NEW ARTICLE - Why is Colloidal Silver Effective?

     A colloid is a special form of a substance; also called a “sol,” which is neither a true liquid solution, nor just a suspension of a substance in a liquid; but something in-between.  A colloid should be thought of as being a distinct state of matter because the particles of the solid are held in perpetual suspension by the liquid.1  The suspended particles can be disturbed by outside forces and caused to settle out of the liquid.  Freezing of the liquid, and possibly electromagnetic wave action are two possible conditions which will disturb and degrade colloidal silver.  There are all kinds of colloids everywhere in nature; milk is an example.  In milk, the suspended particles are “liquid butterfat globules,” rather than solid material.2

     Through experimentation, I verified that the particles of silver in colloidal silver are smaller than 1 micron; meaning that the particles are smaller than 1000 nano-meters in diameter.  Nano-particles are minutely small; typically in the range of 1/1000th the size of bacteria.  Google readily gives a competent definition:

Colloid - a homogeneous noncrystalline substance consisting of large molecules or ultramicroscopic particles of one substance dispersed through a second substance.  Colloids include gels, sols, and emulsions; the particles do not settle, and cannot be separated out by ordinary filtering or centrifuging like those in a suspension.

Silver particles can be seen flowing down

from the cathode.

     The particles can remain is colloidal suspension indefinitely, because true colloidal silver has electrical properties which overcome the effects of gravity.  Different elements have the characteristic of taking on positive (+) or negative (-) electric charge when electricity is used to change their state from solids to colloidal particles in water.  In water, silver is an anionic substance; meaning that is is negatively charged and moves to the positive electrical pole during an electrolytic process.  Other metals, such as copper and aluminum are cathonic, having a positive charge, and move to the negative electrical pole.  Accordingly, the negative electric charge is a characteristic of colloidal silver.  In colloidal silver, the silver particles have a negatively electrified layer on their surface; while the surrounding water contains a second electric layer having a positive charge.  The positively charged layer can be ignored for the purpose of our analysis because the mutual repulsion of the negatively charged particles keeps them in colloidal suspension.

     Similar to the effects of magnets on each-other, opposite poles attract each-other; while like poles repel.  The silver particles in colloidal silver all have a negative charge, so their behavior is mutual repulsion.

     Colloidal substances are “most remarkably active...They owe their activity to their minuteness and to the fact that substances when in the colloidal state have an enormous surface area as compared with their volume or weight, and as chemical reactions depend on the amount of contact between two or more particles these reactions will proceed the more rapidly and completely when the substances have a large surface area and are in a state of oscillation.  It is well known that chemical reactions can only occur when two or more substances are in direct contact, colloidal substances are very powerful because of the enormous area they possess.”3  It seems that Searle is referring to two different surface areas; the surface of the minute particle of silver, and the "enormously" larger surface area of the same particle when it is in the colloidal state!  The image here is but only an artist’s rendering of the imaginary expanded surface area Searle might have envisioned.  In the colloidal state, the layer formed by the electric charge gives the particle an effective surface area many times larger than that of the particle itself.


     Searle continues, stating that, “On the other hand, mass (weight) plays an important part in all chemical reactions and largely regulates their intensity.  The mass of colloidal sol particles is so minute that the objectionable effect of intense reactions on the human subject are largely avoided, whilst the advantages of rapid and complete reaction are secured.  For this reason, certain medicines administered in the colloidal form are not merely more active and possess greater penetrating power, but they are free from the poisonous effect of the same substances when given in the form of tincture or solution.”4

1. The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease, Alfred B. Searle, London, Constable and Company, Ltd., 1920, pp. 3 - 20.

2. Wikipedia, colloid.

3. Searle, p. 18.

4. Searle, p. 18.