Tincture of iodine or iodine tincture is an antiseptic, used successfully to cure cuts, bruises since 1908. It is so effective that it is used in pre-operative skin preparation by many surgeons. incture of iodine is sold labelled "for external use only," and used primarily as a disinfectant. Do not take internally. Tincture of iodine is often times found in emergency survival kits because it is so effective. When mixed properly and under control of medical or scientist, It is used both to disinfect wounds and to sanitize surface water for drinking, with the right amounts. Iodine tincture is not a recommended source of solely-nutritional iodine. Nutritional iodine is better supplied in the form of the less toxic iodide (see SSKI) or iodate salts, which the body can easily convert to thyroid hormone.