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Health Leads makes Lugol's solution based on an American formulation: Lugol’s contains iodine (I) and potassium iodide (KI). For a 1000ml (1 quart) amount: 44g (1.5oz) of iodine and 88g (3 oz) of potassium iodide are added to distilled water and when dissolved this is topped up to make 1000ml of solution.
Foods with Iodine
It can be difficult to know where to get iodine but there are many foods with iodine. These include seaweed or sea kelp, fish, meat, cheese and many more.
What’s in our Lugol’s?
Per metric drop: 2.2mg of iodine and 3.3mg of iodide, yielding 5.54mg per drop of elemental iodine.
According to Wikipedia a "5% solution consists of 5% (wt/v) iodine (I2) and 10% (wt/v) potassium iodide (KI) mixed in distilled water." However, the convention for naming Lugol’s solution this way is misleading. Potassium iodide also contains iodine. In fact, 76% of the weight of each KI molecule is the iodine atom. Therefore, in order to understand the full amount of iodine in a solution, add the amount of pure iodine (I2) PLUS 0.76 of the weight of potassium iodide. For our solution the quantities are: 44g + (0.76 x 88g) = 111g. Rounding this up gives you our 12% solution (as calculated by a weight/volume measurement).
Other factors need to be considered that contribute to the strength of the solution. For example, how much is a “drop”? In providing the above information, we have decided to follow the standard metric description that 1 drop = 1/20 of 1ml. (You may be interested to know that we measured 15 vertical drops from the actual pipette as equal to 1ml). Plus, whether the drop is a vertical or horizontal drop also factors in to the quantity. When comparing the strength that is claimed on a bottle of Lugol’s Iodine, in addition to what has already been stated, other considerations include the quantity of distilled water used and the ambient temperature when the product is made.
Considering everything stated here, 12% can only be stated as an APPROXIMATE amount of iodine content.
The History of Iodine and Lugol’s
Jean Francois Coindet (1774-1834) was the first to use iodine for medicinal use. Lugol’s was first made by French physician J G A Lugol in 1829. Dr Lugol researched substances that could help treat infections and found that iodine could be used and showed promise in this field. He used the 1:2 ratio of iodine to potassium iodide that is still used today.