When ozone is mentioned, one will relate it to the depleted layer that helps shield the Earth from the powerful UV rays of the sun. But news relating to the ozone is not all bad. Thanks to ongoing research, the benefits of ozone therapy are starting to grow.
Ozone therapy is not a new treatment. It was used in the First World War to treat drinking water and disinfect wounds.
How Does Ozone Therapy Work?
Ozone therapy is a highly reactive form of medical-grade pure ozone that can trigger healing for the body. Ozone therapy stimulates the body to renew and regenerate itself by removing hidden troublemakers.
Ozone can be introduced into the body through the skin, veins, muscles, all under medical supervision. It can also be applied topically. Another method of using it is in ozone bagging, where a body part like an arm or a leg is covered with a plastic bag and ozone introduced into it.
Another method used is when blood is drawn out, mixed with ozone, and reinjected into the body in a procedure known as Autohemotherapy. When ozone reacts with blood plasma, it produces hydrogen peroxide, a strong antiseptic known for its healing properties.
Health Benefits of Ozone Therapy
Many diseases occur in the human body due to oxidative stress, which is why antioxidants are vital for good health. But ozone is known to be a powerful oxidant, so would it not be harmful then? Apparently not!
Experts point out that, by triggering the production of certain antioxidants, ozone can help tackle chronic conditions in the body. Its antiseptic properties can also cure an array of infectious diseases. Here’s the lowdown on the possible benefits of ozone therapy.
1. Cure for Lifestyle Diseases
Diabetes is a disorder associated with oxidative stress. Use of this therapy has been shown to help trigger the body’s antioxidant protection mechanism to treat diabetes and associated complications.
Heart patients can also benefit from the protective antioxidant effects of ozone therapy. As part of a study, 22 individuals who had a heart attack 3 to 12 months prior received ozone through autohemotherapy for 15 sessions. Their LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels significantly reduced after the treatment.
Ozone can potentially inhibit the growth of cancer cells that do not thrive in an oxygen-rich environment. Ozone therapy can also be a medical treatment in the prevention of secondary cancer cells after initial treatment as well as being used as a cancer treatment to alleviate side effects, improve the patient’s quality of life, and stimulate the body’s antioxidant defence mechanism.
2. Treats Infectious Diseases
Thanks to its antiseptic properties, ozone therapy can take on a variety of microorganisms, eg. bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeast and protozoa. It is particularly useful in killing Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a superbug that is resilient to antibiotics.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a condition caused by a range of subspecies of coronavirus. Instead of trying to target the various subspecies with anti-viral medicine, researchers have suggested using ozone to clear out the entire coronavirus subtypes.(Bocci, V. “Biological and clinical effects of ozone. Has ozone therapy a future in medicine.” Br J Biomed Sci 56, no. 4 (1999): 270-279)
Ozone is also helpful in the production of cytokines, which are important in controlling the immune system. Cytokines are messenger molecules in the immune system and their increased production helps in both increasing and controlling the immune system.
3. Other Conditions
- Ozone therapy can be good for treating asthma too. It controls the oxidative stress of asthma patients and brings about a desirable change in the cytokine pattern.
- Ozone can and has been used for disinfection in dentistry during tooth extraction, sterilization of cavities, herpetic lesions, periodontal pockets, and root canals.
- Ozone therapy can be a reasonably inexpensive and non-toxic method to relieve pain in orthopaedics. Pain can be treated with ozone injections, especially when used alongside steroids.
Although inhaling ozone is toxic for humans, medical-grade oxygen and atmospheric oxygen are not the same. In addition to this, ozone therapy uses the liquid form of ozone. When administered in appropriate doses with accurate technology by a trained practitioner, it should be safe and effective.
There may be a few side effects that can occur for a short time after the treatment such as dizziness, weakness and drowsiness.
Patients suffering from hyperthyroidism, epilepsy and bleeding disorders must, however, stay away from ozone therapy, and so should pregnant women.
So, is ozone therapy poised to be a medical breakthrough? While medical practitioners have not been completely won over yet (and neither have organizations like the FDA), experimental evidence vouches for its potential benefits, especially as a supplementary treatment alongside conventional medicine. It is safe and can be used as a standalone therapy.