Table of Contents > Alternative Modalities > Ozone therapy Print

Ozone therapy

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Related terms
Background
Theory
Evidencetable
Tradition
Safety
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • AHT, Autohemotherapy, oxygen therapy.

Background
  • Ozone molecules are composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). Ozone exists high in the earth's atmosphere and absorbs solar radiation.
  • Reports of using ozone for medicinal purposes date to the late 19th century. In modern times, ozone therapists have used different forms of ozone to treat a wide variety of conditions. There has been little scientific study of ozone.

Theory
  • Ozone therapists have suggested that the three oxygen atoms in ozone may have health benefits beyond the two oxygen atoms that are more commonly found in air. There are a number of different techniques used to treat people with ozone.
  • Ozone may be mixed with water and then taken by mouth, or introduced into a body cavity such as the vagina or rectum. Autohemotherapy (AHT) is a technique that withdraws blood from the body, mixes it with ozone gas, and then injects it back into the body through a vein or muscle. Water enriched with ozone has also been injected into joints of the body for the treatments of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ozone or hydrogen peroxide may be injected, or blood may be withdrawn, ozone enriched, then re-injected into the body after being treated in a quartz container with UV-B radiation.
  • Ozone-enriched water or vegetable oil has been used on the skin to treat wounds, burns, infections, or insect bites.
  • Ozone "bagging" technique submerges the body (except for the head) in a bag containing ozone for up to two hours. Ozone insufflation involves blowing ozone gas into body orifices such as the ear, colon, or vagina. Ozone air purification has been hypothesized to sterilize or "rejuvenate" room air. Ozone drinking water and ozone saunas are also available. Cupping is an ozone therapy that concentrates ozone over a particular area of the body.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Autohemotherapy (AHT) is a technique that withdraws blood from the body, mixes it with ozone gas, and then injects it back into the body through a vein or muscle. There is limited preliminary study of AHT in a small number of patients with history of a heart attack. A decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins ("bad" cholesterol) was reported. However, this research was not well designed. Better information is necessary before a firm conclusion can be reached.

C


Laboratory studies have shown HIV virus to be sensitive to ozone, but no high-quality human studies exist. A preliminary study measured the safety and effectiveness of ozone-treated blood in the treatment of HIV infection and immune disease. Ozone therapy was not shown to enhance immune activation or diminish HIV virus.

D
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Abscess, acne, acute infections, adenocarcinoma, aging, AIDS, allergies, Alzeimer's disease, anal fissure, anemia, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anxiety, arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, bed sores, bladder inflammation, bronchitis, burns, cancer, candidiasis, cardiovascular disease, catarrh, severely injured children, cerebral sclerosis, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), chlorosis, cholesterol metabolism disorders, circulatory disorders, cirrhosis, chronic middle ear deafness, colitis, colon inflammation, constipation, Crohn's disease, cystitis, decaying teeth, decontamination of blood/blood products, degenerative diseases, detoxification, diabetes, eczema, endometrial carcinoma, flu, fungus, furunculosis, gangrene, gastric cancer, giardiasis, gout, hay fever, hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus infection, herpes zoster (chicken pox, shingles), high cholesterol, hypoxia, immune system stimulation, insomnia, intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, joint dystrophy, Kaposi's sarcoma, laryngeal infection, leg ulcers, leukemia, lymphoma, malabsorption syndrome, menopause, mononucleosis, MRSA infection, multiple sclerosis, neurodermatitis, occlusive lower limb arterial disease (peripheral vascular disease), ocular retinitis pigmentosa, optic nerve dysfunction, oral surgery disinfectant, osteomyelitis, ovarian cancer, pain, parasite infection, Parkinson's disease, periodontal disease, phlebitis, pneumonia, poor circulation, proctitis, prostate cancer, radiation injuries, Raynaud's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, rhinoplasty ("nose job") supportive care, scars, senile dementia, senility, skin ulcers, sickle cell anemia, sinus infection, stoke recovery, stomatitis, syphillis, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), trichomoniasis, tuberculosis, vertebral inflammation, wasting syndromes, weight loss, whooping cough, wound healing.

Safety

Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

  • The safety of various types of ozone therapy has not been systematically studied. Serious side effects may occur from introduction of ozone into the body, including shortness of breath, blood vessel swelling, poor circulation, heart problems, or stroke. Autohemotherapy has been associated with transmission of viral hepatitis, and with a possible case of dangerously lowered blood cell counts. Patients are advised to make sure that fresh or sterile needles are used for any medical procedure.
  • Insufflation of the ear carries a risk of tympanic membrane ("ear drum") damage, and colon insufflation may increase the risk of bowel rupture. There is one case of a patient with HIV becoming psychotic with hallucinations while receiving ozone therapy, but it is not clear that ozone was the cause. It is not recommended to rely on ozone therapies alone to treat potentially dangerous medical conditions.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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