SSKI: The Best Cough Expectorant You’ve Never Tried

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

When my Dad graduated from medical school 60 years ago this summer, the go to cough expectorant that was prescribed by physicians at the time was SSKI, super saturated potassium iodide, not to be confused with Lugol’s or regular KI solution.

SSKI was an inexpensive and highly effective tool for deep rooted congestion that was beyond the reach of the cilia, the tiny hairlike projections that line the upper half of the lower respiratory tract, gently sweeping debris and mucous out of the lungs.

Old time pharmacists regularly filled prescriptions for SSKI although today, most pharmacists less than about 60 years old would likely scratch their heads should such a script be requested.

SSKI works spectacularly well for thinning and clearing mucous deep inside the lungs so that it is more easily coughed up.  This function is very beneficial because when mucous is rooted deep inside the lungs, coughing is the only way to get it out.

When I was a child, my Dad would give us 4-5 drops of SSKI in a small glass of water or juice at breakfast time as a cough expectorant if we had any lung congestion.  A few minutes later, he would instruct us to take a couple of deep, slow breaths which would immediately trigger a coughing spell to clear out the trapped congestion.

SSKI works very very fast to thin the mucous and act as a natural cough expectorant.  As a child, I noticed that it would only take a few minutes and the ease of coughing up any mucous was very noticeable.

4-5 drops per day could be continued for a week or at most two with no ill effect.   If a cough was severe, 4-5 drops twice a day could be used for up to a week to clear very thick, infected mucous.

Sometimes, after a few days of using SSKI, I would notice a bit of a metal taste in my mouth and that would be a signal to reduce the dose a bit or taper it off if my cough had resolved sufficiently.

For the past 3 decades since leaving my parent’s home for college, I have always kept a small bottle of SSKI in my medicine cabinet.   Even though I didn’t eat very well in college and throughout my 20’s, I credit use of this age old remedy for keeping me med free during any bouts with colds or flu.

Other more expensive cough expectorants on the market which contain the drug Guaifenesin don’t work nearly as well as SSKI in my experience and these medicines are loaded with additives and other undesirable chemicals.

SSKI, on the other hand, is just a simple compound consisting of  two elements: potassium and iodine.

Nothing else is added!

Next time you need a cough expectorant, why don’t you try SSKI?

No doubt, when you ask your doctor for a script for this simple remedy, you will get a very quizzical look!

It’s time to bring back into popularity some of these old time remedies that work great, are very inexpensive, and have no nasty additives – wouldn’t you agree?

*Important Note: Lugol’s or potassium Iodide liquid that you can order online or get at the healthfood store IS NOT THE SAME THING as SSKI.  You must inquire at a compounding pharmacy or from a physician who can write prescriptions.

More Information

How to Make and Use an Onion Poultice for Congestion

Natural and Effective Sinus Infection Remedy

Doctor Prescribed Treatment for Healing Croup Naturally

Pottenger’s Remedy for Respiratory Illness

Fast Tip to Prevent Sinus Infections

Power Shot: Best Green Juice for Nasal Congestion

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Comments (171)

  1. I found SSKI available through mail order at the Tahoma Clinic, with a more detailed blog on its uses at this addres: Will be trying it out with my family as soon as it arrives.

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I’d have never had any idea about SSKI. I found a video on youtube on how to make my own and so I did. To he** with the medical mafia and their lies. Knowledge is freedom, or at least the beginning thereof.

  3. Hi , I want to buy sski brand. Where can I buy online? Does anyone know a legit seller of this product. Please ? I need this for my son, since this product can mix to a drink. Thank you verymuch please reply and email me. .

  4. Just buy food grade potassium iodide over ebay and dissolve it in distilled water. You know it is completely saturated when the iodide crystals no longer dissolve. Looks like you can get 50 grams for about $16. 50 grams Ki mixed with around 33 grams of distilled water should be complete saturation..about 1.6 ounces.

  5. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before
    but after looking at some of the posts I realized It’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m certainly happy I found it and Il be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    • Stephen S. Platt March 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you very much! As soon as I can get a doctor to write me a prescription, I will be emailing you for faxing, payment info etc. I live in Oklahoma, but briefly lived in Houston in the early seventies.

      Sincerely, Stephen S. Platt

  6. HI! For any Texas residents out there, we can fill your SSKI prescription. We are a compounding pharmacy and can take a faxed or called in script…we provide free shipping in Houston or $5 flat shipping fee elsewhere. Let me know if you have any questions. My email is

    • So good to find another compounding pharmacy. I use a compounded Rx (not SSKI), so know that compounding pharmasists are a great and reliable source of medications for us. My SSKI is prescribed by my doctor and comes in the form of a clear liquid, Upsher-Smith Pharmacuetical, taken at a dose of 10 drops 1 to 3X/day in a glass of water or juice. Terrible tasting stuff, but it does its job beautifully.

  7. Pingback: Ingo Loge' – The Spinach Man – Flu Fighters… The Alternative Way

    • Do you know how to mix the potassium iodide to get SSKI? I must admit, you’re a lot more brave than I would be buying this from a place you know nothing about.

    • We seem to be comparing apples and oranges here. You appear to be using a weak solution of KI to get more iodine in your system. This forum is all about SSKI which is meant to loosen phlegm and reduce cough. I’ve been using SSKI for decades, off and on when I need it for a chronic cough. Nothing beats it.

  8. Sheri Wheeler via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Mary MacDonald … You can try Traumeel. It’s a homeopathic pill for pain found at most health food stores.. Hope it helps !

  9. Suzie Reedy via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I took one of your previous articles on SSKI to our doctor and he wrote a prescription. One bottle has lasted over a year.

    • My thoughts exactly Paul. If somebody is making it then, it is make-able. In the end it will be up to the likes of folk like you and me who think along these lines to accomplish this task. Doing for ourselves and loved ones IS the answer and way out of the matrix. Slavery is pernicious and takes many forms. It also exhibits MANY “protective” attributes to maintain it’s primary position in ones life. Even down to the point of the slave asserting that they are not a slave. Like natural medicine, true freedom is hard and never ending work. Being tied to the system means you gotta have an “approved” doc. Making it yourself tells the “system” “I don’t need you, for anything”. And that my friend is the ONLY thing that puts a fright into the “system”. Therefore, it MUST be the right thing to do, yes? FURTHER, if you do it with no profit motive, well,…… the “system” hates you most of all for this. And again, this shows you the right path. Ones fruit and motivation are always showing for those who observe.

      As an aside, I just now noticed the add for Robitussin run below this blog. It’s claim is that “Nothing gives you more powerful cough relief”. In light of the topic being discussed here, am I the only one that finds this curious?…….

  10. Mary MacDonald via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I have an excruciating headache with slight fever and nausea. I haven’t taken any pain reliever in over a year and a half, but I can’t stand this much longer. I can barely drink water. Is there anything you can recommend to help with the headache?

    • No, it is an Upsher-Smith (Pharmaceutical Company) medication that can only be obtained with a prescription from an MD. My doctor gave me a prescription with a number of refills. It works wonders.

  11. Nancy Ellwein via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Another traditional remedy for congestion (that my mother, a nurse, used on us) is syrup of ipecac. It’s generally used to produce vomiting, but when just a few drops are used in a glass of water, it serves to help the body expel mucous naturally and safely from the throat, while coughing and clearing one’s throat.

  12. Dana Pulak via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I will have to learn more about this stuff. I like the idea of an aid that helps the symptoms instead of Suppressing. The cough is there for a reason…

  13. Unfortunately, we do NOT have access to a Dr that can prescribe medication for us. And most medications (both OTC or prescription) we end up having adverse reactions to. :(

    What would you suggest from a natural herbal store?

  14. What are the side effects of potassium iodide?
    Most people can take potassium iodide without side effects. A small number of people could have an adverse reaction. Anyone with an existing thyroid gland condition and/or allergies to iodine or shellfish should NOT take it. Consult your physician if unsure whether you should take potassium iodide.

    Side effects are unlikely because of the low dose and the short time you will take the drug. Possible side effects include skin rashes, swelling of the salivary glands, and “iodism” (metallic taste, burning mouth and throat, sore teeth and gums, symptoms of a head cold and sometimes stomach upset and diarrhea).

    A few people may have an allergic reaction with more serious symptoms. Those could be fever and joint pain, or swelling of parts of the face and body and at times severe shortness of breath requiring immediate medical attention.

    In rare instances taking potassium iodide may cause over activity, under activity, or enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter).

    • If I am understanding correctly, here in the States, one needs a prescription. I read a comment above that I must have missed about how to make it but am still unsure that this is the correct form. Also, if so, it appears that companion components might be needed to prevent Hashimoto’s and other issue’s.

      I am happy for you guy’s in Canada though and sadly realize that you are more Free than “the land of the Free”.
      That just don’t seem right……


    • I live in Canada and have NEVER seen SSKI in any of our health food stores…. Jo – do you have a link or an actual product name?

        • In Canada (or at least in my tiny town) the pharmacist can/will order KI from their wholesaler, then make up the super-saturated solution for you.

          I didn’t need a prescription and it cost me about $20.

          • I understand that is pretty much how you can get it anywhere in Canada. In the US, we can only get SSKI by prescription. We can buy KI solution anywhere, which is so confusing to a lot of people who think they’re buying Saturated Solution Potassium Iodide.

  15. Interesting that this thread is revisited so often and such a long time after the original post. I think it speaks to its importance. so sad that it has been dropped, for the most part.

    Then there was this,
    Author: Julie H


    “I would love to try this, but do not know where to order it from?”

    Ah the fly in the ointment, this is. But I’ll do you one better,
    What if,…. somebody wants to acquire it BUT has absolutely nothing to do with the medical cartel in ANY form? This is where it gets dicey UNLESS one has access to a prescribing natural-path that just MAYBE would be willing to write you a script for same, just to have it on hand……. This happens how often?……. You see these questions don’t seem to get answered, like, at all. So what are the options? Perhaps acquiring it through a black market channel? Figuring out how to make it?
    Both seem unlikely but the more possible one may be to try and figure out how to make it. If you are currently making your own medicines, you might be in a better position to try and figure out how to make it. Until we could acquire some intel on how to make it ourselves we selected to look into other remedies that were more accessible and doable for us. It’s a pity that such a home-run health component is so controlled and inaccessible to us common rabble, but that is how the cartel works. Anything truly curative or health promoting is off limits. My strong suspicion is that there are other just as effective means for accomplishing the SSKI task.. As we research Schulz’s work (a student of Christopher) I strongly suspect we will find the answer. While it would be nice to have, we haven’t had SSKI for thousands of years so we will look for alternatives either in the singular or multiple approaches and disciplines.
    I am left wondering if the “goo” from the black walnut would be of use as it is high in iodine. Both tinctured and dried to make powder might be of some utility to this end. Hmmmm, I see a new research avenue…….

    Miss Julie, if I knew or was able to find out, I assure you that I would FREELY give this info to you or anybody else inquiring. As a matter of fact you couldn’t shut me up about it. You see, you free yourself first and then pull as many people to safety as you can or at least those willing to be free from slavery. “They” hate a free and independent people and especially if they are healthy and by their own hand. THIS one fact alone is what PROVES it the right path.
    Natural medicine is hard work, start to finish, from acquiring the knowledge, right down to the proper administration of the healing modalities. But, at least you don’t have a need to be in “the race for the cure”, because multiple cures have existed for thousands of years for EVERYTHING.


  16. I have been using SSKI for the past 8 months or so.
    It breaks up mucous as stated. it also can be mixed with water and used in the nostrils to allow easier breathing for me. I have small nasal passages and they swell up enough from irritation that it makes it difficult to sleep. SSKI shrinks these membranes (I think it kills the bacteria that may be causing the swelling. I used a solution I normally drink to swab some in each nostril last night and my nose is still wide open and I can breath GREAT! (I has lasted for more than 12 hours!

    If you all aren’t taking 1,000iu per 25 lbs of body weight of vitamin D3 you just don’t have an INTACT immune system. Everything from Asthma to Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, Epilepsy, ADHD (and the list goes ON) is related to “D” deficiency. Just type into a search box “vitamin D xxxxx, where xxxx is a disease or concern. You will be amazed!

  17. Sounds much better than what I got when I was a kid prone to asthmatic bronchitis: syrup of terpin hydrate with alcohol and codeine (tasted like liquid fire – but allowed me to sleep for a while), and a steam tent with tincture of benzoin.

  18. Hey there… just a comment… if you had a “Share” button for Facebook above this blog post (and all of your blog posts) instead of the “like” button, I bet you would get even more exposure. I never click that “like” button (as it goes to my personal timeline) but if it were a “share” button I would share it with my pages and groups, etc. with thousands of members/fans.

  19. Super interesting! I need to find out if this is available in Australia – I’d love to give it a try! We get fairly frequent colds these days, but we’re not giving up playgroup!!!

    • If you get the flu your vitamin D level AND your immune system is in the dump!.
      Vitamin D levels should be above 50ng/mL in a 25(OH)D blood test to have a fully functioning immune system.

      I used to get colds, flu and bronchitis a couple times a winter, since 2007, none of that has happened. The only thing that has changed in my supplements or meds is vitamin D3, which is now take 12,000 iu a day to keep my 25(OH)D level between 70-80 ng/mL.

  20. SSKI used to be in a purple colored cough liquid (I don’t remember the name of it) when our kids were young. Our doctor used to prescribe that cough medicine and it cleared up the worst coughs in no time. My husband and I used it as well. Then one day when we refilled our prescription and gave it to one of our kids, the cough didn’t let up. We asked the doctor about that and he told us the pharmaceutical company had removed the SSKI and replaced it with quaifenesin and said something about new research showing that potassium iodide was causing serious health problems for some people. He began to prescribe it for us in the form of drops (10 per day) and it worked wonders. I’ve had a chronic cough for decades due to a thick phlegm forming in my throat. Our present doctor has no problems with SSKI, so we are able to get the solution but our insurance won’t pay for it. Since it goes through our insurance company, they determine the cost and I know it is much higher than it would normally be without them as the middleman. My ENT has me on 2,400MG of guaifenesin per day that doesn’t do any good at all. My cough is so severe at times, my husband thinks I am chocking to death. Also I believe I acquired a rash on my face after taking it for several weeks, but my doctor says that can’t be. At this point they have me so frightened about using SSKI.

    • Elsie – have you tried Manuka honey? I, too, had a chronic cough for many years (eventually a naturopath told me he thought i had H-Pylori in my lungs). Nothing really helped at all. About 3 years ago i aspirated a seed and had a horrible cough. They scoped it, but the cough continued. I won’t use antibiotics anymore, however, after a severe (and life-changing) reaction to Cipro. So i began taking about 1/2 tsp of the Manuka honey every time i began to cough. The cough cleared in a few days (as opposed to 6 weeks which had been my history) and i’ve only had it once since (used to be 3-4 times a year). I have the SSKI, too, and will use it if necessary (and right now i’m on a zero sugar diet, not even fruit, so i couldn’t use the honey now), but i was so thankful for the long-term healing the Manuka honey brought. You want to buy at least 12+, i use 15 or 16+. Best wishes.

  21. Pingback: 100+ DIY Remedies for Colds, Flu & Everything Else! : Real Food RN

  22. My significant other (with asthma) and I have used SSKI when we had sticky phlegm or blocked Eustachian tubes to my ears OR her COPD or asthma flair up. It works in minutes!

    It has beaten all the other OTC and rx drugs by miles!
    NOTHING WORKED for my low grade sinus infection until I tried SSKI. In just minutes my ears unblocked. I don;t understand WHY it works so fast, but I am glad it does.
    I haven’t needed to use ANY OTC or RX allergy meds in this ferocious, early, long allergy season, just SSKI. 10 drops at night every few days does the trick. Usually go 5-7 days between doses and let my symptoms dictate when I use it.
    SSKI frees my finance’s respiratory tract during an asthma attack in allergy season almost immediately!
    Our pharmacist wanted info on it after I told him SSKI worked where nothing else did work for more than 40 years for sleepless nights and not being able to breath though my nose.

    In that it kills bacterial, viral, mold and fungus WITHOUT creating an antibiotic resistance why would anyone try something else, is my question.
    ( We live in a little humid, moist, fertile valley – mold and fungus is on everything, year round. God bless the email from Health and Nutrition that informed me enough to check the research, which was accurate :-)

  23. Guys “super saturated” just means the aqueous solution cannot dissolve any more. So if you add enough KI to water, it will be “super saturated.” It’s not like a different compound or anything (remember chemistry class?).

  24. I just asked my physician’s assistant for this today. She had never heard of it, but was more than willing to accommodate me. Unfortunately, no pharmacy in Camden County, Ga, has this in stock, so it had to be ordered. I can pick it up tommorrow afternoon, and I’m looking forward to using it. I’ve been taking 2400 mg of Guaifenesen for the past 5 days with no relief of congestion. Thanks Sarah!

  25. Sarah, can you tell me what this is supposed to taste like? I tasted a drop and yowza! It’s bitter and sharp! Is this right, or do I have a bum batch?

  26. Hi Sarah,
    I have seen some others say Tri-Quench is the same as SSKI, is that true? I asked my pharmacist and she had never heard of it, same for our pediatrician :(

  27. Sarah,
    After reading this web-site, I called pharmacy and doctor for prescription. The doctor ordered the liquid. Pharmacy said the dosage is the same for drops and for liquid so should have the same effect. I will be picking up the SSKI shortly.
    What is your opinion?

    • Stephen S. Platt March 13, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Ebay. Search for SSKI and check out a two ounce bottle offered by purehealthsolutions. Each drop equals 13 mg, so 23drops equal a 299 mg dose. It comes in a blue bottle. It is $28.99 per bottle with $3.46 for shipping. I am just starting to try it this evening. Check the Ebay source out.I hope this is helpful.


  28. As an asthmatic child in the 60’s & early 70’s I used this when I got cheat congestion – we just called it potassium iodine. Worked great!

  29. I’m 74, have COPD, and have looked all of my life for a med like SSKI. I’ve tried everything on the market including cough expectorants that contained codeine, which did work. However, my lungs would take about a quart of codeine to break up and constantly remove my phlegm. So, that was no good. I asked my young internist for a prescription of SSKI. He faxed it in to my pharmacist, and here I am, lungs finally free of phlegm, even while I was beginning a flare-up. I used it for 2 1/2 days and it cleared everything up and works fast.
    I am so grateful for SSKI. Having COPD is not fun. I highly recommend it, but please consult your physician first.

  30. Having trouble finding this online. Went to Amazon as you suggest and it seems they only sell the kind you DON’T recommend. Can you be more specific about what kind we should be ordering? Thank you

  31. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in web explorer, would check this?
    IE still is the market leader and a huge portion of other folks will pass over your magnificent writing because of this

  32. Janet,

    Laurie posted this link to an article that is VERY informative:

    Super Saturated Potassium Iodide is different in the amount of elemental iodide. You should just ask your doc to rx it and ask a compounding pharmacy to fill the rx. Actually, probably even a regular pharmacy would have no problem filling it.

  33. Help
    when I google SSKI I get potatisum iodide which Sarah says is not the same as SSKI
    No luck on her website which had all books for sale??

    Does anyone know where to get the SSKI she is referring to and what is the mcg?
    If on line where and what exactly is is called?

  34. I emailed the compounding pharmacist that I use regularly to get LDN and he wrote me back that a doc’s script IS needed.

  35. Sarah,
    I tried to read through most of the comments…but may have missed the answer to this question. I got a script today from my DO. First of all he wrote it and potassium iodide, (he’d never heard of it and had to look it up) second I went to 2 pharmacies and neither had it. Do you think this could be because it wasn’t written for SSKI? Or could it be something that pharm’s just don’t offer it anymore?

    • I called and ordered it today from my local compounding pharmacy (chances are a compounding pharmacist will know what it is)! He did have to order it though. So it does not look like it is an easily accessible item – but you can buy or make it yourself from several websites!

  36. I was fascinated by this article and did more reading. It does appear that you can buy SSKI without a prescription at a compounding pharmacy. This article was the best I found at other uses and safety precautions for using SSKI – I am no affiliated in any way – just though it was great info.

  37. While I think using it as an expectorant is a good idea in some populations, I think everyone needs to use it with caution. Excessive iodide can result in thyroid dysfunction, some of which can be permanent. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms most definitely should NOT take it since it can pass to the fetus/infant and impact their thyroid function; abnormal function at such an early time in development can truly be devastating. (Congenital hypothyroidsim is one of the conditions that’s screened for with newborn screens because it is so easily treated and early treatment can avoid horrible outcomes.) Children’s intake should be closely monitored to ensure that it does not become excessive. Anyone can have problems with too much so intake must be monitored and balanced.

  38. I make my own SSKI by using ACS (the highest grade) potassium iodide that I buy in bulk in on ebay, I got 4oz for like $30 (enough to take several drops a day for a couple years). All you need is a glass dropper, and a wooden spoon or stirrer. Place a teaspoon or so of the KI in a glass and add slowly add water and stir until just about all of the KI is dissolved and further stirring will no longer dissolve anymore.

    Long term SSKI can help many issues, including hypothyroidism, but you much supplement with selenium after any extended time, or you can risk hosimoto’s thyriod disease. Please use Google to find proper “companion nutrients” while taking iodide, as well as being aware of the possible side effects of bromide detox. Other than that, Iodide is a true Godsend.

  39. Hello:

    My first posting. This SSKI is a component of Lugol’s Iodine and someone here said it was not the same thing.
    Lugol’s is 1/2 Iodine and 1/2 SSKI. Unless I’m wrong about that. Someone please correct me.

    • I’ve always gotten mine by prescription. A bottle lasts you for years and years. I have to say though since starting to take cod liver oil 10 years ago, I’ve never needed it since! My kids have never needed it either as they never get any chest congestion.

      BUT, if you ever do have this problem, SSKI is the best I’ve ever come across.

    • Thanks Miss Nancy, I’ll look forward to that.

      Some of us have very little interaction with the “system”, mostly by choice but sometimes by circumstance. I do chaff a bit at having to seek “permission” from a person that would other wise poison me or mine with “pharmaceuticals” but also treat me as so stupid that I can’t knowledgeably and appropriately make best use af a “controlled substance”.

      • Bob, wanted to be sure you see my response. I emailed my regular compounding pharmacist and he emailed me back that a doc’s script is necessary. This might be different in different states. I’m in NJ and he’s in FL.

    • Thank you for that up-date Miss Nancy.

      I guess its to be expected. Anything that could could be truly helpful and lead to independence in health-care must be controlled by the medical mafia.

      This is one of the most noble reasons for “black markets”.

    • No, defnitely don’t take it while you’re breastfeeding. It should also not be taken while pregnant or given to infants/toddlers. The iodide interferes with proper thyroid function, and this can have HUGE negative impact on the developing fetus or infant. Ensuring that you are euthyroid while pregnant and that you are in no way manipulating thyroid while your infant is developing is extremely important. Congenital hypothyroidsim can be devastating.

      • Thank you. Do you know of any good expEctorant that I can take while breastfeeding? I’ve been congested for the last few months and I haven’t been able to get rid of all the mucous built up in my body.

  40. Kelly Branson Conrad via Facebook April 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I’ve called a few drugstores in Wesley Chapel and they don’t carry it. How bout Nutrition Smart?

  41. I am so fortunate to seldom have a respiratory infection. I have never had congestion that would require this technique. I have had a ‘dry’ cough perhaps 10 times in my 65yrs and I make my own cough medicine for that so I can get sleep. It isn’t measured. I simply put honey, fresh squeezed lemon juice and whiskey in a container and take a couple teas. whenever I start coughing. (like I said, this has only happened a few times) But! That stuff works better than anything I tried from the pharmacy. (which, admittedly, hasn’t been much) I guess I just fall back on this every 8yrs or so since I know it works so well. I don’t take any medications and I don’t buy the over the counter stuff.

  42. SSKI is different than Lugol’s. I buy my Lugol’s on ebay from the_full_orchestra (that’s the seller’s name); I’ve bought from him for over a year and I got his name from a woman on the Iodine yahoo group. He also sells SSKI and I will buy from him without hesitation.

    You don’t need a prescription for SSKI so your doctor won’t write a script. You can try your pharmacist, see if he can formulate it. There are people on the iodine group who make their own Lugol’s solution — it’s just a formula. Just like there are people who make their own colloidal silver and SSKI. If you frequent curezone, there is a guy on there that sells it almost exclusively.

  43. Im pretty sure this is what I took daily throughout childhood for asthma. Ultimately i developed a goiter which cleared up when we stopped the drops so its defintely not good for daily use. But it kept me off steroids and for the years i took it i had a blessedly symptom free and active childhood. I think it’s worth trying for short periods for persistant colds and I may ask for this again next time I have one. It’s a good alternative to steroids for asthmatics who get symptomatic from colds.

      • Hi , i want to buy that SSKI for my son.. I cant let him take meds., he will just throw it out. Please help me.
        Can I just email you. And do me a favor? Let me buy from you and send it here to philippines?. dont want to take risk buying it on ebay. Some people may take advantage and sell product that is fraud.

        Thank you very much.
        Hoping to get a reply from you.

  44. Sarah, does the SSKI bottle say how many mg of potassium iodide it contains? It looks like there are a few bottles on ebay that you can purchase that have 30 mg of KI. that seems pretty saturated to me. I have used the Biotics Research Liquid Iodine Forte for years to help break up mucous and it has worked really well for my kids especially when dealing with coughs. That only has 150mcg which is equal to .15mg. I’m just curious what your bottle says in terms of mg levels. A former chiropractor of mine turned us on to using the iodine for mucous break-up.

  45. Mary Schaefer Shellenbergar via Facebook April 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Bizarre timing of this post…I bought some a while ago (on amazon) and started using it this weekend!

  46. I am wondering how well this would work for children and adults who have cystic fibrosis? CF is a condition that you are born with and it is the thickning of mucous in the lungs. Over a period of time children and adults can get VERY sick because of the bacteria that the mucous holds in their lungs. They get lung infections and can die. The reason I am bringing this up is because I am a mentor for a 8 year old boy who suffers from CF and he at the moment is very ill.

  47. Lee Holman via Facebook April 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I wish I had some NOW, as I’m very much in need. Does one have to have a prescription for this?

  48. Pingback: Iodine Anyone? - Page 215 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 215

  49. I remember working in a family practice clinic and one of the doctors mentioning she was concerned about recommending Mucinex because it was taken off the market for several years due to severe adverse reactions, then suddenly it was back on the market under a different name. She thought about it a moment, shrugged and said “Whatever” then continued writing it down in the take home instructions for the patient.

  50. Melissa Williams April 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Great info! I just googled it, and VitaCost has it for $3.30 for a 2oz bottle.

    World Organic Liquid Potassium Iodide — 2 fl oz

    Plenty of other places have it too. Potassium iodide can be used to prevent/treat radiation poisoning, so after the earthquake and tsunami last year in Japan causing the nuclear power plant failures many stores and online merchants started carrying it.

      • Sarah, I asked my pediatrician for sski today. She insisted it was dangerous and refused. she said it could cause heart damage and was used only to treat the thyroid. I showed her this article and mentioned that you noted a difference between sski and ki. She double checked and said she was reading info on sski. I’m just so confused. I trust that you do your homework but I’m at a loss how to convince her. Any thoughts?

        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist November 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

          Unfortunately, you have a clueless misinformed pediatrician on your hands! I would find a new doctor who actually understands and knows what SSKI is.

          I would contact your local compounding pharmacy (which usually have SSKI on hand) and ask which doctors in town will prescribe this.

  51. If you aren’t able to find SSKI in your location, you should try Mullein. It’s an herb that grows wild in most of the US. It is very effective at breaking up congestion.

  52. I never know whether to use an expectorant or not. I took one of those over the counter, popular remedies once and had such a bad reaction to it, I couldn’t wait for it to wear off. I do think I could benefit from an expectorant though. This spring I feel like my allergies are so bad that I’m full of mucous. (Please forgive my TMI!) Thanks for the information.

  53. Awesome, I never heard about it, I will check the sites you guys are giving here,I will like to keep a bottle in my cabinete,i will get it right now,thanks to all

  54. I use a similar product called Tri Quench. You can find it online. I also use it in a nebulizer– another great way to get the product into your lungs. I put 2-4 drops in distilled water and inhale for 10-15 minutes. It really helps with my congestion.

    • Craig, THANK YOU for this helpful idea. It was suggested that my 3 yr old take nebulizer treatments when he’s super congested because of asthma and allergies… I’m thrilled to have something other than the regular meds to use in a nebulizer to relieve congestion. Thanks for sharing!

      • Sure thing Jackie! My doctor also prescribed this for me after I had pneumonia. I would probably suggest only 1-2 drops for a 3 year old. It really has helped me.

          • Be VERY careful about taking such products – and even more careful about giving them to children.

            Lawsuit regarding this type of SSKI:

            “At all times material, defendants knew or should have known that SSKI works by shrinking the size of the thyroid gland and decreasing the amount of thyroid hormones produced.”

            We forget sometimes – just because something is natural doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. For instance – arsenic is a natural substance!

  55. I love this idea and would love to add it to my natural medicine chest! My only concern/question is wondering if it’s similar to supplementing with iodine/iodide and can cause bromism in some people- which is something that happened to me when I started on an Iodoral regimen. I went completely stupid- drooling, unable to communicate or think clearly- and it was only by Matt catching it and having me do salt water flushes that saved me. I was taking the pills, however, and it was perhaps day two or three- I was up to 3 or 4 of the 12.5 mg tabs (so a large amount) The iodine displaces the bromide and when it’s dropped, it floods your system and thus causes bromism. So…would this work differently? Is the dosage small enough that it’s not a problem? Would any caution need to be taken for those who are already supplementing with iodine? Thanks!!

    • I am very experienced with iodine/iodide supplementation, I can say that SSKI does cause “Bromism”. 60 years ago there was no orange flavored drinks, mountain dew, brominated flours, and fire resistant clothes, carpets, etc all containing large amounts of bromide. We also got a lot more iodide in our bread and salt, so we never had enough bromide built up in our bodies to notice detox symptoms when taking SSKI.

      The best list of detox symptoms, and how to get rid of them is found at
      (I am affiliated in no way).

      The amount of SSKI talked about here is about 4x’s as much as the tablets you were taking. Each drop of SSKI provides ~30mg of KI. SS simply means super saturated — that is, the maximum amount of KI that you can dissolve into water. This means it’s about 8x’s more potent per drop than even Lugols. However, Lugols contains I2 along with KI, so it can be more harsh on the stomach, as the I2 likes to oxidize things.

      There are many people that have tested up to 2,000mg’s a day for long periods and found it to be safe. This is many times more than what’s being talked about here (about 150mg). This isn’t to say I’m recommending that much though. I do about 300mg a day. However, at these levels you need to supplement your selenium. along with some other vitamins.

  56. I wish every doctor could be like your Dad. I sure do not appreciate the greedy, ignorant, arrogant, vaccine pushing, drug pushing, surgery pushing, and incompetent doctors that are so common today.

  57. We always had this in our medicine chest and they had it when I was in Abu Dhabi with a nasty cough I picked up in India, it knocked it out. Inexpensive medications are hard to find send Big Pharm gets them pulled off the market!
    I’ll have to load up on the good stuff before heading back to the States :)

  58. I’d never heard of SSKI, so this is great info. I don’t generally see doctors, but the one i use might be willing to write for this. I do have friends who are severely reactive to iodine, however, so i don’t think everyone could use it (folks with shellfish allergies would have to be careful).

    My favorite go to for coughs is Manuka Honey. You need a high “active” number. This kills MRSA (when almost nothing else does) so it is good to use as a dressing on cuts and scrapes. It also kills h-Pylori bacteria (that has been found to cause ulcers but is implicated in other problems). It also helps heal canker sores quickly.

    When i get a cough, i take 1/2 teaspoon every time i start to cough. Cough resolves quickly. I had had a deep, painful cough on and off for 30 years. Nothing the doctors gave me would do much at all. This resolved that cough (when it became acute) in about 3 weeks (normally i would have had a couple of months of deep coughing). Since i took this 18 months ago, i have had only a couple of bouts of cough, quickly resolved by taking the honey again. It is like a miracle to me.

    All natural honeys (what you buy in the grocery is not likely to be real honey) have anti-bacterial properties. Manuka is made from bees in New Zealand from the tea tree blossoms and has found to have wonderful healing properties. They use it in hospital in NZ, Australia, and England to combat MRSA (antibiotic-resistant staff infection).

  59. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama April 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Neat idea. I did not know about that. I’ve been using fenugreek and slippery elm, and have thought about wild cherry bark, because these help in a similar way (thinning mucus, increasing production, increasing how easily it is cleared from the body). It’s been pretty effective for us so far!

  60. Please please please tell me you don’t need a prescription to get this! I need this for my 3-yr-old who has this persistent phlegminess deep in his chest! He hardly coughs it up, and I tried mucinex but doesn’t seem to be effective. He’s had this since last October and I’m desperate to clear it up! Please tell me where I can get this!


  61. Hello,

    Thank you for this informative post!

    I would have gladly purchased through an affiliate link if you had one :-)

    Lea Ann Savage

    • Please shop through my Amazon link in the “Shop” part of the header of this blog :)

      It is very expensive to run this blog (many hundreds of dollars a month as I have to get high traffic volume site hosting), so buying through Amazon with my affiliate link is very helpful. Thankis.


      • Sorry Sarah, but I don’t see a place where I can order through Amazon anywhere on your blog here. I moused over all the headers at the top and nothing says “shop”. I would like to purchase some though if you can show me where on your site to link to Amazon. Thanks.

        • me too, can’t find the shopping link. Could it be because I’m in the UK? I found SSKI on amazon/ebay, but it was pricey, $30 plus p&p for 50ml.
          The ‘metallic’ taste – indicates your system has sufficient iodine, that’s why you decrease immediately you detect it.

  62. I don’t think you need a prescription. Ask a pharmacist that does compounding and they should be able to make it? What are the ratios on the mixture?


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