Lugol’s iodine is discussed thoroughly by many Medical Doctors such as Dr. David Brownstein, Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. Jorge Flechas and others such as Lynn Farrow. In 1833 it was discussed and used extensively, as explained in the book United States Dispensatory, where they say, “Iodine was first employed as a medicine in 1819, by Coindet, of Geneva. Iodine, whether taken into the stomach in the form of the element or as one of the salts, is absorbed readily and circulates in the blood. The possibility of the absorption of iodine through the skin has been a subject of some difference of opinion.”

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In 1932 Nyiri and Jannetti (J.P. Ex. T., 1932, xlv, 85) found, “From experiments upon rabbits with the tincture of iodine concluded that about 88 per cent. of the iodine evaporates from the surface in the course of a few days but that the remainder, which combines with the skin is gradually absorbed and appears later in the urine.” (p 568).

The United States Dispensatory says iodine is a powerful stimulant to heart and blood vessels, influences metabolism, increases the breakdown and elimination of uric acid, absorbs fibroid tissues, breaks down syphilis and tuberculosis lesions. They specifically say, “In the early stages iodine is useful because it forms a freely soluble compound with the mercury and thereby tends to prevent the deposit of the metal in  internal organs.” (p569)

They go on to say, “In leprosy it apparently has a somewhat similar type of action, although less marked. It has also a potent effect in actinomycosis and even appears to have a direct curative effect.” Actinomycosis is a rare infectious bacterial disease.

They used iodine and reported great success with pleurisy, pericarditis, bronchitis, rheumatism, goiter and heavy metal contamination. They say, “Potassium iodide forms in the body a freely soluble compound with either mercury or lead, and is therefore frequently used in the treatment of lead poisoning or in mercurial cachexia, to hasten the elimination of the metal.”

It was further praised as the most powerful germicide available, “One part in 28,000 killed both B. coli and Staph. aureus in thirty minutes. Simons founds that to kill anthrax spores much stronger solutions were needed, the U.S. P. tincture (7 per cent.) requiring two hours.” They continued using it as a surgical disinfectant in studies that found, “Iodine was the only one of the germicides tested that would kill bacteria in strengths that were not injurious to the tissue cells.” (p 570)

In addition to use as a surgical disinfectant, they used it for fungus infections of the skin like ringworm.

Iodine gained notoriety in 1812 by Courtois, a soda manufacturer of Paris.

The Dispensatory says, “It exists in certain marine algae, particularly the kelps and rockweeds, which have long been its most abundant natural source. In different countries sea weeds are burned for the sake of their ashes, the product being a dark-colored fused mass called kelp, varec or barilla, according to the locality where it is produced.” (p 567)

They go on to say, “All sea weeds do not contain enough iodine to make the industry profitable. Van Itallie has shown that Zoster marina only contains 0.0019 per cent of total iodine.” (p 567).

Lugol’s iodine is a combination of potassium iodine and potassium iodide. Different cells of the body use one for or the other. They are simply added to distilled water in the balanced combination that the body uses.

To make Lugol’s 5% you will need to:

Protect your counter top by covering it with a large trash bag. Only use wood or glass jar and utensils. 

Put 67.5 grams potassium iodide into a quart mason jar filled with 16 ounces of distilled water. (This bottle is 100 grams, we use this scale to measure it.)

Stir until fully combined.

  • The below links may not be working, due to Covid closing borders. Iodine crystals are mainly mined in China, which has been closed for shipping to America due to potential virus transfer. E bay has been the best place to source the iodized crystals, described below, also known as potassium iodine.

Add 34 grams of iodized crystals and stir until dissolved. (This bottle contains 50 grams which we measure on the same scale. This one is 100 grams if you’re making a double batch.) These crystals are purchased from Chili or China and can also be called Iodine Prilled or Iodine Balls. If you do not live in Chile or China when placing your order, expect the full 6 weeks for them to arrive.

Let the mixture stand overnight and it’s ready to use the next day. 

Iodine should be stored in an airtight amber bottle to avoid oxidation

************* Jim Chapin,  The Xterminator and owner of a natural pest control company XthatBug.com in Chattanooga, Tennessee, did some more advanced math for us and found that if  you use the two products listed above (this one and this one), they can both just be added to 23.7 ounces of distilled water.

Making your own Lugol’s 5% costs the same for 16 ounces as is does to buy half of a one ounce bottle of Lugol’s from commercial sources. A 16-ounce bottle of 2% is commercially about $90.00. It would take 2.5 bottles of this commercial bottle to equal the recipe above, costing you $225. Yet you can make it yourself for $27.00. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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5 Responses to Lugol’s 5% Iodine Recipe

  1. Karen says:

    Wow— how often do you use it? Or do you only use it for specific treatments or times?

  2. Robin Teferi says:

    Thank you. Do you only recommend painting it on the body as Natasha says, or do you recommend ingesting it?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Painting iodine is how we start with iodine on GAPS. If the deficiency is there, we start ingesting, as needed. We are so bromide, and other halide saturated in our environment that it’s a common deficiency. Dr. Natasha’s words on this are on in the “GAPS, Stage by Stage, With Recipes” book.

  3. David says:

    I would caution against ingesting Lugols in the strengths usually recommended. Iodine is a powerful disinfectant, as the article above says. Not only will it kill pathogens like E Coli (written as B Coli above) and S Aureus, but it will kill almost everything else in your mouth, stomach and small intestine. Each of these areas has its own microbiome.

    Brownstein’s protocol starts with one drop of 5% Lugols in a glass of water, the strength used for disinfecting water to drink. If it will kill all the bacteria in water, why would it not kill everything in the gut? Brownstein’s protocol allows for much more than one drop – people had been taking up to 50 drops when I was following it.

    Now Brownstein claims that iodine is an adaptogen, that it kills only bad bacteria. This shows how little he knows about the microbiome. There are very few actual *bad* bacteria. Clostridium Difficile is one. Most of the rest are part of a diverse mix of bacteria that keep each other in check. People even live quite successfully with small numbers of C Difficile in their gut and no symptoms.

    Then look at E Coli. Some strains can cause bloody diarrhoea which is why it is demonised. However, other strains cure bloody diarrhoea. A small number of E Coli in the gut is actually helpful.

    Most gut problems associated with bacteria are because the species are out of balance. For example, it is not uncommon for bacteroides to be over 50%, when a healthy level is under 20%. The solution is not to try to kill off all bacteroides – some are beneficial – because you will inevitably kill off a lot of good species. Instead, try to feed up the other species so that the proportion of bacteroides declines naturally. This can be easily done with targeted prebiotics and prebiotic foods.

    How do I know all this? Well, I followed Brownstein’s protocol for six months back in 2015.

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