Ozone therapy is a natural remedy that’s gaining popularity lately. It is the practice of using ozone gas to treat various health complaints. Ozone therapy is big in Europe, where many believe in the benefits of this unique therapy.
Scientifically speaking, ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms. It exists as a gas and is most well known as a component of the earth’s atmosphere. Ozone, in high doses, is toxic to living organisms—which is why governments and health advocates are often working to reduce the amount of ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone is considered a source of dangerous pollution.
However, in smaller doses, pure ozone could impart health benefits. The theory goes that ozone could help to increase the levels of naturally occurring antioxidants in the body. And these antioxidants could help to protect against the sort of cellular damage that causes all kinds of diseases to manifest themselves.
Ozone therapy has been used to treat a number of medical conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, macular degeneration, and Parkinson’s, to name just a few. Ozone therapy has also been tried, with some success, in the treatment of abscesses and other infections. Ozone therapy could help relieve pain symptoms. There are even some claims that ozone therapy may be able to help prevent cavities in the teeth.
Proponents of ozone therapy say that it is not only the therapy’s ability to fight disease that is beneficial, but other effects as well. Ozone therapy may help to usher in an over-all feeling of health and well-being, largely attributed to the enhanced ability of the body to use oxygen. Ozone therapy may be able to boost the performance of the immune system and stimulate substances involved in the repair and maintenance of tissues and organs.
In one review, published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, researchers conducted a review to assess the effectiveness of ozone therapy. Ozone (O3) gas was first discovered in the mid-nineteenth century. Although scientists determined that O3 has dangerous effects, some began to believe it had many therapeutic effects too. Because of this initial exploration of ozone’s potential beneficial effects in the body, ozone therapy has been utilized and heavily studied for more than a century.
In their review, the research team found that ozone therapy is a proven, consistent and safe treatment that causes minimal and preventable side effects. They found evidence that medical O3 is used to disinfect and treat disease by inactivating harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. O3 was also shown to stimulate oxygen metabolism and activate the immune system.
The researchers did cite the need to use O3 therapy safely. They noted that medication formed in a gaseous state is somewhat unusual, and for this reason, special techniques have had to be developed for the safe use of O3. For local applications in the treatment of external wounds, O3 therapy is best used in the form of a transcutaneous O3 gas bath, for example. This form of treatment, the researchers found, has established itself as being the most practical and useful method. The O3 “bath” is a form of oxygen therapy administered at low (sub-atmospheric) pressure in a closed system guaranteeing no escape of O3 into the surrounding air. The researchers also found strong evidence to suggest that ozonized water, often used in dental medicine, is best applied as a spray or compress.
As for the number of conditions that could benefit from O3 therapy, the researchers found evidence supporting the following: infected wounds, circulatory disorders, geriatric conditions, macular degeneration, viral diseases, rheumatism/arthritis, cancer, SARS, and AIDS.
There are some who claim, however, that the use of ozone therapy comes with some risks when not applied safely, mainly in the form of damage to the body’s cells. Ozone therapy is a treatment option you should discuss with your healthcare provider.
Malinsky, A., “Ozone: What is it and how can you use it to promote your health?” Natural News web site, Nov. 11, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/042857_ozone_therapy_health_promotion_disease_prevention.html, last accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
Elvis, A.M., et al., “Ozone therapy: a clinical review,” J Nat Sci Biol Med. Jan-Jun 2011; 2(1): 66–70.