hence recent-ish increases in safety equipment requirements for welding stainless steel.

    A study published in The International Journal of Molecular Science concluded that inhaling silver is a health hazard. Testing performed showed the particles inflame the lungs, impact other organs of the body, and can produce long-term abnormal lung function.

    OK, I wasn’t crazy in my thoughts on the topic. Unfortunately, given the expense of silver and its typical uses, I doubt that there’s a ton of research on it’s impacts when vaporized / inhaled. For the most part, it wouldn’t come up in industrial hygiene studies. You might find something around those using silver solder, maybe jewelers, maybe some other soldering applications.

    I hope that something can be done to save the kid before the damage is permanent.

  • The only “benefit” of colloidal is that if you take too much of it your skin will turn blue. I’m sure there’s at least one parent out there who’d give it to their kid simply for that reason.

  • Raging Bee

    Has anyone made any attempt to trace the origins of web-pages like that one? I’m betting somewhere in Russia or some country within Russia’s sphere of influence.

  • Raging Bee

    The rejection of pharmaceuticals for asthma is particularly blatantly stupid, even without the half-baked idea of inhaling heavy metal particles. I’ve had two partners who had asthma, and I’ve seen, second-hand, how dramatically drugs to treat it have improved since 1992. My first wife went from having asthma attacks about four times a year (with almost constant coughing and congestion in between), to having them too seldom to even state an average frequency — basically almost never. Anyone who thinks they can treat asthma without pharmaceuticals such as accolate, singulair and advair, is an hysterical, childish, self-absorbed, possibly sadistic moron.

    Someone really needs to take a good hard look at where these people get their information, and how they manage to be so misled into supporting such obvious nonsensical scams.

  • Tawreos

    If they are calling it a supplement why would they say to stop taking the medicines prescribed by a doctor? A supplement should help what is already there.

  • marius arvid

    I want to give all the glory to a herbalist for changing my life by destroying the yoke of Herpes Simplex Virus from my body system with herbal roots and herbs. I have lived with Herpes Simplex Virus for three and half years now, i continued to pray to God for divine intervention for my healing because am a believer, my condition was so obvious because of the constant Fever & flu like symptoms, Tingling, burning or itching sensation in the area where blisters will appear. I started using antiviral drugs until i saw on webmd.com that a herbalist call excel specialize on curing herpes! everyone on the site were talking about his so i got connected to the herbalist, i dived at the instructions that was given to me by him and he assured me i will get rid of the virus within a month or two. I believed and had faith in him for i really needed his help. He sent me the herbal medication through ups delivery to drink and a tree root branch to chew and swallow and i used the medication for two weeks! after a month i was experiencing changes in my body system cause the whole pain, Muscle aches were gone and now i have gotten myself back through herbal means and i advice you do the same by contacting this herbalist on Email: Excelherbalcure@gmail.com or call him +1 (859) 429 1007 his website https://excelherbalcure.wixsite.com/mysite-1

  • Tawreos

    Spam bots gotta spam I guess

  • Tawreos

    Sadly, when people get desperate they will reach out for any hope they can find. I know recently the subzero temps set my knee off in a big way and in the middle of the night when the pain won’t let you sleep you find yourself wishing for anything to make it stop. I chose a couple of aspirin and a shot of whiskey to help, other people go further down the woo trail.

  • Raging Bee

    Which herbs, exactly, cured your herpes? I’m sure there’d be some papers or case studies documenting such a breakthrough…right?

  • Yes, and this is why these groups are so dangerous. Desperate people make desperate choices

  • thanks for tagging guys! I deleted!

  • I found this perhaps the most egregious of their recommendations. My son is an asthmatic that uses Advair twice daily. Advair works so well we barely deal with asthma-related symptoms. When his asthma is uncontrolled, we are at the ER all the time. It’s scary how quickly they can crash.

  • What I found most odd was these same parents have no problem giving their children a heavy metal for medicine – but then deny vaccines because they believe they contain heavy metals.

  • John Hinkle

    I have a knee problem too, and if you haven’t tried it, physical therapy really helped. I did twice a week for 6 weeks, but 3/week would’ve been better. Now if I could only get off my lazy ass and continue the exercises and stretches…

  • “suggests using colloidal silver in a nebulizer as a breathing treatment”

    That sounds like a recipe for hospitalization.

  • My head hurts just trying to process that.

  • Raging Bee

    …where the kid will finally get a treatment that works! Problem solved! /s

  • phatkhat

    I was reluctant to go there, but the steroid shot in my knee did wonders. And contrary to my imagination, it didn’t even hurt.

  • phatkhat

    Silver actually does have some antibiotic properties when used topically, but I’m not sure I’d ingest it.

  • Raging Bee

    Oh, and another thing: if you don’t treat asthma with medicine that works, the kid is more likely to have an attack, get taken to a hospital or urgent-visit clinic, and then get prescribed another Big Pharma product — prednisone. The side-effects of that shit are pretty dreadful, so even if you’re anti-Big-Pharma, you should still be willing to give your kids advair to avoid having to take prednisone.

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    And I think it’s permanent!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Gee, wiz… A facebook page FILLED with pure BS about treating medical problems is FINE with these people. But post a message about how happy your trans kid is now that family has excepted them and BAM you are told you are lying, or abusing your kid, or promoting satanism, etc etc. Go figure

  • Raging Bee

    But are all of them really that desperate? A lot of them sound just the opposite: smug, uncaring, not at all interested in dealing with real solutions, and totally eager to brush off tried and true remedies in favor of pure vanity and refusal to acknowledge any real danger to their kids.

  • otrame

    I suppose this is the new way for natural selection to work, but FFS, what is wrong with people.

  • Where do I start?

  • danjackson

    The title of this article should have been “Facebook Group Urges Parents to Stop Medications for Colloidal Silver”.
    Not “Supplements”. Whatever copywriter created the title apparently didn’t bother to read the article first.
    Sloppy work, not professional. Have them take a remedial course on writing better article titles.

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    Having suffered through 20+ years of untreated hypothyroidism (Thanks fatphobic medical professionals!) I really want break that grandma’s knees.

  • same. My son has hypothyroidism. He almost entered liver failure

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    Hypothyroidism isn’t the sole reason for my depression, but it sure as hell didn’t help.

    Having suicidal thoughts for 20+ years wasn’t all that much fun.

    The thyroid antibody test should be standard for any blood work. Same as ferritin.

    My dad has hemochromatosis. Which is hereditary. They caught it by accident when he had a stroke* a few years ago.

    Being AFAB and pre menopausal is some protection, but not absolute. My dad’s physician lost two patients to hemochromatosis. One of them a 20 year old woman. So he routinely tests all his patients for it and tells them to get their relatives tested.

    *The heart defect that was the root cause for the stroke is about the ONLY congenital health problem my parents have that I DIDN’T get. Small mercies.

  • kenofken

    It most definitely is. If anyone wants to see what it looks like in its severe form, look up Paul Karason. He was so blue he came to be known as “Papa Smurf”. It was striking. He could have passed for some sort of Star Trek alien with no makeup.

  • kenofken

    The wing nut alternative health movement has a lot of crossover with Christian fundamentalism. Of course they don’t come close to holding a monopoly on woo.

  • Carra McClelland

    I know I have mentioned this before, but I have lost a friend to this CS bullshit. She had lung cancer and decided to abandon her course of treatment and take CS instead. Her health plummeted and she dies within a couple of months. I have little patience for this BS, it kills.

  • Katherine A.

    Colloidal Silver cause argyria. A condition that turns people either various shades of blue or gray. A woman named Rosemary Jacobs was born 1942, was prescribed nose drops that contained silver at 11 years old. When She was 14, she turned slate-gray. She had dermabrasion in the 70s but she still looks gray but less gray. She is stuck looking gray permanently even though she is less gray. She has been is an activist against alternative medicine and fought against the sale of colloidal silver.

    A link to argyria wiki- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyria
    A link to Rosemary’s site- https://rosemaryjacobs.com/rose3.html

  • frostysnowman

    Jim Bakker hawks this stuff on his show all the time. CS and prayer heals all. (eye roll)

  • kilda

    nebulizing this stuff into the lungs sounds incredibly unsafe. completely aside from the very real risk of turning your child permanently blue.

  • WallofSleep

    Not a desirable side effect when your kid has serious breathing problems. Can’t see them turning blue from lack of oxygen when they’re blue all the damn time.

  • WallofSleep

    “The group consistently suggests using colloidal silver in a nebulizer as a breathing treatment.”


  • persephone

    Neosporin causes horrible blistering when I use it so I’ve had to buy the topical silver ointments. They work, just not as well or as fast.

  • Raging Bee

    Didn’t that crowd used to think heavy metals caused autism, and that chelation was an appropriate remedy? Now they want us to ingest silver as a “natural” cure-all?

  • Katie Joy

    that is not the same as colloidal silver

  • Brian Curtis

    It used to be the case that peddlers of phony cures were punishable by law. Now they have Facebook groups.