Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Let's go to the Iodine Grill! If we can... I doubt that it still exists. Can anyone from Columbia, South Carolina let me know?

NEWSFLASH!! It still exists although it has been renamed. I attribute it's longevity to iodine repletion in it's early years: Villa Tronco

I  believe that the Iodine Grill was named as such because of the fact that it was located in South Carolina, "the Iodine State", not because of the iodine content of it's offerings. haha! A true iodine grill would offer emphasize seafood, seaweed and produce from iodine-rich soils...

A Lugol's cocktail perhaps?

Another ebay score, a matchbook cover of the "Iodine Grill"
circa 1920s, 1930s:

My new favorite restaurant that no longer exists! The Iodine Grill, Columbia, South Carolina, the Iodine State
Hmmm, they specialized in spaghetti? That reminds
me that a carb-heavy diet can result in an increased iodine requirement:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Iodine Road Trip

South Carolina Stationery, 1931

       I  LOVE this story! Two young women from South Carolina took it upon themselves to travel cross-country, promoting the high-iodine produce and milk from their home state. In 1929! On their own! What an adventure this must have been!

I have not been able to find anything else on this story. I would love to know if they continued out west... and whether they were able to meet the mayor of New York City... and whether or not they ever needed to use that unloaded gun to fend off suitors.... 

A little background on South Carolina's claim to fame as "The Iodine State":

From the Spartanville, S.C. Journal, 06-11-29

Spartanville, S.C. Journal

Two Charming Girls Spreading Gospel South Carolina Iodine

South Carolina Farm Products are on the boom in New York, due largely to an Iodine campaign conducted by two charming Columbia girls, Misses Gwendolyn Conder and Nena Blackwell.

They are spreading the gospel of South Carolina iodine and selling handsome rosebuds to make expenses as they travel far and wide in their sign plastered motor car. They explained to a New York newspaperman the vegetables and fruit from this area contain more iodine than those from other sections and as results are highly valuable in combatting goiter.

Facts and figures from the South Carolina Natural Resource Commission reinforce all statements the young women make. This pride in what the Palmetto state can produce is one of the incentives behind the travels of the girls through many states, and they are receiving no compensation from any organization, they emphatically told the New York writers. The rosebuds pay as well as pave the way for the two girls. While one drives the car, the other deftly fashions the artificial blossoms which they sell for from 25 cents to $5 each.

They left Columbia with less than $10 June 10, but have never been in need, the girls said.

While eager to go places, see things and meet people, the southern beauties profess to spurn romance for a large placard reads, "not matrimonially inclined". Moreover, they carry a gun with them although it is not loaded. Before striking out for the West they expect to stay in New York for a few days and meet Mayor Jimmy Walker.

"not matrimonially inclined" haha!
All images from my collection

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I was right

It was my supposition years ago that the reason that iodine fortification of foodstuffs was reduced/eliminated in the eighties was due to the fact that doctors were having a difficult time reading radioactive thyroid scans because people's thyroids were saturated with iodine.

Unfortunately the curezone search function is not working at the moment. When I am able to locate a link to the original post on the 70s study that details that difficulty with radioactive scans I will do so, and update this post.

A-Ha! Me posteth too soon. Update:

From Google News Archive: The Toledo Blade, 02/28/1981

A close-up of the portion that deals with radioactive iodine thyroid scans:

And this article, from The Lakeland Ledger, 11/21/85. Please note the headline:


and from the last paragraph:

To date, there have been NO PROBLEMS associated with the increased iodine in our food supply.

I just don't know what to say about this. How on earth did reports that radioactive iodine uptake was limited because people were saturated turn into a recommendation by the United States Food and Nutrition Board that "adventitious sources of iodine in the American Food System" be replaced by compounds containing little or no iodine? When there were NO PROBLEMS associated with the "excess" iodine?

More information on recommendation of food and nutrition Board:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Iodize the Air

Here's an interesting idea! Iodize the air in order to protect the populace from contagious illnesses. 

Article Source: Sajou's Analytic Cyclopedia of Practical Medicine, Volume 10, published 1920.


iodine crystals
The article discusses various means of treating the flu available at the time but I found the discussion on prophylaxis most interesting:)So interesting, in fact, that I iodized the air in my home. The images here are of iodine subliming. It was amazingly beautiful, the color is just magnificent! I did not have the correct apparatus though... I used a ceramic essential oil diffuser and the heat was too close... the air became iodized quite quickly. My eyes stung. Other than that no untoward effects. My home still smells of iodine. I like it :) Nag Champa or iodine, hmmmm... It's a toss-up!

Do I recommend that you try this at home? No...I'll try this again with perhaps tincture or a few drops of lugol's in water. Sublimating crystals, although beautiful, create a very strong vapor.

There are some gentler methods suggested in this post: 

...At the present writing (Autumn. 1920) there are suggestive indications that another paudemic will occur during the fall or winter...

...The fact that the pandemic of 1918 cost the world at least ten million lives prompts the question: Are we now better prepared to meet the issue? ...

iodine sublimation
...Yet, a query which is at once suggested is: Why does not influenza annihilate humanity under these conditions when the air is contaminated with its germs? Further personal studies then showed that we were protected to a degree estimated at from 60 to 80 per cent., according to our state of health, local or general, by the nasopharyngeal defenses and the ciliated epithelium of the respiratory tract down to the terminal lobules. So perfect is this nasopharyngeal barrier that moderately contaminated air is found completely sterilized after passing through it. This explains the negative results obtained by practically all investigators who have attempted to provoke the disease by injecting B. influenza~ into the nasal cavities. The germs were destroyed by phagocytes (the cytoplasm of which can be found to contain them) and the mucus of the respiratory passages long before they could reach the alveoli, which alone in the whole tract afforded the conditions necessary for their growth...

Prophylaxis-—The foregoing remarks have pointedly indicated where protection against infection is paramount, i. e., in the respiratory tract. This is so well established that antiseptic sprays, gargles, fumes and douches are employed by most clinicians.
pink air!

But is it as antiseptics that these procedures act? The recent war has taught us that antiseptics, including the newer ones, in solutions sufficiently strong to kill bacteria, also kill tissue cells. In the nasopharyngeal passages, therefore, if antiseptic solutions are too weak they are useless; if strong enough to destroy bacteria they do harm by inhibiting the local protective functions. Other data showed, however, particularly Lambert's experiments, that while iodine was very active as a sterilizer in a 1 to 2000 solution, it promoted cellular activity. Pharmacology also teaches that iodine is the specific excitant of lymphoid tissues and therefore of phagocytosis.

amazing color, I'd never seen
 this color before...
It was also observed during the war that in toxic gas manufacturing plants, in which emanations of irritating gases, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, etc. (not phosgene), in hardly perceptible proportions permeated the air, immunity was conferred upon workers therein while influenza reigned unchecked in the neighborhood. Shuffelbotham (Brit. Med. ]our., Apr. 19, 1919), who investigated this report in twenty different and widely separated districts in England, found that workmen actually enjoyed a “very high degree of immunity from infection." A. Gregor (Brit. Med. ]our., Oct. 25, 1919) ascertained bacteriologically that workers so exposed showed a marked decrease in the pharyngeal flora even twenty-four hours after exposure to the fumes. Tweddell (letter to Med. Rec., Jan. 24, 1920) has observed similar protection at the Edgemont Arsenal in this country. Consular reports (Amer. Med., Apr., 1905) from Germany had also called attention to the protective influence of evaporating turpentine in the presence of the workmen during an epidemic.

All the practical phases of the question, clinical, experimental and industrial, unite, therefore, in pointing to the value of measures which: enhance the defensive efficiency 0f the respiratory tract as the foundation of our prophylactic procedure. Normally, as previously stated, it's tissues defend us to the extent perhaps of 80 per cent. It is the remaining 20 percent of defensive efficiency that we should aim to promote to obtain complete protection. How may we secure it?

iodine crystals depositing around edges after
candle snuffed

Iodine is superior to any of the antiseptics used because, while provoking a local defensive reaction, it favors the vital activity of the lymphoid and epithelial cells. Yet, it must be employed with due care. Indeed, personal tests showed that even as weak a solution of iodine as l to 2000 caused too much smarting when sprayed into the nasal cavities to be employed, but that when iodine crystals were slowly converted into fumes by the heat of a small alcohol lamp 15 centimeters below them, and mixed with air in the proportion of 0.33 Gm. of crystals to 16 cubic meters of air (the size of a very small room used as inhalatorium) the iodized air could be inhaled comfortably. Any stronger dilution caused a symptom which indicates that the proportion of iodine is too, great, viz., persistent smarting of the conjunctiva after the first slight pricking sensation experienced on entering the iodized air chamber. This affords a delicate test for the adjustment of the mixture to proper proportions by the admission of additional air into the room.

as the surface cools, the crystals grow
The duration of the slight pungency experienced in the upper respiratory tract and dryness, followed by a freer flow of mucus, obtained with 5 grains of crystals, was about one hour. It was found. however, that these effects could be perpetuated indefinitely by dropping tincture of iodine upon the small receptacle over the alcohol flame which had held the crystals. The fumes thus formed sufficed in the area specified, 16 cubic meters, and were inhaled hour after hour without difficulty or causing irritation.

The effects of a stay of but 3 hours in the inhalatorium so charged were unexpectedly noticeable. Although no deep breaths had been taken, the odor of iodine per se (diflerent somewhat from that of the tincture itself) was perceptible the whole of the following day, off and on, that is to say, about 36 hours. This accounts for the fact that Gregor (10e. cit.) had found that the naso-pharyngeal organisms of the workmen exposed to chlorine and other fumes were markedly decreased as much as 24 hours after leaving their plants.

When we consider the superiority of iodine fumes over those to which they were exposed, and also the relative vulnerability of the B. influenza,, there is every reason to believe that 3 hours of exposure to iodine fumes under the conditions mentioned would afford at least protection for an additional 5 hours, during an epidemic, by enhancing defensive efficiency of the whole respiratory tract.

The practical bearing of these observations is that all public places, schools, places of amusement, shops, hotels, churches, offices, factories, barracks, hospitals, etc., where many people spend much time either as pupils, employees, visitors, etc., and which are now foci of infection, could be converted into as many sterilizing and immunizing inhalatoria provided the air in them be kept iodized in the proportion above mentioned by multiplying as needed and distributing evenly throughout the area to be iodized, what apparatus-very simple and inexpensive as we shall see-may be needed for that area. Or, better, where a suitably situated adjourning room is available, fresh air from an open window may be strongly iodized, and driven by a turbine or rotary fans through an enclosed shaft to the occupied room, and in such proportions as to insure the dilution specified. The iodized air can thus be kept pure, escape vents being supplied through lowered upper sashes or transoms for the occupied quarters.

During the hours all such places would be used, all those exposed to the iodized air for 3 hours would be protected at least 5 hours besides, as we have seen, i.e., 8 hours, at least until bed-time, while in a place of amusement, church, etc., and other sterilizing inhalatoria, the protection would extend to the following morning. Yet, absolute safety imposes the need of an iodized air apparatus in every home, thus perpetuating its effects throughout the 24 hours.

To provide for out-of-doors workers, laborers, masons, bricklayers, drivers, street renders, etc., sterilising tents might be provided, but here again the need of an apparatus at home imposes itself, since workers would hardly consent to spend the time necessary during the day, even to protect themselves. Indeed, adequate protection demands that all residences, great and small, should, if legally possible, be made by the municipal authorities and under their watchful care, to be kept iodized, and if possible, at the expense of the commonwealth, to insure execution. This alone would cause complete protection.

Apparatus.—Expensive apparatus is unnecessary. Among the poor whose living quarters are small, what lighting, heating or cooking facilities they possess may be utilized with the aid of slight ingenuity. Or a small open fume box—a 100 cigar box, for instance—may be used, by removing one of its ends and replacing the latter by a piece of wire netting. This netting is used, the box standing on its other end, to support a small metallic cover or saucer, in which are placed the iodine crystals. These, in turn—or the drops of tincture of iodine—are gradually evaporated by the flame of a small alcohol lamp placed on the floor of the upright box, the three walls of which prevent side draughts from disturbing the flame, while forming a chamber of warmed air which propels the iodine upward and disseminates them. The same box can be used for the evaporation of the tincture of iodine drops by nailing to it an elbow support for a glass funnel the beak of which contains a stopper provided with a small hole, so regulated as to allow the tincture of iodine it holds to drop on the evaporating plate as needed.

Where such comprehensive measures cannot be carried out, a small inhaler calculated to permit the inhalation of cold iodine emanations, which are far less dense than the fumes evolved by heat, can be used. It consists merely of a glass tube one end of which is enlarged into a bulb calculated to fit into either nostril. Each end is packed, though not tightly, with a wad of cotton wool. 3 grains of iodine crystals being placed between the two wads, i.e., in the middle of the inhaler. One end of the latter being enlarged and bulb-shaped, the bulb is introduced into each nostril in turn. On inhaling slowly but steadily through it, the iodine emanation will he felt to penetrate far down. To insure filling of the entire bronchial tree down to the alveoli, after removing the inhaler, the nose is closed with the fingers, and efforts to blow the iodine out through the nose, the mouth being shut, are made. The slight warmth and pricking sensation experienced in the nose and throat disappears in a few minutes. Not more than two inhalations from the inhaler should be taken. These suffice, after clearing the nose, to excite a defensive reaction which may be sustained if the procedure is repeated several times a day. Various pocket inhalers available in the shops may be used for the same purpose, but, in an emergency, I found that discarded bacterial vaccine tubes served the purpose very well.

A small inhaler is particularly useful where the air is likely to be contaminated, in tramways. places of amusement, shops, etc. It should be used before leaving home and every 3 hours to keep the nasal mucosa on the defensive. At present, coughing and sneezing individuals are urged to cover their faces, nose, and mouth with their handkerchiefs; but everyone exposed should likewise protect himself with his handkerchief. A small inhaler hidden in it and used materially reduces the danger of infection. A few whiffs suffice. Again, many bacteria inhaled are present at first in the anterior nasal cavities; if the inhaler is used again on reaching home and the nose freely blown additional protection is afforded. Although the January-February, 1920, epidemic afforded ground for the belief that this measure affords protection, thousands of cases can alone determine its value. A priori, it is obvious, however, that the general public measures advocated offer a far greater opportunity for adequate protection than the desultory use of any inhaler.


 The small iodine inhaler should be used every 2 hours during waking hours, taking only a couple of whiffs through each nostril and inhaling slowly though deeply. The room, preferably a small one, should, by means of the apparatus described, be filled with iodized air (though not sufficiently so to prove irritating to the eyes), iodine fumes being generated near the patient's bed. The aim should be to check the formation of colonies in the alveoli and to destroy the influenza bacilli in the respiratory tract at the earliest possible moment, the bacilli from the alveolar colonies serving to infect other alveoli. The iodine fumes would also protect the nurse, as they readily penetrate into the mask. The latter should always be worn by her in the patient's room, not only to protect her but also to prevent her becoming a carrier.

If the room is large a bed-tent, the upper part of which would reach above a window, the upper sash of which would be somewhat lowered, would serve to concentrate the iodized air evaporated under it in a small area and increase its efficiency. The patient, however, should be kept warm, though well supplied with fresh air.

Friday, May 16, 2014

South Carolina~ the Iodine State

South Carolina touted itself as "the Iodine State"from the late 1920s until the mid to late 1930s. from what I have gathered. This was due to the high levels of iodine found in South Carolina produce. Goiter was well known at that time so they began a public relations campaign educating the public on the need for iodine as a goiter preventative in order to sell the produce.

Their license plates read "the iodine state" and "the iodine products state" in various years. I've been looking for one... no luck, yet. I did, however find this lovely first day cover of an air mail first flight. 
There it is in capital letters ~ THE IODINE STATE!!!

Unfortunately high amounts of iodine in produce cannot make up for other habits, practices, or our toxic world. South Carolina ranks # 43 in state rankings of overall health:

South Carolina

I wonder, though, what their health statistics were back in the day...

South Carolina~ "The Iodine State"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Day~ Oct 21

2001 India Postage Stamp commemorating Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Day

Yes, I know. I should publish this ON October 21. I just got this stamp though and it's so lovely I just had to share. Do you know of another element that has it's own day? Another vitamin or mineral? Is there an international lysine deficiency disorders day that I haven't heard of? Calcium day? Protein Day?  Noooo, I thought not. 

Iodine, and iodine alone, has an entire day commemorated to it.

So, mark the date. We now have plenty of time to plan that io-party!

By the way, India has been largely successful at eliminating the most obvious manifestation of iodine deficiency, goiter, with it's salt iodization program. 

More info on that here: 

Iodine deficiency disorders control in India

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Worcester Iodized Salt

Cover, Worcester Iodized
Salt Pamphlet.
I got my hands on  lovely little pamphlet enumerating the various benefits of "iodin" in salt. Iodization of salt began in the United States in 1924, for the purpose of eliminating goiter. I applaud the efforts of the powers-that-be(was) at the time for actually attempting to fortify foodstuffs with an element so vital for health. There were and are problems with salt iodization, however, and those problems are delineated in Lynne Farrow's excellent article:

Iodized salt is NOT a good source of iodine. The beautiful thing about the salt iodization program, though, is that it spread the knowledge of the benefits of iodine far and wide, and the benefits discussed went beyond the necessity of iodine in treating simple goiter. The claims for iodine in this pamphlet are generalized. Children are more likely to be "good natured". "iodin" will give you a quicker mind! These pamphlets found their way into the hands of the wives and mothers of the day as women were responsible for food preparation, marketing, etc...

From the pamphlet: "The reason table salt was chosen to carry the iodin is that salt reaches everyone, and therefore everyone is sure to get iodin regularly in just the right tiny safe amount." Wonderful intentions, really. I'm not sure exactly where the "tiny safe amount" sentiment comes into play. Iodine was regularly prescribed in milligram dosages(even gram amounts, in the form of KI) prior to the turn of the century.

Back Cover, Worcester Iodized Salt
"Prevents Simple Goiter" was the most commonly used advertising phrase of the day, in reference to iodized salt. Goiter was prevalent in areas with iodine deficient soil. The upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions were once known as the “Goiter Belt” because of the prevalence of enlarged thyroid glands that gave the afflicted visibly swollen necks. The goiter problem was widely noted during World War I when Army physicians recognized the condition in recruits.

 The iodization of salt is taken for granted now. It's taken for granted to the point that many people assume that A) That's where we get our iodine, B) that the iodine in salt is plenty, and C) that salt is where iodine comes from. Joke! I've never heard that one. I would not be surprised though. *sigh*

Some absolutely delightful unsubstantiated claims from the pamphlet I use the term "unsubstantiated" because no studies are referenced although there are a few quotes from doctors of the day elsewhere in the pamphlet. Some of this was also common knowledge :

What I really love about this pamphlet though is that there are quotes from well-known doctors of the day! Doctors that I have posted writings from :) From A. Judson Quimby:

And Dr. Arnold Lorand:

Front of Worcester Iodized Salt pamphlet

Back of Worcester Iodized Salt Pamphlet
Iodization pamphlet contained within this lovely little salt booklet