A nice little gift for your favorite elderly senior is a silver spoon. Silver is bactricidal. That is to say, bacteria cannot replicate on silver. That is one of the reasons "silverware" was so valued. Many seniors, especially the stroke-disabled, do not always wash the spoons as well as they should.
Silver both inhibits replication and destroys bacterial on contact. As a matter of fact oral and intravenous silver solutions, as well as topical applications, were used very effectively during the pre-antibiotic days to treat all sorts of bacterial infections. The only reason this treatment was discontinued was that the patient's skin turned an unappetizing shade of gray...an irreversible outcome.
Hard references and double-blind studies regarding silver treatments are available on the U.S. government database "Pubmed". The latest studies involve use of silver nano-particles against a wide range of antibiotic-resistant organisms..
Decades ago, inPanama Jungle School, we were taught to keep several several dimes in our canteens to help keep the water purified. Whether or not this actually helped, I couldn't say, but I kept up the habit in Vietnam. On one mission we had rapelled down on ropes through the tripple canopy to blow trees to permit a landing by supporting forces in nearby helicopters. I was a platoon leader. We did a good job with C4 and det cord, but I was not satisfied the area was safe. It was a "hot" LZ when we came in and after recieving green tracer fire (the good guys used red ones), the Cobra gunships worked the area over pretty thoroughly. There was a trail nearby and I wouldn't clear the birds in until we looked around a bit. When we landed I started to empty a magazine from my M-16, which jammed after two rounds, making the extra twenty magazines I carried were useless. The M-16 was completely worthless. We were not issued extractor tools (nor, incredibly cleaning kits, which we had shipped from the states). Fortunately I planned ahead and also had with me an M3A1 Greasegun (a.45 cal. submachine gun) with four thirty round magazines I bought on the Vietnamese black market for $35 bucks. A ways down the trail I found a trip wire attached to a Chicom anti-tank mine mounted on a tree. A nice going away present. The bird Col. in the C & C ship was livid we were taking so long and had not immediately cleared the LZ for choppers. Finally I gave in and radioed clearance. But there was the mine about twenty meters down the trail. I took some C-4 and det-cord and placed a charge in close proximity and was about to attach a cap, when Col. No-Brains shows up having embarked on the first bird to land and immediately starts yelling at me because (a) I have an unauthorized weapon (the greasegun) and (b) I have my .45 M1911 Colt in a shoulder holster! That was also a big no-no. Two big no-no's. Oh yeah, they didn't want is to dig any extra holes at night because of environmental damage. So much for keeping things in perspective. So I go about my business and the Col. suddenly says "May I have a drink from one of your canteens?" I looked and saw he didn't have one.
He did have two grenades attached to his web gear and an upside down K-bar combat knife, though.
I always carried four canteens at all times. I go nuts when I see war movies where nobody carries any. Cutting to the chase, I interrupt my fooling with the charge and give him a canteen. There were four dimes inside. Ten seconds later, as I'm about to use an igniter on the fuse I gear choking sounds and the Col. is on the jungle floor. He swallowed all four dimes.
Well, I got him out of the way and blew the charge, and he demanded to be taken back to the rear lines to have an x-ray taken.
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