Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2009 Jun;10(3):289-92.
doi: 10.1089/sur.2008.9941.

History of the Medical Use of Silver


History of the Medical Use of Silver

J Wesley Alexander. Surg Infect (Larchmt). .


Background: Silver has been used extensively throughout recorded history for a variety of medical purposes.

Methods: A review of the literature in English was undertaken, primarily using PUBMED, to identify the medical uses of silver before the clinical introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s.

Results: 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.

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

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 65 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources