Lugol's Iodine: Treatment and Side Effects

Lugol's Iodine and Thyroid Meds

Posted by Tamirx (Los Angeles County) on 12/17/2013

My question is about Lugol's Iodine. I am taking 60 mg. of Thyroid (Armour type) a day. Will the Iodine interfere in any way w/this daily intake of thyroid?

I know some doctors are against adding Iodine saying it will cause havoc w/my body and thyroid. I don't know of a doctor (endocrinologist) who wants to bother w/anything but dealing w/just thyroid. I am not doing well. Am tired all the time and gaining weight. My hair is falling out. It was no different when on synthetic thyroid.

Replied by Maureen
(Courtenay, British Columbia)

Thyroid - been reading on this site about coconut oil and apple cider vinegar for thyroid. Yesterday I started adding 1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil to my green smoothie in the morning - will let you know how it works out. Have a look at what others are saying about getting off thyroid meds!

Replied by Diane
(Ca, US)

Hi, I am on Armour thyroid and I take Lugols. I am feeling better and better, not sure what it is, probably all. Lugols, coconut oil, exercise, yoga, gi gong, So it hasn't hurt me to take it. I have been doing it transdermal and not everyday, reading other comments think I will switch to drinking. I had read just the opposite, that you get more transdermally, so what the heck.

There is a test to see if you need iodine and that is by putting iodine on the skin and if it absorbs within a certain time Google "skin test for deficiency" if you are interested in checking this out.

It took a while for the Armour to work after switching from the synthetic. Probably 6 months. Feel almost normal, though I cant work like I use to (overdo it) and are fantastic sources of information for hypothyroid condition

Replied by Virgil Stucker

Check out this doctor's book.

Free Medfox Book | Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD (

I nebulize with Lugol's 2% and food grade hydrogen peroxide all the time. I use 1 or 2 Drops of Lugol's and 1% mix of HP. 1/2 teaspoon at a time in nebulizer pot. Once a day.

Lugol's Iodine Transdermal Method

Posted by Martin (Amsterdam) on 12/12/2013

Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article today on Lugol's iodine supplementation. Thank you. Do you have an opinion on the Lugol's Iodine Transdermal Method? I have been using the method for about 2 months and find it gives very good results. I use up to 4 drops per day rubbed into my forearms. Best Regards.

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

To Bill,

Excellent newsletter on Iodine.

Can the Iodine be "painted" on the skin? This is the preferred means of application I'd read many years ago.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Martin...Much thanks for your kind words. Regarding transdermal iodine, this method can certainly be used to deliver small amounts of iodine to the thyroid (by painting the throat with iodine) or breasts (by painting the breasts). However I think using this method wastes alot of lugol's iodine.

I actually researched transdermal iodine use some years ago and could find hardly any information on the amounts of iodine actually delivered to the blood as a percentage of actual iodine used.

However, I did stumble across an article by Dr Derry, a well-known pro-iodine doctor. In that article he described the effectiveness of using transdermal iodine and mentions some meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932. Apparently, when Iodine is applied to the skin, 50% evaporates within 2 hours and between 75% and 80% of the iodine evaporates within 24 hours with a total delivery of iodine into the blood stream of between only 8% to 11%.

So, assuming that you transdermally use 4 drops of 5% lugols iodine (equivalent to 25 mgs elemental iodine) and if we also assume from the research that only 10% is actually delivered into the blood, then this means that only 2.5 mgs the iodine actually gets into the blood via the transdermal method. The other 22.5 mgs simply evaporates and is wasted.

Since the transdermal iodine method is so inefficient and wasteful, I would therefore not recommend it to achieve proper whole body iodine sufficiency. Even with supplementing oral lugols iodine dosages of 50 mgs per day, it will still take the body about 3 months to come up to whole body iodine sufficiency -- it's not quick!!

A much better method of delivery(in greater amounts) via the transdermal route would be to simply use 4 drops of lugols iodine together with a teaspoonful of DMSO (70% DMSO and 30% water). This will assure at least 80% approx delivery of the transdermal iodine into the blood, which would equate to about 20 mgs -- much more efficient.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer the oral method of taking lugols iodine with a glass of water as by far the easiest and most effective way to supplement lugols iodine.

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

Hello Bill,

Again, you had a wonderful newsletter on Iodine in the latest Earth Clinic email edition.

You site Dr. David Derry's post in "Ask About" and that too was an illuminating article. In light of your advocacy of Iodine consumed orally as more efficient than topical to achieve a "whole body sufficiency" condition as you call it, I missed how much you recommend daily. Forgive me if you said it but is 5 drops daily of iodine too much?

Back to Derry's article, he does highly recommend Iodine on the skin to rid the skin of skin infections so as an anti-viral the topical method should not be overlooked. In fact, his accounts of topical applications was an endorsement of topical usage although as you rightly observe, his observation for body wide absorption is not well achieved by topical painting.

I'm always searching for any anti-viral, anti-fungal that can be found and had overlooked the old iodine stand-by that I grew up with. Derry had an interesting observation in saying that in days of old many people would carry around a little bottle of iodine to apply topically if a problem arose.

Again, thank you for your good research.

Magnesium for Iodine Protocol

Posted by Gracie (Nottingham) on 08/13/2020


I'm interested in following Bill's Iodine Protocol, and am unsure of the correct amount of magnesium to take. The instructions say to take between 400 mgs and 1200 mgs of magnesium per day. I've just purchased some Nova Magnesium Chloride, 520 mgs per tablet, believing that if I took two of these they would provide over 1,000 mgs of magnesium. However in the supplement facts at the side of the bottle it informs me that there is only 62.17 mgs per tablet of magnesium. Does this mean that I will have to take multiple tablets to get the required magnesium that the protocol calls for?

Thanks for any help.

Replied by Stephane

Packaging facing often show the total weight of the pill/capsule with the element magnesium is bond (ie glycinate, malate, oxide, etc...). On the back is indicated the magnesium element content which is what usually is referred to when giving magnesium dosage recommendations.

Making Iodine

Posted by Om (Hope Bc Canada) on 07/03/2014

Hello, Bill --- thank you for your instructions which I will utilize soon when I am ready.

For now I am unable to obtain Iodine 5% (Lugol's) as the Canadian people have had their freedom of obtaining health products taken away or made so expensive. In the past I have read that one can make one's own iodine from other sources. I do not remember the details. Would you be able to enlighten me on that?

I have been to two acquarium shops but they had nothing. Can you help? It would be serious not to be without it under the present circumstances on this planet.

Thank you. Namaste, Om

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando Philippines)

Hi Om...If you are unable to locate the lugols iodine at pet shops or at a vets then then the only option left is the internet vendors that sell the 5% Lugols Iodine.

Here are some online lugols iodine vendors: Lugols Iodine Vendors

J Crow's Lugols Iodine

If you prefer, you can take Iodoral instead of Lugol's Iodine. This is just 5% lugol's iodine in pill form as described in this link. These are easily obtainable at this link.

Pure Formulas

There is also another product called IodoRx which is virtually the same as Iodoral:

Complimentary Medicine


And this iodine website vendor definitely ships to Canada:

Breast Cancer Choices

Replied by Green Augustine
(Mold, Denbighshire)
41 posts

Hello Bill,

I've been using the pH balance as suggested in the book by you and Ted and generally felt a lot better in that I've had no acid reflux. I've also been testing both saliva and urine and most days it around 7. However, I still do get nausea and wind at times and wonder if I should also be following your Gerd protocol with the Betaine etc. I've been taking Colostrum for leaky gut now for several weeks. I am struggling as when I get up I feel quite nauseous and dizzy at times and have dark rings round my eyes, especially between my brow and the crease of my eyelids, so I'm wondering if I have a sluggish liver or kidneys or both from following a Paleo diet for 12 months before I found this site and started Alkalising. During the day I'm generally fine and work in my garden or go out etc but then after sittin g for an hour or so reading before bed, I notice the dark behind my eyes has gone darker than in the day time and it's very tender. I often feel a bit nauseous then too. I know you're not a doctor but you seem very knowledgable. Any help would be most appreciated.

Also, with regards to reviewing your book, is there somewhere on this site I can review it, as I only have access to Amazon UK and I don't know if they'll let me review a book I didn't buy from them. But I'll try.

I hope Ted is on the mend. I haven't seen any new posts as to how he is. Blessings and good health to you all.

Replied by Green Augustine
(Mold, Denbighshire)
41 posts

Hello again Bill. I've just re read your Gerd protocol and see my question is answered there, Betaine HCL is part of the protocol. However, when I spoke to the researcher here in UK (who also sells Colostrum, he's a one-man small business and very keen on the benefits of Colostrum) on using Colostrum for my leaky gut, he said he didn't think it would be good to combine it with Betaine. I not sure why. Do you have any ideas on this? Many thanks.

Skin Cancer

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jp (Arizona, Usa) on 05/02/2016

My quarter size of unhealing skin cancer was gone after applying 7% Lugol's Iodine to it, painted 30 coats on it. Doc wanted to have a surgeon cut a Moh's surgery hole in the skin. Ha! Fixed it myself, and looking at my arm 6 months later, you can't even find where it was. Thanks to Dr. Simoncini.

Replied by Lilly
(Manchester, Ct)

This is amazing to hear, I have anetoderma, a rare and without cure autoimmune skin disease, and I'm searching for a natural cure. If anyone has any idea if this could help I would love to hear it. Should I take it orally or apply it to a lesion?

Replied by Jp

Dr. Tulio Simoncini recos 7% Lugols.

Replied by Laura
(Washington, DC)

Did you apply all 30 coats at once? If not, what was your protocol?

Replied by Richie
(Liverpool England)

Hi, could you tell me what iodine % you used I'm trying to help my mum with two skin cancers

Skin Cancer
Posted by Mary-Jane (N. Z., Christchurch) on 03/22/2016

Hello, Bill,

Can you advise whether a 50/50 mix of Lugol's Iodine with baking soda would be safe to apply to skin cancers on the scalp? And what strength? A woman reported swabbing them with that mixture three times daily for three days, and they had gone within five days. Any risk of side effects or reaction that way, for someone who has fibrillation following heart valve op. some years ago? Thank you.

Supplementing With Lugol's Iodine

1 User Review

Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Philippines) on 01/02/2014

On EC, there have been several people asking about how to supplement Lugol's Iodine.

So here is a link to a pdf written by Stephanie Buist from the Iodine Yahoo Group. This pdf is a detailed description on how to supplement Iodine, with companion nutrients, for babies, children and adults. This detailed explanation on how to supplement iodine resulted from her own experiences with Dr Brownstein successfully helping her with her own thyroid problems.

The Guide to Supplementing with Iodine

Replied by Naturallykera
(Troutville, Va)
3 posts

For years, I've been taking between 6 to 8 drops of Lugol's Iodine a day (37.5 mgs to 50 mgs) in split dosages as maintenance and I have never had any side-effects or problems. You can simply take LI with a glass of water or you can add the LI dose to a solution of Ascorbic acid or Ascorbate (Vitamin C). I also take LI drops mixed with Humic Acid granules in water (add a small amount of Humic Acid to the water until it turns golden brown and not black) and then add a tablespoon of ACV - this makes it a strong anti-viral. There are many ways to supplement Lugol's Iodine."

I have a tooth that could need a root canal, I do not have pain yet but my lymph node is swollen. Could this method clean out the infection? Thanks!

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Naturallykera...I had a bad and painful wobbly tooth early last year with exposed and visible roots. For completely unrelated reasons, I started taking turpentine by mouth regularly because I wanted to test it. Within a month, all the tooth pain disappeared and the tooth firmed up completely. I later learned through research that turps is easily absorbed by the skin and gums. So it was the disinfection action of the the turps which cured my tooth/root problem.

Because of this beneficial experience with oral turps, I now take three drops of turps on my tongue and just hold it in my mouth as long as I can. If you swallow the turps, it wont hurt you. Do not wash your mouth out afterwards -- because the turps is still working in your mouth. With your tooth problem, I would take this simple protocol three times a day every day. Within a month or so you may well have a cured tooth or root canal. Turps is easily absorbed by the skin or gums which allows it to penetrate deeper to disinfect the roots of the teeth. I use turps on a regularly basis like this now.

Another protocol you could also use is one by Hulda Clark. Take a teaspoon of 50% DMSO on its own and just hold it in your mouth for about a minute or so to allow the DMSO to sufficiently penetrate the gums/roots and then spit it out. Do not wash out your mouth afterwards (DMSO will have a warming effect in your mouth), DMSO kills bacteria, parasites and viruses. I use this one too, but I also prefer to add 4 drops of lugols iodine to the 50% DMSO for the extra anti-pathogen action of the iodine.

If you do have to get a root canal, then you should do all you can to find a proper Biological Dentist as opposed to a normal everyday dentist. A proper Biological Dentist will take great pains to clean out and properly disinfect your root canal area. A regular dentist will just fill your root canal with some muck and goo that wont kill all the pathogens properly.

Here are some more good reasons why you should see a Bio Dentist:

Replied by Naturallykera
3 posts

Thank you Bill,

I can't wait to try the turpentine, where should I purchase is? There are a lot to choose from and I am not sure which one to get, thanks!

Replied by Pivi

@ Naturallykera - be careful with turpentine - I had never heard of any use other than as a solvent for paints... (art supplies shops carry it)!

Replied by Alice

@ Bill,

Are all DMSO the same? Where can I get some in the UK? I would like to combine it with Iodine and other minerals in a bottle, to spray on my skin order to bypass the digestive process because I have gut issues. Thanks!

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Alice...In answer to your question: DMSO is Dimethylsulfoxide -- and its only the purity that varies according to the grade of the product. You can buy DMSO in UK from the following sources. See links:

DMSO 99 Website

Ebay DMSO(selling DMSO UK)

Both DMSO products from these website sources are pharma grade(99.98% pure).

Replied by Paula
(Pa, US)

Bill and Alice,

I started out with 2 drops of iodine twice a day because I had taken another iodine previously which did not produce the benefits promised by Lugols. I also started ACV at the same time and began having diarrhea. I have colitis and have to follow a diet which had cured the diarrhea I had had for 20 years. I assumed the ACV had caused the diarrhea. After a week without it, I'm still getting diarrhea in pretty substantial amounts, even using Lugols at 1 or 2 drops a day.

Alice, not trying to pry, but have your gut issues been affected by Lugols, if you have used it as you described? And have you experienced the promised benefits? And Bill, I noticed your comment about Iodoral being good for those with gut issues. I used Iodoral for years without noticing much benefit, while having the stomach problems, that is, before I found the diet which cleared them up. So I don't know if the Iodoral helped or hurt. I use all the recommended companion nutrients, though I have not heard of the salt loading before. I'm not anxious to use the turpentine, since it is supposed to have a laxative effect.

Replied by Frances
(Cabarlah, Qld.)

Maybe query for Bill. I am doing the Iodine Protocol which includes Selenium. I just bought L-glutathione 500 mg. Should I take this?

Replied by Tessa
(Loveland, Oh)

Hi Bill. I read in your post (which was great, BTW) that you sometimes mix the iodine with Vitamin C. But I read on several other sites not to take Vitamin C within 2 hours of taking your iodine. What do you say about this? Thanks so much!

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Tessa...Thanks for your question.

Here's how I sometimes take Lugol's Iodine -- with reasons.

In one glass of water I add a half tspn of ascorbic acid. Then I add 6 drops of 5% Lugol's Iodine. Whenever LI is added to Ascorbic Acid the molecular iodine will then be converted to iodide and some of the Ascorbic Acid is converted to Dyhydroascorbic Acid or DHA -- which is a much more highly absorbable and beneficial form of Vitamin C.

Then I add 1/4 tspn of Sodium Bicarbonate to this mix and this converts all the Ascorbic Acid and DHA to the more alkaline and useful ascorbate form.

You can also add herbs like Gymnema sylvestre tea to this mix(as a water substitute) to turn it into a highly effective antifungal. See the other useful alkaline drinks at the end of this article link.

Many on EC already know about taking lugol's iodine this way with vitamin C which, again, is according to Ted's advice.

Replied by Tessa

Thanks for your reply, Bill.

I have another question. The protocol that I just began today (after finally getting my Lugol's 2%) is very conservative in the hopes of avoiding side effects. They recommend starting with only 1 drop and then every two weeks increasing by 3 drops, until you reach the 20 needed to reach 50mg. I plotted it out on the calendar and it will take me 3 months to reach the full amount. While I do not want to deal with major side effects, I wonder if that's being a bit TOO careful. Also, I AM taking Vitamin C, selenium, and magnesium so I feel that should help as well.

Thanks for your input.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernado)

Hi Tessa...

Yes, increasing your dosage by one drop once every two weeks is a very slow method of attaining the eventual proper recommended dose. And also remember that it will probably take about three months at 50 mgs LI a day just for your body to reach the required normal healthy levels of iodine/iodide. So if you take 2% LI increasing at one drop every two weeks then it will probably take you over a year for you to reach normal body iodine levels. If you are taking 2% LI then you should be working towards attaining 20 drops a day to get to the 50 mgs mark.

But LI dosages can be touchy with certain people. As I've explained in the past this is probably because iodine is just too good at what it does. It is both a first rate detoxer -- it can detox cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, fluorine and bromine -- as well as being one of the best all round pathogen killers out there.

So whenever people get a bad reaction to LI -- perhaps due to excessive heavy metal detox or an excess pathogen kill causing the Herx -- people immediately seem to blame poor old iodine when in actual fact these people are the ones that are chock full of mercury, lead, bromine, fluorine and pathogens. Who's fault is that?

So people's reactions to iodine will always vary according to what bad things they have been putting into there own bodies for a lifetime. I was lucky when I first started taking iodine -- I had no reaction to it at all and went to 8 drops a day of 5% LI within a week(I increased dosage at 2 drops a day).

What I would do is simply increase your LI dosage by one drop every 3 days. If you do get a reaction from an increase then take one drop less next time and then stay at that dose for a week or two to allow your own body to cope with the detox or poisons from the dead pathogens(Herx). Then try upping the dose by one drop again later. And don't give up!!

Replied by Brian

Lugol's Iodine should not be taken with Ascorbic acid including orange juice etc because the Iodine will be converted to Iodide. A simple experiment with Lugol's in water in a clear glass will demonstrate this. If you add Ascorbic Acid the solution becomes clear. The body needs both the Iodine and Iodide forms.

Replied by Joanna
(Charlotte, Nc)

I need help. I was on borax therapy for about 3 months. Then I stopped and started Lugols Solution about two weeks ago w/magnesium, 5000mg vitamin C, desiccated liver which apparently has all the B vitamins and selenium, niacin, zinc. Also Cod liver oil and flaxseed oil. All was good when I started to take 12x3day drops of 2% LI when I noticed that I have severe PMS this week, puffiness/some weight gain, swolen breasts etc.

Last month, before LI therapy, when I was still on Borax, my period was virtually painless (usually always painful) and I hadn't had PMS since Borax therapy.

Can anyone tell me what caused the change in hormones? And the sudden surge of PMS this month? Is it the LI? Am I doing something wrong? Should I stop?


Replied by Bobbie

@Piva - Turpentine is pine oil.

Replied by michal

Does adding Lugol's iodine to a drink of water with lemon juice (vit. C) or ACV, cause the iodine to not work properly? What is the best way to take Lugol's 2% solution iodine, so it is most effective? Thanks for your reply.

Topical Use of Lugol's

Posted by Kate (Hudson, Wi) on 07/28/2015

Hello Mr. Bill Thompson,

I was wondering if you could comment on the effectiveness of Lugol's when used topically. I have two autistic sons, 13 and 11, and have been using nascent iodine for them because I read it is better for those who are sensitive. I do not have any specific information regarding their heavy metal load, but both had reactions after vaccinations. My oldest also struggles with yeast issues and violent tantrums.

I have no idea how to begin dosing them appropriately with Lugol's, and could not even be sure they would ingest it, and was hoping topically may help somewhat.

Thank you for any insights and suggestions,


Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Kate...All autistic children will have systemic candida and parasites infecting their bodies and their gut. This has been my own experience while working with a private autism group (for over 2 years).

So you will have to get rid of both the candida and the parasites to cure autism completely and this is not so easy. As well, Dr William Shaw has also found conclusive evidence from his own research that candida plus a huge variety of other bacterial species are also usually always involved in most ASD disorders as well as in many other diseases.

The point I'm making here is that you will have to use more than just lugols iodine to cure the ASD problems with your two boys.

I would therefore recommend that you use this protocol for your boys. This protocol will kill a huge variety of candida, bacteria and parasites(both large and small). This protocol uses gum turpentine which is hugely useful for killing a wide variety of pathogens and also removes biofilms. Here is what Ted from Bangkok said when I emailed him awhile ago and asked him his thoughts on using turpentine against candida:

"Yes you are right with turpentine and castor oil. I went further and safer using frankinsense and boswellic acid as the "turpentine". Hard to convince people to turpentine but they are terpenes which is also found it frankinsense and tea tree oil. And they are effective against candida and hard to kill fungus. Castor oil is a good mix but I also used myristin or undecylenic acid. Coconut oil is also good. You are on the right track. Ted"

Finally, be warned that if you use my protocol -- you will get Herx reactions that may cause strange behaviours in your two kids for short periods. This is normal and should be expected because this protocol kills large amounts of candida and other pathogens. So when they are destroyed, their toxins will naturally increase in the blood and go to the brain for a while causing strange behaviours. The same sort of reaction could also happen for the heavy metal detox from this protocol. I do not think using lugols iodine topically will help much to kill the systemic candida. There was some research done in the 1930s where they tested the absoption of iodine from the skin into the body. Their results showed that most of it evaporates from the skin and only about 4% to 8% of the iodine actually gets absorbed into the blood. And don't forget that we are not using iodine for the thyroid here -- so we need larger mg amounts of iodine to kill candida, not microgram amounts. The easiest way to find out your son's toxic heavy metal load is just to get a hair analysis done. This is fairly cheap.

Replied by Iana

Hi Kate, If you didn't already, I'd like to suggest you read the book GAPS - Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride who healed her autistic child with her specific diet.

@Bill Thank you for your comprehensive info on lugol's supplementation. Wish you both all the best.

Replied by Roger
(United States)

Hi Bill,

Yes the Borax is an amazing protocol for candida. I am doing Lugol's now with maintenance doses of the borax from a previous detox. It is worthwhile to note from my experience that I would not want to do both detoxes at the same time. The lugols makes me itchy somewhat whereas the borax made me feel like I had a flu for about 2-3 weeks with violent diarrhea. My personal feelings and you would know better but I would do the borax for 4 weeks before doing lugol's to minimize dual symptoms. When I get the itchy Lugol's detox symptoms I take extra vitamin C and an extra pinch of sea salt and filtered well water. I also filter all my water through my Berkey system which can also be used on tap water with the addition of a fluoride filter to good effect.

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