A Brief History of Iodine’s Miracles
Anti-Microbial Resistance, Iodine, COVID, & Saving Lives With Liquid Mask
About 160 years ago, the bloodiest battle in American history was fought at Antietam, Maryland, between the Confederate South and the Union North. 3,600 lives lost, and 23,000 casualties.
Although the North claimed victory, there was so much death and bloodshed that any pronouncement of success must’ve been Pyrrhic. However, from a political standpoint, it was critically important. It freed Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, discouraged the Europeans from recognizing the Confederacy as a separate country, and hampered the South’s acquisition of vital materials from across the Atlantic.
There was one survivor, however, who is important to our story, and equally important to the History of Iodine.
One of the Confederate soldiers who narrowly escaped death that terrible bloody day – September 29, 1862 – was Colonel John B. Gordon. Col. Gordon, leading the center of Lee’s army at Antietam, early in the battle, was hit several times by musket balls. One went through his right calf; another through the thigh, a third pierced his left arm, a fourth entered his shoulder, and the worst and last hit him square in the face. The regimental doctor (Dr. Weatherly) removed him to a hospital and prescribed a tincture of iodine to be painted on the wounds 3-4x daily.
It was a severe case, and the prognosis was death. Intensely swollen eyelids, one eye completely closed; jaws clenched frozen, and – worst and most potentially deadly – erysipelas, an intensely red, streptococcus “A” infection had overcome his left arm, and amputation was not out of the question. His young wife diligently nursed him, and applied iodine tincture not just 4x, but over 100x a day to the wounds. She saved his life. Iodine saved his life. Butler survived, recovered completely, and became governor of Georgia. He died in 1904.
There is a similar, not nearly so harrowing (but equally frightening) story that took place in my own life.
One evening, a friend of mine called me, crying about his dog, and asking me to save her life. She was his only dog, much loved and had seen him through thick-and-thin. He needed her, and life without her (let’s call her “Josie”) was grimly unthinkable. I agreed to take her in and treat her.
The initiating problem was an ingrown toe-hair, which is usually called a “digital furunculous.” On a dog, a furunculus can be quite serious, and this one was a profoundly troubling infection.
It turned out that in addition to the infection, Josie also had a disease caused by ticks, so common and troubling in Florida. The disease is similar to human Lyme disease, and it is a blood condition that produces an auto-immune reaction: the body sees its own red and white blood cells as enemies and tries to destroy them. The blood disease, known as “Ehrlichiosis,” causes a lack of both red and white blood cells, and makes it nearly impossible for the body to fight off an infection. Vets call this disease “pan-cytopenia,” and it also happens in human beings.
Josie wasn’t eating or drinking. When she came to my house, carried in by her loving owner, she looked tired, tired onto death. I immediately and gently cleaned her wounded and very swollen, pustulous paw with soap and water, doused it with hydrogen peroxide, and put her on the sofa so I could soak her paw in a large bowl of an anti-microbial solution I’d invented a few months earlier. During the 3 months that Josie was with me, I soaked her paw in my antimicrobial solution for 20 minutes at a time, 6 times a day. Then I carefully bandaged the paw after coating it with a non-petroleum iodine-based cream I had created for wounds, cuts, and as a hand sanitizer.
I had invented this particular antimicrobial soaking solution at almost the same moment another inventor created a virtually identical antibiotic solution. It consists of PVP-iodine, isopropanol, DMSO, and water. As an antiseptic, it was easily 10x more effective than iodine itself. (Remember, though, that the stuff used by Colonel Gordon’s nurse/wife was tincture of iodine, which also has an alcohol base – but ethanol, not isopropanol.)
The next morning, I took her to a local vet whom I knew, trusted, and respected greatly. She took one look at the paw and said: “If you want to save this dog’s life, we have to amputate that foot – right now. Not tomorrow. She’s about to die.” I refused and told her we’d manage the infection together. She agreed to work with me. And, fortunately, I was right. Lucky? Maybe. An insight blessed by God – I would rather say.
I treated Josie for 3 months. Her paw was grossly swollen at first, as she had a Streptococcus “A” infection. (We call this “erysipelas” in humans. It is nasty stuff.) We treated her with a set of focused and broad-spectrum lab-determined antibiotics (doxycycline and clavulanic acid). Then she got a corticosteroid – Prednisone – to suppress the autoimmunity that had been caused by the tick bites. There were many, many days of anxiety and care, love, and many hours of careful attention. After a day, Josie started to eat a bit. Little by little, the paw’s swelling went down, and the infection began to subside.
In 60 days, the infection was largely gone and by 90 days her bloodwork was normal, and we had weaned her slowly off the prednisone. (You can’t take a dog – or a person – rapidly off Prednisone. It’s dangerous to do that.) I’ll never forget that late one night the vet called me, almost crying, to tell me that Josie had turned the corner, and her red and white blood cell counts were rising rapidly. It was a wonderful and incredibly emotional moment for all 3 of us.
It proved something important to me. It proved this: there’s a way to combine modern, appropriate antibiotics and good old-fashioned iodine to effectuate antimicrobial success. We simply have not explored (at all!) the use of iodine as an adjunct treatment, in concert with “standard” antimicrobials.
Obviously, the benefits are enormous. Antimicrobial resistance is a huge problem (the Centers for Disease Control calls it one of the five major world health issues). By using iodine in conjunction with lower antibiotic doses, we accomplished some extremely powerful objectives.
First, we eliminated anti-microbial resistance, as the iodine kills all potential and potentially mutating microbes. Second, the cost was lower due to far smaller antibiotic doses, and the antibiotic doses far less disruptive to the body’s natural microbiome – essential for health. Third, we instantly destroyed any potentially resistant organisms, which promoted more rapid healing and simultaneously improved general immunity, a hallmark of iodine intake, whether orally or by the skin.
This is a huge, open medical/pharmacological field just waiting to be explored by capable investigators. It could produce dozens of excellent doctoral theses in several fields.
Iodine was once used for every possible (and every possible inappropriate) disease. It proved useful for some, perhaps many. Most folks just don’t seem to be able to grasp that iodine (the heaviest element in the body, and the 2nd heaviest biological element after tungsten – present only in a few microbe species) evolved with life. And Evolutionary Life in Her Wisdom, God in His, made use of iodine’s nicely moderated reactivity – as opposed to the more explosive reactivity of fluorine or chlorine, which are in the same Periodic Table category as iodine.
Iodine is the ONLY element/drug/ionic compound that is both an essential micronutrient (life’s not possible without it, in short), and a powerful antimicrobial. Medical science is just about to rediscover iodine as it seeks to cope with the tragedy of COVID-19. As of this writing, many medical journals are suggesting the use of iodine as PVPI to forestall COVID-19
All coronaviruses like COVD-19 are dead-stopped and killed instantly (15-30 seconds) by iodine mouthwash, gargle, nasal, and oral sprays. Formulations built upon iodine have the potential to stop COVID-19, and all current and potential mutations of COVID-19 – and to stop them dead in their viral tracks.
If you want to prevent, forestall and possibly even cure COVID-19, try some iodine. It worked for Colonel Gordon.