Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms O3 (ie triatomic oxygen), a highly energetic form of normal (diatomic) atmospheric oxygen (O2). Thus, the molecules of these two forms are different in structure. Due to its being an extremely powerful oxidizing agent and a highly effective disinfectant, it is used throughout the world to destroy germs in water treatment installations supplying drinking water.
Medical ozone is always a mixture of purest ozone and purest oxygen. According to its application, the ozone concentration can vary between 1 and 100 µg/ml (0.05 – 5 % O3). The ozone therapist, a trained physician, determines the complete dosage according to the medical indication and the patient’s condition.
Medical ozone has highly pronounced bactericidal, fungicidal and virostatic properties, and is thus widely used in disinfecting infected wounds, as well as in bacterially and virally produced diseases. Its ability to stimulate the circulation is used in the treatment of circulatory disorders and makes it valuable in revitalizing organic functions. When administered at low concentrations, the organism’s own resistance is mobilized, ie ozone (re)activates the immune system.
As a response to this activation through ozone, the body’s immune cells produce special messengers called cytokins (including important mediators such as interferones or interleukins). These inform other immune cells, setting off a cascade of positive changes throughout the immune system, which is stimulated to resist diseases for example. This means that the application of medical ozone is extremely useful for immune activation in patients with a low immune status and/or immune deficit.
Small quantities of ozone applied in what is called “major autohemotherapy” (external treatment of the patient’s blood before reinfusion) consequently activate the body’s own antioxidants and radical scavengers. It is thus possible to understand why ozone is used in diseases which involve chronic inflammation. Thanks to its selective properties, medical ozone is used in three principal fields of indication:
- The treatment of circulatory disorders, also in the field of geriatrics;
- The treatment of diseases produced by viruses such as liver diseases (hepatitis) and herpes;
- The treatment of infected, badly healing wounds and inflammatory processes, such as for example:
- Open ulcers on the legs (ulcus cruris);
- Inflammatory intestinal conditions (Colitis, Proktitis);
- Burns, scalds and infected wounds, fungus infections and others;
- As an additive or complementary therapy in various types of cancer, ozone is applied for general immunoactivation at low dosages in the form of “major autohemotherapy” (reinfusion) or “minor autohemotherapy” (reinjection) via the intramuscular route.