Iodine for infections

There’s quite a bit of information on the web about the internal use of iodine for urinary tract infections. See a list. Most or all of this info comes from naturopathic and holistic type folks, not from PubMed. I believe that in the old days, iodine in the form of tincture or Lugol’s was commonly used for urinary tract infections, but am unable to confirm this.

A couple days ago, my pet fish was obviously very ill, lying in the bottom of the bowl, hardly moving, refusing to eat. In fact, several times I had to to tap the bowl because I thought he was dead. This went on for maybe five days, and I thought he was a goner for sure. Thinking that he had a bacterial infection, and also that his death was imminent and not knowing what else to do, I put one drop of Lugol’s iodine in his water. I was also concerned that that amount of iodine might be toxic to him. Guess what, the next day he was much better, and as of today it’s like he was never sick.

Last year, a friend of mine who has pet rats asked me what to do when her rat started bleeding. Seems that the most common cause for finding blood in a rat’s cage is a urinary tract infection. She of course didn’t want to spend a huge sum on a vet. Her rat was very sick, and I figured that an infection like that could easily kill him, especially if it got to his kidneys. So I told her to go to the drugstore and buy some tincture of iodine, and add a couple drops to his water bottle. Again, I wasn’t sure about dose and toxicity. (Note the skull and crossbones that a bottle of tincture of iodine displays.) Anyway, it worked like a charm; cured the little guy.

Not recommending this, but it might be useful information.

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4 comments
Allan Folz says September 27, 2014

I think the problem with medicine in the US is everyone wants to go with the high-cost (high profit-margin) solution first, rather than start cheap ‘n simple and work one’s way to more expensive and complex treatments as the illness dictates. A little tincture on day 1 is entirely reasonable. The old ways may not have always worked in every situation, but they worked often enough to be of value. We’ve lost a lot of the “tribal knowledge” of simple DIY treatment options

I suppose that’s become the case with everything now: out-source it to an expert, medicine on down to oil changes, house cleaning, and even child rearing.

Getting back to iodine, I’ve wondered if it’s another chronically deficient nutrient in most people’s diets. If one looks as the amount of iodine the Japanese ingest from seafood and kelp, westerners are woefully inadequate. On the other hand, I’ve seen suggestions the Japanese have evolved the ability to handle their high iodine intakes. I have no idea on the truth of that, but it seems a reasonably possible thing to happen. I’ve also seen suggestions, though again never with solid substantiation, that too much iodine is bad. What I’ve settled on is supplementing the yogurt I make w/ for the family with some liquid potassium iodide. It works out to about an extra 50% of the RDA per person per day. Doubtful not enough to treat or create any kind of chronic condition, but should be plenty safe as a prophylaxsis.

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Mangan says September 27, 2014

Allan, thanks for the comment. Yes, the Japanese have a much higher intake of iodine than we do, and have lower rates of breast cancer, the breast being an organ that takes up a good amount of iodine. I’ve read lots of back and forth on this issue, and I do supplement myself with Lugol’s iodine. If you haven’t already read them, check out Dr. Guy Abraham’s extensive articles on iodine and its supplementation, for which he’s all in favor.

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Sam says October 1, 2014

I’ve read some of the same things you have and bought some 2% Luguls. I’ve not seen any big difference but the fish and rat story makes me think, Hm…try it again.

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willard says October 3, 2014

Back in the ”dark ages”(1950s) alcohol and iodine were the common antiseptics for all practical purposes. Gentian violet and kerosene were also used for surface disinfectants less commonly. Iodine was the only one that could be ingested if greatly diluted, according to my grandmother who died in 1955.

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