Colloidal Silver, Blue Skin and the Lunatic Fringe
by Steve Barwick, author, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
I posted an article last week titled “Table Salt v/s Colloidal Silver: Which is More Dangerous?” in which I defended colloidal silver usage against the slew of internet charges that colloidal silver usage is “risky” or even “dangerous.”
In that article, I pointed out that many other nutritional supplements, and many other common edible substances we all have in our homes — some of which we keep right on the kitchen table — can have far more dangerous side effects than colloidal silver.
I also noted in that same article that the only major side effect of colloidal silver usage is a condition called argyria, in which the skin can turn blue (or grayish), but only if extremely excessive amounts of colloidal silver are consumed daily, over long periods of time, such as for months or years on end.
One Thing I Failed to Mention:
The Lunatic Fringe
One thing I failed to mention, however, is that there’s a growing fringe group of colloidal silver users who believe, and vociferously teach in online groups, that “you can drink all the colloidal silver you want, and it can’t turn you blue as long as it’s properly made.”
This, unfortunately, is as far from reality as one can get.
I can’t for the life of me understand why people don’t understand the fact that argyria — otherwise known as argyric skin-staining, or “blue man syndrome” — is strictly a matter of the amount of silver ingested, regularly, over long periods of time.
It doesn’t matter how well it’s made, or how poorly it’s made. The best-made colloidal silver on the face of the earth will indeed turn your skin blue, if you overdose yourself on it, regularly, for many months or years on end. And the worst-made colloidal silver might never turn your skin blue, if you take it at reasonably small dosage levels.
I’ve harped on this simple, irrefutable fact for years. But a growing body of people continue to ignore it, use colloidal silver abusively, and teach others to use it abusively, as well.
So for those of you who might have fallen for this claptrap from the lunatic fringe about being able to take all of the “well-made” colloidal silver you want, no matter how egregiously high the dosage is, the plain simple fact of the matter is that you’re courting argyria. Sooner or later, your skin will turn blue. It may take many years. But you can count on it.
Go to any argyria support group on the internet and spend a month, or so, on the site talking to the blue people. You’re attitude that “you can drink all the colloidal silver you want, and it can’t turn you blue as long as it’s properly made” will certainly change.
And please don’t think I’m turning against colloidal silver usage. I’m not. Far from it. I wrote the best-selling book of all times on colloidal silver usage, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual (547-pages).
I also wrote the recent online bestseller, Colloidal Silver and Cancer: a Surprising Look, which has recently been updated to over 190 pages, with six new chapters.
I’ve been studying, writing about, and using colloidal silver for 25 years now. And the only things blue on me are my eyes. And I was born that way. But I don’t take excessive daily amounts. And that’s why I’m still not “blue” after a quarter of a century of colloidal silver usage.
But…I’d most certainly have blue skin by now if I hadn’t learned, early on, to strictly limit my daily dosage, and only use colloidal silver in larger dosages when I really need it, for very short periods of time, such as a few days to a week or so when I’m fighting an active infection.
My earliest mentors in colloidal silver usage — circa the early 1990’s — both turned blue (well, one turned ashen gray and died, the other turned blue and moved to another country to escape the lawsuits that followed him for his bad advice on colloidal silver usage, that turned a host of other people blue).
So the people from the lunatic fringe can scream and yell all they want about how long they’ve been drinking six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen (or however many) ounces of colloidal silver a day. But I promise you, they’ll be screaming another tune when they turn blue from it.
And if you’re drinking that much, every single day, for years on end, you will turn blue, too, eventually, if you don’t put a stop to it, pronto.
It might take ten years, like it did Paul Karason (the so-called “colloidal silver blue man”) and few others. Or it might only take a few months or a few years, if your body’s mechanism for eliminating silver is sluggish. But blue (or bluish-gray) you most certainly will be.
I remember one lady who was fighting an active Lyme Disease infection. She wrote me to say she had been drinking 16 ounces a day of properly made colloidal silver, for half a year, and she had “no fear” of turning blue because she’d “done her own research” and had concluded that as long as it’s made right, you can’t end up with argyria.
I warned her otherwise, in the strongest of terms. But she persisted. Six months later she wrote me back asking me why I never told her she could turn blue, and begging me to tell her how to “get rid of the blue skin” she’d suddenly acquired.
I copied and pasted my original email warnings to her, and gently reminded her that I’d very clearly warned her about turning blue for her excessive and abusive colloidal silver usage, and that she’d told me she’d “done her own research” and had come to a different conclusion.
I then gave her the phone number to Cleveland Clinic where Dr. Alison Vidimos pioneered the technique of using specially designed lasers to help lessen the bluing of the skin (a procedure similar to laser tattoo removal). It’s expensive. It’s fairly painful. But if the argyria is not too dark, it actually works. (There’ apparently a doctor in Los Angeles who offers this treatment, too. I think his name is Dr. Steven Popkow MD.)
But I never heard from this woman again, even though I’ve emailed her to follow up on her condition.
Can’t Stand the Bullshit
Listen, I love colloidal silver. But I can’t stand the bullshit I’ve seen all over the internet, too many times now, that “you can drink all of the colloidal silver you want, as long as it’s properly made.”
Last week, on one popular colloidal silver group, some folks were actually bragging about how much colloidal silver they’re drinking daily. Some were drinking six, eight, ten, twelve, even sixteen ounces a day, compared to the normal daily nutritional supplement dosage of a teaspoonful to one ounce, depending upon one’s body weight and the ppm of the colloidal silver product being used.
The comment string was like a contest to see who was drinking the most. And everybody was saying, “Don’t worry. It can’t turn you blue, as long as it’s properly made.”
That’s total bullshit. And there’s close to 15,000 people on that group, many of whom are falling for this bullshit.
When I posted a comment on that group, explaining why these folks were courting argyric skin staining, some of them responded with thanks. But I was ridiculed by many others who insisted they’ve been drinking these egregiously high amounts of colloidal silver for months or even years on end, and have not yet turned blue.
I’ll explain in just a moment why they’ve not yet turned blue, but most certainly will, sooner or later, if they continue their excessive and abusive usage of colloidal silver.
But first, let me very quickly explain my philosophy on this matter:
If you want to live fast and loose, it’s your life. I don’t care. I’m very libertarian on this matter. I believe adults should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies. But to be duped into doing so, under the influence of blatant misinformation, is extremely sad to see. It’s a freaking tragedy. I’ve talked to too many blue people to feel differently about this. Their lives are ruined.
And many thousands of good folks on that online group are indeed being duped by the lunatic fringe who tell them they can drink all of the colloidal silver they want, and can never turn blue as long as it’s “properly made.”
Who’s At Risk?
In general, most adults who take larger-than-usual dosages of colloidal silver only on the rare occasion when they’re actually sick with a short-term infection, are fairly safe from argyria. After all, it is an extremely rare condition, and it usually takes many years of daily abusive colloidal silver usage to end up with argyric skin-staining.
As an example, I’ve taken six, eight or even ten ounces of colloidal silver in a single day, in divided doses, to help stop a nasty bout of food poisoning. But afterwards, I always take a nice long “vacation” away from colloidal silver usage, and drink plenty of fresh, pure water to help my body eliminate any excess silver particles.
Likewise, adults who only take a teaspoon to an ounce of colloidal silver per day, as a nutritional supplement, are going to be just fine.
That’s because, generally speaking, it takes a lot of silver being used daily, for a really long time, for silver to accumulate in the body to the point that the body must begin pushing it out to the skin.
So the people at the greatest risk for argyria are the ones who take excessively large dosages every single day, for months or years on end.
How Argyria Happens
It’s important to understand exactly how argyria happens. This is widely misunderstood. But I’ll keep it as simple as possible. So here goes:
Argyria results when so many excessive doses of colloidal silver have been ingested, regularly, over long periods of time (months/years on end), that the body’s mechanism for eliminating colloidal silver gets overwhelmed, and the body eventually begins storing, in the internal tissues and organs, the excess silver it was unable to eliminate.
Then, when a saturation point is reached internally, the silver-laden tissues and organs begin GRADUALLY pushing the excess silver out to the lower layer of the dermis (i.e., the skin’s lower layer), in an effort to get rid of it.
And once enough silver accumulates under the lower layer of the dermis, and gets exposed to bright sunlight (or a tanning bed) the silver particles tarnish, staining the skin a bluish or grayish color, much like a tattoo.
The fact that it takes such a long time to acquire argyria, even when drinking ungodly amounts of colloidal silver, is precisely why you hear so many people say, “I’ve been drinking eight or ten ounces of colloidal silver per day for the past five years, and I haven’t turned blue yet.”
Yes, they probably have been drinking those large amounts for five years. But the only reason they’re not blue or gray yet is because their body has been storing all of that excess silver in their internal tissues and organs.
Their body simply hasn’t yet begun pushing it out to the skin. Or, not quite enough of the stored silver has yet been pushed out to the skin to tarnish in bright sunlight and stain the skin gray or blue. But eventually, it will.
That’s because, once a saturation point has been reached internally, the body will indeed begin pushing more and more of that excess silver out to the skin. And, upon exposure to bright sunlight (or a tanning bed) it will tarnish and stain the skin blue or gray.
Sluggish Mechanism for Eliminating Silver
Another issue you have to take into account is that in some folks, the body’s mechanism for eliminating silver is very sluggish, while in other folks it’s very active or energetic.
So a person with an active or energetic mechanism for eliminating silver can go for a long time drinking excessive amounts of colloidal silver before the silver particles begin to accumulate in the tissues and organs, and are eventually pushed out to the skin.
But a person with a very sluggish mechanism for eliminating silver can’t go nearly as long.
So biological individuality certainly plays a role in who will end up with argyria, and how long they can take excessive dosages before it happens. My question is this: Why take the risk at all, by using such excessive dosages? Why not use colloidal silver responsibly instead of abusively, and still reap all of its many healing, infection-fighting benefits?
Again, I’m talking about people who take extremely high daily dosages of colloidal silver for months or years on end. Not people who, on rare occasion, might take a higher-than-usual dosage for a few days, or maybe a week or so, to help the body fight off an active infection, such as a flu, or food poisoning, or something like that. And certainly not people who take relatively small amounts of colloidal silver, daily, as a nutritional supplement.
But this is why some people who have regularly ingested excessive daily amounts of colloidal silver have turned blue in as little as two or three years, while others might take as long as ten years or so. The fact that some people process and eliminate silver better than others means some people who use colloidal silver abusively will turn blue faster, and some slower. But turn blue they eventually will.
One gentleman I corresponded with several years ago had his skin turn blue in only six months of colloidal silver usage. But that poor guy was drinking a quart a day. Why anyone would drink that much, I have no idea. It’s just courting disaster. When I asked him what could have possibly driven him drink that much colloidal silver every day, he just replied, “I don’t know. I guess I just overdid it.”
Understatement of the year!
Another Quick Example
I’ll never forget a young lady who’d been drinking 10 or 12 ounces of colloidal silver per day, for what she told me was a long-term kidney infection.
When she told me how much she’d been drinking, for four or five months on end, I asked her why she was still using colloidal silver if her kidney infection wasn’t being helped by it.
She replied that her colloidal silver usage had indeed stopped her kidney infection quite some time back, but she felt she “had to” keep drinking that much, continuously, in order to stop the infection from coming back.
That sounded like a sure case of obsession with colloidal silver, to me. So I wrote back and told her that I was worried she was going to end up with argyric skin-staining if she didn’t stop ingesting such high dosages. It’s only common sense. But she wrote back and said she’d prefer to keep taking the colloidal silver, and that it was none of my business what she did.
When I warned her, in writing, by email, that the amount of colloidal silver she was drinking was egregious, and that argyria was very real, she pooh-poohed my warning and mocked me, by email, for being so “chicken shit.” She said her skin was “perfectly white,” and that she knew her colloidal silver usage could not turn her skin blue because she was “making it right.”
So I wrote her off as another member of the lunatic fringe, and went on about my business. Again, I believe grown adults should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies, or take whatever risks they want, as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.
But then, about six months later, she wrote me again, this time really pissed off.
She was screaming mad, because summer had arrived, and she wanted a nice tan so she could go to the beach, already tanned, with her girlfriends. So she had driven to a local tanning salon and hopped onto a tanning bed. And her skin turned blue after the bright tanning lights oxidized the silver particles that had become stored under the lower layer of her skin, thanks to her long-term excessive (and obsessive) usage of colloidal silver.
She then tried to pin the blame on me, saying I should never have “recommended colloidal silver usage to her” when it was clearly so “dangerous.”
So once again, I reminded her that I had never recommended she take colloidal silver for any condition. (She later admitted that her psychiatrist was the one who had recommended it.)
And then I found my email warnings to her about the excessive dosages she was taking, and I sent copies of those emails back to her as a reminder, along with her email replies in which she’d ridiculed my warnings about the excessive dosages.
People DO the Darndest Things
There’s a very old TV show called, “People Say the Darndest Things.”
Well, there should be another TV show called “People DO the Darndest Things.” (Actually, there was a movie called Jackass: the Movie, which pretty much fits the bill.)
I’ll probably never understand why people use colloidal silver so obsessively and abusively, since it’s so freaking easy to use colloidal silver responsibly and enjoy its many powerful healing benefits without having to risk argyric skin-staining.
The bottom line is that colloidal silver usage can be fabulously helpful and healthful, if you don’t use the stuff abusively, over long periods of time.
You might already know that I sign every article I write about colloidal silver like this:
“Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver.”
And I’ve advocated that safe, sane and responsible usage, over and over and over again. I’ve done so now for 25 years.
But people prefer to listen to, and believe, the lunatic fringe colloidal silver “gurus” who say you can never turn blue “as long as your colloidal silver is properly made.”
More Reading, If You Want It
There are three articles I think every colloidal silver reader should be required to read before they ever take a drop of the stuff:
- How Much Colloidal Silver Can You Take Safely Each Day?
- Colloidal Silver Dosages: Rule-of-Thumb Guidelines for Varying Conditions Based on Experiential Accounts
- Giving Colloidal Silver to Young Children: Why It’s Important to Use Caution
Each of these articles accessed by clicking the above links. Or they can be found on the “Articles” page on The Silver Edge website. Just click on “Articles” under the “Info Library” tab in the top navigation bar, and then, once the Articles page opens up, do a keyword page search.
The first article discusses how to determine a safe dosage for long-term daily use. In other words, it’s a calculation you can use, based on your body weight and the ppm of the colloidal silver product you’re using, to determine the daily dosage experts claim you can take every day, for a lifetime, without fear of argyria.
The second article above discusses significantly larger dosages of colloidal silver used for very short periods of time when there’s an active illness or infection going on, and you want to use colloidal silver as an aid to help the body heal itself.
The third article discusses why it’s so important to use great caution when giving colloidal silver to young children.
None of these articles should be considered “prescriptive” in nature. I’m not a doctor. I don’t prescribe anything, for anyone. I’m just reporting the facts as I see them.
These are things most of the lunatic fringe “gurus” who claim colloidal silver can’t turn you blue “as long as it’s properly made” either don’t know, or won’t tell you, or are so freaking obsessed with taking excessively large amounts that they just can’t grasp what they’re doing to themselves over time.
For God’s sake, don’t you be one of them.
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
P.S. Make Colloidal Silver That’s So Good You Don’t Need Large Dosages — If you’d like to know how to make superior-quality colloidal silver that’s so bioavailable you don’t have to ingest high dosages in order to enjoy its many healing benefits, consider checking out this link. When you get there, be sure to scroll down to the subhead that reads, “You No Longer Need to Take High Concentrations” and read the information under that subhead.