Ozone is a gas composed of 3 oxygen atoms. It is clear with a strong odor. Most of us know about the ozone layer around the earth that protects us from the sun. Ozone is commonly used to disinfect drinking water, swimming pools and hot tubs. In medicine, ozone has played a roll as an immune system stimulant and disinfecting agent since the First World War. It was used to treat gas gangrene. Similar to its role in disinfecting water, ozone can be administered to humans in various forms to help kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. This is done through a process called oxidation. Since ozone contains 3 oxygen atoms, it is an oxygen donor. Oxygen donors undergo chemical reactions in the body that stimulate the immune system and act as a disinfectant. Due to its ability to stimulate an immune response and treat infections, ozone can be used in many conditions including:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Epstein Barr Virus
- Dental infections
Unlike medical oxygen, ozone gas cannot be inhaled, as it is toxic to the respiratory tract. Ozone used in naturopathic treatment is made in the clinic from medical grade pure oxygen. There are various ways for ozone to be safely administered:
- Autohemotherapy: a small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn and combined with ozone. As soon as the ozone is added to the blood it reacts with the blood cells helping to stimulate the body’s natural immune response. The blood is then re-administered to the patient either by intramuscular injection or IV drip. The blood then circulates through the body and stimulates the body’s immune response.
- Rectal insufflation: ozone gas can be directly delivered to the colon through the rectum following a colonic hydrotherapy treatment. This is beneficial in cases of intestinal inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, and infection.
- Water: ozonated water can be drank to help with gastrointestinal diseases such as colitis or for GI infections. This can also be applied topically to help with wounds, post-dental surgery, eczema and fungal or bacterial skin infections.
- Joint injections: ozone can be directly injected into joints to help rebuild cartilage and decrease inflammation. This is useful in arthritis, trauma, injury and pain.
Naturopathic doctors, Dr. Nardella and Haggarty are experienced in ozone therapy and have undergone training with Dr. Robert Rowan in California, a leader in oxidative therapies.