Silver is a precious metal and one of the 118 chemical elements known to humanity. It is a lustrous white metal with high electrical conductivity. It is present in earth’s crust in pure form. However, it is generally obtained as a by-product while purifying excavated gold, zinc, copper, and lead.
Silver – in olden days
It is an antique metal regarded as having high cultural value among most sections of communities. In fact, during ancient times, it was considered to have mystic powers. Alchemists consider silver as a noble metal as it does not react with air even at very high temperatures, similar to gold.
The other specialty of silver is that it can form an alloy with any other chemical element. The ductility and malleability of silver are next only to gold. During olden days silver was used as coin and bullion along with gold. But later on, it has ceased to be a currency with the replacement of paper currencies.
Subsequently, it has become a metal used for manufacturing jewelry and household utensils. Because of its shining white color, it has obtained a color name. It is now widely used in chemical equipment, photography, catalysis, brazing alloys, electronics, and medicine.
Silver – used by many industries
Silver – In pharma
It is used in various medicine formulations and medical equipment. Particularly the benefits derived from colloidal silver are numerous.
- Materials to dress wounds and medicines that cure external infections contain silver as one of the ingredients. Examples are silver sulfadiazine and silver nano-materials.
- Urinary catheters and endotracheal breathing tubes are some equipment in which silver is used. It is established that the silver in them is responsible for reducing urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
- Some medicines and drugs produced for dental care, like the treatment of cavities, do include silver as an ingredient.
- Silver is also used in bone replacement surgeries.
Silver – Domestic usage
Many more uses of silver in the medical field can be observed but in normal day to day life using silver utensils for eating food and drink provide immense benefit to improve the overall health of a person. It is beneficial to people of all age’s right from childhood.
How eating in silver is beneficial can be understood by the following discussion.
Silver is a natural antibiotic. So eating food from a silver plate fights microbes and increases the performance of the immune system in the body. Antimicrobial property of silver eliminates microbes and due to this particular property food poisoning, infections of the gastrointestinal tract and infections of the urinary tract are prevented.
Foodstuff placed in silver utensils are not affected by bacteria and therefore can remain without rotting for a longer duration of time. Since silver itself is antibacterial there is no need to sterilize the utensils before using particularly when they are used for children. It not only stops bacterial growth but also prevent fungus making it a perfect utensil to serve food to children. Silver kills the microorganisms from the food placed on it.
Oxidation normally takes place with plastic plates or containers made of other metals barring gold, whereas silver does not get oxidized. Normally when hot food is placed on plates made of other material, oxidation takes place due to heat and as a consequence, some toxic material can be produced which can enter the body along with food consumed. Since silver does not undergo oxidation no toxic material can enter the body.
Cools the body
Usage of silver plate for taking food regularly keeps the body cool always and consequently protect the eyes from possible disorders. It should be noted here that majority of eye disorders are due to excess heat produced in the body which is reflected by disorders in the eyes.
Utensils made of the silver act as natural purifiers of water or milk kept in it as silver is antibacterial and antimicrobial. Moreover, silver containers keep milk, wine or other drinks and food preparations kept in it safer for a longer duration of time. It is for its preservative quality that ancestors were using silver utensils in their daily core. The sanitizing property of silver eradicates germs and keep the contents safe for consumption.
Ideal for children
It is the sanitizing and purifying properties of silver make it desirable to be used by children and babies. In addition to this silver acts as an immunity booster for children. When babies consume food from silver utensils bad breath and infections of the respiratory system are prevented. Bacterial growth in the tongue and throat area is also prevented.
Other notable benefits are
- Silver has the special property of identifying food for any poisonous content by a change in color.
- Food placed on it are preserved with same freshness for a longer duration of time when compared to other types of utensils.
- As it enters the body, silver has the potential to reactivate the damaged cells in the body and make them function actively again.
- Silver has the potential to purify foodstuff by killing the germs.
Whatever benefits listed above relate only to metallic silver but not silver compounds. Hence one should not mistake that silver in any form is beneficial to health. In fact, some forms of silver like silver fluoride are not absorbed in the system and can cause multiple health disorders like gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, paralysis and even arrest of the respiratory system.
Therefore the object of this discussion is only to emphasize the benefit of using silver utensils for eating and not using all compounds of silver indiscriminately.
Moreover, silver gets corroded when directly contacted by salt, acid, and sulfur. Hence use of common salt, acidic juices, and onion in the silver plate/utensils, is not recommended as they are likely to produce an adverse effect on the health besides spoiling the metal.
Medicines prepared with silver compounds and colloidal silver can be used strictly as per medical practitioner’s advice and not otherwise.