Ozone is a parental form of oxygen occurring naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. It is created in nature when ultraviolet energy causes oxygen atoms to temporarily recombine in groups of three atoms. Ozone is also formed by the action of electrical discharges on oxygen, so it is often created by thunder and lightning. Ozone is known chemically as O3 because it is made up of three oxygen atoms. Since ozone is unstable and quick to react, it is a powerful oxidizing agent. It can kill a wide variety of viruses, bacteria. It also oxidizes phenolics (poisonous compounds of methanol and benzine), pesticides, detergents, chemical manufacturing wastes, and aromatic compounds. For this reason, ozone has been used to disinfect and purify drinking water and waste water, A sufficiency of oxygen in the blood means better blood, better circulation, better assimilation, better equilibrium of body temperature, better vasomotor activity, better digestion, better elimination of waste products, less chance of autointoxication or toxemia, and less chance of infection and disease.
Today the largest commercial use of ozone is in the purification of water. Both the FDA and EPA certify ozone as destroying 99,9992% of all pathogenic germs while oxidizing (destroying) the same percentage of all pollutants in the water at the same time. Ozone has been used since the 1950's in Germany by physicians to treat a variety of ailments.
Today, eight thousand licensed health practitioners (including medical doctors, homeopathic physicians, and naturopaths) in Germany use ozone in their practices, while about fifteen thousand European practitioners use ozone either alone or as a complement to other therapies.
Historical origins of ozone therapy
In 1856, just 16 years after its discovery (by homeopath Joseph Lloyd Martin), ozone was first used in a health care setting to disinfect operating rooms and sterilize surgical instruments. This surgical application has recently been rediscovered. By the end of the 19th century the use of ozone to disinfect drinking water of bacteria and viruses was well established in mainland Europe. The earliest record of therapeutic use of ozone in an English language medical journal is in 1885 titled ‘Ozone’ by Charles J. Kenworthy, M. D., M.R.S.V. from Jacksonville USA, published by the Florida Medical Association. Today, Florida is where the prohibition of ozone therapy is most rigorously enforced in the United States.
In 1892 The Lancet published an article describing the administration of ozone for treatment of tuberculosis. In 1902 they published another article claiming success in treating chronic middle ear deafness with ozone.
During the first world war (1914-18) doctors applied ozone to infected wounds and discovered that it also had hemodynamic and anti inflammatory properties. In The Lancet of 1916, the following is reported by Major George Stoker, MRCS:
“The accompanying tabulation statement of the results of the first 21 cases treated with ozone at the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital “England” cannot be regarded as anything but satisfactory from every standpoint, be it humanitarian, scientific or economic. The cases were, for the most part, those of cavities and sinuses in the femur and tibia. It is the great experience of those who have seen a great deal of war surgery that such cases obstinately resist treatment and remain unhealed for months and years … I have failed in only one case … the properties of ozone which have a wonderful healing effect are … an increased flow of blood to the affected part … as a germicide it destroys all hostile micro-organic growth … as the French chemist Hennocque has shown it has great powers in the formation of oxyhemoglobin … at present our knowledge of the effects of ozone is but small, but later I hope to bring before the medical public further satisfactory facts with reference to its working and results”
Stoker’s sequel to this article was published the following year, and since then there have been few publications of ozone research by medical associations in English speaking countries, notable articles being Quain’s “Ozone Treatment of Wounds” (The Lancet 1940), Thwaities’ “Ozone Healing” (Australian Medical Journal, 1977), and Braggs’ “Are Worry Free Blood Transfusions Just a Whiff of Ozone Away” (Canadian Medical Journal 1993). However, many medical journals published by international specialist medical research societies have in recent years lent considerable publicity to ozone research.
STUDIES OF THE TOXICITY AND SIDE EFFECTS OF OZONE THERAPY
Much of the concern related to ozone therapy revolves around the safety of blood ozonation.
It is well established that when inhaled by mammals, ozone reacts with compounds in tissues lining the lungs and triggers a cascade of pathological effects.
It has been argued that since ozone has the capacity to oxidize organic compounds in an atmospheric environment, it should also logically oxidize blood components and endogenous human tissues.
Researchers advocating ozone therapy concede that, when infused into human blood, ozone produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals, an over-abundance of which is known to cause oxidative stress and cell damage, and is implicated in the progression of some degenerative diseases.
However they argue that the body’s anti-oxidant defense system is resistant to the quantities of ROS produced by the therapy.
Interestingly, ROS have also been discovered to perform an array of essential cell signaling functions.
The impact on blood chemistry and biological function of blood ozonation treatments like ozone autohemotherapy (AHT) has been investigated in a number of studies.
AHT is a procedure that has been practiced for over 50 years by European physicians.
It involves withdrawing up to 200 ml of venous blood, then immediately mixing it with therapeutic concentrations of soluble ozone gas and a minimum amount of anticoagulant (then re-infused usually into the basilic vein at the elbow). As part of different trial, though, the safety of re-infusing ozonated blood was critically investigated and no toxicity or adverse effects were observed after treatment. This non toxicity and absence of any significant side effects has been confirmed by Cuban, German, Spanish, Italian, Israeli, Japanese and Polish studies. The indication of these studies is that human blood is resistant to the oxidative powers of ozone at concentrations up to at least 42 µg/ml, while the mechanisms for defense against ozone damage or the biochemical cascade blood ozonation triggers seem to be impaired in pathogens that are not protected by the body’s anti-oxidant system. Ozone is not the only gas that is toxic when inhaled but has medical benefits when administered by other means. Mustard gas is a schedule substance in the Chemical Weapons Convention, but when injected intravenously nitrogen mustard served for many years as the world’s first chemotherapy drug. Nitric oxide is another toxic atmospheric pollutant, but when created in vivo as a by-product of enzyme synthesis in mammals it has a physiological role as a cell signaling molecule essential for numerous biological processes. Although classed as a free radical, a deficiency in nitric oxide is now implicated in a great variety of diseases.
METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION
Traditional ozone therapies include: LOCAL AND SYSTEMIC APPLICATIONS
intravenous autohaemotherapy – also known as ozone autohemotherapy (AHT), intramuscular, intra-articular O2/O3 gas injections, rectal and vaginal insufflation, transdermal ozone gas sauna, limb bagging or booting, ozonated oil (such as avocado, olive, hempseed, canola or sunflower) liniments & poultices, drinking ozonated water, dental applications.
The European Cooperation of Medical Ozone Societies warns that direct intravenous injections of ozone/oxygen gas should not be practiced due to the possible risk of air embolism. Therapists also take all precautions to avoid the patient and themselves inhaling concentrated ozone gas.
Oxygen Chamber Therapy is a common way to describe the combination of Ozone Therapy and Steam Sauna Therapy. Ozone, or “activated oxygen”, is introduced into a special steam sauna cabinet, where it then is absorbed transdermally (across the skin) of the occupant. The result is a health effect on the occupant that combines the beneficial oxygenation and detoxification effects of both Ozone Therapy and Steam Sauna Therapy. Some reported effects of Oxygen Chamber Therapy are:
- Dramatically increase oxygenation of the tissues and cells
- Increase the White Blood Cell count
- Increase circulation, oxygen and nutrient delivery within the body
- Burn 400-600 calories per session!
- Increase tumor necrosis factor by up to 500 times
- Purge the body of accumulated toxins such as pesticides, PCBs, drug residues, acidic wastes and much more
- Stimulate the Immune System
- Boost cellular mediated immunity (part of the immune system)
- Produce Interleukin II, Gamma interferon (anti-cancer substances)
- Increase the distensibility (or “squishability”) of the Red Blood Cell so that it can squeeze through your tiny blood vessels into tissues
Much like the other methods of applying ozone, those using this combined method of Steam Sauna Therapy and Ozone Therapy find positive results in many diseases such as:
- Chronic Fatigue