“Ask the Lactation Consultant”

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Dear Debbi,

I hope this information helps others as much as it has helped me.

I just returned from a trip to France, and found myself beginning a new round of mastitis on the plane. I was pretty sick by the time I got home and my mastitis was beginning to advance. I did not have any antibiotics with me, so I was unable to get to any until a couple of days later. By then, I was very, very ill, and the antibiotics were not helping at all. I think I have had them so many times in the last several months, it doesn’t work any more. My dad showed up unexpectedly with a “new” thing he came across in his experiments with alternative medicine.

The product he brought to me was called “Colloidal Silver” in a suspension of purified water. It is reported that it has the ability to destroy over 650 different kinds of bacteria and viruses. Yes, six hundred and fifty. I didn’t believe it myself.

Being a skeptic, I drank the glass of silver water very slowly, trying to taste any strange aftertaste, etc. It is tasteless, colorless, and odorless. I read the documentation he supplied me with, and figured that since it was derived of 99.999% pure silver, and since it had been reported to have so many advantages, I would try it.

By the next morning, my mastitis was completely gone. My 104 degree fever was gone. My breast was no longer red or swollen. My baby had not been nursing well at all during this bout of mastitis; I had to use hot compresses in order to get even one drop of milk from my right breast. But by the next morning my milk was free flowing, and I felt great.

Also, my baby was exposed to Chicken Pox when my 2 yr. old had a few weeks ago. I gave him an ounce a day of the silver water, and so far, he has not contracted the Chicken pox. My pediatrician said that if he hasn’t come down with it by now, he probably won’t. Some attribute it to breastfeeding, but I’m not too sure.

Anyhow. This is my suggestion. I know you can get this colloidal silver at almost any good health food store, and they should have more information about it than I can include in this message. I did a search in Yahoo and found several (over 13,000) sites with information about colloidal silver water, so you may want to check it out.

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you think of this. I am determined to breastfeed Benjamin as long as possible. I quit at four months with my other son.


The Lactation Consultant Answers:

Dear Jeana,

It is very interesting for me to receive your letter in regard to colloidal silver for recurrent mastitis. I recently learned of it’s existence when it was “prescribed” by a physician for a friend who had tonsillitis. She had very positive results within a week.

Since I was unfamiliar with colloidal silver, I looked around the Internet and found some interesting things. Silver has been used throughout history to treat various ailments and to help preserve foods. It was widely used about 60 years ago, prior to the use of antibiotics. According to the literature, colloidal silver is a natural substance that is made up of sub-microscopic clusters of silver which are held in a suspension of ionized water. It is a powerful, natural antibiotic, that is non-toxic and has no side effects. It is noted that UCLA Medical Labs have tested colloidal silver, and it killed every virus they tested.

The literature from the manufacturer says safe for use during pregnancy and lactation. I would feel more comfortable if I could see a study regarding its safety during this period of time. I do not know whether or not it is excreted into breastmilk, and if it is, to what degree.

One article I accessed from Medline, “Silver products for medical indications-risk benefit assessment” in J Toxicol Clin Toxicol, Vol 34, 1996, said indiscriminate use can lead to toxicity. (I’m unsure of their definition of indiscriminate use.)

I am glad to hear that colloidal silver worked so well in helping you treat your recurrent mastitis. Thank you for sharing your experience.


Answer courtesy of Debbi Donovan, IBCLC.

Debbi is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice. She has been certified since 1992. Prior to that she was a member of La Leche League since 1980, becoming a LLL Leader in 1991. She has counseled women planning VBACs and has attended births as a professional labor assistant for the past 13 years. She is previous president and founder of her local chapter of the Cesarean Prevention Movement (ICAN). Debbi lives near Orlando, FL with her husband of 21 years and her 3 children, ages 16, 13 and 7. She is available for private consultation in the Orlando area or nationally by phone or e-mail. Please contact her at [email protected] for information on private consultations.

Please note:
The Lactation Consultant’s answers are meant to inform visitors to about a particular issue or answer a general question related to breastfeeding. If you are worried about your own health or the health of your newborn or child, we recommend that you contact your local health-care provider. and Debbi Donovan present this data as is, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, and are not liable for its accuracy nor for any loss or damage caused by a user’s reliance on this information.

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