Ozone therapy

March 22, 2017


Ozone therapy

Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • AHT, autohemotherapy, Cyotozon™, O(3)-AHT, OHT, oxygen atoms, oxygen therapy, ozonated autohemotherapy, ozone, ozone autohemotherapy, ozonotherapy, OzonyTron®.


  • Ozone molecules are composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). Ozone exists high in the earth's atmosphere and absorbs solar radiation.

  • Reports of using ozone for medicinal purposes date to the late 19th Century. In modern times, ozone therapists have used different forms of ozone to treat a wide variety of conditions. There has been little scientific study of ozone as a therapy.

  • Ozone has recently been subjected to criticism regarding its toxicity and effectiveness for a variety of conditions. Its use is increasingly widespread, often according to well-defined and generally safe protocols.

  • Currently, there is a lack of good scientific evidence for the use of ozone therapy for any indication.


  • Ozone therapists have suggested that the three oxygen atoms in ozone may have health benefits beyond the two oxygen atoms that are more commonly found in air.

  • A number of different techniques are used to treat people with ozone. Ozone may be mixed with water and then taken by mouth or introduced into a body cavity, such as the vagina or rectum. Autohemotherapy (AHT) is a technique that withdraws blood from the body, mixes it with ozone gas, and then injects it back into the body through a vein or muscle. Water enriched with ozone has also been injected into joints of the body for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ozone or hydrogen peroxide may be injected, or blood may be withdrawn, enriched with ozone, then reinjected into the body after being treated in a quartz container with UVB radiation.

  • Ozone-enriched water or vegetable oil has been used on the skin to treat wounds, burns, infections, or insect bites.

  • Ozone "bagging" technique submerges the body (except for the head) in a bag containing ozone for up to two hours. Ozone insufflation involves blowing ozone gas into body orifices, such as the ear, colon, or vagina. Ozone air purification has been hypothesized to sterilize or "rejuvenate" room air. Ozone drinking water and ozone saunas are also available. Cupping is an ozone therapy that concentrates ozone over a particular area of the body.

Scientific Evidence


These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.



Although ozone may inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in culture, there is a lack of human evidence supporting the use of ozone in cancer therapy.


Cardiovascular conditions

Autohemotherapy (AHT) is a technique that withdraws blood from the body, mixes it with ozone gas, and then injects it back into the body through a vein or muscle. There is limited preliminary study of AHT in a small number of patients with history of a heart attack. A decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterol was reported. However, this research was not well designed. In one preliminary study, ozone therapy displayed promising effects in the management of the atherosclerosis. Ozone therapy has also been studied as a treatment for ischemic disorders, which result in reduced blood flow to an organ or tissue. Better information is necessary before a firm conclusion can be reached.


Dental conditions

There is preliminary evidence that ozone therapy may have modest benefits in the arresting or reversing of the progression of dental caries. However, there is not enough evidence to show that ozone therapy can prevent postsurgical dental infections. Additional studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Diabetes mellitus (patients with pulmonary tuberculosis)

Ozone therapy and hemoperfusion (a process to remove toxins from the blood) have been studied as a possible treatment for diabetes mellitus in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. More trials are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Diabetic complications (diabetic foot)

Ozone therapy has been used to treat complications related to diabetes, such as diabetic foot. However, there is not enough evidence to show that ozone therapy may treat or prevent complications in diabetic patients.


Fungal infections

Ozone therapy may have antiseptic effects and prevent some infections. However, there is not enough evidence to show that ozone therapy can prevent fungal infections.


Hearing loss

Ozone therapy has been suggested for the rehabilitation of both children and adults with hearing loss. The use of an oxygen-ozone mixture may show promise when used in adults. More trials are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Helicobacter pylori infection

Ozone therapy has been used to treat Helicobacter pylori infections, which are known to cause peptic ulcers, gastritis, and duodenitis. However, very few studies have shown ozone therapy to be an effective treatment for H. pylori infections.


Herpes (cold sores)

In preliminary research, OzonyTron®, a device used to generate ozone, was used in patients with lip herpes. However, there is not enough evidence to show that ozone therapy can prevent oral herpes infections (cold sores).



Ozone-treated blood has been studied in the treatment of HIV, associated infections, and AIDS-related diarrhea. More studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Inflammatory conditions (various conditions)

Ozone therapy has been used for various inflammatory conditions. Some benefit has been noted. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.


Lumbar disc herniation (including sciatica)

Preliminary evidence suggests that ozone therapy may relieve lumbar sciatic pain. However, there is not enough research showing that ozone therapy is an acceptable alternative to standard treatments for sciatic pain. Oxygen-ozone therapy is also reportedly a minimally invasive treatment for lumbar disk herniation. Further research is needed before conclusions can be made.


Ménière's disease

Ozone therapy combined with pressure-pulse treatment resulted in no significant benefit for patients with Ménière's disease. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.


Otitis media (ear infection)

Limited research suggests that ozone therapy may provide some benefit in a combined treatment for otitis media. Additional research is needed before any recommendations can be made.



Ozone therapy may improve blood flow and urethral, prostatic microcirculation in patients diagnosed with prostatitis. More well-designed trials are needed before a conclusion can be made.


Radiation side effects (hematuria)

Preliminary evidence suggests that ozone therapy may reduce hematuria (blood in the urine) caused by radiation. However, additional evidence is necessary before recommendations can be made.


Seborrhea (inflammation)

OzonyTron®, a device for the generation of ozone, was used in patients with seborrheal inflammation of facial skin. Further evidence is needed before a recommendation can be made.



According to limited research, irrigation of the paranasal sinuses with an ozone-oxygen mixture may help promote recovery from sinusitis. More well-designed trials are needed before a conclusion can be made.


*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).


The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.

  • Abscess, acne, adenocarcinoma, adjunct in surgery (plastic surgery of the nose), aging, allergies, Alzheimer's disease, anal fissure, anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, antioxidant, antiviral, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, back pain, bedsores, bladder inflammation, blood vessel disorders (atherosclerotic vasculopathy and phlebitis), bone diseases (osteomyelitis and vertebral inflammation), bronchitis, burns, cachexia (wasting syndrome), candidiasis, catarrh, cerebral sclerosis, cholesterol metabolism disorders, circulatory disorders, cirrhosis, colon inflammation, constipation, Crohn's disease, cystitis, deafness, degenerative diseases, dementia, detoxification, eczema, endometrial carcinoma, Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis), eye disorders (central chorioretinal dystrophy), flu, furunculosis, gangrene, gastrointestinal inflammation (proctitis), glaucoma, gout, hay fever, hepatitis B, high cholesterol, hypoxia, immune system stimulation, infections, infertility, insomnia, intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), jaundice, joint disorders (knee), joint dystrophy, Kaposi's sarcoma, laryngitis, lymphoma, macular degeneration, malabsorption syndrome, menopause, metabolic disorders (Madelung disease), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, multiple sclerosis, neurodermatitis, ocular retinitis pigmentosa, optic nerve dysfunction, osteoporosis, pain, parasite infection (giardiasis), Parkinson's disease, peripheral artery disease (occlusive lower limb arterial disease), peritonitis (ozonated saline), pneumonia, Raynaud's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, scar healing, senile dementia, sexually transmitted diseases (trichomoniasis), sickle cell anemia, sinus infection, stomatitis, stroke, syphilis, thrombophlebitis, tinnitus, tonsillitis (chronic), tuberculosis, tumors (lipomas), ulcers, vulvovaginitis, weight loss, whooping cough, wound healing.


Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

  • The safety of various types of ozone therapy has not been systematically studied. Because ozone is a toxic gas, the safety of ozone therapy has been questioned. A case of death has been reported due to gas embolism. Caution is advised.

  • Serious side effects may occur from the introduction of ozone into the body, including shortness of breath, blood vessel swelling, poor circulation, heart problems, or stroke. Autohemotherapy has been associated with transmission of viral hepatitis and with a possible case of dangerously lowered blood cell counts. Patients are advised to make sure that fresh or sterile needles are used for any medical procedure.

  • Insufflation (blowing ozone into the ear) may carry a risk of tympanic membrane ("ear drum") damage, and colon insufflation may increase the risk of bowel rupture. There is one case of a patient with HIV becoming psychotic with hallucinations while receiving ozone therapy, but it is not clear that ozone was the cause. It is not recommended to rely on ozone therapies alone to treat potentially dangerous medical conditions.

  • Ozone therapy may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications, herbs, or supplements that may also lower blood sugar.

  • Use cautiously in patients with respiratory disorders such as asthma.

  • Ozone therapy is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Author Information

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Bocci V, Paulesu L. Studies on the biological effects of ozone 1. Induction of interferon gamma on human leucocytes. Haematologica 1990;75(6):510-515.

  2. Bocci V. Autohaemotherapy after treatment of blood with ozone. A reappraisal. J Int Med Res 1994;22(3):131-144.

  3. Carpendale MT, Freeberg JK. Ozone inactivates HIV at noncytotoxic concentrations. Antiviral Res 1991;16(3):281-292.

  4. Carpendale MT, Freeberg J, Griffiss JM. Does ozone alleviate AIDS diarrhea? J Clin Gastroenterol 1993;17(2):142-145.

  5. Fabris G, Tommasini G, Petralia B, et al. [Intraforaminal oxygen-ozone therapy]. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(1):61-66.

  6. Frankum B, Katelaris CH. Ozone therapy in AIDS--truly innocuous? Med J Aust 1993;159(7):493.

  7. Gabriel C, Blauhut B, Greul R, Schneeweis B, Roggendorf M. Transmission of hepatitis C by ozone enrichment of autologous blood. Lancet 1996;347(9000):541.

  8. Garber GE, Cameron DW, Hawley-Foss N, Greenway D, Shannon ME. The use of ozone-treated blood in the therapy of HIV infection and immune disease: a pilot study of safety and efficacy. AIDS 1991;5(8):981-984. View Abstract

  9. Marchetti D, La Monaca G. An unexpected death during oxygen-ozone therapy. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2000;21(2):144-147.

  10. Martínez-Sánchez G, Al-Dalain SM, Menéndez S, Re L, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of ozone in patients with diabetic foot. Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Oct 31;523(1-3):151-61. View Abstract

  11. Ozmen V, Thomas WO, Healy JT, et al. Irrigation of the abdominal cavity in the treatment of experimentally induced microbial peritonitis: efficacy of ozonated saline. Am Surg 1993;59(5):297-303. Pawlak-Osińska K, Kaźmierczak H, Kaźmierczak W, Szpoper M. Ozone therapy and pressure-pulse therapy in Ménière's disease. Int Tinnitus J. 2004;10(1):54-7. View Abstract

  12. Rickard GD, Richardson R, Johnson T, et al. Ozone therapy for the treatment of dental caries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD004153. View Abstract

  13. Sweet F, Kao MS, Lee SC, et al. Ozone selectively inhibits growth of human cancer cells. Science. 1980 Aug 22;209(4459):931-3. View Abstract

  14. Verrazzo G, Coppola L, Luongo C, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen, oxygen-ozone therapy, and rheologic parameters of blood in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease. Undersea Hyperb Med 1995;22(1):17-22.

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017