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Why Silver Kills Germs and Heals Wounds
The Doctors' Prescription for Healthy Living: Volume 8, Number 4
People have known for some centuries that silver kills germs, but only recently have scientists discovered how the white metal does its work. Silver can be used topically or sublingually for a wide range of common maladies, ranging from sore throat and sinus problems to cuts and bruises and mild food poisoning, not to mention more troubling serious maladies like hepatitis, Lyme disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome. One question that has eluded scientists is why silver is harmful to bacteria but doesn't hurt humans. Albert T. McManus, former Chief of Microbiology, US Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, says that silver interrupts a bacteria cell's ability to form chemical bonds essential to its survival. These bonds are integral to the cell's physical structure, so bacteria in the presence of silver essentially falls apart.
Using powerful electron microscopes, scientists at Tsinguha University in Beijing, China, can actually see silver react with bacteria. Using a common E. coli bacterium-often the culprit in food poisoning- researchers can catch silver destroy the cell wall and alter the nucleus, or center of the cell. Cells in humans and other animals have thick walls and are not disturbed by silver.
Elimination bacteria is only part of the silver's action. Silver also heals wounds, which is why it is being used on gauze bandages and hospital dressings. According to studies conducted by R.O. Becker, M.D., Upstate Medical Center, University of Syracuse, New York, silver ions turn mature cells into stem (starter) cells, which foster the rate of reconstruction of lost and damaged cells. He observed that especially when driven by a small electric current, wounds touched by silver ions produced large numbers of stem cells. No other known technique is capable of producing this effect. This procedure has been in practical clinical use over two decades and has achieved restorations ranging from replacement of finger tips, including the original fingerprint, to severe hand-palm wound, where tissue is restored to its original condition, including nerves.