Hi, Steve Barwick here, for TheSilverEdge.com…
Several readers have drawn my attention to an article on the internet titled "Why I Never Swallow Colloidal Silver," written by a lady who calls herself "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist."
Basically, her contention is that while colloidal silver is admittedly a good natural antimicrobial substance, she would never swallow the stuff because…
a.) it's a heavy metal,
b.) it accumulates in the body, and
c.) it destroys the body's beneficial intestinal micro-flora, meaning the good bacteria our bodies depend upon for digestion, assimilation, enzyme production and much more.
Now over the course of my nearly 20 years' worth of daily colloidal silver usage, I've heard each of these claims against colloidal silver over and over again, ad nauseum. And I've refuted them enough times already that nowadays I just ignore them. After all, everybody's got a right to their own opinion.
But this lady quoted me as an authority, to back up her main claim that silver destroys the beneficial micro-flora in the human body. And she claims this is her #1 reason for never swallowing a drop of colloidal silver.
So since she quoted me as an authority, I feel it necessary to clarify my opinion on this matter. And in the process, I'll also discuss her anti-colloidal silver claims, one-by-one. You can read her sensationalistic, sky-is-falling article here, first, if you'd like.
Debunking the Claims
The first claim made by "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" is that silver is a "heavy metal that accumulates in the body over time," and that it's the same as lead, cadmium and aluminum.
That's actually a two-part claim, i.e., first, that silver is a heavy metal, and second, that it accumulates in the human body. So let's look more closely at the two parts of this claim.
The first part of her claim is absolutely untrue. Silver is not a "heavy metal." It's a NOBLE metal, like platinum, gold and copper. It always has been. And it always will be.
As stated in the April 2010 issue of Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance:
"Noble metals such as copper, gold, and silver have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity.
For example, silver has several effects on microorganisms, including impeding the electron transport system and preventing DNA replication...
…In previous studies, silver has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against a broad range of fungi, viruses, and bacteria."
It's a common misconception that silver is a "heavy metal." But it's been refuted enough times that people who continue to make this claim should know better by now.
Finally, if silver were a heavy metal, would surgeons use it in implants to help prevent infectious microorganisms from colonizing the implant? Of course not.
Yet silver is now one of the most commonly used metals on implants, thanks to its well-known lack of toxicity, it's long-term safety record, and of course its powerful infection fighting capabilities.
According to this website, silver is used now in numerous implant technologies, including:
So the idea that silver is a "heavy metal" is ludicrous at best.
After making the blunder of calling colloidal silver a "heavy metal," "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" then tries to link colloidal silver to heavy metal toxicity by quoting from a book on how to avoid toxic metals.
But silver intake has never been related to toxicity. Indeed, people in India eat silver by the ton – over 300 tons every single year – as part of their cultural tradition of wrapping candies in thinly beaten pure silver foil and eating the candy foil and all.
And silver toxicity has never been reported from this practice in the hundreds of years the Indians have carried on their silver-eating tradition. (See "Is Silver a Toxic Heavy Metal?" for more information).
As a recent white paper published in the journal,Food Additives and Contaminants points out:
"A recent paper by Das et al. provides the remarkable datum that some 275,000 kg [300 tons – ED] of edible metallic silver foil are consumed every year (in food) in India.
No known adverse health effects have ever been recorded. This epidemiological evidence that silver as a metal is not toxic in any way needs no further comment.
Further support for the obvious safety of consuming metallic silver (Ag0) is in the worldwide consumption of (so called) silver colloids, often made at home in primitive electrochemical cells by probably some millions of citizens, again with no ill effects."
– Das, M. Dixit, S. Khanna, S. K., Food Additives and Contaminants
So the entire idea that silver is a toxic heavy metal is also ludicrous at face value. If it were, virtually the entire population of India – men, women and children alike – would suffer from heavy metal toxicity and its very serious consequences.
A Glaring Half-Truth
The second part of this lady's claim is, at best, ahalf-truth. She says colloidal silver "accumulates in the body."
Well, it's true. Silver does accumulate in the body. But only if excessive amounts of silver are ingested on a regular basis over long periods of time so that the body's normal mechanism for eliminating silver becomes overwhelmed.
As long as common sense dosages are used ("moderation in all things" as your mother likely told you) the body's mechanism for eliminating silver is extremely effective.
As stated in a position paper on silver by the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program, over 99% of ingested silver is excreted by the body:
"Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet.
Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.
Is silver harmful to humans?
Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury,silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects."
And as Dr. Alan Lansdown, Britain's foremost expert on silver has pointed out on many occasions, the idea that silver intake results in cumulative toxicity in the human body is simply and decidedly untrue:
"Contrary to statements that all forms of silver are cumulative once they enter body tissues and that very little is excreted, silver is actively metabolized in the human body and a large part eliminated eventually via the liver, urine and hair...
…there is very little substantive evidence that silver acts either as a cumulative poison in the human body like lead and mercury, or that it reaches toxic levels in any tissue..."
– "Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use," by Alan B. G. Lansdown, pg. 45, 59, 60
Lansdown points out in another section of his book that silver does "accumulate preferentially in the basement membrane region of the dermis" (i.e., the inner layer of the two main layers that make up the skin).
Anyone who's in the least bit familiar with colloidal silver usage knows that. It's a form of skin-staining called argyria.
But once again, argyria happens only when excessive dosages of colloidal silver are taken for long periods of time.
If the body's normal channels of elimination for silver are overwhelmed by excessive silver usage, the body will gradually send the silver out to the skin where it tarnishes upon exposure to light, and stains the skin a bluish-gray color.
I've harped on this fact over and over and over andover again in previous articles. And I've always urged colloidal silver users to exercise moderation and common sense in their oral colloidal silver intake in order to prevent even the slightest chance of argyria.
In this regard, however, it's important to note that in the recent double-blind colloidal silver human ingestion study conducted last year at the University of Utah, no signs of silver accumulation were found.
Indeed, the human subjects were given normal daily amounts of colloidal silver for up to half a month before being extensively tested using some of the most sophisticated clinical equipment available.
And the clinical researchers found no signs of silver accumulation (i.e., argyria) whatsoever, nor any signs of any kind of harm whatsoever, from daily ingestion of normal amounts of colloidal silver.
That's important, because it demonstrates that normal daily usage of colloidal silver is generally extremely safe and does not result in argyria or cause any other harm.
Does Silver Harm
Beneficial Digestive Bacteria?
Finally, "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" states that the "biggest reason" of all to avoid ingesting colloidal silver is that it can "can decimate beneficial bacteria in the gut."
Once again, that's a half truth. It can certainly decimate beneficial bacteria in the gut if excessive amounts are used. This is also something I've pointed out many times in the past.
But normal daily levels of colloidal silver have neverbeen demonstrated to "decimate beneficial bacteria." Indeed, there's not a single clinical study demonstrating such harm from normal colloidal silver usage.
And experts believe that's because most colloidal silver is absorbed from the stomach directly into the bloodstream and then sent to other parts of the body, thereby bypassing the intestinal tract where the greatest number of our body's beneficial microbes reside – up to an astonishing seven pounds worth.
Nevertheless, "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" goes on to quote me as saying the following in a blog post I wrote about colloidal silver and beneficial microbes:
"But the truth is, colloidal silver does indeed act as a broad spectrum natural antibiotic. As such, if enough mineral silver reaches the intestinal tract it most certainly can kill off the friendly (i.e., beneficial) bacteria that thrive there.
Colloidal silver simply has no way of knowing a beneficial microbe from an infectious microbe. If the microbe is sensitive to silver, then silver will kill it whether it is a beneficial microbe or an infectious one."
And that's certainly true. But read it again. What I actually stated was "...IF ENOUGH MINERAL SILVER REACHES THE INTESTINAL TRACT..."
Yes, then, and only then, could ingestion of colloidal silver potentially result in some of the beneficial microbes in the intestinal tract being harmed.
But because colloidal silver is absorbed largely in the stomach and then sent into the blood stream, it mostly bypasses the intestinal tract where most beneficial digestive microbes reside.
Indeed, very little colloidal silver makes it into the intestines. But even if a full dose were to make it into the intestinal tract, it would not be enough to cause any significant harm to the body's astonishingly large populations of beneficial digestive microbes.
What "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" failedto quote me as saying, from the same blog post, is this:
"However, taking small daily doses of colloidal silver is not as problematic in this regard as you might think. That's because there are anywhere from three to seven pounds of beneficial microorganisms populating the entirety of the intestinal tract at any point in time.
So if you are taking a small daily maintenance dose of colloidal silver – which most researchers put at about one tablespoon to one ounce a day of 5 ppm to 10 ppm in strength – you will not kill off very many of the friendly 'gut bugs' that line the intestinal tract."
Furthermore, two years ago I updated that older blog post with a newer blog post in which I state:
"...the average human body has about seven pounds of beneficial microorganisms in the colon and spread throughout the large and small intestines.
You're simply not going to kill off seven pounds of beneficial bacteria with an ounce of colloidal silver.
And since the friendly little critters are very prolific at reproducing (they don't call them "friendly" microorganisms for nothing!), any die-off is probably replaced through reproduction with new 'friendlies' before the day is over, particularly if you eat a good, balanced diet."
So "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" used the quote from my original blog post out-of-context. And she failed to quote from my follow-up blog post in which I further clarified my position.
In my opinion, this is disingenuous of her in the least, if not outright deceptive.
"Zero Risk" Natural Antibiotics?
"Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" then goes on to state that rather than using colloidal silver for internal infections, people should instead use only "natural plant based antibiotics such as garlic, turmeric, cayenne, oregano oil etc."
She further claims these recommended natural plant-based antimicrobials harbor "zero risk."
Really? Zero risk? How in the world can that be? Can she show me a single study demonstrating, for example, that oregano oil – which she heartily recommends – cannot kill friendly bacteria, or cause other harm in the body?
Quite the contrary. Livestrong.com says the following: "There is no evidence to show that oil of oregano can discriminate between harmful bacteria and healthy probiotic bacteria in your body. As with antibiotics, this natural plant oil can lower your levels of good bacteria..."
What's more, it's well known that both cayenne pepper and oregano oil – which "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" claims are "zero risk" natural antimicrobial substances – can cause liver or kidney damage when used in excess over long periods of time.
Additionally, according to WebMD.com, antimicrobial turmeric can "make gallbladder problems worse," and "might slow blood clotting."
Even garlic – a phenomenal natural antimicrobial substance – "may increase the risk of bleeding problems" and is contraindicated for anyone with "bleeding/clotting problems, stomach/abdominal problems (e.g., gut infections or inflammatory bowel disease)."
Now you and I both know that all of these substances are relatively safe when taken in moderation and used with common sense. Indeed, just like silver, these natural substances have been used by various cultures for hundreds or even thousands of years without any kind of harm whatsoever.
Nevertheless, just like silver, these natural substances all have inherent risks associated with them if they're used to excess.
And any one of the plant-based antimicrobial substances touted as "zero risk" by "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" can kill off at least some of the beneficial bacteria in your colon and intestines.
But once again, I must emphasize that as with colloidal silver, this is true ONLY if overly-large amounts of the substance reaches the colon and intestines after ingestion.
So plant-based natural antimicrobials are no different than colloidal silver in terms of their ability to kill off beneficial microbes in the intestinal tract.
Here's the key to the whole dilemma:
You'd have to take astonishingly large amounts of any of these natural substances – whether a mineral-based antimicrobial substance like colloidal silver, or a plant-based antimicrobial substance like garlic, turmeric, oregano oil, etc. – in order to to get enough of it to coat your entire colon, plus 28 feet worth of small intestine and large intestine where the vast majority of the beneficial microbes in your body live.
And even then, it's not like you could kill off all seven POUNDS worth of the beneficial microbes so densely lining the 28 feet of your large and small intestines. That's just plain ludicrous.
A Teeming Metropolis
You see, your intestinal tract is like a teeming metropolis of beneficial microbes. Indeed, it contains more beneficial microbes than your body has cells. Literally trillions and trillions of them.
Think about that. This astonishing number of beneficial microbes densely lines the entire 28 feet or so of your large and small intestines. There's not a centimeter of space in your intestines, in fact, that isn't densely colonized by billions of these beneficial microbes.
So it's VERY difficult for natural infection-fighting mineral substances like colloidal silver, or even plant-based infection-fighting substances, to kill off a large enough number of your body's beneficial microbes to make a whit of difference…
…UNLESS you were using egregiously excessive amounts of the substance, regularly, over long periods of time.
Then, the CUMULATIVE effect of such ongoing substance abuse could indeed put a significant and potentially harmful dent into your intestinal flora. That goes for any natural infection-fighting substance – not just colloidal silver.
So, all in all, I find the article written by "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" disingenuous at best. Indeed, not one of the plant-based natural antimicrobial substances she recommends as a "zero risk" substitute for colloidal silver is without its own inherent risks.
So in my humble opinion, the lady's argument against colloidal silver usage is the proverbial "much ado about nothing."
There's no natural antimicrobial substance on the face of the earth that doesn't have some inherent risk at some level of consumption. But history demonstrates that normal, common-sense usage of these substances – including silver – is generally extremely safe.
The Coming "Antibiotic Winter"
Finally, "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" quotes Dr. Martin Blaser, M.D. – the leading proponent of the so-called "antibiotic winter" theory, who basically claims overuse of antibiotics has reduced man's natural immunity to infectious diseases by reducing the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the human intestinal tract.
She quotes him as saying, "Early evidence from my lab and others hints that, sometimes, our friendly flora never fully recover. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people's bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease."
Please note the words "hints," "sometimes" and "may", etc., which I've underlined above.
Those are called "weasel words." They're used when the writer wants to leave a powerful perception in the reader's mind that may or may not be true. In other words, there's no decisive proof of his contention. It's largely conjecture, based upon what he refers to as the "early evidence."
Now, with that said, I happen to agree with the good doctor's opinion.
It's indeed quite possible that loss of extensive numbers of one's beneficial digestive micro-flora could become permanent, depending upon the circumstances, particularly if a person were undergoing long-term treatment with prescription antibiotic drugs.
And such a situation could easily result in serious ill-health consequences over time.
And that's exactly what Dr. Blaser happens to be talking about, i.e., the potential damage to the body's beneficial microbes caused by excessive PRESCRIPTION ANTIBIOTIC DRUG USAGE.
He was not in any way, shape or form referring to colloidal silver usage, or to the usage of any other natural antimicrobial substance.
You can see his book on this topic, called "Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues," at this link on Amazon.com.
So in my opinion, "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" used the good doctor's quote completely out-of-context in her article. Or perhaps better stated, she placed it into a context that was never meant to be used in by Dr. Blaser.
Indeed, reading her article, you'd never know she was quoting a doctor who was talking solely about overuse of prescription antibiotic drugs, because she conveniently left that out.
Instead, she left the distinct but incorrectimpression that he was talking about the subject of her article, i.e., colloidal silver usage.
Again, the use of natural antimicrobial substances (including mineral silver) cannot be compared – in an "apples to apples" way – to the use of synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs.
As I pointed out earlier, natural mineral antimicrobial substances like colloidal silver, and plant-based antimicrobial substances as well, are treated by the body as nutrition, whereas synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs are not.
Because of that, these natural substances are mostly absorbed in the stomach and sent into the bloodstream to be carried to other parts of the body, thereby largely bypassing the intestinal tract where the vast majority of one's beneficial intestinal microbes reside.
But synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs are not accepted by the body as "nutrition." And because of the way they're processed by the body, they affect the whole body at once, and are widely known to kill off both good and bad bacteria at the same time.
An Interesting Admission
By the way, Dr. Blaser also admits that most beneficial bacteria are extremely prolific reproducers, which has been one of my points all along.
How prolific? In an article at CNN.com, he says as few as 50 beneficial bacterial cells can explode to over a billion in a week. Indeed, Dr. Blaser admits that even the smallest population of beneficial microbes can double every 12 to 20 minutes, multiplying by a million percent or more.
So when natural antimicrobial substances – including a mineral like colloidal silver or a plant-based substance like garlic – are ingested in moderation, any small die-off of beneficial microbes that might occur is rapidly made up for.
Even if ALL of a natural antimicrobial substance one ingested made it into the intestinal tract, there's no way it's going to kill off enough beneficial microbes to prevent re-population, unless astonishingly egregious amounts of the natural antimicrobial substance were eaten.
If it were otherwise, then entire human cultures like the Italians who eat fairly large amounts of antibacterial garlic every single day in their food, would have no beneficial microbes whatsoever left in their intestinal tracts.
Nor would people like those of India who ingest large amounts of antibacterial turmeric spice in their foods on a daily basis, and who eat large amounts of mineral silver, as well, in their traditional dessert candies.
If these natural antimicrobial substances were treated by the body in the exact same way as synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs, these various cultures would be expected to have decimated their body's populations of beneficial microbes by now. And as a result, they'd be suffering serious disease consequences, based on Dr. Blaser's theories.
Yet, to the contrary, the elderly turmeric-eaters of India, for example, have the world's lowest rate of Alzheimer's disease. And the Mediterranean diet so heartily embraced by the garlic-eating Italians is well-known to prevent heart and circulatory disease.
Similarly, the silver-eating Indian culture – which, as I mentioned earlier, consumes hundreds of tonsworth of silver foil every year – also show no sign of having lower levels of beneficial digestive bacteria nor higher levels of disease.
Indeed, these cultures are often considered healthier than our own, simply because of the health-providing benefits of their diets that are often rich in these natural antimicrobial substances.
It's the prescription antibiotic drug culture of modern societies that run the risk of destroying their body's beneficial micro-flora, and as a result tend to suffer from weaker bodies and lowered immunity. And that's what Dr. Blaser was talking about. Notcolloidal silver usage.
Indeed, I firmly believe most people would dramatically slash their risk of destroying large portions of their body's beneficial microbes if they'd simply quit turning to prescription antibiotic drugs every time they get a sore throat or earache or cold, and instead use a safe, natural antimicrobial substance like colloidal silver or even some plant-based antimicrobial substance.
Bad Assumptions…False Claims
So to sum up, in my view, the article written by "Sarah The Healthy Home Economist" which claims oral ingestion of colloidal silver is inherently dangerous, makes a lot of bad assumptions, and misses a lot of important points.
The author makes false claims about silver being a "heavy metal"…tries to associate silver with toxic substances…utilizes a number of half-truths…quotes experts out-of-context…and even makes decidedly false claims (i.e., the "zero risk" claim about her recommended herbal substitutes for colloidal silver).
So the advice in her article is not advice I'd personally take to heart. And based on her article, she's not necessarily a person I'd listen to for healthy lifestyle advice.
Using a Probiotic Supplement
And by the way, I've always recommended that anytime a person has taken larger-than-normal amounts of any natural antimicrobial substance -- including colloidal silver, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, turmeric, oregano oil and others – that person should, out of an abundance of caution, supplement with probiotics (i.e., beneficial microorganisms such as lactobacillus and others).
In my humble opinion, it's preferable under such circumstances that people take a good, high-quality probiotic supplement consisting of a "grid" of different beneficial microbes such as that found in products like Flora Source or GR8dophilus by NOW Foods, or a number of others you can find on the internet or at your local health food store.
Or, for a good week or two after taking a larger-than-normal course of a natural antimicrobial substance like colloidal silver, garlic, oregano oil, etc., one could eat daily portions of probiotic foods known to be teaming with beneficial microbes, such as yogurt or kefir.
And that advice goes double if a person has been on any course of prescription antibiotic drugs.
The doomsday "antibiotic winter" scenario spelled out by Dr. Blaser is, by his own admission, largely due to people indiscriminately takingmultiplecourses of powerful prescription antibiotic drugs over long periods of time without doing anything to help replenish their body's natural supply of beneficial microbes.
Because synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs are not utilized by the body as "nutrition" (as a mineral or as a plant-based antimicrobial substance would be) they do have the potential ability to wreak major havoc on the body's intestinal populations of beneficial digestive microflora.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that use of naturalantimicrobial substances like colloidal silver and others, used in place of prescription antibiotic drugs, does more to contribute to keeping the body's beneficial microbial populations intact than they've ever done to harm such populations.
Think about it. If more people would turn to a natural substance rather than a prescription antibiotic drug every time they had a sniffle, cold, ear ache or sore throat, the risk of decimating entire populations of the body's beneficial microbes would dramatically diminish.
The prescription antibiotic drugs are the serious offenders, because they're not utilized by the body as nutrition, but instead kill microbes – good and bad alike – rapidly and indiscriminately throughout the entire body.
One Last But Very Important Point
All of that said, I strongly urge you to read my previous article "Colloidal Silver and the Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug Swindle," if you want to understand the real problem causing today's rise in antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and by extension, thereal problem causing the normal populations of beneficial microbes in people's intestines to be artificially lowered.
The real problem is with the tons upon tons of prescription antibiotic drugs that are being fed to cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken, turkeys and other food animals while they're being raised.
These prescription drugs are being fed to the animals not for legitimate health or medical purposes (i.e., not to fight infections), but instead because it was discovered that antibiotic drugs cause food animals to fatten up quicker so they can be brought to market sooner.
Getting the meat to market quicker increases the profits of Big Agriculture by tens of billions of dollars per year, worldwide.
The problem is that every single day when you eat meat, you're also ingesting small quantities of these antibiotic drugs the animals have been pumped full of on a regular basis during the entire course of their lives.
And it's those small quantities of antibiotic drugs, being ingested by you and every member of your family every time you eat a hamburger, or a steak, or a hot dog, or have chicken or turkey or pork chops or veal, etc., that are causing the problems with declining intestinal flora levels.
Over 13 million tons (yes, that's 13 million tons) per year of antibiotic drugs are being pumped into cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys and other food animals before they're sold to us to eat. That's 80% of all antibiotics manufactured!
And ingesting these constant low levels of antibiotic drugs in meat cause our crucial, beneficial intestinal microflora to be slowly killed off.
What's more, it also causes any of the hardier pathogens in our bodies, which would normally be kept in check by our beneficial microbes, to become resistant to the antibiotic drugs, thus causing the current epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
As I stated in my above-linked article, "Colloidal Silver and the Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug Swindle":
"…the low-dose antibiotics we're ingesting through our breakfast, lunch and dinner meats slowly kill off the good bacteria (i.e., probiotics) our digestion depends upon, leaving a huge void for the antibiotic-resistant pathogens to step in and fill, which of course, they do."
I go on to state, "The situation has gotten so out-of-hand that the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association have all warned about it, explaining that 'the routine use of antibiotics in food animals presents a serious and growing threat to human health.'"
So the real problem is not colloidal silver usage, nor the usage of any other natural antimicrobial substance. And frankly, it's not even the prescription of antibiotic drugs a person might take once or twice a year when he or she has a nasty sore throat or other bacterial infection.
Instead, it's that constant drip, drip, drip of low-dose prescription antibiotic drugs entering our bodies on a daily basis through the meat products we eat, which are drenched in antibiotic drugs that are used as growth stimulants on commercially raised food animals.
The Simple Solution?
The only solution I know of at this point, if you're a meat eater like me, is to purchase and consume only organic meats which are specifically labeled as being from farm animals that have had no antibiotics used on them.
Only then can you be assured that you're not damaging your body's intestinal microflora every time you eat a hamburger, hot dog, turkey sandwich, pork chop or other meat product.
And instead of using synthetic prescription antibiotic drugs every time a minor infection like a cold, the sniffles or a sore throat or earache strike, consider using natural antimicrobial products instead, such as colloidal silver, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, garlic, turmeric or others whenever possible.
As I've pointed out throughout this article, they pose far less risk to your body's beneficial micro-flora than synthetic antibiotic drugs, because the body treats and utilizes them as "nutrition," which they are.
By using safe, natural colloidal silver or some other natural antimicrobial substance, within reasonable, common-sense levels, there's far less risk of causing serious damage to the body's normal populations of beneficial microbes.