Oxygen-Ozone (O3) is an activated form of oxygen where there are three atoms of oxygen attached together. Ozone behaves differently than O2 because it is unstable, and hence far more energetic and potentially oxidative than O2. When the ozone molecule breaks apart it gives rise to singlet oxygen (O1), which is a reactive oxygen species that can oxidize other molecules. Basically, singlet oxygen is a higher energy state molecular oxygen species. As such, singlet oxygen and its by-products are very energetic oxidizers and are capable of “burning up” waste products, environmental toxins, and microbes.
The discovery of ozone gas in 1840 is credited to Christian Schonebein, a professor of physics and chemistry at the University of Basel. Because this gas has a characteristic smell, he called it “Ozein” the German word to express the term “smell”. Among the first uses in the history of ozone was the disinfection of water. Today more than 2500 cities throughout the world use ozone in the water purification process. Due to ozone’s antimicrobial and oxidative properties, it has also been extensively used for more than a century in the treatment of infectious diseases, numerous degenerative diseases, and cancer. Ozone’s effects are proven, consistent, and safe with minimal and preventable side effects. Mechanism of actions is by inactivation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa, stimulation of oxygen metabolism, and activation of the immune system.
In the late 1800’s Austrian surgeon Edwin Payr became acquainted with ozone when it was used on him by his dentist, E.A. Fisch. Dr. Fisch applied for a patent on an ozone generator called “Cytozon,” still used in some medical ozone generators today. Dr. Payr became so enthusiastic about medical ozone that he published a 290-page book entitled, “On Treatment with Ozone in Surgery,” which he presented to the German Surgical Society in Berlin. This was the beginning of the use of ozone in medicine as we know it today. The discovery crossed the ocean to North America and in 1885, the Florida Medical Association published the first textbook on medical applications of ozone, written by Dr. Charles J. Kenworth.
In 1911, Dr. Noble Eberhart, head of the Department of Physiology of Loyola Chicago University used ozone to treat tuberculosis, anemia, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, insomnia, pneumonia, diabetes, gout and syphilis. Dr. Eberhart created the first university teaching center dedicated among other things to ozone therapy.
During World-War-One, German physicians used ozone to treat wounds and infections. In September 1896, the electrical genius Nikola Tesla patented his first ozone generator, and in 1900 he formed the Tesla Ozone Co. Tesla sold ozone machines to doctors for medical use. Ozone generators have greatly advanced since that time. Oxygen-ozone therapy has spread worldwide with considerable research being conducted into ozone’s disease curing effects.
In the late 1980s, reports had emerged that German physicians were successfully treating HIV patients with IV ozone-oxygen applied as autohemotherapy. In 1987, Dr. Renate Viebahn and Dr. Siegfried Rilling collaborated on the publication of “The Use of Ozone in Medicine”, now a popular medical text on ozone application. Today, oxygen-ozone therapy has become an inherent element in the treatment of infection in such fields as surgery, dermatology, cosmetics, and dentistry.
Currently, ozone therapy is used in Spain, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Monaco, Canada, fourteen US states, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, India, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. It is estimated that over ten million oxygen-ozone treatments have been given to over one million patients in Germany alone over the last forty years. This practice is mostly employed in private clinics.
Even though numerous ozone studies have been conducted on infectious diseases, degenerative joint and spinal diseases, and cardiovascular diseases, not as many clinical trials have been published on ozone’s effect on cancer. This lack of clinical trials in the field of immunology and cancer has led to prejudice and skepticism of ozone-oxygen therapy. Unfortunately, cancer industry politics have further complicated medical oxygen-ozone’s therapy, and consequently ozone-oxygen therapy is almost completely unknown in North America. The use of medical ozone is accepted in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and is tolerated by France, England, Italy, and Canada, and 14 states in the United States. Today most of the research in medical ozone takes place in Cuba and Russia. In fact, ozone therapy is in the medical mainstream in Russia, and especially Cuba.
There is still some concern as to the legal status of medical ozone regarding the United States Federal laws. It is important to know that historically many doctors in the U.S. have been prosecuted and even incarcerated for using oxygen-ozone therapy to treat their patients. Like so many other complementary and alternative therapies, controversy over oxidative therapy with ozone is heated and ongoing.
Medical oxygen-ozone is generally given either by recirculatory autohemo-perfusion, injection, rectal insufflation, via steam cabinet, or orally in water. Of course, the administering physician must be experience with the ozone techniques used to achieve the desired effect and avoid side effects.