Colloidal Silver — Dr. Rawls’ Ratings
Efficacy: 4 stars
Safety: 3 stars
Cost: 2 out of 5 dollar signs
Ways to Administer: suspension of silver particles in a liquid, intravenous, or topical antimicrobial creams
Bottom Line: Although some studies might suggest colloidal silver has systemic benefits for infections, there are equally as many studies showing it can be toxic.


Preparations of silver have long been used in medicine topically for their antimicrobial properties — indeed, I’ve used them in my own practice. Silvadene cream is a commonly used topical medication to treat burn patients, and silver can be infused into bandages and dressings to aid in wound care and infection control.

But colloidal silver is a bit different; it consists of tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. Proponents of colloidal silver suggest that, when taken orally or used intravenously (IV), it can have immune-enhancing properties and combat a multitude of infections.


Prescription medications containing silver are effective, topical antimicrobial agents for burns and wounds with well-documented benefits. However, the problem occurs when you take colloidal silver orally or via IV. Although you may notice some systemic effects when you consume it or use it, your body can’t excrete it, so it builds up in your tissues like mercury and other metals.

Although some studies show colloidal silver has benefits as an antimicrobial agent, there is equally as much research to suggest it can be toxic to the body.


Over time, people who ingest a lot of colloidal silver may start to notice a buildup in their fingernails, skin, or elsewhere, and there are many reports that people can’t get rid of it. Furthermore, IV colloidal silver use has been associated with anemia and low white blood cell counts. Those are significant risk factors to consider before using colloidal silver.


Generally, over-the-counter colloidal silver is relatively inexpensive compared to other supplements. However, IV colloidal silver can be quite pricey and isn’t covered by insurance. Additionally, research indicates the colloidal silver products you might purchase online don’t always contain the chemical constituents stated on the labels. In my opinion, we’ve got better alternatives to consider for Lyme treatment than using colloidal silver.

Dr. Bill Rawls Treatment Guide

Dr. Bill Rawls’ Treatment Guide

Want to see more Lyme disease treatment ratings? See What Dr. Rawls has to say about popular treatments and therapies in his Lyme Disease Treatment Guide.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. Khansa I, Schoenbrunner AR, Kraft CT, Janis JE. Silver in Wound Care-Friend or Foe?: A Comprehensive Review. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2019;7(8):e2390. Published 2019 Aug 12. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000002390
2. ​​Kumar A, Goia DV. Comparative Analysis of Commercial Colloidal Silver Products. Int J Nanomedicine. 2020;15:10425-10434. Published 2020 Dec 22. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S287730
3. Natelson EA, Baker KR, Pyatt DW. Anemia and leukopenia following intravenous colloidal silver infusions-Clinical and hematological features, unique peripheral blood film appearance and effective therapy with supplemental oral copper and apheresis. Clin Case Rep. 2019;7(9):1757-1762. Published 2019 Aug 9. doi: 10.1002/ccr3.2316
4. Tran PL, Luth K, Wang J, et al. Efficacy of a silver colloidal gel against selected oral bacteria in vitro. F1000Res. 2019;8:267. Published 2019 Mar 7. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.17707.1