The Disinfecting Properties of Silver

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For centuries, before the discovery of antibiotics, silver was used for its antimicrobial properties. Often silver was used to line containers for liquids such as water and milk in order to kill germs, thereby extending the shelf life of their contents. The westward-bound pioneers in the US were known to put silver dollars into casks of milk to extend its shelf life during their overland journeys.

In recent years hospitals and other medical facilities have rediscovered the use silver as a disinfectant. Silver, for example, is often infused into the bandages used to cover surgical incisions as they heal.

Unlike bleach, the actions of silver in killing microbes are more subtle, and the mechanism through which silver works its magic is still not fully understood. What has been proven however is that, of all metals, silver is the most effective metal for killing germs.

There are those who advocate the drinking of silver ions suspended in water (‘colloidal silver’) for medicinal purposes, and many who do are convinced of its effectiveness; however the medical community does not endorse this practice. Given the fact that silver destroys cell walls, and that your own body consists of cells, anyone considering ingesting colloidal silver should first research the topic carefully, understand the risks and make an informed decision.

For the modern prepper I suggest taking inspiration from our forefathers and being prepared to take advantage of silver’s antimicrobial properties to protect water, milk and other forms of liquid nourishment.

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