The thought of using hydrogen peroxide as a natural remedy always sounded a bit hair raising to me so I needed to find out more, put some reservations to rest and give you the low down on this often recommended solution for a variety of health and household problems.
Not to be confused with bleach (made with sodium hypochlorite or chlorine), hydrogen peroxide is composed only of water and oxygen, killing disease organisms by oxidation.
It eliminates microorganisms by oxidizing them. When hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic material it breaks down into oxygen and water.
There are several grades of hydrogen peroxide available but...
It appears that would seem that only one of these is needed for regular domestic use.
And that is 3% pharmaceutical grade
which is available at your local drugstore or supermarket and not recommended for any internal use because it contains stabilizers (that should not be ingested) including acetanilide, phenol, sodium stanate and tertrasodium phosphate.
One of the other grades, for example, is 35% food grade
(and used in the production of foods like cheese, eggs and whey-containing products). This is the only grade recommended for INTERNAL use but can still be extremely dangerous or even fatal if used undiluted. For example, any concentrations over 10% can cause neurological reactions and damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract. I knew there was a reason for my earlier hair raising thoughts.
So what about some of those uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide?
When using the 3% grade, remember that light can destroy peroxide so leave in its original bottle and screw in a spray head attachment.
For skin conditions
Foot fungus can be treated by spraying a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every evening before leaving to dry. Wash off again in the morning.
- Washing or rinsing any infections or cuts in 3% hydrogen peroxide helps to fight any infection and to stop any slow bleeding or oozing but always use with caution. The solution is used by some medical practitioners for cleaning wounds, removing dead tissue and as an oral debriding agent.
For dental care
- Put a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide and hold in the mouth for 10 minutes before spitting out for a natural mouthwash. Daily use will whiten your teeth at the same time.
- Use the same method but for several times a day to ease the pain if you are suffering from severe toothache but cannot get to a dentist in a hurry. This anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent is so effective at treating the pathogen (that might be causing the pain in the the first place), that you might find the pain is eliminated.
- Make your own natural toothpaste by using baking soda and adding sufficient 3% hydrogen peroxide 202 to make a paste. Store in a small glass jar and use daily.
In the home
I am going to try the 3% pharmaceutical grade in my home – inexpensive to buy, safe to use and providing a solution to so many problems.
- After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour or spray hydrogen peroxide to reduce the risk of salmonella and other bacteria.
- Spray some 3% hydrogen peroxide on your kitchen counter tops and surfaces to kill germs and leave a fresh smell.
- Use to spray on any glass surfaces and mirrors for clean results with no smearing.
- When clearing and cleaning out your refrigerator, use to disinfect the interior of the refrigerator.
Keep a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water to use for cleaning bathrooms and toilets.
- Any signs of mold or mildew in the home can be quickly dispatched with a spray of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- When doing the laundry, add a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them and leave a softer texture. If there is blood on clothing, pour directly on the soiled spot, leave to sit for a minute before rubbing and rinsing with cold water. Then wash as normal. If you are worried, test a small portion of fabric before use.