Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lugol's Solution - 'The Universal Medicine' since 1829

The history of iodine and the medical community dates back to the early 1800's. When it was first discovered in 1811 by Bernard Courtois, a French Chemist working for Napoleon while making gunpowder. Since on embargoes on France by England at that time prevented the shipment of saltpeter(potassium nitrate), which was utilized in the making of gunpowder, the French began to collect seaweed from their shores which is a great source of potassium and sodium salts. It took only 8 years for the medical community to begin to utilize the newly classified, naturally occurring element. It was a Swiss physician, J.F. Coindet who hypothesized that the active ingredient in sea sponge, that he was currently using to treat hyperthyroidism(goiter), was in fact iodine. In 1820, Coindet published the outstanding results he achieved with his hyperthyroid patients while using 250mg doses of iodine, very large by today's standards.
Physicians today would be surprised to learn that their predecessors described iodine as the 'Universal Medicine' and was used to treat conditions from asthma, paralysis, bronchitis and croup to staphylococcus infection. In fact it was utilized for every case that resisted routine practice. Nobel Laureate Albert Szent Györgyi, the Hungarian physician who discovered Vitamin C in 1928 commented saying, “When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI was the universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good. We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme:
If ye don’t know where, what, and why Prescribe ye then K and I.
Potassium Iodide in the form of Lugol's solution, Dr. Lugol was another French physician who combined potassium iodide, elemental iodine in an aqueous solution.

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The brown kelps are the best source iodine and the best tasting. They are very mild to taste and it's what the Asian cultures in Japan & Korea use in food preparations. What's also interesting to note is Japan has the lowest rate of breast cancer in the world. Could this be because they ingest enough seaweed to get between 12.5mg to 50 mg of iodine daily. The RDA for iodine is 150 micrograms, over 100 times less than what is regularly consumed in Japan daily. There are numerous scientific studies showing how iodine & seaweed induce natural cell death, called apoptosis, in cancer cells. Visit to learn more.