Everyone is familiar with oxygen (O2).  Molecules of oxygen are made up of two atoms of oxygen bound to each other.   When you bind two atoms of hydrogen to one atom of oxygen you get water (H2O).  When you bind two atoms of hydrogen, to two atoms of oxygen, you get hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide is made in the atmosphere, in our bodies and commercially.    

       In the atmosphere ultraviolet light from the sun splits molecules of oxygen into single oxygen atoms.  Lighting does the same thing. These single oxygen atoms combine with other single atoms of oxygen to form ozone (03). Ozone protects us from the sun's ultraviolet rays.  Because ozone is very unstable, it easily loses atoms of oxygen in rain storms. These free floating atoms of oxygen combine with H2O (water) to form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).  

       Because of these additional atoms of oxygen in rain water, plants watered with rain water tend to grow bigger and stronger than plants watered with water from other sources.  Some farmers spray their crops with diluted H2O2 to increase crop yields.  This practice has been increasing as pollutants in the air combine with ozone and prevent it from converting to H2O2 and reach the earth in rain.    

       Single atoms of oxygen are very reactive and will easily combine with the atoms of other molecules. Because of this, single atoms of oxygen are called free radicals.  They are called this because they freely roam around in radical ways seeking to combine with atoms in other molecules and in so doing cause such molecules to become unstable.  It is well known that too many oxygen free radicals operating all at once can be very harmful to the body as they will cause oxidation to occur which in turn causes cellular damage.  Since many things cause free radicals of various types, it is necessary to eat a diet high in antioxidants which neutralize free radicals.  

       It should be noted, however, that our bodies use oxygen atoms to keep us healthy and that is where H2O2 comes in.  H2O2 is a vital component of our body’s immune system.  The body actually produces H2O2 for the purpose of destroying disease causing organisms.  White blood cells known as neutrophils produce H2O2 which releases oxygen atoms that attack and destroy bacteria, viruses, funguses, yeasts and other pathogenic organisms.  The bubbling you see when a 3% solution of H2O2 is applied to a cut is oxygen being released to oxidize (kill off) bacteria in the wound. This bubbling of oxygen is caused by the oxygen in H2O2 reacting with the enzyme catalase found in the blood.  When catalase comes into contact with H2O2 it turns the H2O2 into water (H2O) and single oxygen atoms that oxidize pathogenic organisms.   It has been shown that vitamin C produces H2O2 in fighting infection.

       It has been observed that pathogenic organisms (including cancer cells) do not do well in the presence of oxygen.  The presence of additional oxygen in tissues of the body is believed by some to create an adversarial environment for disease causing organisms while at the same time enhancing the growth and activity of oxygen loving organisms such as the friendly bacteria acidophilus. It has been demonstrated that when H2O2 is taken into the body the oxygen content of body tissues increase. There also is evidence that ingestion of H2O2 increases certain enzymes in the body that results in an increase in metabolic rate and a greater dilation of small arteries leading to better blood flow.

       Some farmers have used H2O2 as an additive to drinking water for their livestock and poultry.  It is reported that this has resulted in lower incidence of disease, increased milk and egg production and a much reduced need for antibiotics.  Based on this animal model, some health practitioners believe H2O2 can also be effective in reducing the incidence of human disease. There are a number of anecdotal reports extant that claim H2O2 is effective in treating various human health problems.      

       Commercial hydrogen peroxide is made by reacting a grayish, white powder called barium peroxide with sulphuric acid.  It is made in various grades of purity and levels of solution.  The 3% solution (3 parts H2O2 and 97 parts water) found at your drug store is for topical use only and should never be taken internally as it contains a number of stabilizers that shouldn’t be ingested.    

       A 35% food grade H2O2 is available which can be ingested but only when highly diluted in distilled water.  Great care must be exercised in the oral use of 35% food grade H2O2.  Food grade H2O2 can also be added to bath water. Adding a pint of food grade H2O2 to a tub of bath water and soaking in it for 30 to 60 minutes will  result in the absorption of oxygen into the body.  At Milk ‘N Honey we make available 35% food grade H2O2 with a handout that provides guidelines as to how this product can be used and what safety precautions must be followed.  

       In addition to its medicinal use, food grade H2O2 can be added to solutions made to be used as natural pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.  The handout we provide on H2O2 provides recipes for these solutions.

       Hydrogen peroxide is very stable and slowly loses potency at around 10% per year when stored in a dark location and kept free of contaminates. It is highly recommended you store 35% food grade H2O2 in the freezer. Doing so will maintain its potency for a very long time.  35% H2O2 will not freeze until the temperature reaches minus twenty-seven degrees Fahrenheit.  Lower potencies such as the 3% solutions used for topical application will freeze and should not be stored in the freezer.