Ringworm, a.k.a. dermatophytosis, appears on the skin as one or more raised reddish rings or splotches pretty much anywhere on the body. Caused by about 40 types of fungi, it prefers a moist, warm environment to proliferate, which is why it typically thrives in the body’s creases. This common, though not life-threatening, condition may affect up to 20% of the world’s population at any given time. In fact, you may recognize it by its more macho names: athlete’s foot (on the feet) and jock itch, when it affects the crotch.
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Ringworm is a true zoonotic disorder, meaning that it is easily transferred between humans and animals. The literature explains that young children interacting with animals frequently contract ringworm from them. So I wasn’t terribly surprised, when at one year of age, my eldest daughter picked up a case of this nasty bugger after saying, “Hi,” to a horse by sticking her fingers in his nostril. I had no idea how annoying this condition could be to resolve.
My very holistic-minded doctor back in Pennsylvania told me that the only thing that he’s ever seen work were prescription ointments, so he wrote me a script with 2 refills. Knowing that he only prescribed slash n’ burn medicine when there was literally no other option (which isn’t often), I filled the prescription. We went through all 3 tubes of the ointment over the next several months and bupkis. Nothing. Nada. Rien.
It was actually worse than ineffective because by the end, the ringworm started to spread! She went from having a nickel-sized welt on her lower leg to now a main ring that was slightly larger than a quarter and two others spreading from there.
We worked on diet, which was already low in sugar by eliminating the little dairy, fruit and grain still remaining. Used all the antifungal standbys we natural folks have come to rely on including coconut oil, neem, garlic, oregano etc. Topped up the probiotics, which we were doing a ton of anyway, by adding the highest potency, most diverse strains. We tried tough actin’ Tinactin and all the over-the-counter azoles (a class of antifungals — not a creative cuss word, although they did make me want to cuss) that were recommended by other doctors, who lived closer to us in New Jersey.
I tried drying it out with bandages, diluted hydrogen peroxide, you name it! Still, no change.
The solution eventually came from an interesting turn of events. When I had learned that my favorite uncle was dying, I decided to take my girl to Florida to meet him (we lived in New Jersey at the time). This was actually quite terrifying because Hurricane Katrina was expected to make landfall in his town the day of our flight. But if I didn’t go, I didn’t know if I’d ever see my uncle again. So trusting that the plane would be grounded or would be diverted in inclement weather, we took the flight, which as we now know, hit New Orleans instead of Fort Myers.
Although we didn’t get the brunt of the storm, we did get too much rain to make it pleasant to be outside. Instead, I found myself reading my aunt’s 1960s-era nursing textbooks. Old medical literature contains a wealth of wisdom we would do well to begin incorporating back into modern medicine, which has taken a bizarre turn to a sole focus on genetic “flaws”.
Eventually, I stumbled across what would become my ringworm cure — actually two, which were mentioned in the same book. The first was a gnarly chemical, whose name I didn’t even bother to write down as even the textbook said that it was taken off the market due to seriously bad side effects. I mean, how good is the cure, when it kills or maims the host, ya know?
Inexpensive Ringworm Cure
The other was cheap-ass iodine. No fancy, providone iodine in large bottles that they use in hospitals before injecting you with some kind of contrived poison. Just that tiny essential-oil bottle sized $1.98 (circa 2005) red iodine that was once a staple in medicine cabinets around the country, if not the world.
The recommendation was to apply it to the spot once a day for 3 days.
I wasn’t sure what would happen by proceeding beyond three days, so I proceeded with caution because after all, she was just two at this point. Was there some kind of toxicity I had to worry about? I didn’t think so, but still erred on the side of caution by following the recommendation to the letter.
From the first application, I noticed the difference. It was finally getting smaller! By the end of three days, the one on her arm had completely disappeared and the newer ones on her leg were gone too!
I wondered if the ringworm would continue to subside on its own now that the process had begun. Again, not sure why the textbook limited the treatment to only three days. It’s entirely possible that the condition would’ve subsided within that window had I started when the infection was fresh. With my girl being so little, though, I didn’t want to inadvertently throw something else out of whack by repeated, possibly unnecessary, applications. I had often used the same iodine on the soles of my feet to help nourish my once sluggish thyroid, so I knew it could be pretty potent possibly resulting in the opposite effect in someone without a thyroid issue. So I stopped after the third application and brought the bottle with me when I took her to Madrid to meet her abuelita, the woman I used to live with as a student many years prior.
By then, one week since the last application had passed. The ringworm was stuck at the same size — no better, no worse than when we had stopped after the first three days.
So I hit it again with the iodine, once a day for three days. Et voilà! It was gone! Never to return!
To find out what else is in my supplemental health first aid kit, click here.
Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of this experience is that a year or so later when we went back to the doctor, he was totally stoked to have an easy, cheap and effective “cure” and actually wrote it down to remind himself. Most doctors are threatened by patients who find out how to fix themselves on their own. Even worse, most are focused on what will be covered by insurance, which is an economic decision. This is an understandable consideration until you realize that this rarely goes hand-in-hand with a beneficial outcome for the patient. It’s a bit disturbing to realize that those two factors often run in opposition to one another.
Long gone are the days of doctors who know how to diagnose and treat with simple home remedies. Instead, we have an army of drones who prescribe whatever gives them the best ROI — a result of making the patient liable for payment. If the government allocated some of the military budget to the health of the people paying taxes, they’d be less inclined to promote and defend therapies that make the patient ever more reliant on more and more medications to fix side effects. But I digress….
Why Does it Work?
So why does iodine work on ringworm? I don’t know all the reasons behind it, but here are two facts I know about iodine.
As mentioned before, iodine supports the thyroid. When the thyroid is happy, repairing, eradicating, and fending off invaders such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses becomes much easier for the body.
It would be negligent not to mention that fluoride*, such as that found in toothpaste and drinking water in some municipalities, blocks iodine uptake resulting in conditions such as sleep disturbance, convulsions, respiratory problems, liver or kidney damage and cognitive challenges or idiocy as older textbooks refer to it. In fact, some researchers over the years have voiced opinions that it is deliberately encouraged to control a population dumbed down by stymied pituitary activity, a reasonable assumption given its well-established reputation as a neurotoxin. Talk about missing the forest for the trees! People try to save their teeth with a daily unnecessary dose of this neurotoxin. I ditched fluoride toothpaste over 30 years ago and still no cavities. My husband stopped using it about 25 years ago and went from always having new cavities at dental visits to none detected since. So if you’re taking iodine without the results you were expecting, fluoridated toothpaste could be the reason.
Iodine also has a drying effect. Remember that ringworm favors moist and warm parts of the body. So while using the iodine, we made sure plenty of fresh airflow was available to the affected area.
Could it be that the answer to even the most annoyingly difficult to treat of fungal conditions (and possibly viral and bacterial) is as easy as reaching for a cheap medicine cabinet staple? What implications could this have for infections that are currently treated with the slash n’ burn medical model, which is clearly failing us as global — especially American — health declines?
Suffice it to say, this is literally ALL we needed to do to get rid of the ringworm. Since then, I have recommended it to many people and all of them to date have reported massive success.
What about you? Do you have a current or recurring ringworm infection? Do you have your own go-to treatment that works for you? Let me know in the comments below or join me on Discord to chat about it!
* The falsified statistics claiming the benefits of fluoride on teeth and other false claims made by the medical industrial complex can be found in the book, How to Lie with Statistics.