More About Iodine
In the last newsletter I looked at the use of iodine for sinus-related problems. In this one I will offer another approach to using iodine for the sinuses (and the eyes), and point out why this approach can be beneficial even if you do not have chronic sinus problems. As well, we will look at a few other medicinal uses for this miraculous mineral (including for hair loss).
As pointed out in my blogs on Alzheimer’s disease, it is currently believed that microbes, mold, and fungi, inhabiting the brain, are responsible for the formation of amyloid plaque. It turns out that amyloid plaque is a symptom of the problem, and not the cause of Alzheimer’s, as was previously believed. Since the sinuses (and possibly the eyes) are an avenue for these disruptive elements to get into the brain, practicing good sinus and eye hygiene will also ultimately help to prevent dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dave Asprey (of Bulletproof fame) has a video on Youtube in which he creates a rinse for the sinuses and eyes. Below is a summary of his procedure, followed by a link to his video.
Fill a large salad bowl with filtered, fairly hot water (not hot enough to burn), add some natural salt (about ½ teaspoon per cup of water). Most sinus rinses contain salt because it is antibacterial, whereas regular water can promote bacteria growth. (Sometimes in a deadly way, as with the woman in Seattle, who ended up with a brain-eating amoeba as a result of her nasal rinse containing only tap water, run through an old Brita filter, and no saline solution.)
To the salt water, one then adds a few drops of iodine, and some xylitol (optional). Xylitol is used in many nasal rinses as it both removes bacteria, and reduces biofilm (which the bacteria uses to protect itself). According to one study, “xylitol irrigations result in greater improvement of symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis as compared to saline irrigation”.
Once the solution is mixed, one should dip their face into the bowl (spine parallel to the floor). Open the eyes underwater, and blink a few times; this will kill bad bacteria that can inhabit the eyes, and will help with allergies by clearing pollen, and pollutants, from the eyes.
Now comes (what I consider to be) the hard part. Close your eyes and suck up the water through your nose. The solution should not go down your throat (if you are at the proper angle), but, if done correctly, should collect at the back of the mouth. When the mouth is full, spit the water into a sink, and repeat.
According to Asprey, regular use will break up biofilm in the sinuses, reduce inflammation, and clear your mind. He says, “When I started using this technique, I did it about 10 times a day, because my sinus congestion was so severe. Now, I only do it once or twice a week as maintenance. It changed my life.” Video Link
Other Medical Uses for Iodine
In a patent application titled, “Anti-infective iodine based compositions for otic and nasal use” (“otic” referring to the ear), I found a number of references to other topical iodine medications. This overview gives one an idea of the broad area of ailments that could well respond to treatment with iodine, and iodine derivatives. The following material is quoted directly from the patent application.
“The use of iodoform and iodine-based agents to manage infections is well known in the dental and wound care areas. For example, a dental paste containing iodoform is marketed by Neo Dental International under the name Vitapex. Iodoform has also been used in wound treatment products.” (Personally, I have often used topical, undiluted Lugol’s Solution on my gums, to treat dental abscesses, with great success.)
“Hei et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,663,902 describes the use of iodine/iodine containing substances to clean, sanitize, deodorize, and disinfect animate and inanimate surfaces, and suggests use in the veterinary field to treat ear and eye disease.”
“Spencer, H. N. Iodoform and Alum in Aural Therapeutics. American Journal of Otology, 1879; 1; 287-290 describes the use of iodoform in treating certain “papillary growths” (“benign tumors with clinically destructive behavior”) in the ear.”
“Dixon, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,554,361 discloses the use of processed iodine-solutions for skin and hair treatment and compositions used to relieve pain and infection associated with the ear and auditory canals. Dixon also describes the use of processed iodine-solutions to treat ingrown toenail pain, blood circulation and removal of wrinkles.”
Finally, here is a little more material on using iodine topically to treat hair loss. Note that they suggest using decolorized iodine, since conventional iodine stains the skin (though the stain disappears within 8 hours).
“The quickest and most effective way to stop hair fall caused by iodine deficiency is to use white (decolorized) iodine. When applied topically on areas that are experiencing hair loss, white iodine can get absorbed into your scalp and enter your bloodstream to boost hair growth. It has shown promising results in treating bald spots caused by alopecia. Another way it combats hair fall is by attacking any fungal infection that could be feeding on your hair follicles and weakening your hair.” (Source)
I, and countless others, have used strong forms of iodine topically for treating many conditions, but for those new to this, there is one important thing to be aware of: the only way to seriously overdose on iodine, is through topical application. When iodine is ingested orally it is processed through the body in a manner which prevents serious overload. Topically, iodine enters the bloodstream directly, without involving the stomach and liver, and thus can be dangerous if overdone. So, topical usage should only be done for short periods, and after doing more research. As well, consider ensuring you are taking in selenium if you are using topical iodine for longer than a couple of days, as it draws upon selenium reserves.