Iodine and iodide in solution
First introduced as a bactericide and fungicide in 1829 by French physician, Jean Lugol. Lugol's solution is a transparent brown liquid consisting of 10 parts potassium iodide to 5 parts iodine to 85 parts distilled water, called a 5% solution (contains total iodine content of 130 mg/mL as Iodide ions (I- ) and Triiodide ions (I3- ) ). During the early 1900's, this iodine/triiodide solution was used extensively, effectively and safely in medical practice, for both low activity and above normal activity of the thyroid gland. Lugols is also sold in other dilutions. E.g. 2% solution Lugols is 2% iodine, 4% potassium iodide and 94% Distilled Water.
Other names for Lugols 5% Solution: Potassium triiodide solution, IKI (Iodine Potassium- Iodide); Aqueous Iodine Solution BP.
Lugol's Chemistry. An aqueous solution of potassium iodide (KI) is prepared by dissolving KI in water, say 10g KI in 85g water. Then, once dissolved, 5g iodine crystals (diatomic, elemental iodine) are added to the iodide ions in the KI solution to form a stable, yellowish brown potassium triiodide solution.When diluted or consumed, it disproportionates back to and provides its consumer with iodide ions and elemental iodine. The elemental iodine can react with water to form hydriodic acid and hypoiodous acid, and with potassium present there will be a complex mixture.
Using Lugol's soution
Using Lugol's As a dietary supplement
Administration of iodine/iodide in liquid solution is not very accurate and it does have a bit of a taste.Take on an empty stomach, about 20 minutes before eating, take desired number of drops in an 8 oz. glass of water (preferably with one tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar added for slight acidification). Number of drops will depend on how many milligrams of iodine/iodide you want to take and the particular concentration of the Lugol's solution.
One drop 5% Lugol's solution contains ~6.3 mg molecular iodine + iodide per drop
Read the label for guidance. To make it more confusing, drops come in different sizes too.
Alternative method of administration is 'Painting' the skin (particularly the soles of the feet) with Lugol's before retiring for the night. This allows the body to absorb what it needs from the skin. As treatment progresses, the need for the solution diminishes because the body rebuilds its stores and thus absorbs less and less over each 24 hour period.
- Only 1- 4% of the total iodine applied to the skin is absorbed into the blood stream within the first few hours. The rest of the iodine within the skin (8- 11% that does not evaporate) is slowly released from the skin into the blood stream.
- Contrary to popular opinion, the rate at which the iodine disappears from the skin is UNRELATED to the body's iodine content. Meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932 clearly showed that when iodine is applied to the skin in almost any form, 50% evaporates into the air within 2 hours and between 75- 80% evaporates into the air within 24 hours. A total 88% evaporates within 3 days and it is at this point that the evaporation stops.
Using Lugols topically
Lugol's solution can be applied topically to problem areas for:
• Scar prevention. Use as soon as possible after wound has scabbed over, since iodine stings royally when applied to an open wound
• Fibrotic conditions / keloids
• Infected hangnails
• Precancerous skin lesions / Bowen's disease
• Sebaceous cysts
• Skin tags /Moles
• Vaginal infection (as a douche)
For details on topical application of Lugol's, see:
Shelf-Life. Lugol's solution does not keep much longer than a year.
Lugol's solution is getting harder to obtain. Recent DEA legislation has limited sales of 5% solution to 1oz without required documentation (apparently Lugol's solution can be used to make metamphetamines). Also some states are requiring a prescription.
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