SSKI: The Best Cough Expectorant You’ve Never TriedUpdated: July 10, 2017Natural Remedies
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. This is not to be confused with regular KI solution at the healthfood 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 to Clear the Lungs
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 mucous 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.
SSKI: 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. 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. 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!
Why Not Try this Old Fashioned Cough Expectorant?
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! He/she will likely have no idea what it is if under the age of 60.
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?
In fact, next year my oldest goes off to college. You can bet he will have a brand new bottle of SSKI in the remedy kit I will be sending along with him.
*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.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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