An Internet message that has been circulating since 2006 under various titles like "Peroxide vs Bleach " recommends hydrogen peroxide for a variety of ailments. About half of them make sense.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is readily available at drug stores in dilute form of 3% to 10%.
A gallon of bleach (6% Sodium hypochlorite) is 90¢ - $1.30. As a disinfectant it is mixed 3/4 cup per gallon so costs 0.28 ¢ per cup.
2 cups (16 fl oz) of 3% hydrogen peroxide costs about $2.50, or $1.25 per cup, so it is about 400 times the cost.
The internet message I got starts out:
"This was written by Becky Ransey of Indiana (a doctor's wife), and I want to share it with you. She was over recently for coffee and smelled the bleach I was using to clean my toilet and counter tops. This is what she told me:"
"I would like to tell you of the benefits of that plain little ole bottle of 3% peroxide you can get for under $1.00 at any drug store. What does bleach cost? My husband has been in the medical field for over 36 years, and most doctors don't tell you about peroxide.
"Have you ever smelled bleach in a doctor's office?
NO!!! Why? Because it smells, and it is not healthy! Ask the nurses who work in the doctor's offices, and ask them if they use bleach at home. They are wiser and know better!
"Did you also know bleach was invented in the late 40's? It's Chlorine [Actually bleach is Sodium or Calcium hypochlorite NaOCl. Chlorine or chloramine gas can be released if the bleach is mixed with an acidic substance such as amonia. Ed.], folks! And, it was used to kill our troops.
"Peroxide was invented during WWI. It was used to save and help cleanse the needs of our troops and hospitals. Please think about this:
"With prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's a way to
save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner!"
I've broken up the list in the message into 3 parts, useful, questionable and not recommended:
* Questionable uses. Probably won't hurt, but benefits not proven.
- Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep them free of germs.
- After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.
- Use as a vegetable wash or soak to kill bacteria and neutralize
- Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will.
- You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on
clothing, pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.
"I could go on and on. It is a little brown bottle no home should be without!
- if you like a natural look to your hair, spray the
50/50 solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You
will not have the peroxide burnt blonde hair like the hair dye packages, but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, faddish, or dirty blonde.
* Not recommended. It is probably not good for mucous membranes or subcutaneous tissue (see wounds), so the following items on the list are NOT recommended.
- Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe down your countertops, or spray it on the counters directly.
It works but is much more expensive.
- Put half a bottle of peroxide into your bathwater to help rid boils, fungus, or other skin infections.
- I had fungus on my feet for years until I sprayed a 50/50 mixture of Peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry.
- Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. (I do it when I bathe.) No more canker sores, and your teeth will be whiter without expensive pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash...
The FDA has approved 3% solutions of hydrogen peroxide for use as a mouthwash. Most sources said to use it only for a short time.
A paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is used as a tooth scrub and it is a major component of many tooth-whitening products as carbamide peroxide [CO(NH2)2-HOOH ]. It is used at home in formulations containing 10% or less, or in the dentist's office in strengths up to 22% when gum protective devices or procedures are used.
A report from Well-Connected (written or edited by physicians at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital) recommended against extended use, saying that overuse may actually damage cells and soften tooth surfaces.
See: Time for tooth whitening? at health.harvard.edu
Other Links: Tooth_bleaching at wikipedia.
Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening at EzineArticles.com
- If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it for ten minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.
- Clean with hydrogen peroxide when your house becomes a biohazard
after its invaded by toxic mold, such as those with water damage-.
HUD's Healthy Homes Issues: Mold says:
"The effect of biocides (to kill existing growth) and antimicrobials (to suppress or prevent growth) on mold varies according to mold species.
The different chemical classes of biocides include alcohols, aldehydes, halogens, hydrogen peroxide, phenolics, and quaternary ammonium compounds (Foarde, 1998). The use of biocides is discouraged by some experts, because little research has been conducted on their effectiveness for this use and because of the potential human health hazards associated with this use."
"Non-porous (e.g., metals, glass, and hard plastics) and semi-porous (e.g., wood and concrete) materials contaminated with mold and that are still structurally sound can often be cleaned with detergent or bleach solutions or by using quaternary amine preparations."
- I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no smearing, which is why I love it so much for this.
- Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your 50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold, plugged sinus. It will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.
- Put two capfuls into a douche to prevent yeast infections.
- Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to ten minutes several times a day. My husband has seen gangrene that would not heal with any medicine but was healed by soaking in peroxide.
It can be useful for disinfecting a new dirty would by wiping hydrogen peroxide over it.
"The Many Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide" at educate-yourself.org/cancer, 2003, by Dr. David G. Williams, says:
Grades - Concentrations
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Dr. Charles Farr has proposed intravenous injections of H2O2 for most strains of harmful bacteria and cancer cells, which are anaerobic and cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.
[Note there have been reports of DEATH from doing this. Ed.]
Some also say it can be used for emphysema.
- His article lists a number of other conditions helped by H2O2.
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.
G) 90%: This is used as an oxygen source
for rocket fuel.
The Many Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide-Truth! Fiction! & Unproven!
Comments at Snopes
"As a miracle cure, hydrogen peroxide is more of a nightmare." Dr Blonz in the San Diego Tribune
Hydrogen Peroxide: Truth, Lies and Rumours at docstoc.com
The Many Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide
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last updated 27 Mar 2010