Gargling with Iodine
EARLY VIRAL CLEARANCE AMONG
COVID-19 PATIENTS WHEN
GARGLING WITH POVIDONE-IODINE
AND ESSENTIAL OILS: A PILOT
NURUL AZMAWATI MOHAMED et al
This paper remains the property
of the authors.
This preliminary study showed that gargling with
1% PVP-I and essential oils show great potential
to be part of the treatment and management of
Stage 1 COVID-19
[This is a preprint paper - Preprints are studies
destined for peer-reviewed journals that have
yet to be peer-reviewed. Because COVID-19 is
such a rapidly evolving disease and peer-review
takes so long, most of the information circulating
about the disease comes from preprints.]
Please download the full paper below:
Study link here
Summary of design and results
20 asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic COVID-19
patients from a Malaysian university hospital were
randomly allocated into four groups:
--Group A gargled with 10 milliliters of 1%
povidone-iodine for 30 seconds, three times per day.
--Group B did the same with 20 milliliters of Listerine.
--Group C did the same thing with 100 milliliters of
--Group D acted as untreated controls.
The patients ranged in age from 22 to 56, had positive
PCR tests for COVID-19 but hadn't developed any
symptoms yet, were enrolled within 5 days of being tested,
and did not receive any other treatments.
Two patients had co-morbidities: one had asthma and one
had obesity. Unfortunately, they didn't report which groups
these two patients were in.
On day 4, 100% of those in the povidone-iodine group had
cleared the virus. By contrast, 80% of those in the Listerine
group, 40% of those in the tap water group, and 20% of those
in the control group had cleared the virus.
The one patient in the Listerine group who had not cleared
the virus on day 4 was still positive on day 6 and was
indeterminate on day 12.
Of the three patients who remained positive on day 4 in the
tap water group, two became indeterminate on day 6, but
one of them slipped back into positive by day 12. No one
who wasn't negative on day 4 cleared the virus by day 12.
In the control group, one person tested negative on day 4, but slipped into the positive or indeterminate territory by day 6. On day 12, still only one person tested negative.
Due to its small size, the study did not have the statistical power to compare every group. However, the difference between the povidone-iodine group and the control group was statistically significant at every day.
This study is small and was not blinded. Further studies will be needed to test this in larger samples, different populations, and to see if this treatment is effective in more serious cases where symptoms or complications have developed.
Nevertheless, it provides preliminary results suggesting that gargling with povidone-iodine and Listerine can both help clear the virus, and that povidone-iodine is most effective.