Lugol's Iodine Supplements

Last Modified on Mar 28, 2014

What is Iodine?

Iodine is one of earth's elements, part of the halogen group and a purple liquid at room temperature. It is also a common first aid treatment for cuts and to make water potable. Furthermore, it is a health supplement commonly found added to table salt in order to prevent iodine deficiency, which can result in goiter, developmental delays, and other health ailments. Iodine is also to be found in certain medical supplements.

However, supplemental iodine is most popularly taken in the form of Lugol's Iodine, a liquid solution of iodine and potassium iodide (KI). If your mother ever painted one of your wounds with iodine (or when you gave blood), it was most likely Lugol's Iodine applied to your skin in order to prevent infection. Various concentrations of Lugol's Iodine exist (1%, 2%, and 5% iodine solutions with a larger part of potassium iodide in water). While generally safe for application and consumption in proper doses, iodine can irritate soft tissues such as in the throat and stomach. Iodine will also stain skin and fabrics.

Lugol's Iodine for Thyroid and Other Health Issues

Goiter is the classic health ailment treated with Iodine, along with other thyroid issues such as Grave's Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - cautiously in the latter case. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroid conditions are said to benefit from supplemental iodine at very different dosages. With Lugol's Iodine, the standard supplemental treatment is to "paint" a 2-inch square patch of skin with the iodine solution and allow it to be absorbed into the skin. You can reapply once the stain has disappeared.

Also check out our related pages on:
Iodine Supplements for Health
Thyroid Issues


Multiple Cures11 YEAS

Acid Reflux

Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  04/14/2013: Michelle from Mcarthur, Ohio: "I am happy to say that I have had fantastic results with using The Lugol's Iodine for my acid reflux. I have suffered for years with this ailment and I have had so many prescriptions and special diet restrictions. I can't believe all this time I have been iodine deficient and that was the cause. I took a few drops a day and slowly built up my dose, taking a few days off here and there. After a couple of weeks I realized I was doing better and about a month later I haven't had any problems with my stomach at all. I have had problems with stomach aches since I was a child. This is revolutionary for me. I am telling absolutely everyone about it!"

[YEA]  01/04/2009: David from Huntington Beach, California, USA: "Hi, I'm a Chiropractor of over 22 years. I want to add a cure that I got from reading Dr. Donsbach, D.C.

My wife and I found as we got older that we were both starting to have digestive problems and really bad acid reflux at nite. The wholist concept is acid reflux is due to NOT ENOUGH acid! You can confirm if this is the case by taking a tablespoon of ACV when you are getting it, if it stops it, then you are LOW in acid.

The next step in the wholistic approach is to take digestive enzymes and HCl to substitute for the low acid. I always thought this isn't getting to the root problem of WHY isn't the body producing enough acid anymore. This is where Dr Donsbach came in.

He discussed that the body needs IODINE to produce the stomach acid. That made sense in that since becoming a Vegetarian, I don't get much seafood and I keep my salt intake down.

So I ordered Lugol's Solution from Amazon and began taking 2 drops a day in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, monday through friday with the weekend off. My wife did the same. Sure enough within a few weeks my digestion is back to where it was as a teenager, and acid reflux is gone! My wife had the same results as well as a friend that tried it.

If you go to take the iodine, first make sure you aren't allergic. I think a drop on the inside of the wrist or arm and see if it gets swollen or itchy, is a good test. After that, if no reaction, then you can start with one drop in water and see how that effects you. If you have no problems then you can proceed to the 2 drops.

I've been trying to get this information out there, because when people take antacids and medicines that decrease acid production in the stomach, it greatly limits the bodies ability to digest the food,and starts a process that ends up greatly harming your health.

If the word can get out about this cure, it will help millions to improve their health for less than a penny a day and prevent them from ruining their health as they are trying to help it.

Good luck and please write your feedback here so others can see.

Best wishes for health and happiness,
David from H.B."

03/15/2009: Sara from Dublin, CA replies: "What was the % of the Lugol's Solution used? J. Crow's still sells 5% as well as the 2% version."
02/08/2010: Jen from Kellersburgh, Pa replies: "The Lugols solution comes in 2% and 5%. How do you know what dose? Thanks"

Body Dryness

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  08/09/2009: Doc Sheila from Toronto, Canada: "Dry Mouth Dry Eye cures

I use potassium iodide :Lugol's solution for all dryness in the body, vaginal dryness,dry eyes, dry nose,dry mouth.
It is excellent as anti septic, anti biotic ati viral etc
3 drops 1-3% lugol's in juice or water 2x/daily"

11/27/2009: Andrea from Chico, Ca replies: "I have Sjogren's Disease (Syndrome) and am drying from the inside out, particularly afraid it will dry my internal organs. I have very dry mouth, and severely dry eyes right now, and I don't want this to progress. I am wondering if you are still having good luck with this 2-3% solution 3X/day? Are you using Lugol's? If not, what brand are you using and can I get it without a prescription?

Thanks for any help you can give."


Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  03/20/2011: Bev from Long Beach, Ca: "I came down with a cold on a Friday. Used 1 drop of Lugol's in a glass of water 4 x that day then increased to 2 drops the next and 3 drops the third day. By Monday the cold was gone. Hope this helps."

[YEA]  Cindy from Shady Cove, OR: "I use Lugol's iodine anytime I am getting a cold. I was a chronic user of antibiotics because of asthma. I have not had a bout with bronchitis because anytime i am getting a cold or virus I put 6 drops of Lugol's in water 3 times over a 24 hour period and the infection is gone. I actually have one day colds now. I follow up with acidophilus for my stomach and milk thistle for my liver. This really works and probably will work for Bird flu if you keep a supply in your cupboard."

Converting Lugol's to Milligrams

07/11/2013: Jolole from Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia: "I have researched for hours the information re iodine benefits and also checked the contributions on earthclinic site where I found the conversion table for the various strength of Lugols iodine in mgs. I bought online a bottle of Lugols and the label states as contents: purified water, 10% Iodide, 5% Iodine. The conversion table mentions both 15% and 5% of Lugols, which one do I take to converse to mgs ?? I have started with 1 drop in glas of water daily, but also read that this might take a year to really improve my health. I have used it now for 4 days, have no problems digesting it and wonder how many drops or mgs I can take with this product. Can anyone help out here. Blessings and good health to all."

07/11/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Jolole from Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia - Here is what Bill (very knowledgeable in these things) posted awhile ago:

02/13/2012: Bill from San Fernando, The Philippines replies: "There seems to be some confusion over the use of Lugol's Iodine. What people tend to always forget is that the drop dosage of say 50 mgs of 5% Lugol's Iodine per day is completely different from the same 50 mg drop dosage from say a 2% Lugol's Iodine solution. A single drop of 5% strength, Lugol's Iodine -- where one drop contains 6. 25 mgs iodine -- would be about 8 drops. A single drop of 2% Lugol's Iodine would therefore contain only 2. 50 mgs of Iodine. So to get a 50 mgs dose from a 5% LI solution would be only 8 drops, whereas a 50 mgs doasage from a 2% LI solution would require 20 drops(2. 5 times more).

To help clarify this, here is a table that shows total Iodine content per drop for different % strengths of Lugol's Iodine:

Hope that helps! Cheers, Bess"

07/12/2013: Jolole from Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia replies: "Hi Bess, I had seen this table but not certain if the product I bought was 15% or 5% iodine. It was advertised as a 15%, but I now assume that the % only relate to the iodine part. This would mean that I have a 5% solution. Is that correct? Thanks and blessings."
07/12/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi again Jolole from Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia - Sorry I misunderstood your question (I'll blame it on the heat! ).

Your bottle is a 5% solution [5% solution consists of 5% (wt/v) iodine and 10% (wt/v) potassium iodide mixed in distilled water]. I use a 5% solution also and that's what's on my label. Since I'm hypothyroid, I take 2 drops every morning in water which works out to be 12. 5 mg daily. Cheers, Bess"

07/12/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi again Jolole from Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia - Sorry I misunderstood your question (I'll blame it on the heat! ).

Your bottle is a 5% solution [5% solution consists of 5% (wt/v) iodine and 10% (wt/v) potassium iodide mixed in distilled water]. I use a 5% solution also and that's what's on my label. Since I'm hypothyroid, I take 2 drops every morning in water which works out to be 12. 5 mg daily. Cheers, Bess"

Food Poisoning

Earth Clinic : "Here is a remedy that's been around quite a long time. It stops Salmonella poisoning immediately. Also used to treat Giardia. If you have gas and bloating and suspect Salmonella poisoning, here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 glass of water.
  • Add 6 drops of Lugol's Iodine Solution.
  • Stir and drink in entirety.

You will feel better within an hour. Take this 4x a day, after meals and at bedtime, for 3 days in a row, then as needed."

How To Take Lugol's

07/13/2009: John from Trang, Thailand: "Lugol's Aqueous Iodine 5%. I bought from the Trang Hospital with an expiry date, Oct 9th 2009.

1. Can it go off? What happens?
2. After taking it, what are likely side effects/ adverse reactions if any?
3. No distilled water here. Rain water OK?
4. Take the drops before eating or after?
5. How do I tell if cadmium, mercury, fluoride, chlorine etc. have left me?"

Hypertrophic Scars

02/04/2014: Elle_grey from Outer Limits, Usa: "Hi- I'm interested in using Lugol's iodine to diminish the appearance of several hypertrophic scars. I've tried other procedures with little to no effect. I'd like some feedback not only on the effectiveness of using Lugol's iodine, but also what I might expect throughout the healing process. Thanks for your help!"

Iodine Warnings

06/26/2007: James from Seattle, Washington: "Lugo's iodine caused my heart to palpitate (and not in a good way; the bad way). So I thought no more Lugo's. I felt bad because I read the health benefits on this site and others and I could not take even one drop. Then while reasearching fatty acid metabolism I found that you use a lot of vitamin B-1, B-6 and B-12. All the of these B's have heart palpitaions as a sign of their deficiencies. So I took all three. Now I can take Lugo's. Yeah!

Also selenium and zinc deficiencies can cause heart palpatations. So if you can't take iodine because of the heart quivers you might have a deficiency you need to correct first."

Lugol's and Irradiation

03/29/2013: A from Southern, Ca: "Just received a Lugol's solution in the mail, through Amazon. I don't know if it traveled via airplane at some point, but it just struck me that there's lots of radiation up in the atmosphere now. Not to mention that many things do get irradiated through the mail as a standard procedure anyways.

Does anyone know whether the iodine particles in the solution can turn into a radionuclide form because of this? Can the irradiation make it harmful rather than medicinal?

I know that at least Iodine 131 has a relatively short half-life. So if this were the case, that the tincture may have become radioactive, maybe just wait so many days before using it?

Sorry if this topic was already covered - I don't have time to search the whole site. Take care"

01/03/2014: Brenda from Las Vegas , Nevada replies: "I would be more concerned about your proximity to Japan and Fukushima and inhaling the particulates from the power plants blowing up, being on the west coast, then your Lugols solution going radioactive. This is why I am considering taking it."

Lugol's Formulation

09/06/2009: Connie from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA: "Is this like Lugol's?

At the local grocery store, I stumbled on two little bottle of "Iodine Tincture USP" and I'm wondering if this is like Lugol's. Under active ingredients it says, "Iodine tincture U.S.P. 100% (2% iodine)...... First aid antiseptic. It doesn't say what else is in it, no secret peel-back label, and the product's website was minimal and unhelpful. Naturally the bottle declares it for external use only, with a cute little red scull and crossbones on the front of the label. Is the USP 100% some kind of standard wherein it would be possible to ascertain any additional unmentioned ingredients?

This is one of those mysterious happenings, actually. I was wandering through town aimlessly, and figured I'd wander through the grocery store. I was feeling very aimless. Looking through the shelves of pharmacy offerings I began looking for items Ted had mentioned. Potassium Citrate contained sucrolose..... I perused the shelves for several minutes. Then, stashed behind some hanging items were two little bottle of iodine, similar to the kind I'd been meaning to buy online. I failed to find the price on the shelves, as well as any additional bottles. The clerk scanned them at about $3 each. I felt less aimless. Went home."

EC: Don't think so...

According to this website:

Iodine Tincture, 2% (w/v), USP

Alcohol Content (C2H5OH) 44.0-50.0%
Assay for Iodine (I) 1.8-2.2 g/100 ml
Assay for Sodium Iodide (NaI) 2.1-2.6 g/100 ml

Lugol's Ingredients on this website:

1. Potassium iodide: 10 g
2. Distilled water: 100 ml
3. Iodine crystals: 5 g

09/06/2009: Kathy from Dubois, Pa replies: "The alcohol in the idodine solution is probably methyl (wood) alcohol, or denatured in some way, and must not be taken internally because it is poisonous. The law does not allow ethyl (drinkable) alcohol to be used in any products like antiseptics or cosmetics."
06/11/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "Please, do not consume first aid Iodine tincture thinking it is the same as Lugol's. First aid Iodine tincture contains a high amount of methyl alcohol and or ammonia which indeed are dangerous. EC - would it be a good idea to put an alert or 'Important! ' message at the top of the Iodine section to not confuse the two and to not take Iodine tincture internally?

I have Lugol's and just need to learn how to appropriately use it. To answer my prev. post about how much is needed, I am finding out it is dependent on a lot of things including gender, past medication history, and prior exposure to flouride and bromine. I found from watching the YouTube videos that we need almost 100 times more than is put in a single "serving" of iodine (USA)! Wow..."

11/16/2007: SKS from Ann Arbor, Michigan: "First of all, thank you so much for this great website! Regarding Lugol's Iodine, apparently, its formulation has been changed. I purchased it on the web and received a brochure along stating that effective August 31, 2007 Lugol's would only be available as 2% iodine:4% K Iodide:94% dist.H2O..."

10/21/2007: Marie from St. Louis, MO: "Iodine - people need lugol's. This stuff from the pharmacy is not enough. Lugol's has the TWO forms of iodine used by both thyroid and breasts, ovaries and prostate. It has to be ordered online. I noticed in your comments people were buying it from the pharmacy. And that's not the right stuff. has increased their prices so I'm on the hunt for another source."

10/21/2007: Marie from St. Louis, MO replies: "I can't believe she has produced a product that is NOT Lugol's and has a label that says it is Lugol's. The iodine everyone needs is iodine AND potassium iodide in a very specific ratio. Dr H. Clark's doesn't seem to be that type."
12/03/2008: Bill from Longmont, Colorado replies: "The reason Lugol's is made the way it is is because it is a constant concentration solution of Iodine. If some of the water evaporates over time, a drop still has 6.5 mg of elemental iodine in it. This makes it a very safe way to administer iodine."

Lugol's Iodine Contraindications

10/21/2013: Beberobozo from New York: "Iodine Painting:

Hello, I am 59 year old female and just ordered some Lugols iodine and then I used it for a day and then looked up on webMD and lifescript and even here on EC that you cannot use Iodine if you are on certain high blood pressure medications which I am for now.. Been using natural things as complimentary .. going to find the balance ... Is this true? Can't use iodine at all? Thank You."



DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.


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