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Aqua Vitae: The Story of Dr. John W. Willard and his Breakthrough Discovery: Catalyst Altered Water.

Serendipity acted with providence yesterday. I took my wife out for a coffee. Dunn Brothers coffee is a quaint little coffee shop near the 1/2 priced "used" book store we like to browse. After coffee, I fully intended to quickly browse titles covering the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the Bhagavad Gita and poems by Rumi. And as fate would have it, what I found was looking for me. Life seems to happen in much the same way that Krishna describes it to Arjuna in the Gita.

I found this title on the Water of Life ... I quote from it and give the page reference for your convenience.

Aqua vitae: the story of Dr. John W. Willard and his Breakthrough Discovery: Catalyst Altered Water.
Copyright 1987, 1992 by Roy M. Jacobsen.

Dr. Willard (Prof. Emeritus of chemistry at the South Dakota school of mines and technology discovered and developed a unique catalyst that changes the way water acts, giving it new and unusual properties. Page 6.


Through a great deal of experimentation and observation, Doc came to the conclusion that the different properties were due to a different molecular structure. He had managed to discover a catalyst which alters the molecular structure of ordinary water. The change isn't visible, but the way the H2O molecules lined up with each other is different. This may seem insignificant, but as Dr. Willard said, “Properties are determined by structure, and structure is deducible from properties.” Therefore, if the structure of something is changed, it's properties are changed as well. Page 7.

The effect of structure on properties can be illustrated using diamond and graphite as examples. Both are composed of the same stuff-carbon. However, the structure of the carbon molecules and graphite results in a soft, slippery, gray-black material, while the structure the carbon molecules have in the diamond leads to one of the hardest natural substances known, as well as one of the most beautiful gemstones. In the same way, although Catalyst Altered Water (CAW) is still water, the altered structure gives it some very unique and beneficial properties. Page 7.

What is the active ingredient of “Willard Water”? (Please note that determine Willard Water and Catalyst Activated Water or CAW are terms used interchangeably by the author.) Doc referred to it as the CAW micelle, which consists of sodium meta- silicate, sulfate castor oil, carbon chloride and magnesium sulfate. By mixing these ingredients using a method he devised, Dr. Willard created a colloidal suspension (not a solution) of extremely tiny particles called micelles. Structure of this particle, and its effect on water will be discussed in greater detail later chapter. Page 11.

Interestingly, the method that Dr. Willard devised to mix the ingredients for CAW is very much the same method developed by Hannemann to mix homeopathic medicines by succussion and later by Rudolf Steiner to make biodynamic sprays for agriculture. It is interesting to see how this mixture is made in a gigantic vat with swirling vortices of water.

Dr. Willard experimented for three years to find the optimum concentration. His results puzzled him-he found a stronger solution reduced CAW's effectiveness. He finally arrived at the 1 to 1000 dilution he recommends for most applications, and saw this as more evidence that the only action of the active ingredients of Willard Water is to alter the waters molecular structure. The altered structure is what makes Willard water so effective. Page 11.

“I accidentally discovered what the homeopathic physicians have known for years: that small doses are usually more effective than the more concentrated, which just flies in the face of chemistry.” He went on to explain, “In chemistry we have a fundamental law: it's called a Mass-Action Law. That law, briefly stated, says that the rate of a chemical reaction is proportional to the concentration of the reaction particles. So we think, if a little bit is good, more is better.” But as Doc discovered, where Willard Water is concerned, more is not better. A dilute solution is more effective than a concentrated solution. Page 20.

The benefits plants receive from Willard Water go beyond simply providing a source of valuable trace nutrients, as important as they are. The water itself, due to the addition of the CAW micelle catalyst, has become a more “energized” and active form of water. This activated water lends an increased vigor to an organism, due to more efficient light functions. For plants this means a more vigorous root system, which is better able to assimilate and utilize the nutrients and water (which is actually a nutrient) already available in the soil. Page 64.

The result is healthier, more vital plant growth, achieved not through artificial stimulation of the plant with conventional synthetic fertilizers, but by working with nature, providing the plant with what it needs, in a form you can utilize. Page 64.

Not only is the plant healthier and stronger, but CAW treated soils seem to have generally better texture and tilth, again leading to better plant health. Willard Water seems to penetrate and loosen hard to farm soil such as clay, gumbo and hardpan, making it easier for the soil to develop a good root system and absorb the nutrients in the soil. Page 65.

Willard water also seems to enable plants to recover from damage that would ordinarily have been fatal. Doc said he witnessed, time and time again, cases were crops and gardens had been damaged, even virtually destroyed by hail. When what was left of the plants were treated with CAW, they grew back, within weeks, starting from the point of development where they were damaged. Page 67.

Seeds also seem to germinate faster when treated with Catalyst Altered Water. Dean Sime, greenhouse operator in the Rapid City area says he has had petunias germinate in 72 hours, when it usually takes from 10 to 12 days. Lobelia, which normally requires 20 days to germinate, has sprouted in less than four days in Sime's homemade germination cabinet. He stated that the plants seem to survive better, and are sturdier when transplanted. Page 69.

Doc Willard's interest in agriculture stemmed in part from his view that the real energy crisis is the lack of food. He said, “of what value would it be to have the fuel to run the machines if man was deprived of the food which she needs to provide the energy so that he can use the machines?” Page 71.

Dr. Willard felt that his discovery, Catalyst Altered Water, although not the solution to every problem mankind faces, can make a significant contribution to making our agricultural system more sustainable. And perhaps agriculture is the best place to begin to harness the potential of Willard water. After all, humanity cannot survive without food. Page 72.

Perhaps we should begin by asking ourselves this question: how many of us can claim an understanding of the characteristics of ordinary water? Do we really know what it does and why it does it? If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we are almost entirely unfamiliar with water, even though we are surrounded by it every day. Although most people are well aware that without water we would be unable to survive more than a few days, we tend to take it entirely for granted. We really don't know all that much about how vital water is in our life processes, and unique properties it possesses. Page 84.

Even most scientists are relatively ignorant in respect to water. During my research for this book, I spent several hours in libraries where I found several hundred volumes devoted to the structure and characteristics of benzene (a petroleum derivative) is this and benzene related chemicals, but less than a half dozen books discussing water. It almost appears to be a case of familiarity breeding contempt. Page 84.

The definition of a micelle is “a particle in a colloidal dispersion consisting of a charged nucleus surrounded by ions.” A colloidal dispersion consists of very small non-soluble particles with a like electrical charge (either positive or negative), larger than molecules but small enough to remain suspended in a fluid without settling out. According to Dr. Willard, the CAW micelle is extremely small (only 10 to 100 times larger than a water molecule) with a negatively charged surface. The strong negative surface charge will attract and hold any positive charge, such as is found on one of the hydrogen points of H2O tetrahedron. This bonding seems to allow the water molecules to form chains, with the oxygen end of the molecule bonding with the hydrogen ends of other water molecules. These chains can become quite long, even though the bonds between molecules are not as strong as the chemical bonds formed by electron sharing. Page 92.

These chains can actually become long enough to be visible under a standard microscope. By dehydrating micelles and then exposing them to controlled humidity conditions, Dr. Willard was able to observe the micelles forming their H2O chains. “I couldn't see the water molecules, I could see the film of water forming around the dehydrated micelle,” he explained. “Even with the humidity of 5%, which you don't even see in the desert, you could see the micelle drawing moisture out of the air. You could see the film of water, growing around it.” (According to Dr. Willard, the micelles' ability to attract water molecules to itself may be what enables CAW treated plants to survive drought conditions. Apparently the micelle enhances the plant's ability to gather water from the soil and atmosphere.) Page 93.

This chain like structure differs from the normal disorganized structure of liquid water. According to theory, liquid water attempts to organize into a rigid tetrahedral structure found in ice, but the motion of the molecules (due to greater heat energy) prevents the formation of many of these molecule to molecule bonds. Dr. Willard theorized that the water molecule chains found in Catalyst Altered Water represent a compromise between a rigid crystalline structure and no structure at all. This gives a certain degree of structure, but allowing greater flexibility in motion. The result has been called a “liquid crystal” type of structure. Page 94.

A result of this altered structure is a measurably greater surface tension, as much as 10% stronger. Surface tension is a unique phenomenon resulting from the attraction of one water molecule to another. Each water molecule can potentially bond with four other water molecules surrounding it in a four pointed (tetrahedral) fashion. At the surface, these attractions are distorted, flattening out, which causes a stronger pull between the molecules. In Willard water, the bonds between molecules will already stronger than ordinary water, therefore the surface tension is increased as well. Page 94.

I think that homeopaths who have the means should look very closely at their liquid remedies and test them for the possibility of an enhanced surface tension. This would give another piece of evidence that liquid remedies consist of an alteration in the structure of liquid water portion of the remedy.

According to Dr. Willard, catalyst altered water can be regarded as a condenser. “I'm positive that the micelle is a condenser that draws its energy from the water. Then it transmits to the various organs the proper amount of current,” he said. “It collects and alters free electrons from the air and the water.” Page 96

This action is due to its structure. The micelle has a very strong negative surface charge, which attracts one of the positive hydrogen ends of a water molecule. A series of water molecules then join together to form chains surrounding the micelle, and the electromagnetic fields of the water molecules are distorted by their bonds to each other. Page 96.

Not only are water molecules able to surround their own electrons in a reaction, but they're able to gather and hold (temporarily at least) free electrons, which they can then contribute to reactions. Page 96.

As evidence of this, Dr. Willard pointed to the antioxidant properties Willard Water has demonstrated. In one experiment, hay treated with Willard Water was compared to untreated hay after both had been stored outside during the winter. The treated hay had a much higher beta carotene content than the untreated hay. Beta-carotene (provitamin a) is susceptible to breakdown by oxidation. Apparently the Willard water protected the beta-carotene in the hay from oxidation. Page 96.

Here again, I think homeopaths who have the laboratory resources available to them should try to replicate these experiments to see if any of these observations apply to homeopathic remedies.

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