used by an estimated ten million patients in Europe since the
early 1960's, the therapeutic use of medical
and hydrogen peroxide (technically known as "bio-oxidative
therapies") is largely a mystery to North Americans. Hailed
as a safe, eff ective 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 tr ied 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 t hese 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 despair.
What 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" an
d 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.
Q: Exactly what are bio-oxidative therapies?
A: 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
Q: What is the scientific basis for bio-oxidative therapies?
A: 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 s ubstance 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
o f 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.
Q: Are these considered "new" therapies?
A: 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
Q: How do they work?
A: 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
[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 eliminated.
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:
1. They stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are necessary
to fight infection.
2. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-virucidal.
3. They increase oxygen and hemoglobin disassociation, thus increasing the
delivery of oxygen from the blood to the cells.
4. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-neoplastic, which means that they inhibit
the growth of new tissues like tumors.
5. They oxidize and degrade petrochemicals.
6. They increase red blood cell membrane distensibility, thus enhancing their
flexibility and effectiveness.
7. Bio-oxidative therapies increase the production of interferon and Tumor
Necrosis Factor, which the body uses to fight infections and cancers.
8. They increase the efficiency of the anti-oxidant enzyme system, which scavenges
excess free radicals in the body.
9. 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.
The 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 focussed 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:
1. 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.
2. Rectal insufflation, in which ozone and oxygen is administered as a rectal
enema. The ozone/oxygen mixture is then absorbed through the large intestine.
3. 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.
4. Ozone is also used externally in the form of ozonated olive or sunflower
Q; What types of diseases can be treated with ozone and hydrogen peroxide?
A: 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
Q: Is it true that ozone cures AIDS?
A: There is growing evidence that ozone (as well
as hydrogen peroxide, since ozone becomes transformed into
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
agen ts 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 p ost 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 t herapies, 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
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
Dr. 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
Q: Are these therapies safe?
A: 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 ra te of adverse side effects
was only 0.0007 per application. This figure is far lower than
any other type of medical therapy.8
It 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.
Q: If these therapies are so great, why aren't they used more
widely in Canada and The USA?
A: 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 th ey administer hydrogen
peroxide or ozone. Clinics have been closed down and practitioners
have been threatened with jail.
Q: Why is there so much prejudice against these therapies by
the medical establishment?
A: A 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
m any 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.
Q: What is the future of bio-oxidative therapies?
A: 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
1. Oliver, T.H. and Murphy, D.V., "Influenzal Pneumonia: The Intravenous
Use of Hydrogen Peroxide", The Lancet, February 21, 1920, pp. 432-3.
2. Shallenberger, Frank, "Intravenous Ozone Therapy in HIV-related Disease" Proceedings:
Fourth International Bio-Oxidative Medicine Conference, April 1993.
3. Farr, Charles H., letter to the author, February 4, 1994.
4. Shallenberger, Frank, letter to the author, December 9, 1993.
5. Oxidative Therapy, (Oklahoma City: IBOMF, n.d.)
6. Baggs, A.C., "Are Worry-Free Transfusions Just a Whiff of Ozone Away?" Canadian
Medical Association Journal, (April 1, 1993) :1159
7. Shannon, Cmdr. Michael, letter to the author, 21 January, 1994.
8. Jacobs, Marie Theres, "Adverse Effects and Typical Complications in
Ozone-Oxygen Therapy", Ozonachrichten, 1982: (1), pp. 193-201
9. 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].