By Dr. David G. Williams
Posted July 17, 2003
(Original title: Hydrogen Peroxide - Curse or Cure?)
When it comes to hydrogen peroxide therapy there seems to be only two points
of view. Supporters consider it one of the greatest healing miracles of
all time. Those opposed feel its ingestion is exceptionally dangerous, and
only the foolhardy could think of engaging in such behavior. Before either
condemning or endorsing hydrogen peroxide, let's take a real close look
at what we're dealing with.
If any substance is interesting, it's hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide
should really be called hydrogen dioxide. Its chemical formula is H2O2.
It contains one more atom of oxygen that does water (H20). By now everyone's
aware of the ozone layer that surrounds the earth. Ozone consists of three
atoms of oxygen (03). This protective layer of ozone is created when ultraviolet
light from the sun splits an atmospheric oxygen molecule (02) into two single,
unstable oxygen atoms. These single molecules combine with others to form
ozone (03). Ozone isn't very stable. In fact, it will quickly give up that
extra atom of oxygen to falling rainwater to form hydrogen peroxide (H202).
(Bear with me: all this chemistry mumbo jumbo I'm going through actually
will help you understand the importance of hydrogen peroxide.)
It is this hydrogen peroxide in rainwater that makes it so much more effective
than tap water when given to plants. With the increased levels of atmospheric
pollution, however, greater amounts of H202 react with air-borne toxins
and never reach the ground. To compensate for this, many farmers have been
increasing crop yields by spraying them with diluted hydrogen peroxide (5
to 16 ounces of 35% mixed with 20 gallons of water per acre). You can achieve
the same beneficial effect with your house plants by adding 1 ounce of 3%
hydrogen peroxide (or 16 drops of 35% solution) to every quart of water
you give your plants. (It can also be made into an excellent safe insecticide.
Simply spray your plants with 8 ounces of 3% peroxide mixed with 8 ounces
of white sugar and one gallon of water.)
Hydrogen peroxide is odorless and colorless, but not tasteless.
When stored under the proper conditions, it is a very stable compound. When
kept in the absence of light and contaminants, it dismutates (breaks down)
very slowly at the rate of about 10% a year. (This can be slowed even further
by storing the liquid in the freezer.) It boils at 152 degrees C and freezes
at minus 2 degrees C.
When exposed to other compounds hydrogen peroxide dismutates readily. The
extra oxygen atom is released leaving H20 (water). In nature oxygen (02)
consists of two atoms--a very stable combination. A single atom of oxygen,
however, is very reactive and is referred to as a free radical. Over the
past several years, we've continually read that these free radicals are
responsible for all types of ailments and even premature aging. What many
writers seem to forget, however, is that our bodies create and use free
radicals to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In fact, the cells
responsible for fighting infection and foreign invaders in the body (your
white blood cells) make hydrogen peroxide and use it to oxidize any offending
culprits. The intense bubbling you see when hydrogen peroxide comes in contact
with a bacteria-laden cut or wound is the oxygen being released and bacteria
being destroyed. The ability of our cells to produce hydrogen peroxide is
essential for life. H202 is not some undesirable by-product or toxin, but
instead a basic requirement for good health.
Newer research indicates we need hydrogen peroxide for a multitude
of other chemical reactions that take place throughout the body. For example,
we now know that vitamin C helps fight infections by producing hydrogen
peroxide, which in turn stimulates the production of prostaglandins. Also
lactobacillus found in the colon and vagina produce hydrogen peroxide. This
destroys harmful bacteria and viruses, preventing colon disease, vaginitis,
bladder infections and a host of other common ailments. (Infect Dis News
Aug.8,91:5). When lactobacillus in the colon or vaginal tract have been
overrun with harmful viruses, yeast, or bacteria, an effective douche or
enema solution can be made using 3 tablespoons of 3% H202 in 1 quart of
distilled water. Keep in mind, however, that a good bacterial flora must
always be re-established in theses areas to achieve lasting results.
Aerobic versus Anerobic
While we are discussing enemas and douches, there is another misconception
about H202 I need to address. The friendly bacteria in the colon and vagina
are aerobic. In other words, they flourish in high oxygen environments and
thrive in the presence of oxygen rich H202. On the other hand, most strains
of harmful bacteria (and cancer cells) are anaerobic and cannot survive
in the presence of oxygen or H202. We can agree that hydrogen peroxide
produced within individual body cells is essential for life. And no one
doubts its effectiveness when it comes to treating infections topically.
The controversy deals with ingesting the substance orally or introducing
it into the body intravenously. The dispute has been going on for decades,
and considering the attitude of our medical community, it will continue
for many more decades to come.
I'll admit I was skeptical when I first learned about using
H202 orally or intravenously. This healthy dose of skepticism, however,
lead to a great deal of investigation, clinical work and experimentation.
And while I realize a large majority of readers will probably never be convinced
that H202 is a safe and effective compound, I am. Hydrogen peroxide is safe,
readily available and dirt cheap. And best of all, it works! No one yet
fully understands the complete workings of hydrogen peroxide. We do know
that it is loaded with oxygen. (A pint of the food-grade 35% solution contains
the equivalent of 130 pints of oxygen. A pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide found
at the local drugstore contains 10 pints of oxygen. And a pint of the 6%
solution used to bleach hair contains 20 pints of oxygen.) We also know
that when H202 is taken into the body (orally or intravenously) the oxygen
content of the blood and body tissues increases dramatically. Early researchers
felt these increases were simply due to the extra oxygen molecule being
released. This doesn't however, appear to be the case.
Only very diluted amounts of H202 are ever introduced into
the body. The small amount of oxygen present couldn't be solely responsible
for the dramatic changes that take place. Dr. Charles Farr,
a strong proponent of intravenous use, has discovered another possible answer.
Dr. Farr has shown that hydrogen peroxide stimulates enzyme systems throughout
the body. This triggers an increase in the metabolic rate, causes small
arteries to dilate and increase blood flow, enhances the body's distribution
and consumption of oxygen and raises body temperature (Proceedings of the
International Conference on Bio-Oxidative Medicine 1989, 1990, 1991).
Father Richard Willhelm
We are just beginning to learn exactly how H202 works. It was reported to
work as far back as 1920. The English medical journal, Lancet, then reported
that intravenous infusion was used successfully to treat pneumonia in the
epidemic following World War I. In the 1940's Father Richard Willhelm, the
pioneer in promoting peroxide use, reported on the compound being used extensively
to treat everything from bacterial-related mental illness to skin disease
and polio. Father Willhelm is the founder of "Educational Concern for
Hydrogen Peroxide" (ECHO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating
the public on the safe use and therapeutic benefits of hydrogen peroxide.)
Much of the interest in hydrogen peroxide waned in the 1940's when prescription
medications came on the scene. Since that time there has been little economic
interest in funding peroxide research. After all, it is dirt cheap and non-patentable.
Even still, in the last 25 years, over 7,700 articles relating to hydrogen
peroxide have been written in the standard medical journals. Thousands more,
involving its therapeutic use, have appeared in alternative health publications.
The number of conditions helped by hydrogen peroxide is astounding. The
reported dangers and side effects are few and often conflicting.
Let's look at several conditions that seem to respond especially well to
H202 therapy. First, keep in mind that there are two methods of administering
the peroxide-1) orally and 2) intravenously. While most conditions respond
remarkably to oral ingestion, emphysema is one condition in which intravenous
infusion can be a godsend. Emphysema involves destruction of the alveoli
(the small air sacs in the lungs). Although chemical fumes and other irritants
can cause the destruction, it is most often the result of smoking. As the
disease progresses, the patient finds it more and more difficult to breathe.
A wheel chair and supplemental oxygen become necessary as the disease progresses.
Lack of adequate oxygen reaching the tissues forces the heart to pump more
forcefully. This leads to high blood pressure, enlargement of the heart
itself and eventually heart failure. Conventional medicine offers little
help for emphysema. There is no cure. The best that can be hoped for is
symptomatic relief and the prevention of any serious complications that
might result in death. H202 therapy can offer more. Using 1 ounce of 35%
peroxide per 1 gallon of non-chlorinated water in a vaporizer improves nighttime
breathing tremendously. But intravenous infusion holds the real key to relief.
It has the ability to cleanse the inner lining of the lungs and restore
the ability to breathe.
We continue to hear the same story from Dr. Farr and others
who use intravenous infusion for emphysema and congestive lung problems.
Within minutes oxygen from hydrogen peroxide begins to bubble up between
the membrane lining the lungs sacs and the accumulated mucus. (Dr. Farr
refers to this as the "Alka-Seltzer effect.") The patient begins
to cough and expel the material that has accumulated in the lungs. The amount
of bubbling, coughing, and cleansing can be regulated by simply turning
the H202 on and off. As the peroxide clears the lung surface and destroys
the bacterial infections, the patient regains the ability to breath more
normally. We continue to receive reports from patients for whom the technique
has improved breathing so much that a wheelchair and supplemental oxygen
are no longer needed. If you would like to find a doctor in your area trained
in the use of intravenous H202 infusion, contact the International
Bio-Oxidative Medicine Foundation (IBOM), P.O. Box 13205, Oklahoma City,
OK 73113 at (405) 478-4266. They can provide names and addresses
of doctors using the procedure in your area.
If emphysema were the only ailment successfully treated with
H202 therapy, it would still rank as one of the top health discoveries of
all time. Fortunately, H202 works wonders on a multitude of health problems.
It does so by increasing tissue oxygen levels. A closer look at how we have
decreased the availability of external and internal oxygen, will show you
just how important this can be. If you were not too occupied with trying
to hide dissection specimens in the other student's desks, you might remember
from elementary science courses that our atmosphere contains about 20% oxygen.
That is under ideal circumstances. It has recently been reported that in
many of our more polluted cities, there levels have dropped to around 10%!
(I have already mentioned how less hydrogen peroxide-containing rain is
reaching the earth's surface. With increased pollution it is reacting with
airborne toxins before it even reaches the ground.) And everyone, by now,
knows the oxygen-generating rain forests are being destroyed worldwide,
which further reduces available oxygen. Internal oxygen availability is
also under attack.
Chlorination of drinking water removes oxygen. Cooking and
over-processing of our foods lowers their oxygen content. Unrestrained antibiotic
use destroys beneficial oxygen-creating bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Dr. Johanna Budwig of Germany has shown that for proper cellular utilization
of oxygen to take place, our diets must contain adequate amounts of unsaturated
fatty acids. Unfortunately, the oils rich in these fatty acids have become
less and less popular with the food industry. Their very nature makes them
more biologically active, which requires more careful processing and gives
them a shorter shelf-life. Rather than deal with these challenges, the food
industry has turned to the use of synthetic fats and dangerous processes
It's obvious that our oxygen needs are not being met. Several
of the most common ailments now affecting our population are directly related
to oxygen starvation. Asthma, emphysema, and lung disease are on the rise,
especially in the polluted metropolitan areas. Cases of constipation, diarrhea,
intestinal parasites and bowel cancer are all on the upswing. Periodontal
disease is endemic in the adult population of this country. Cancer of all
forms continues to increase. Immune system disorders are sweeping the globe.
Chronic fatigue, "Yuppie Flu" and hundreds of other strange viral
diseases have begun to surface. Ironically, many of the new "miracle"
drugs and nutritional supplements used to treat these conditions work by
increasing cellular oxygen (oftentimes through H202 formation). For example,
the miracle nutrient, Coenzyme Q10, helps regulate intercellular oxidation.
Organic germanium, which received considerable publicity not too long ago,
also increases oxygen levels at the cellular level. And even substances
like niacin and vitamin E promote tissue oxidation through their dilation
of blood vessels.
Hydrogen peroxide is only one of the many components that
help regulate the amount of oxygen getting to your cells. Its presence is
vital for many other functions as well. It is required for the production
of thyroid hormone and sexual hormones. (Mol Cell Endocrinol 86;46(2): 149-154)
(Steroids 82;40(5):5690579). It stimulates the production of interferon
(J Immunol 85;134(4):24492455). It dilates blood vessels in the heart and
brain (Am J Physiol 86;250 (5 pt 2): H815-821 and (2 pt 2):H157-162). It
improves glucose utilization in diabetics (Proceedings of the IBOM Conference
1989, 1990, 1991). The closer you look at hydrogen peroxide, the less surprising
it becomes that it can help such a wide variety of conditions.
The following is only a partial listing of conditions in
which H202 therapy has been used successfully. (Many of these conditions
are serious, if not life-threatening. As always, I would highly recommend
seeking the advice and guidance of a doctor experienced in the use of these
Grades of Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is available in various strengths and grades.
A) 3.5% Pharmaceutical Grade: This is
the grade sold at your local drugstore or supermarket. This product is
not recommended for internal use. It contains an assortment of stabilizers
which shouldn't be ingested. Various stabilizers include: acetanilide,
phenol, sodium stanate and tertrasodium phosphate.
B) 6% Beautician Grade: This is used in beauty shops
to color hair and is not recommended for internal use.
C) 30% Reagent Grade: This is used for
various scientific experimentation and also contains stabilizers. It is
also not for internal use.
D) 30% to 32% Electronic Grade: This is
used to clean electronic parts and not for internal use.
E) 35% Technical Grade: This is a more
concentrated product than the Reagent Grade and differs slightly in that
phosphorus is added to help neutralize any chlorine from the water used
to dilute it.
F) 35% Food Grade: This is used in the
production of foods like cheese, eggs, and whey-containing products. It
is also sprayed on the foil lining of aseptic packages containing fruit
juices and milk products. THIS IS THE ONLY GRADE RECOMMENDED FOR INTERNAL
USE. It is available in pints, quarts, gallons or even drums. Various
suppliers are mentioned later in this article.
G) 90%: This is used as an oxygen source
for rocket fuel.
Only 35% Food Grade hydrogen peroxide is recommended for
internal use. At this concentration, however, hydrogen peroxide is a
very strong oxidizer and if not diluted, it can be extremely dangerous or
even fatal. Any concentrations over 10% can cause neurological reactions
and damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract. There have been two known
fatalities in children who ingested 27% and 40% concentrations of H202.
Recently, a 26 month old female swallowed one mouthful of 35% H202. She
immediately began vomiting, followed by fainting and respiratory arrest.
Fortunately, she was under emergency room care and although she experienced
erosion and bleeding of the stomach and esophagus, she survived the incident.
When she was re-examined 12 days later, the areas involved had healed (J
Toxicol Clin Toxicol 90;28(1):95-100).
35% Food Grade H202 must be
1) handled carefully (direct contact will burn the skin--immediate
flushing with water is recommended).
2) diluted properly before use. 3) stored safely and properly
(after making a dilution the remainder should be stored tightly sealed
in the freezer).
One of the most convenient methods of dispensing 35% H202
is from a small glass eye dropper bottle. These can be purchased at your
local drugstore. Fill this with the 35% H202 and store the larger container
in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator until more is needed. Store
the eye dropper bottle in the refrigerator. The generally recommended dosage
is outlined in the chart below. The drops are mixed with either 6 to 8 ounces
of distilled water, juice, milk or even aloe vera juice or gel. (Don't use
chlorinated tap water to dilute the peroxide!)
The program outlined is only a suggestion, but it is based on years
of experience, and reports from thousands of users. Those who choose to
go at a slower pace can expect to progress more slowly, but that certainly
is an option. The program is not carved in stone and keep in mind that it
can be adapted to fit individual needs. Individuals who have had transplants
should not undertake an H202 program. H202 stimulates the immune system
and could possibly cause a rejection of the organ.
In most situations after the above 21 day program, the amount of H202 can
be tapered off gradually as follows:
25 drops once every other day for 1 week
25 drops once every third day for 2 weeks
25 drops once every fourth day for 3 weeks
This can then be reduced to between 5 and 15 drops per week
based on how one feels. Those with more serious problems will often benefit
from staying on 25 drops three times a day for one to three weeks, then
tapering down to 25 drops two times daily until the problem is resolved
(possibly as long as six months). Those with chronic systemic Candidiasis
may need to start with 1 drop three times a day, then 2 drops three times
a day before starting the above schedule. It is important that H202
be taken on an empty stomach. This is best accomplished by taking
it either one hour before meals or three hours after meals. If there is
food in the stomach, the reaction of H202 on any bacteria present may cause
excess foaming, indigestion, and possibly even vomiting. Additionally, some
animal research indicates that when H202 given orally combines with iron
and small amounts of vitamin C in the stomach, hydroxyl radicals are created
(J Inorg Biochem 89;35(1):55-69). The bleach-like aftertaste of H202 can
be lessened by chewing one of the sugar-free cinnamon gums. Some individuals
taking H202 immediately before bedtime have a difficult time getting to
sleep. This is probably due to a sense of alertness triggered by an increase
of oxygen at the cellular level. The oral dosage schedule is basically the
same for all conditions. There are several points to keep in mind, however.
Some individuals may experience upset stomach. If this occurs
it is recommended that one not stop the program, but rather remain at the
current dosage level or reduce it to the previous level until the problem
stops. (Some patients have been able to solve the nausea problem by taking
three or four lecithin capsules at the same time they take the H202.) During
the program it's not uncommon to experience what is known as a healing crisis.
As dead bacteria and toxins are released from your body it may temporarily
exceed your capacity to eliminate them quickly enough. In some individuals
this overload may cause fatigue, diarrhea, headaches, skin eruptions, cold
or flu-like symptoms, and/or nausea. One should not discontinue using the
peroxide to stop this cleansing. By continuing the program, toxins will
clear the body sooner and this healing crisis will pass rather quickly.
If you are not already taking vitamin E and an acidophilus
product, I recommend starting them before going on H202. Vitamin E can make
more efficient use of any oxygen available and acidophilus will help re-establish
the beneficial bacterial flora in the lower bowel and also help in the internal
production of hydrogen peroxide.
Making and Using 3% Solutions of H202
A 3.5% solution can be made quite easily by first pouring 1 ounce of 35%
H202 into a pint jar. To this add 11 ounces of distilled water. This will
make 12 ounces of 3.5% H202. 3.5% H202 has a variety of medicinal uses.
1. Three tablespoons mixed with a quart of non-chlorinated
water makes a good enema or douche formula.
2. It can be used full strength as a mouthwash or mixed with baking soda
3. It can be used full strength as a foot bath for athlete's foot. (Diabetics
have found relief from circulation problems by soaking their feet in 1 pint
of 3% peroxide mixed with 1 gallon of warm, non-chlorinated water for 30
4. A tablespoon added to 1 cup of non-chlorinated water can be used as a
nasal spray. Depending on the degree of sinus involvement, one will have
to adjust the amount of peroxide used. I have seen some who can use it at
the full 3% strength and others who had difficulty with using a few drops
and mixed with a cup of water.
5. 3.5% H202 can be added to pets drinking water at the rate of 1 ounce
per quart of non-chlorinated water. Sick cattle reportedly benefit from
1 pint (of 3%) to each 5 gallons of water. (Chickens and cows have remained
healthy by using 8 ounces of 35% H202 per 1,000 gallons of drinking water.)
There are two sources you should contact if you have an interest in using
hydrogen peroxide therapy. The first, ECHO, was founded by Father Richard
Willhelm and is run by Walter Grotz. Their information packet includes a
sample newsletter, a list of H202 distributors and several other items.
The packet is being made available to interested ALTERNATIVES readers for
only $3. Their address is
ECHO Box 126
Delano, MN 55328
If you have an interest in contacting doctors who provide
intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy you can write to the International
Bio-Oxidative Medicine Foundation (IBOM) at the address listed earlier in
this article. You should also be aware that there are now numerous hydrogen
peroxide products on the market. Some are simply peroxide that has been
flavored and mixed with sea minerals, aloe vera, inner tree bark or other
ingredients to make the peroxide more palatable (Superoxy, Oxy Toddy, etc.).
Others claim to have developed products that deliver more
oxygen than does simple hydrogen peroxide (Aerox, Anti-Oxid-10,
Di-Oxychloride, Aerobic 07, Aqua Pure, etc.).
Basically you'll end up paying a small fortune and at best achieving the
same results you can get for pennies by using hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the few simple miracle substances still available
to the public. Its safety and multiple uses ranks it right up there with
DMSO. If you've never used either of these compounds you are overlooking
two of the most powerful healing tools ever discovered. Most of us started
on hydrogen peroxide shortly after birth. Not only does mother's milk contain
high amounts of H202, the amount contained in the first milk (colostrum)
is even higher. This seems only reasonable now that we know one of its main
functions is to activate and stimulate the immune system. Although I am
a strong supporter of H202 therapy, I am not suggesting that everyone needs
to be using it. There are probably some individuals whose health and well-being
would not be enhanced with hydrogen peroxide. But there are also millions
of others who are suffering needlessly because they either do not know about
hydrogen peroxide or they have been misinformed about its use.
~ Afterword ~
The above copyrighted article has been reprinted with permission from Mountain
House Publishing, P.O. Box 829, Ingram, TX 78025. It appeared in a recent
issue of the health newsletter, ALTERNATIVES ($39.00/yr. 12 issues). Subscription
information and/or a sample issue can be obtained by writing to the above
All information posted on this web site is
the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor
can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer
of your choice for medical care and advice.