Ozone therapy

BY: Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Ozone therapy refers to the process of administering ozone gas into your body to treat a disease or wound. Ozone is a colourless gas made up of three atoms of oxygen (O3).

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that ozone was toxic and had no proven medical applications. However, a study by Smith et al., (2017) has indicated that Ozone may be used to treat medical conditions by stimulating the immune system.

It may also be used for disinfection and to treat a range of diseases. In the hospital, ozone therapy gas is made from medical-grade oxygen sources.

Mechanism of action

Manoto et al., (2018) found that medical ozone had been used to disinfect medical supplies and treat different conditions for more than 100 years. It may also help prevent infection in wounds.

A study by Seyam et al., (2018) agrees that when ozone comes into contact with body fluids, the resulting reactions form more proteins and red blood cells.

This increases the oxygen supply in the body.

Ozone therapy may also disrupt unhealthy processes in the body. Tiwari et al., (2017) study found that ozone therapy could inactivate bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa.

Respiratory illnesses

A 2014 study by Borrelli examined intravenous ozone therapy or injecting ozone mixed with blood, for treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It found that the therapy improved the quality of life and ability to exercise in former smokers with COPD.

It is important to note that breathing in ozone may irritate or damage the lungs, especially in people with respiratory diseases.

Though there are many positive aspects of ozone, it is also an air pollutant and shouldn’t be ingested. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against using ozone air purifiers.


Ozone therapy also shows promise in reducing the risk of complications from diabetes. A study by Braidy et al., (2017) found that ozone might correct oxidative stress by activating the body’s immune and antioxidant systems and reduce inflammation.

A retrospective study by Izadi et al., (2019) also found that ozone therapy in people with diabetic foot ulcers helped close the wound and reduced the chances of infection.

Further, a previous study by Vinnik et al., (2015) also found that ozone therapy could be helpful for wound healing, a common side effect of diabetes.


A study by Cespedes-Suarez et al., (2018) found that ozone mixed with blood and injected into people with HIV significantly reduced their viral load over two years.

A lower viral load means less of the virus is present, which can improve long-term health.

The study however noted that more research was needed on the use of ozone therapy for the treatment of HIV.

Ozone therapy, preparation

For medical purposes, ozone therapy is prepared by drawing blood from the body, mixing it with ozone gas, and injecting it back into the body.

The patient needs to prepare for the drawing of blood by getting plenty of sleep the night before and eating a healthy breakfast on the day of the procedure; they have to also drink lots of water.


There are many different ways of administering ozone therapy, they include: Directly into the tissue; intravenously; and intramuscularly by an injection. Seyam et al., (2018) found that ozone therapy might help with knee osteoarthritis by improving range of motion and delaying decline. People with rheumatoid arthritis or back pain from herniated discs may also benefit from ozone therapy, according to the research. However, there aren’t enough studies on these conditions yet.

Ozone has additionally been used and studied in many aspects of dentistry. Suh et al., (2019) indicated that ozonated water might be effective as a disinfectant during root canals. It may also help desensitise exposed dentine, among other uses.

Many products are available to purchase that claim to provide ozone therapy, but none have been proven effective. Ozone therapy should be conducted by a trained healthcare provider or naturopathic practitioner.

Currently, there isn’t enough evidence for the FDA to support the use of ozone therapy. More large-scale human studies are needed to demonstrate effectiveness and safety.

Side effects

Ozone gas has an odd number of atoms which makes it unstable.

This instability means it can be unpredictable. Healthcare providers should take extreme caution when using ozone therapy. Ozone must be used in the proper amounts and the correct place, and it shouldn’t be ingested.

In 2019, the FDA released a warning about inhaling ozone because it can irritate the lungs and cause fluid buildup that makes it difficult to breathe.

There are significant dangers when using ozone intravenously, at high doses, or for a long time. Talk with your healthcare provider about all of the possible risks and weigh them against the potential benefits.

Ozone therapy is controversial, but it may show promise. New clinical trials for ozone therapy uses are in the works. The FDA doesn’t approve the use of ozone therapy in the treatment of disease. It has been further saying that ozone has “no known useful medical application.”

There also aren’t enough large longterm studies to understand all potential adverse effects.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about this treatment and whether it is right for you. If you do want to try it, be sure to choose a provider with experience in ozone therapy.

— The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare/President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/ African Naturopathic Foundation. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.