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Supersaturated potassium iodide, or SSKI, is a safe, effective cough expectorant routinely prescribed by doctors in the last century to open up the airways in the lungs to help clear deep coughs. It was also used for minor cases of asthma. Conventional medicine has all but forgotten about it because it is inexpensive to make with no opportunity for exclusive patenting rights. It is a natural alternative to toxic over-the-counter options for loosening deeply rooted phlegm to rapidly clear hacking coughs.
When my Dad graduated from medical school in the 1950s, the go-to cough expectorant that was prescribed by physicians at the time was SSKI, super saturated potassium iodide. Some physicians refer to it as pima syrup. This is not to be confused with regular KI solution at the health food store.
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.
How to Use SSKI
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. It was only used if we were coughing and had lung congestion that needed to be cleared. The result was truly magical.
Within a few minutes, he would instruct us to take a couple of deep, slow breaths. This would immediately trigger a very productive coughing spell that cleared out the trapped congestion.
SSKI works very very fast to thin the mucus and acts 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. This was the signal to reduce the dose a bit or taper it off if my cough had resolved sufficiently. It goes away immediately when the dosage is reduced or stopped.
Natural Cough Expectorant
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. One bottle lasts for 10 years or more. No kidding. I’m literally on only my second bottle since I graduated high school!
You can get it at a compounding pharmacy or order it online here. Use coupon code HealthyHome and get 10% off your order.
Even though I didn’t eat very well in college and throughout my 20s, 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. Another downside: these over the counter medicines are loaded with additives and other undesirable chemicals.
SSKI, on the other hand, is just a simple compound consisting of two elements that are actually nutrients too: potassium and iodine.
Nothing else is added!
Where to Find this Old Time Remedy
Next time you need a cough expectorant, why don’t you try SSKI? You can order it online here and get 10% off with coupon code HealthyHome.
It is even more effective when you combine it with elderberry syrup, a scientifically proven remedy for reducing the symptoms and severity of coughs.
No doubt, when you ask your doctor about this simple traditional remedy, you will get a very quizzical look! He/she will likely have no idea what it is if under the age of 70.
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?
Lugol’s or (KI) Potassium Iodide is NOT SSKI
It is important to note that Lugol’s or the potassium iodide (KI) liquid that you can order online or get at the health food store IS NOT THE SAME THING as SSKI.
It is best to get it at a compounding pharmacy or from a functional physician who can write prescriptions. If your insurance doesn’t cover visits to this type of doctor, consider switching to healthcare sharing.
Alternatively, you can order SSKI kits online here and get 10% off with coupon code HealthyHome.
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Sarah, the Morgellons kit of SSKI that I ordered says that the solution once mixed with water becomes less effective after 6 months. :(. How effective is it after 10 years? And they recommend mixing a new solution after that time. I am hesitant now to mix it.
Small amounts can crystallize around the top of the bottle, but I keep my bottles for years without issue.
To be clear, when I make the morgellons mixture, do I make the 5% or the super saturated formula? Thanks!
Oh, I think I just found the answer! Super saturated!
Do you make the 5% solution or the saturated solution they mention with their kits for coughs? Thanks!
Yes, the kit you can make SSKI yourself if you don’t have a doctor who will write the prescription for you.
Since this remedy works by loosening up the deep phlegm within the lungs, does it also loosen the mucus inside the nasal cavity caused by viral infections?
Going to the link you listed (thank you – it wasn’t in this article previously), I see packets that you mix up yourself as needed. This sounds different than what you mention above (‘I have always kept a small bottle of SSKI in my medicine cabinet. One bottle lasts for 10 years or more. No kidding. I’m literally on only my second bottle since I graduated high school!’)
I would like to order this product but am confused on what to order.
I appreciate any help/direction you can offer.
Thanks so much.
Sarah Pope MGA
The bottle I have was mixed up by a pharmacist … you need a doctor’s prescription to get this. The kit I linked to has all the same ingredients and you simply mix it yourself with no script required. Many doctors these days won’t write a prescription for SSKI, so if you want it, you will likely have to mix it yourself with this type of kit.
I could have sworn I’ve asked this before, but can’t find reference to my question anywhere. It is time again to bust out our trusty old bottle of SSKI and it’s got crystals at the bottom. I’ve done some searching around and sounds to me like this is ok? The bottle is about 3-4 years old. Somewhere said it’s because it’s gotten cold. On the mixing directions from Morgellons it says it is a crystal to mix with water, and that it’s normal for undissolved crystals to remain. Just wondering if this is still going to be effective? Thanks Sarah!!
Thank you, Sarah.
With the looming pandemic of covid-19 (Coronavirus) there is the possibility that our hospitals may become overwhelmed. In that case, as well as for those who would choose to self-quarantine and self-treat, would SSKI be useful to treat the pneumonia of severe cases?
Sarah Pope MGA
It is NEVER safe to treat pneumonia at home without a doctor’s care in my opinion. This remedy is NOT for pneumonia, by the way. It is for loosening phlegm for a non-life threatening cough. Pneumonia is life threatening.