Silver is an old tool for promoting good health and, there is a large market for silver in the natural health industry. A variety of types of silver water exists and it’s almost impossible to determine the quality of the product simply by its name. Ionic silver, hydrosol silver, and colloidal silver are all different types of silver available... but what do they mean? Let's explore the differences between the three most popular types of silver and discuss which is best.
3 Types of Colloidal Silver
1. Atomic Silver (Colloidal)
Atomic silver is typically prepared with a high-voltage, alternating current technology to produce the purest silver solution. A quality atomic or colloidal silver product should contain at least 99.999% silver particles in a distilled water solution. Submicroscopic particles are suspended in solution using electrical forces, providing for the most stable product. Pure colloidal silver has been shown to support the body’s defenses against harmful organisms.  Atomic silver is the highest quality compared with other forms of silver on the market and has a low risk for argyria.
2. Ionic Silver
An ion is an atom that is missing an electron, giving it a positive or negative charge. Ionic silver is basically silver ions dispersed in a liquid medium, usually water. These ions can form compounds with other elements, making ionic silver an unpredictable product.
3. Hydrosol Silver
Silver hydrosol contains around 96% charged silver atoms, slightly lower than that of colloidal silver. While hydrosol silver may still provide similar benefits, it’s considered by many to be ineffective for some conditions. Hydrosol silver carries a greater risk for argyria than colloidal. Most silver hydrosol on the market, however, contain no protein additives or salts. This is a slight benefit, as silver should always be in a pure solution free of contamination.
Which Should You Choose?
Overall, colloidal silver produced using a high-voltage AC method to dispense silver particles appears to be the most pure and effective form of silver available. I'd recommend doing your own research into any silver products you're considering to make sure they do not contain any additional ingredients like salts or proteins. These ingredients make for an unstable solution that may or may not give you what you're after.
- Morrill K, May K, Leek D, et al. Spectrum of antimicrobial activity associated with ionic colloidal silver. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Mar;19(3):224-31. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0681.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.