Did you know that Iodine is an essential mineral needed for human health? I didn’t. Until recently, I associated Iodine with my mom’s Mercurochrome, reserved only for topical treatment of cuts and scrapes. These days I think we know a lot more about the dangers of Mercury and wouldn’t use it for cuts or anything else for that matter. But the fact is iodine alone is present in every cell of your body and as such you should know about Iodine health benefits and it’s multiple uses.
In fact, there are people who think that the benefits of Iodine have actually been suppressed. That there has been a deliberate disinformation campaign to erroneously associate Iodine with the skull and crossbones poison sign! That is what used to come to my mind first when I heard the word “Iodine!”. There is even a book called “The Iodine Conspiracy”.
I won’t go into the disinformation campaign much here but mention it only to illustrate just how misunderstood this incredible little mineral has become.
Iodine is something that occurs naturally in a lot of foods. Or at least it used to be. After decades of poor farming practices, Iodine was not replaced in the soil and the crops stopped having it. Somewhere in the midwest of the US, the consequence was a rash of hypothyroidism that occurred and that was what prompted the addition of iodine into salt which we still see on labels today. Despite the fact that iodine is added to salt, most people are still chronically deficient in Iodine.
At one time not too long ago, Iodine was used for a number of different ailments, but for some reason, it’s been largely forgotten and even misunderstood until recently.
Iodine: An Essential Mineral
Its pretty well known that Iodine is needed for thyroid health and that it can be used to treat radiation exposure as well as be used to disinfect cuts, but there are even more uses for it.
Did You Know?
- Iodine can balance your mood and make you feel better? Yup. Especially in winter.
- It detoxes you from halides like fluoride, chlorine, and bromine.
- Cleanses you of heavy metals
- Lots of people take some in the morning for an energizing pick me up. I do. I heard of one guy who puts a couple of drops in his morning coffee. That is a double whammy.
- It’s antibacterial
- Balances hormones that can increase muscle growth and reduce hair loss.
- It’s an antioxidant
Overall there are a whole bunch of health benefits of Iodine that make a longer list than I want to post. You can google it and find TONS of articles and studies that list all the benefits. The bottom line, however, is that Iodine is essential for maintaining good health.
Despite the fact that Iodine can maintain good health and even restore it in many cases, the thing that finally made me break down and buy a bottle was the fact that we are being exposed to radiation all the time. It’s not just Fukushima, though that was what I was thinking about at first, but our daily exposure to cell phone and wi-fi radiation…these are radiation just as surely as microwave ovens are radiation.
There are some who advocate using sea kelp supplements as a source of Iodine. This used to be a really good source of Iodine. In fact, the Japanese, diet heavy in seaweed and Iodine is claimed by epidemiologic studies to be the reason for low breast cancer rates as well as a host of other health benefits. The problem is that it is hard to sure anymore if the kelp or seaweed you find is not contaminated by radiation. Atlantic sourced kelp is probably good if you can find it.
Some say that Potassium Iodide is the kind you need for radiation exposure and others feel that all forms of Iodine are helpful in this regard. The standard old Lugol’s Formula has two kinds of Iodine one of which is Potassium Iodide typically used for radiation. For a bug out bag, it’s an indispensable item.
I like to have a bottle of Iodine in the vitamin cabinet that I take a couple of drops a day out of, and rotate it out with another bottle in the bug out bag. I use something called Nascent Iodine daily and if ever there was a very heavy nuclear fallout situation, then the dosage would go from 2 drops a day to 200 drops a day. Nascent Iodine is thought to be easier for the body to absorb than other forms of Iodine. It also tastes better and my kids are more willing to take it.
Did You Know?
Iodine deficiency in pregnant women has been linked to mental and physical developmental problems in babies. Iodine can make you more alert and increase IQ in both children and adults.
Iodine as a Water Purifier
There is a story from the early days of swimming pools that Iodine was tried at Stanford University instead of Chlorine to treat the water. The results were better than Chlorine and people felt better all around. Hair and skin benefits were reported. But for some reason, Chlorine became the standard for treating pool water instead. (fodder for more conspiracy theories). Since Iodine is abundant in ocean water some think the reason a day at the beach feels so good is because of the iodine in the air and water. These days there are signs that interest in using Iodine as a disinfectant for swimming pools is returning, but from what I can see, more so for hot tubs.
The Halogens: Only One is Good for You
On the Periodic Table of Elements, there are three elements that are very closely related to Iodine. These are chlorine, bromine, and fluoride. All four are referred to as the Halogens. Of the four of these three are toxic to humans and Iodine is the only one considered safe and required for human health.
I know this can be controversial since there are many who say fluoride is safe for toothpaste and may be necessary for healthy teeth. Others see much more damaging aspects of ingesting fluoride. If you look on toothpaste tubes these days there is a warning about letting small children swallow any of it and if they do to immediately call poison control. I’m assuming that is because of the fluoride. It doesn’t really matter to me since my criteria settles around death. Here is what I mean: “Will it kill me early if I don’t have it?” I know I won’t die if I don’t have fluoride in my system. The same is true if I don’t get bromine and chlorine. Without Iodine, however, if the body had none in reserve, illness and death would soon follow.
Now consider there was a time in the US when Iodine was added to flour as well as salt. And for yet another baffling reason, Iodine was taken from flour and replaced with bromine. There are a lot of health problems connected to Bromine and it is banned in Canada and the EU for use in foods. It is still added to flour in the US and that makes regular cleansing something everyone should think about (at least in the US).
You can look them up, but the point is that the body can’t tell the difference between any of the halogens. If your body is craving Iodine and a Bromine molecule floats by your body (thyroid for example) will grab that Bromine and store it as if it were Iodine. In a similar manner, if the body has a full reserve of Iodine, it won’t bother with the bromine, fluorine, or chlorine. In fact, Iodine will eject previously stored Bromine, chlorine, and fluoride from the body over time.
For camping and survival situations, there are drinking water treatment products that are made from Iodine.
Iodine Is Essential For Your Bugout Bag
For daily use, Iodine has a host of health benefits. It even has curative properties. For emergency situations, Iodine can be used for disinfecting, cleansing and as a protectant. The uses are so varied and necessary, that Iodine should be at the top of every core preparedness checklist and bug out bag.