The human body needs the basic element iodine, but does not produce its own, and iodine deficiency is common. Lugol’s iodine is an excellent way to supplement the body with iodine to correct this deficiency. Iodine, especially in the form of Lugol’s, benefits multiple body processes, making Lugol’s iodine a natural remedy for a variety of health issues. Additionally, since iodine is antiseptic in nature, it can be used topically to fight infections and heal skin conditions.
Lugol’s iodine was created by French scientist Jean Lugol in 1829.
Lugol’s iodine is not the name of a brand of iodine, but the name of a specific formulation of iodine.
Lugol’s Iodine is an aqueous solution of potassium iodide and iodine. “Aqueous solution” simply means that water is the medium for the iodine.
Lugol’s Iodine contains three forms of iodine – molecular iodine, iodide, tri-iodide. The body will use different forms for different purposes.
Iodide helps to remove heavy metals like mercury, lead, aluminum, and arsenic from the body.
Iodide is used by the thyroid and salivary glands and the skin.
Elemental iodine is used by the breasts, prostrate, digestive system, and brain.
There will be a wide range of iodine needs and as with most natural remedies there is no “one size fits all” dosage.
The famous Dr. D. C. Jarvis recommended a tonic twice a week of the following:
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with 1 drop of Lugol’s (5%) Solution, taken twice a week.
Some alternative doctors recommend 12.5-50 mg of Lugol’s Iodine daily, especially when treating hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, and other significant health problems. However, it is wise to work with a trained medical professional when taking larger amounts of Lugol’s solution. Suddenly taking large amounts of iodine (or any supplement for that matter) is likely to cause side effects. This is likely in part due to the fact that iodine is removing metals and toxins from the body.
When the body is deficient in one nutrient, it is not uncommon for it to be deficient in others. When taking Lugol’s solution it is important that “companion nutrients” are also available to the body because iodine works with these nutrients in the body.
Lugol’s Iodine is typically sold in two strengths – 2% and 5%.
2% Lugol’s Solution
5% Lugol’s Solution
Lugol’s Iodine is ideally taken in the morning or afternoon. Taking it in the late afternoon or evening can cause insomnia since iodine helps to restore energy.
Taking Lugol’s Iodine with food helps with the absorption of iodine.
Companion nutrients can be taken at the same time.
Lugol’s iodine solution is used topically as a disinfectant and to treat a variety of skin problems.
Lugol’s iodine will cause a temporary staining of the skin! For some, the stain will disappear in a few hours. For others it can take days. Iodine does absorb through the skin and is a preferred way for some to “take” an iodine supplement. However, it can be difficult to ensure how much iodine the body is receiving when using this method. For people who experience side effects from oral use, however, this may be a better way to benefit from iodine.
For skin use, apply 5% Lugol’s iodine to the area of concern once or twice daily as long as necessary. If skin is sensitive or broken, 5% may be too strong and 2% used instead. Alternately, after applying iodine massage some castor oil or coconut oil into the iodine painted area to keep the area from stinging or burning.
Historically, a sore throat was painted (internally) with iodine.
For oral infections, Lugol’s iodine can be added to water and swished in the mouth. (1 drop in a tablespoon of water.)
Iodine is included in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, and specifically noted for its benefit to the thyroid gland.
Historically, iodine was commonly prescribed by doctors for a variety of health problems, especially for goiter. With the invention of pharmaceutical medications, iodine fell out of favor. Advocates of natural health, however, has helped to re-popularize using iodine supplements to correct iodine deficiency, which in turns relieves health problems caused by iodine deficiency.
Of course, the ideal way to get iodine into the body is with food. However, there are a limited number of foods that contain iodine, and levels of iodine in foods is often not enough to supply the daily needs of the body.
Some foods that contain iodine are the following:
Unfortunately, because soils are often depleted of iodine, many of these foods lack ideal iodine levels.
While fish and sea vegetables can be good sources of iodine, they are often not accessible or utilized.
Other additives in food and water can affect the amount of iodine that is actually available for the body to use.
Iodine used to be added to bread as a dough conditioner. However, it turns out that bromide works well in place of iodine in bread and is less expensive. Not only has this reduced the amount of iodine in common food sources, bromide inhibits the body’s uptake of iodine.
Chlorine and fluoride, common elements added to water supplies, also keep the body from effectively using the iodine it receives through foods.
While iodine is added to table salt, the amount added is the minimum required to keep goiters at bay. Non iodized sea salts are gaining popularity because they are less processed and contain additional trace minerals. And processed foods contain salt without additional iodine. These factors contribute to the very low amounts of iodine available in many modern diets.
Low iodine levels can cause many health problems including hypothyroidism, cretinism (mental retardation) in babies born to mothers whom are iodine deficient, dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, slow metabolism, fibrocystic breast disease, migraines, low resistance to infection, and anxiety to name a few.
Fortunately, iodine supplementation can bring relief to conditions caused by iodine insufficiency, and Lugol’s iodine is an ideal way to supplement with iodine.
Amazon has reasonable prices for Lugol's Iodine. We at Earth Clinic have used the J. Crow's brand for years with great success.
Have you used Lugol’s Iodine? Please tell us about your experience!