To succeed in commercial farming, many challenges must be overcome. One of these is fungi. In the past, chemical mixtures have proven effective in combating them, but they are not environmentally friendly. Commercial growers are very aware of the need to go green in order to help preserve soil, air, and water quality.
One study that experimented with a nanosilver solution concerned white rot, which affects green onions, otherwise known as scallions, a popular eating and cooking vegetable that originated in western China. Green onions are susceptible to a number of diseases, and a field infected with white rot can damage crops for up to four years. The white rot pathogen lurks in the soil in a dormant form and awakens when new green onions are planted. Unfortunately, the chemicals currently used to prevent white rot are harmful to humans, animals, and various microorganisms.
A study published in Mycobiology in 2010 used three types of nanosilver liquid in various concentrations. A simplified summary of the results is as follows:
- In the lab, nanosilver liquid, at all concentrations used, was at least 80 percent effective in preventing further white-rot growth on infected green onions. In some concentrations, its effectiveness rose to over 90 percent.
- In the field, green onions treated with nanosilver liquid were heavier than those that were not treated or were in the control group. This ensures a larger overall crop yield.
- In the field, soil samples from the area around treated green onion plants were taken.
- The data shows that the nanosilver did not reduce the number of beneficial soil microbes. Also, after a period of two months, there were no significant differences between the soil around treated onions and the soil around untreated onions.
Overall, this study shows that colloidal silver is an effective treatment for white-rot fungus. It prevents growth on live plants, stops the fungus from lying dormant in the soil, and does not harm good soil bacteria. The researchers suggest that agriculturists should consider using nanosilver liquid to treat all general crop fungal infections.
Another study investigating colloidal silver as a greener approach to fungi took place in Poland. It was reported in the journal Acta Biochimica Polonica in 2013. The rationale for the research was the issue of asepsis, the absence of harmful bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms. In certain conditions, maintaining asepsis is vital but highly problematic. One example is high-rise buildings, where some areas cannot be cleaned. These sites are breeding grounds for a whole host of toxic microorganisms. One effect of their presence is peeling paint. Another is mold and mycotoxins that cause allergies.
The Polish researchers began by creating a raspberry extract. They combined raspberries and water, heated the mixture, then filtered out the solid particles. Then they prepared the nanosilver and combined it with the raspberry extract. This final nanosilver-raspberry solution was added to a culture medium containing one of two fungi: Cladosporium cladosporoides (ATCC16022) or Aspergillus niger ATCC16404 (A. niger).
The results indicate that the nanosilver-raspberry solution was significantly effective in treating both fungi, even the A. niger, which is particularly resistant to treatment. The researchers conclude with the suggestion that nanosilver be added to construction materials. They feel such an addition will keep structures cleaner, reduce the growth of harmful microbes, and help to maintain the mechanical properties of all constructed elements.
How about Parasites?
There is credible evidence substantiated by well-performed studies that silver may be indeed effective against parasites and protozoa like Giardia Lamblia and Toxoplasmosis and also could be effective against at least some forms of helminthes. More studies could be more convincing in this direction however the existing ones can establish at least a serious base of credibility regarding silver activity in the more complex parasite organisms.
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