Hydrogen Peroxide Uses

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly available for consumer use. Found in drugstores and supermarkets, it is most often sold in solutions of 1% and 3%. These two choices are virtually interchangeable for household use. In case you are wondering what those inexpensive brown bottles of H2O2 are used for, here are several ways to use over the counter 3% variety.

Bleaching Agent and Stain Remover

Its bleaching ability comes in handy in the laundry room. Instead of using chlorine bleach the next time you’re washing a white load, toss in half a cup of H2O2 (3%) straight out of the bottle along with your usual laundry detergent. You’ll save money each time you do this. In fact, it is one of the main ingredients in the popular laundry product, Oxiclean. H2O2 especially works well when used for treating stains such as grass, blood and red wine. For a more cost-effective carpet stain treatment, fill a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. Saturate the stain, wait a few minutes, then blot with a clean white cloth until the stain is lifted and the carpet is dry. On colored carpet, test first in a discreet location to avoid any damage..

Oral Use

Hydrogen peroxide 3% or 1% makes a great mouthwash. It is lot cheaper than commercial mouthwashes on the market. If used regularly, it will inhibit bacterial growth. The oxygenating action helps remove oral debris. It has antimicrobial properties that make it effective on the beginning stages of gingivitis. One early symptom of gingivitis is a receding gum line. To treat, pour a small amount into a disposable cup. Dip one end of a cotton swap in the solution and rub along the gum where it meets the bottom of the tooth. There will be some foaming but let the solution work for a minute before rinsing thoroughly with water. Try not to swallow; but if you do, it’s harmless (but distasteful!) in such a small amount. Over a period of several weeks, you should notice your gum line starting to improve.

For Your Garden

Hydroponic gardeners, who grow plants without soil, mix this into their watering system to enhance the health of the plant’s root system. You can use the same in your own backyard garden to achieve similar results. Make a weak solution by mixing 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water. It is convenient to use a garden hose sprayer attachment that holds the solution. Hydrate as usual.

Therapeutic Uses

Hydrogen peroxide therapies, also known as oxidation therapies, are very controversial, as far as main stream medical practitioners are concerned. Although H2O2 has been in use over a century, there are few special doctors, M.D.s and N.D.s who practice this. Doctors have infused diluted amounts of medical grade solution into their patient’s arteries, veins, noses, ears and mouths. It is a miracle food that provides oxygen to our sick cells in the body. It is not recommended to attempt any internal hydrogen peroxide therapy without the supervision of a doctor.

Here is a quote from Dr William Campbell Douglass, M.D.

“Hydrogen peroxide is involved in all of life’s vital processes. It must be present for the immune system to function properly. It is truly a wonder molecule.”

William Campbell Douglass, M.D. Author of “Hydrogen Peroxide Medical Miracle”

GENERAL

Hydrogen peroxide is NOT a synthesized drug created in a laboratory. It is NOT a medicine. It is a naturally occurring substance that is made by Mother Nature. It is interesting to note that our digestive system produces this. The baby gets a dose of hydrogen peroxide from colostrum from the first breastfeeding. The falling raindrops contain H2O2. It has recently been discovered that a systemic build-up of H2O2 is one of the causes of gray hair. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent, so your hair is being bleached from the inside. (“FASB Journal, online edition,” February 23, 2009).

The Changing Role of Hydrogen Peroxide in Disinfection

Many people believe hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is most often or commonly used as a disinfectant. But that simply isn’t the case. Looking at peroxide use in industry, the highest volume users are textile, paper and pulp producers.

And, while peroxide is used as an algaecide and decontaminant in applications from water gardens to commercial aquariums and aqua culture farms, it has not been a major player in medical, disaster or other disinfection applications for many decades.

Happily, all of that is beginning to change as this non toxic, environmentally friendly and non polluting chemical compound begins to provide new answers for difficult questions.

Medical equipment sterilizing has been done using toxic gases or high heat for many years. The problems with these methods include exposure to carcinogenic compounds and gases, inability to sterilize sensitive equipment, heat damage, and more. In the 1990’s a new medical equipment sterilizing system was introduced by a California company using H2O2 as the sterilizing agent.

Additionally, new research (circa 2004 and since) has proved the efficacy of using hydrogen peroxide in dental sterilizing procedures. While your dentist may use hydrogen peroxide to bleach your teeth, chances are, he or she is not using it to clean their equipment, yet… But that too is beginning to change as more dentists and health professionals seek ways to avoid toxicity and over exposure to strong disinfectants which do not break down easily in the environment or in human beings.

The really exciting news about the latest research with hydrogen peroxide disinfection comes not from the medical community, but from the front lines of environmental disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

New research has now proven that H2O2 in combination with copper and certain resins can effectively eliminate contaminants from flood water samples taken from New Orleans in the months after Katrina struck.

This research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation has opened a new avenue of discovery and exploration using hydrogen peroxide and various catalysts which “super charge” the oxidizing properties of hydrogen peroxide without producing toxic side effects.

It is the reactive nature of hydrogen peroxide in relationship with certain metals which makes this all possible.

So, as it turns out, the “problem” of H2O2 reaction to specific metals in water or in the environment, has proven to be a solution for the decontamination of flood waters after major disasters.

This new application, while still in its early testing and application stages could lead the way to whole new areas of application for hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizing properties and reactive nature of H2O2 are put to work specifically within controlled conditions to effect specific outcomes.

The Hydrogen Peroxide Producing Capacity of Honey

Hydrogen peroxide can kill bacteria on contact and has been widely used for that purpose. However, straight hydrogen peroxide is unstable and rapidly loses its effectiveness when exposed to air or light. Hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations can also damaged skin tissue. Therefore, the use of pure hydrogen peroxide has lost its popularity among doctors and other medical professionals.

What most people don’t know is that honey has the necessary components to produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide in a slow-release manner. This makes honey an ideal substance to use in the treatment of infected wounds and other bacterial disorders.

The slow-release mechanism in honey that produces hydrogen peroxide is a chemical reaction. Honey contains glucose and an enzyme added by honeybees called glucose oxidase. Under the right conditions, glucose oxidase has the ability to break down glucose into hydrogen peroxide.

Honey itself does not have the right conditions for this reaction to occur. To become active and begin breaking down the glucose in honey, the glucose oxidase requires a pH of 5.5 to 8.0. The pH of undiluted honey is between 3.2 and 4.5 which is far too low to activate the enzyme. Another condition is also required before the glucose oxidase becomes active. For the enzyme to break glucose down into hydrogen peroxide, a certain amount of sodium most be present.

Honey alone does not contain enough sodium to make this happen. However, skin and body fluids have relatively high pH and sodium levels. When honey comes in contact with skin or an open wound, the high pH and sodium levels activate the glucose oxidase and it begins to break down the glucose, releasing hydrogen peroxide.

“It would take a pharmaceutical company many years and billions of dollars to develop an antimicrobial product that could even come close to being as effective in treating wounds as honey,” says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International which is a manufacturer of skin care products that contains Manuka Honey as a natural healing agent. “Even then, it is doubtful that they could create a product that is equally as effective in treating infection as honey.”

Manuka Honey from New Zealand is now being used for medical purposes because it seems to contain the most amount of healing properties than any other type of honey. Manuka Honey has even been found to be effective in treating conditions such as MRSA Staph infections, where antibiotics have failed. Buonanotte says that in addition to Manuka Honey’s ability to naturally produce low levels of hydrogen peroxide, it also contains unique floral nectar components that are not found in other types of honey.

Many people have lost sight of the fact that honey was used for medicinal purposes many years before modern-day medicine was invented. It is believed that honey will soon make a comeback in the medical industry as antibiotics and traditional forms of medicine become less effective against more resilient mutated bacterial strains. Unlike many pharmaceuticals, honey has been found to have no negative side effects when used for medical purposes. Medical-grade honey can also be used in addition to prescribed medication without causing any conflict.