Povidone Iodine, Oral and Nasal Hygiene 2022

Everyone is familiar with nasal and oral swab testing for COVID-19. It should be obvious the virus is replicating in the nose, and with Omicron, the speed of replication has become much greater than the prior strains of the virus. Thus, there is a wonderful opportunity to reduce viral replication, in fact, kill viruses with agents directly applied in the nasal cavity and the back of the throat. This article is not meant to undermine official guides but to provide additional under-rated evidence for you to decide.

Use of directly applied therapy is far more effective than swallowing pills or capsules or receiving an intravenous infusion. The nasal mucosa is a barrier for entry and if functioning well, allows little penetration of virions into systemic circulation where for example a monoclonal antibody could work. 

Many have asked which solutions, mixtures, and frequencies should be used?

One should be reassured that is far more important to use some form of nasal and oral topical therapy as opposed to letting the infection take its course and ultimately invade the lungs and the internal organs.

For purposes of this stack, we acknowledge that many can be effective including: 
  • povidone-iodine,
  • hydrogen peroxide,
  • colloidal silver,
  • xylitol,
and for the throat many mouthwashes including
  • Scope and
  • Listerine.
Principles are:

1) nasal solutions should be comfortable and not sting with sufficient dilution,

2) sniffed far back into the sinuses and then spit out through the mouth (often causes coughing or mild choking), done at least twice per nostril per session,

3) oral gargles should be for 30 seconds and then spit out. For detailed descriptions of products and solutions please visit one of several websites to get this practical information. (R)

Oropharyngeal viricidal therapy has been demonstrated in supportive studies and randomized trials to:

1) prevent infection after suspected exposure (twice daily),

2) reduce the period of infectivity when ill, and

3) attenuate the progression of disease and reduce the need for oxygenation and hospitalization (six times daily).


Povidone Iodine

10% Povidone Iodine is available OTC (Over the Counter) without a prescription at any drug store for a few dollars. Here is the link: Povidone 10% Iodine on Amazon

Note: This 10% Povidone Iodine must be diluted by one tenth, to 1% strength before use as a mouth wash, otherwise it is too strong and irritating. Dilute by adding 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the 10% Povidone Iodine into a full glass of water (250-300 ml). This will make the product diluted enough to use as a mouth rinse, or gargle, (approximately 1.0 %).

2 tablespoons = 30ml povidone iodine
1 glass water = 300 ml

Povidone iodine (PVP-I) is an antiseptic that has been used for over 150 years. The antiseptic has immediate virucidal effects against COVID-19 virus. Do we have any evidence that povidone iodine is effective against COVID-19? 

There are 20 published studies supporting povidone-iodine for COVID-19. You can check out the list below (c19pvpi.com).



Povidone-iodine is ranked no. 4 in this COVID-19 early treatment mortality drug league table below. However, this is based on only 1 study.



In a December 4th, 2021 interview with Rebel News, Peter McCullough MD discusses what is known about the Omicron variant, and the use of Povidone Iodine Mouthwash, Povidone Iodine Nasal Antiseptic Wash and Gargle for prevention of Covid-19. Dr. McCullough cites the Choudhury study in which 606 COVID infected patients were randomized to 1% povidone iodine, or saline placebo mouthwash and gargle. Patients were followed with PCR testing for viral load. 

Dr. Iqbal Mahmud Choudhury conducted a protocol in Bangladesh that used a povidone-iodine rinse in the nose, mouth, and eyes to kill the virus. Dr. Choudhury writes:

The group of patients used 1% PVP-I [One per cent Povidone Iodine Solution] have shown tremendously reduced mortality, morbidity and hospital as well as financial burden in this covid situation.

study by Avinash Bidra found complete inactivation of the virus after 15 seconds of gargling with a 1% Povidone Iodine Solution. According to the authors, Povidone Iodine (1%) solution is “rapidly virucidal” at all dilutions tested.

A reader (Drew458) commented on Naked Capitalism:

My favorite paper is this one from some ENTs in Bangladesh, who diluted common 10% PVP to 0.6% and made it up by the gallon in soda bottles, poured it into plastic sprayers and gave it to hundreds of their patients as a nasal and throat spray. Great pictures. It worked. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026810/


Is it Safe to use Iodine in a nasal rinse?

Povidone-iodine can safely be used in the nose at concentrations up to 1.25% and in the mouth at concentrations up to 2.5% for up to 5 months. Povidone-iodine rapidly inactivates coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS, when applied for as little as 15 seconds.


Related: Simple Nasal Wash Reduces Risk of COVID Hospitalization (Ear, Nose & Throat journal in August 2022)


Povidone Iodine vs Iodine

Despite having similar sounding names, iodine and povidone-iodine are two different compounds and a distinct difference can be noted between these two compounds based on their composition and uses.

Iodine is a pure element, and it contains 100% iodine in its composition. It is found in solid form, grayish black small crystals with a metallic luster. Iodine can be obtained in all three forms; solid, liquid and gas. Liquid iodine is a dark purple colored solution, and iodine gas (I2) is a purple colored gas. 

Povidone-iodine is a complex of iodine and povidone. It has from 9%-12% of iodine on the dry basis. (source)

Pregnancy Warning:

From Betadine Drug Facts - If pregnant, ask a health professional before use.
Editor's Note - Use should be limited for a short period i.e. no more than 5 days according to FLCCC I-MASK+ protocol. Caution is recommended as the therapeutic benefit must be balanced against the possible effects of the absorption of iodine on thyroid development and function.

    Online Shopping Guide:
    • 10% Povidone Iodine: 

    mouthwash for COVID-19

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