Can you take hydrogen peroxide internally?


I have a question regarding the use of hydrogen peroxide internally. I’m not finding much information on the subject and I have a family member who’s looking into it based on some (limited) online research. Thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.

organicsauce / Originally posted on Glycotoxins


Yikes! Hydrogen peroxide should never be taken internally. It can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract with nausea, vomiting, and foaming at the mouth (the foam may obstruct the respiratory tract or result in pulmonary aspiration). Within minutes of ingestion, confusion, coma, convulsions, cyanosis and cardiorespiratory arrest may ensue if the concentration is high enough. Oxygen gas embolism in the brain may cause a stroke even after just a few sips. Most problems occur at concentrations >10%, but even dilute solutions can be toxic. If your family member wants to oxygenate their blood they should try exercising!

Instead of consuming pro-oxidants like hydrogen peroxide, I recommend eating anti-oxidant rich foods. See, for example:

Image credit: Postdlf / Wikimedia Commons

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  • mdvs42

    I’ve never drank Hydrogen P internally, but i do gargle with it?? Hope that’s not bad?
    I haven’t had a sore throat since doing it.

    • AllisonMMG

      Same here!

      • Andy

        From where I should get Hydrogen Peroxide in India

  • Truth

    Ingesting hydrogen peroxide will only give those side effects when taken improperly. Hydrogen peroxide can be ingested and should be researched and discovered for its proper uses….because it is amazing for the immune system, helping to rid teh body of all sorts of diseases, ailments,etc…including cancer, HIV, ETC. Sorry doctor, but maybe you should be our own research and not believe everything that you were taught in med school, because medical research is funded by pharmaceutical companies who dont want people healthy, in turn for themselves to be

    • Marianne

      Truth-I think Dr Greger has proven himself to be a medical graduate who thinks outside the square. I know about hydrogen peroxide claims and even if 100% correct, there are far more safer alternatives …right here on this website in fact!

    • john

      amen to that

    • CrazyMonkey702

      Hydrogen peroxide is safe as long as it’s food grade. The good doctor is wrong about it being harmful. I would recommend 3% Hydrogen peroxide.

      • fred

        There is no such thing as food grade hydrogen peroxide.

      • Jane and Tom

        No. You are wrong crazy Monkey. It is very dangerous. I burned my throat from gargling with a couple drops in a glass of water of 35% Food Grade. I have been through hell and back for four months now and always afraid when It will get inflamed again and swell up if I eat certain foods. I have to have a scope. I am warning people do not ingest Hydrogen Peroxide food grade at all. It puts holes in the stomach and esophagus. I want to try to warn people of the damage, so they don’t suffer like me.

        • CrazyMonkey CrazyMonkey

          You are telling me you burned your mouth with a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in a cup of water and it put holes in your stomach and damage you for life hahaha. You must be joking or it’s all in your head and you need to seek a therapist because you’re delusional.

        • Anonymous

          You realize that 35% is in no way food grade, right? That means that the ratio of peroxide to whatever else is in the liquid is 35%, so it’s 35% hydrogen peroxide. Food grade is waaay less more like 3%. No wonder your throat got burned.

    • fred

      Good God! Hydrogen Peroxide will NOT cure aids!!!

  • Rocio Wabi

    You should know and try

  • karina treacy

    Is there any food that can redduce Brown spots on the skin?. Skintrearments for dark spots?

  • jimmy remove the blindfolds and seek the truth

  • Christ

    I have only used 1/8 of a teaspoon in a cup of water 3x a day to get rid of womanly yeast infections. Since then any time I feel a possible one coming on, I follow this regimen. It keeps it from developing. Thus, I have not had one for 15 years. (My doctor is the one that suggested it after over the counter and prescriptions did not work)

  • GWhiz

    I’ve been taking 3% “food grade” hydrogen peroxide in small amounts for the last few weeks. I spray one or two squirts on the back of my throat and then take a drink of water to wash it down. I do this once or twice a day. It completely cleared out my sinuses and I feel that it also helped clear up a fungal infection. The only side effects I have noticed have been positive. Of course, I would never take any that was stronger than the 3%… and only if it is food grade.

  • sepptorr

    Dr Greger, Do you have a response for the above claims from the posts about H2O2 consumption? Sure would like to hear something that clears this subject up. I have seen lots of claims from websites about H2O2 but they sure seem like scams but if so many people have drank this then why no postings from these people about the bad effects . Please comment!

    • Toxins

      Ask them to present studies so that we can review it! These things are mostly scams.

      • surethom

        As hydrogen peroxide can not be patented so no pharmersutical company will fund any research its like all non pharmersutical treatments no profit then no research.

        No studies then it is a scam is a typical medical responce, yes there are so so many scams on the net but also thousands of reviews on amazon , youtube and others that show them drinking it and no bad effects only good effects for some, some may be fake but all cannot. We need REAL research but this will never happen without funding.

        I have no idea if this works or not?

    • krily

      There are no posts from people like me who believe in peroxide because there are no bad affects. I have even poured 12% straight out of the bottle onto my skin purposely to experience a peroxide burn and this is what ensued. Yes, it burned, but not even real bad. It might have been worse if I plunged my whole hand into peroxide. But who would do that. Anyway, the burn is not like any other chemical that you would associate a burn with. So it burned and bubbled and made the skin white for a few minutes, but the burning does stop on its own once the peroxide has finished killing bacteria. This was a few short minutes and the skin then looked completely normal.
      Peroxide will not hurt you. Learn how to use it. It’s not hard. The 9% and 12% bottles have dilution ratios on the label. Go by that.

      • bruxe

        I have seen what full strength H2O2 can do to a person. I used to work in the semiconductor industry and they used H2O2 to clean silicon wafers between industrial processes. If you ever got so much as a drop on your skin- or anything else – it would turn that area completely white, like bleach. That is full strength.

    • Jane and Tom


  • Krily

    This advice is SO WRONG. I have been using peroxide for 15 years, both internally and externally. Peroxide does not hurt you. Yes, if you get 12% or higher, they should be diluted. Even the bottles at WalMart and the dollar stores should be diluted. But H202 is an instant cure for first symptoms of anything. When I stumbled upon this 15 years ago, it forever changed the way I treat myself for cold and flu and lots of other things.I never buy drugs. My thought to your warning of nausea, vomiting and foaming at the mouth (all three together) is that you have never learned how to use it. I would encourage you to learn. Dilution is the working element. Dilute, dilute, dilute. But let there be just enough to taste it going down. NEVER drink it full strength, which is how I believe you have learned of. Learn to use it. Peroxide is one of nature’s best friends. I am never without peroxide, not even when I go on vacation. You can catch a cold anywhere, anytime so it is always with me. One dose at first symptoms will kick your symptoms and you won’t get sick. Once dose is 1/8t in a cold liquid. I have used water, tea, orange juice and milk. But don’t use milk. Peroxide goes to killing bacteria in that and it is very uncomfortable in the stomach. They say distilled water is best, but I never got any. Never had to.
    Your response to this person who is honestly seeking an answer is very ill-informed. Please don’t do that to people. Get the truth yourself.

    • bilwis

      please… any good side effects should be weighed on the -fact- that it ……………..kills good cells and bad alike .

      • Katrina Palm

        yes your right, you have to take a probiotic along with it, to replace the good bacteria.

    • fred

      A cure for symptoms is not a cure. Symptoms are indicators, not the illness itself. Go to doctors people ,that’s what Obama care is for!

  • bob luhrs

    My ex-girlfriend is an NP, 25 years in urgent care, created and ran the Fast Track ER program at University of WA medical center for 12 years. She says yes H202 will kill germs. It will also kill defensive cells so that in the future infections are more likely. They only use it when they have no choice, and they cut the 3% solution down 4:1…and even then it is not benign. I know and respect opinions of doctors and researchers. But in an ER with urgent care on a daily basis, I’d not be arguing with those people who do this every single day and know what happens.

  • George

    The good doctor is reluctant to comment on this issue……wonder why……

  • Wedi yatok

    I’m glad H2O2 works for some. For me, I have been taking food grade 35% (greatly diluted in water) daily for a while, but still came down with a cold that lasted 2 weeks. I have seen no health benefits personally, and the almost nauseating feeling it gives me for a few minutes after consumption makes it not worth continuing. I believe when properly consumed it is at least harmless. If not, you’d see a lot of stories about people suffering the ill effects, because it is used by many.

    • Andy

      where I will get hydrogen peroxide in India… Can you please provide me the url ????

      • Wedi yatok

        I don’t know what online stores supply H2O2 to India. Shop around.

      • Katrina Palm

        Try to google, by asking the question…..Where can I purchase Hydrogen Peroxide in India? Or Places close by your location.

  • Josephine Smith

    I have heard of some people using hydrogen peroxide intravenously for various health issues, is it safe to do that??

  • Larry Oxford

    I take 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide
    every day and it works great for me. So why are you saying no?

    • surethom

      Hi you say it works for me, what are you taking it for?

      • bruxe

        It doesn’t kill him – so – it works! ;-)

  • sidney49

    I have been ingesting food grade H2O2 for over 30 years. For the benefits of ingesting food grade H2O2 read “The One Minute Cure” which was and Amazon best seller.

  • A. Bruton

    There is a doctor on Utube (can’t think of his name) that says —
    “when you feel a cold might be coming on–pour a little Hydrogen Peroxide into your ears”. He says he doesn’t know why it works.
    Anyone tried this?

    • bruxe

      I just heard of that in some documentary … but they said a “dilute solution” but not the exact dilution. I was curious about it because, well certainly full-strength H2O2 would probably hurt a person, but a weak solution might kill germs or something.

    • gavin

      I do this every night – 3% food-grade h2o2, (the strength is VERY important) via a dripper – leave it in for a minute, then tilt your head & remove the excess with a piece of kitchen roll. The basic science is, most bugs & air-bourne viruses are thought to enter via the ear canal – the sugars present in earwax then enable the virus to multiply, take hold, & wham – you got the bug. The peroxide will kill the bad bacteria, & (usually) prevent the infection. Of course, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, but I’ve noticed enough benefit to continue with it.

  • Jack Falcon

    H202 has been taken medicinally for years, diluted for course maybe 2 or 3 drops for a tall glass of water

  • aloha

    Hydrogen Peroxide is used to induce vomiting in dogs who have swallowed something such as a sock, underwear, etc. only for items that will not obstruct breathing coming up. the vet can advise the dosage, probably just for large dogs, but it works in about 5 minutes.

  • Jack

    I found an even faster and more efficient way to get O2 into my blood stream! It’s far more effective than peroxide and gets a massive amount of oxygen into my blood compared to peroxide. And then the oxygen seems to travel all over my body and even deep into the tissues of my nose, throat, eyes, and stomach.

    Nobody has patented this procedure either and it’s been proven beyond doubt to have no harmful side effects. It uses the principle that 20% of the air around us is pure oxygen and usually freely available.

    It’s called “breathing”.

  • Wedi yatok

    After posting here that I stopped drinking diluted 35% food grade H2O2 because I didn’t notice any health benefit, I heard it could dissolve warts. I tried it on a hard mole-like thing on my collarbone. (4 drops on a q-tip, then dab the mole with the q-tip.) It 2 weeks it was mostly gone. Same with a few tags I had under my arms. And several persistent crusty patches on an arm. Still visible, but smoothed over and no longer annoying. It is an mild acid, so it stings a bit. But worth it.

  • bruxe

    I heard or someone who used a “dilute” solution of H2O2 to clean out their ears? Would that be safe, or crazy? If you look around you can find someone advocating for almost anything … and some of it could be dangerous. I think they said that H2O2 in their ears diluted would fight a cold? Is that even possible?

  • Jean

    In the early 1980’s I tried the diluted food grade H202 for maybe 3 months. Saw no benefit and got to where I could not stomach the taste of it. Won’t even brush my teeth with it now. But do use it externally and for cleaning projects. It is a great disinfectant.

  • Jonathan

    I’m a fan of Dr. Greger. He is doing a marvelous job with this website, but nobody is right all of the time, and I think he missed this one.
    It is easy to study up on hydrogen peroxide on the internet. It is a very important issue and will take
    you a few hours – but if you are concerned about what you can do to protect
    yourself and your loved ones from the effects of air, water, food and drug
    pollution, it will be worth the effort.

    When you do, you will find, as I did, that those who are frightening people away from trying the 0.003% hydrogen peroxide dilution that has been taken internally by millions of people have allowed themselves to be influenced by twisted, scary half-truths.

    You will find that the ozone in the air is absorbed by rain, creating H2O2 that makes rainwater so
    healthy and delicious. You will find that every cell in the body – every single cell –
    is making hydrogen peroxide virtually all of the time, billions, even trillions
    of times every day. Search peroxisomes and catalase. You will find that H2O2 is
    vital in many normal physiological functions. You will find that the body is
    exquisitely designed to safely use H2O2.

    You will find that one has to be as careful with 29% H2O2 as one is with those toxic drugs and household cleaners in the house. It can kill you if you drink it straight. But diluted and “taken as directed”, there are many, many personal testimonials to its safety, as well as its health benefits – including reversal of cancer. I have mature, intelligent, careful friends who
    have been taking a few drops with water every day for years, for pennies, and are confident that they have reversed and cured cancer. I am taking 8-10 drops of pure 0.2% food grade H2O2 in a glass of filtered water 3 times daily, and working up to 25 drops per glass until I drop down to the recommended dose of daily rainwater.

    This naturally occurring, life-giving molecule is safe and inexpensive. Nobody is going to get rich off food-grade H2O2. Who profits by slamming it? Follow the money.

    Again, THANKS for all you do, Dr. Greger. No offense intended here.

  • Richard G.

    10-15 drops of 3% HP. In a cup of clean water Will boost your immune system! Doctors don’t want people to know about it because it would significantly reduce amount of people who are going to doctors. Drink it at least 3 times a day. Do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach first, and later any time a day but not earlier then 1 hour after taking food. Be healthy people!