Staying Healthy

The History of Silver Use

The announcement that Pico Silver is going on sale will be released on May 15.

So, I thought I would write a companion article to Dr. Dean’s Monday Night Radio Show, Update on Pico Silver. Dozens of customers have asked about off-label uses for Pico Silver. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t allow us to have that conversation in any great detail. I feel a good alternative is for us to look at the History of Silver Use together. This will give you a good place to start researching how to use silver for yourself.

Silver Has Been Used Medically for Over Six Millenia

James Wesley Alexander surveyed the history of the medical use of silver, up to the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s. This is what he found:

Silver has been used for at least six millennia to prevent microbial infections. It has been effective against almost all organisms tested and has been used to treat numerous infections and noninfectious conditions, sometimes with striking success. Silver also has played an important role in the development of radiology and in improving wound healing.

Alexander’s conclusion is:

Silver was the most important antimicrobial agent available before the introduction of antibiotics.

A Summary of Historical Silver Uses

Consider these other historical uses for silver, based on the Wesley survey:

  • The Greeks used silver vessels to keep water and other liquids fresh. The writings of Herodotus, the Greek philosopher and historian, date the use of silver to before the birth of Christ. 
  • The Roman Empire stored wine in silver urns to prevent spoilage. 
  • The use of silver is mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings, including their sophisticated chemistry system for creating cosmetics and embalming products with silver and other precious metals.
  • Before the advent of modern germicides and antibiotics, it was known that disease-causing pathogens could not survive in the presence of silver. Consequently, silver was used in dishware, drinking vessels, eating utensils, and containers for cosmetics. 
  • The Chinese emperors and their courts ate with silver chopsticks. 
  • Settlers in the Australian outback suspend silverware in their water tanks to retard spoilage. 
  • Pioneers trekking across the American West found that if they placed silver or copper coins in their casks of drinking water, it kept the water safe from bacteria, algae, etc. 
  • All along the frontier, silver dollars were put in milk to keep it fresh. 
  • Silver leaf was used to combat infection in wounds sustained by troops during World War I. 
  • Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, Colloidal Silver was used widely in hospitals and has been known as a bactericide for at least 1200 years. 
  • In the early 1800s, doctors used silver sutures in surgical wounds with very successful results. 
  • In Ayurvedic medicine, silver is used in small amounts as a tonic, elixir or rejuvenative agent for patients debilitated by age or disease.

Do They Still Use Silver in Medicine?

  • Silvadine, a silver-based salve, continues to be used for burns.
  • Diluted silver nitrate is used in a baby’s eyes to protect them from infection.
  • Silver is used in water and sewage treatment.
  • Aerosol silver is used in Japan for remediating air pollution and as an anti-microbial.
  • Silver infused wound dressings are now available.


Silver historically has been used for food and water storage; making salves and cosmetics; eye drops; water and sewage treatment; aerosol applications; and wound dressings and burn healing with great affect. With this knowledge, you can continue your research and make an informed choice as to how you will use Pico Silver in the future. 

We would love to hear how you successfully use Pico Silver now and in the future. Please send an email to and let us know.