Ozone- Oxygen Therapies
By Nathaniel Altman
Author of Oxygen Healing Therapies
Although used by an estimated ten million patients in Europe since the early
1960's, the therapeutic use of medical ozone and hydrogen peroxide
(technically known as "bio-oxidative therapies") is largely a mystery to
North Americans. Hailed as a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for a
wide spectrum of diseases- including candida, cancer, heart problems and
HIV- related infections- in Europe, proponents feel that they can go far in
resolving America's health care crisis. However, physicians who have tried
to utilize these therapies in this country are often harassed by local
medical societies and threatened with loss of license. As a result, every
year hundreds of patients have been forced to seek out physicians in
Germany, Russia and even Cuba where these therapies are an accepted part of
the medical mainstream.. Others spend tens of thousands of dollars to
receive bogus ozone cures from unlicensed practitioners here and abroad who
ignore established protocols. Many end their lives in both poverty and
is the truth behind bio-oxidative therapies? Are they a panacea to our
health-care crisis, or are ozone and hydrogen peroxide ineffective and even
dangerous to health? And despite decades of clinical success, why are they
considered "experimental" and not approved by the FDA? On the following
pages, let's examine some of the major questions about bio-oxidative
therapies and their role in human health care picture.
Exactly what are bio-oxidative therapies?
Bio-oxidative therapies involve administering small amounts of diluted ozone
and hydrogen peroxide into the body for the prevention and treatment of
disease. Ozone therapy has been used by licensed physicians in Germany since
the early 1960's, while hydrogen peroxide therapy was developed in the
United States primarily by Dr. C.H. Farr, nominee for the 1993 Nobel prize
What is the scientific basis for bio-oxidative therapies?
The philosophy behind bio-oxidative therapies is a simple one. The use of
hydrogen peroxide and ozone in medicine is based on the belief that the
accumulation of toxins in the body is normally burnt up by the process of
oxidation, a process wherein a substance is changed chemically because of
the effect of oxygen on it. Oxidation breaks the toxins down into carbon
dioxide and water, and eliminates them from the body. However, if the oxygen
system of the body is weak or deficient (whether through lack of exercise,
environmental pollution, poor diet, smoking, or improper breathing), our
bodies cannot eliminate them adequately and a toxic reaction can occur. In
minor cases, a toxic buildup can lead to fatigue, while a wide range of
diseases can result when poor oxygenation is chronic.
Are these considered "new" therapies?
Although few of us have ever heard of them, bio-oxidative therapies have
been around for a long time. They have been used clinically by European
physicians for over a century, and were first reported by Dr. T.H. Oliver in
the British medical publication The Lancet in 1920.1 Since that time, they
have been studied in major medical research centers throughout the world,
including Baylor University, Yale University, The University of California
(Los Angeles) and Harvard University in the United States, as well as in
medical schools and laboratories in Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia,
Canada, Japan and Cuba. Today, between fifty and one hundred scientific
articles are published each month about the chemical and biological effects
of ozone and hydrogen peroxide.
How do they work?
Bio-oxidative therapies are used to provide the body with active forms of
oxygen orally, intravenously or through the skin. Once in the body, the
hydrogen peroxide or ozone breaks down into various oxygen subspecies which
contact anaerobic viruses and microbes
[i.e. viruses and microbes which have the ability to live without air, as
well as diseased or deficient tissue cells. It oxidizes these cells while
leaving the healthy cells alone. When the body becomes saturated with these
special forms of oxygen, it reaches a state of purity wherein disease
microorganisms are killed, while the underlying toxicity is oxidized and
According to Frank Shallenberger, M.D., who is best known in the United
States for treating AIDS patients with a holistic protocol including ozone,
bio-oxidative therapies have affect the human body in the following ways:
They stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are necessary to
Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-virucidal.
They increase oxygen and hemoglobin disassociation, thus increasing the
delivery of oxygen from the blood to the cells.
Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-neoplastic, which means that they
inhibit the growth of new tissues like tumors.
They oxidize and degrade petrochemicals.
They increase red blood cell membrane distensibility, thus enhancing their
flexibility and effectiveness.
Bio-oxidative therapies increase the production of interferon and Tumor
Necrosis Factor, which the body uses to fight infections and cancers.
They increase the efficiency of the anti-oxidant enzyme system, which
scavenges excess free radicals in the body.
They accelerate the Citric Acid Cycle, which is the main cycle for the
liberation of energy from sugars. This then stimulates basic metabolism. It
also breaks down proteins, carbohydrates and fats to be used as energy.
10. Bio-oxidative therapies increase tissue oxygenation, thus bringing about
Q: What exactly is hydrogen peroxide and how is it used therapeutically?
A: Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is made up of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen
atoms. A powerful oxidizer, hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, viruses and
fungi; most of us have used a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide externally to
disinfect wounds. Higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are used
extensively in the agricultural, food and chemical industries as a
disinfectant, water purifier and bleaching agent. It is also a common
ingredient in contact lens cleaners, eye drops and mouthwashes.
Hydrogen peroxide is involved in all of life's vital processes, and must be
present for the immune system to function properly. The cells in the body
that fight infection (known as granulocytes) produce hydrogen peroxide as a
first line of defense against invading organisms like parasites, viruses,
bacteria and yeast. It is also required for the metabolism of protein,
carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. As a hormonal regulator,
hydrogen peroxide is necessary for the body's production of estrogen,
progesterone and thyroxin; it also helps regulate blood sugar and the
production of energy in cells. Hydrogen peroxide has long been used
medically as a disinfectant, antiseptic and oxidizer, but has only recently
been found to successfully treat a wide variety of human diseases with a
minimum of harmful side effects.
most common form of hydrogen peroxide therapy used by doctors calls for
small amounts of 30% reagent grade hydrogen peroxide added to purified water
and administered as an intravenous drip. However, some individuals like to
add a cup of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to a bathtub of warm water;
the hydrogen peroxide is absorbed into the body through the skin while the
person soaks in the tub. Others drink a glass of water to which several
drops of food or reagent grade hydrogen peroxide have been ad ded. Although
there have been reports of improved health with this method, physicians like
Dr. Farr believe that taking hydrogen peroxide orally can have a corrosive
effect on the stomach and small intestine and advise against using it. 3
Q: What about ozone? How is it used medically?
A: Ozone (O3) is an energized form of oxygen with extra electrons. It forms
the protective ozone layer around the planet, yet becomes a pollutant when
mixed with hydrocarbons (like carbon dioxide) and nitrogen oxide from
automobile and factory emissions. Because scientists have focused on the
negative effects of inhaled ozone, the medicinal aspects of the gas when
applied intravenously or through the skin have been largely overlooked.
Because ozone was found to be an effective bactericide and fungicide during
the mid-1800's, it was first used to purify drinking water in a number of
European cities. Today, over 2000 municipalities around the world- including
Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles and Moscow- purify their drinking water with
ozone. However, ozone was not used medically until 1915, when it was found
to be an effective disinfectant of wounds and skin diseases in Germany
during the First World War. It was later found that ozone has t he ability
to "blast" holes through the membranes of viruses, yeasts, bacteria and
abnormal tissue cells and therefore killing them. Ozone was the focus of
considerable research in Germany during the 1930's where it was successfully
used to treat patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disorders,
ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and chronic bacterial diarrhea. The four
primary ways to administer medical ozone include:
Autohemotherapy, which involves removing about one half pint of blood from
the patient, adding ozone and oxygen to the blood, and infusing the blood
back to the patient.
Rectal insufflations, in which ozone and oxygen is administered as a rectal
enema. The ozone/oxygen mixture is then absorbed through the large
Ozone "bagging", which involves having an airtight bag placed around the
area to be treated. A mixture of ozone and oxygen is pumped into the bag and
absorbed through the skin.
Ozone is also used externally in the form of ozonated olive or sunflower
What types of diseases can be treated with ozone and hydrogen peroxide?
Bio-oxidative therapies offer a tremendous range of medical applications.
According to the International Bio-Oxidative Medical Foundation (IBOMF), an
Oklahoma-based organization devoted to research and education about these
therapies, the following conditions or diseases have been treated with ozone
and hydrogen peroxide with varying degrees of success:
Heart and Blood Vessel Diseases
Peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation)
Cerebral vascular disease (stroke and memory loss)
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
Coronary spasm (angina)
Cardioconversion (heart stopped)
Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
Gangrene (of fingers and toes)
Raynaud's disease ("white finger")
Temporal arteritis (inflammation of the temporal artery)
Vascular and cluster headaches
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Bronchiectasis (dilatation of bronchus or bronchi)
Pneumocystis carinii (PCP or AIDS-related pneumonia)
Herpes zoster (shingles)
Herpes simplex (fever blister)
Systemic chronic candidiasis (candida)
Epstein-Barr virus (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
Acute and chronic viral infections
Chronic unresponsive bacterial infections
Diabetes mellitus Type II
Hypersensitive reactions (environmental and universal reactors)
Chronic pain syndromes (due to multiple causes)
Pain of metastatic carcinoma
Cancers of the blood and lymph nodes 4
Is it true that ozone cures AIDS?
A: There is growing evidence that ozone (as well as hydrogen peroxide, since
ozone becomes transformed into hydrogen peroxide in the body) can destroy
lipid-enveloped viruses both outside and within the body, including those
related to hepatitis, Epstein -Barr, cancer, herpes, cytomegalovirus and
HIV. The results of a study coordinated by the Canadian Armed Forces and
published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that ozone
kills HIV, the hepatitis and herpes viruses, and other harmful agents in
the blood used for transfusion. The author of the article added, "The
systemic use of ozone in the treatment of AIDS could not only reduce the
virus load, but also possibly revitalize the immune system. " 5 Although a
related study on AIDS patients proved inconclusive, Cmdr. Michael Shannon,
MD, one of the coordinators of the study, wrote that "Of interest, however,
the three patients (out of ten volunteers) who responded to minor
autohemotherapy in the first trial, are still alive after four years post
treatment, with CD4 counts in excess of two hundred. These patients should
have theoretically succumbed to AIDS within a year post-treatment."6 In
several clinics in Germany, AIDS patients are being treated successfully
with different types of ozone therapies, including rectal insufflation,
ozone bagging, and autohemotherapy.
Bio-oxidative therapies can be an important part of holistic treatment for
HIV-related problems, including lower T-cell counts, opportunistic
infections, and AIDS-related diarrhea. Dan's was one such case. He was
diagnosed HIV-positive and his T-cell count had dropped below 600. After
only one month of ozone therapy as part of a protocol including vitamin
supplements, anti-viral compounds and intestinal cleansing, his T-cell count
rose to 900 and his swollen lymph nodes shrank for the first time in years.
Although there have been other cases of improvement of AIDS patients after
regular ozone treatments (and several documented cases of people who were
HIV+ reverting to HIV- status) ozone and hydrogen peroxide should not be
considered as a "magic bullet" against HIV and AIDS. According to Frank
Shallenberger, M.D. "Ozone therapy works in AIDS by acting as a an immune
system modulator. In this capacity, it is very effective, safe, inexpensive
and readily available. Proper therapy for AIDS will be directed at early
intervention (i.e. CD4 count > 300), ozone plus other synergistic
immune-augmented therapy, intestinal cleansing is paramount due to the
immuno-suppressive aspect of parasites.7
Silvia Menendez, the co-founder of Cuba's Department of Ozone Department
(part of the prestigious National Center for Scientific Research in Havana),
suggested that ozone works best when administered as soon as possible after
HIV infection, before the virus has penetrated the lymphatic system and bone
marrow. The personal, economic and social ramifications of this possibility
cannot be underestimated.
Are these therapies safe?
Although ozone and hydrogen peroxide are highly toxic in their purified
state, they have been found to be both safe and effective when diluted to
therapeutic levels for medical use. When administered in prescribed amounts
by a qualified practitioner, t he chances of experiencing adverse reactions
to bio-oxidative therapies are extremely small. For example, a German study
on 384,775 patients evaluating the adverse side effects of over five million
medically-administered ozone treatments found that the rate of adverse side
effects was only 0.0007 per application. This figure is far lower than any
other type of medical therapy.8
has been estimated that over ten million people (primarily in Germany,
Russia and Cuba) have been given bio-oxidative therapies over the past
seventy years to treat over fifty different diseases. As cited before, they
include heart and blood vessel dis eases, diseases of the lungs, infectious
diseases, and immune-related disorders. In some cases, bio-oxidative
therapies are administered alone, while in others, they are used in addition
to traditional medical procedures (such as surgery or chemotherapy) or as
adjuncts to alternative health practices like megavitamin therapy,
acupuncture or herbal medicine.
If these therapies are so great, why aren't they used more widely in Canada
and The USA?
Despite the fact that both ozone and hydrogen peroxide therapy have been
proven in clinical trials (and in regular clinical practice) to be safe and
effective in Germany, Austria, Cuba, Mexico, Italy and Russia, very few
people have heard about bio-oxidative therapies in the United States and
Canada. Although an estimated 15,000 European practitioners legally use
bio-oxidative therapies in their practices, the number of physicians using
these therapies in North America is probably fewer than 500. This is partly
due to the fact that information about medical ozone and hydrogen peroxide
is not provided in medical schools, and students simply do not learn about
them. In addition, the medical establishment (and especially provincial and
state medical boar ds) often discourages or prevents licensed physicians
from using them in their medical practice. Some, like Dr. Robert Atkins,
M.D., the author of the popular book Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, have been
threatened with having their licenses revoked if they administer hydrogen
peroxide or ozone. Clinics have been closed down and practitioners have been
threatened with jail.
Why is there so much prejudice against these therapies by the medical
major reason for this lack of interest in bio-oxidative therapies is that
ozone and hydrogen peroxide are non-patentable substances that are very
inexpensive to manufacture and use. In Germany, Russia and Cuba, physicians
have successfully treated many serious and chronic conditions (including
cancer and heart disease) without expensive surgery. The net cost of the
materials for a treatment of autohemotherapy or a medical infusion of
hydrogen peroxide is under $10. Even though physicians must include
professional fees and the use of their offices and equipment, bio-oxidative
therapies administered in a medical setting cost up to fifty percent less
than traditional therapies, especially for patients suffering from chronic
and degenerative diseases. Self-administered treatments by patients
themselves, while not recommended, can cost far less. For these reasons,
ozone and hydrogen peroxide pose a threat to the continued dominance of the
medical establishment: the pharmaceutical industry, medical centers and
physicians who are accustomed to providing expensive drugs, complex medical
procedures and long hospital stays.
Q: But why don't agencies like the FDA and Health and Welfare Canada
encourage clinical trials on these therapies?
A: Because government health agencies are often influenced by the
pharmaceutical industry and medical lobbies, objective investigation and
development of effective protocols for bio-oxidative therapies have been
difficult to undertake. However, the Canadian government has shown a greater
willingness to investigate these therapies than American government agencies
like the FDA or NIH, as shown by the HIV studies cited earlier. However,
like the American press, the Canadian media largely ignored the important
findings that ozone can completely remove HIV, hepatitis and herpes viruses
from the blood supply.
What is the future of bio-oxidative therapies?
After reviewing the laboratory and clinical evidence regarding the use of
ozone and hydrogen peroxide, a recent report by the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) on Alternative Medical Systems and Practices in the United
States has recommended that "definitive studies be undertaken to determine
whether these treatments have any utility".10 At the same time, a number of
states- including New York and North Carolina- have recently passed "freedom
of medicine" laws which allow the use of experimental therapies by licensed
practitioners. Many physicians who are members of IBOMF from both Canada and
the United States are sharing their clinical data with the goal of
presenting their findings to government agencies like the NIH and FDA.
Medical ozone and hydrogen peroxide form the "cutting edge" of a new healing
paradigm, involving safe, effective, natural and less costly forms of
medical therapy. As more people discover the value of these therapies, there
will be greater consumer demand . Because bio-oxidative therapies like
hydrogen peroxide and ozone hold great promise in treating both minor health
problems and some of the most devastating diseases confronting humanity
today, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and HIV-related problems at
low cost, they can help solve our national health care crisis. As more
physicians become acquainted with the value of these therapies, they will
become a valuable part of mainstream medical practice.
Oliver, T.H. and Murphy, D.V., "Influenzal Pneumonia: The Intravenous Use of
Hydrogen Peroxide", The Lancet, February 21, 1920, pp. 432-3.
Shallenberger, Frank, "Intravenous Ozone Therapy in HIV-related Disease"
Proceedings: Fourth International Bio-Oxidative Medicine Conference, April
Farr, Charles H., letter to the author, February 4, 1994.
Shallenberger, Frank, letter to the author, December 9, 1993.
Oxidative Therapy, (Oklahoma City: IBOMF, n.d.)
Baggs, A.C., "Are Worry-Free Transfusions Just a Whiff of Ozone Away?"
Canadian Medical Association Journal, (April 1, 1993) :1159
Shannon, Cmdr. Michael, letter to the author, 21 January, 1994.
Jacobs, Marie Theres, "Adverse Effects and Typical Complications in
Ozone-Oxygen Therapy", Ozonachrichten, 1982: (1), pp. 193-201
Carpendale, M.T., Interview in Ozone and the Politics of Medicine
(Vancouver, Threshold Film, 1993).
10. Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons (Washington: U.S.
Government Printing office, 1994)
Nathaniel Altman is the author over fifteen books on diet and health,
including Oxygen Healing Therapies , which was published in April by Healing
Arts Press, and distributed in Canada by Alive Books.
[ISBN: 0-89281-527-2, illustrated, 201 pp., trade paper, $12.95].
Prospect Park West Brooklyn, New York 11215 (718) 499-2384 fax (718)
NOTE: The physicians who are
conducting this treatment are on the physician list on this site.
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