Ozone Therapy

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There's no scientific evidence that ozone therapy helps any mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's disease. Learn more about ozone therapy.

Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.


Ozone is present high in the earth's atmosphere and absorbs solar radiation. Ozone molecules are composed of three oxygen atoms.

Ozone therapy involves adding ozone to air or liquids and introducing them into the body by various means. It has been used to treat medical conditions since the late 19th century. However, there has been little scientific study of ozone therapy, and it is not known if it is safe or effective.


Ozone therapists suggest that ozone may have health benefits beyond that of oxygen.

Ozone may be mixed with water and taken by mouth or introduced into a body cavity such as the rectum or vagina. Autohemotherapy, another type of ozone therapy, is a technique in which blood is withdrawn through a vein, mixed with ozone gas and then injected back into a vein or muscle. Water enriched with ozone has been injected into joints to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ozone or hydrogen peroxide may be injected. Blood may be withdrawn, enriched with ozone, treated with ultraviolet B radiation in a quartz container and then re-injected into the body.


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

Ozone bagging is a technique in which the body (except for the head) is submerged for up to two hours in a bag containing ozone. Ozone insufflation involves blowing ozone gas into body orifices such as the ear, colon or vagina. It is theorized that ozone air purification may sterilize or "rejuvenate" room air. Cupping is a technique that concentrates ozone over a particular area of the body. Ozone saunas and ozone-infused drinking water are also commercially available.


Scientists have studied ozone therapy for the following health problems:

Cardiovascular disease
There is a small study using ozone therapy (specifically autohemotherapy) in patients with a history of heart attack, reporting a decrease in levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein ("bad" cholesterol). However, this study was not well designed. Further scientific research is needed before a conclusion can be drawn.

Laboratory studies show that HIV may be sensitive to ozone, but high-quality studies in humans are lacking. One study measured the safety and effectiveness of ozone-treated blood in HIV and immune disease. Ozone therapy did not show benefits.

Unproven Uses

Ozone therapy has been suggested for many other uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories. However, these uses have not been thoroughly studied in humans, and there is limited scientific evidence about safety or effectiveness. Some of these suggested uses are for conditions that are potentially life-threatening. Consult with a health care provider before using ozone therapy for any use.

Acute infections
Adenocarcinoma (a type of cancer)
Alzheimer's disease
Anal fissure
Bladder inflammation
Candidiasis (a fungal infection)
Catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes)
Cerebral sclerosis
Chlorosis (a type of anemia)
Cholesterol metabolism disorders
Chronic middle ear deafness
Circulatory disorders
Colon inflammation
Crohn's disease
Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
Decaying teeth
Decontamination of blood or blood products
Degenerative diseases
Electroretinography monitoring
Endometrial carcinoma
Furunculosis (infection of the hair follicles)
Gastric cancer
Giardiasis (a parasitic infection)
Hepatitis B
Herpes simplex virus infection
Herpes zoster (chickenpox, shingles)
High cholesterol
Hypoxia (low oxygen levels)
Immune system stimulation
Intestinal inflammation
Irritable bowel syndrome
Joint dystrophy
Kaposi's sarcoma
Laryngeal infection
Leg ulcers
Lumbar disk herniation
Malabsorption syndrome
Ménière's disease
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection
Multiple sclerosis
Occlusive lower limb arterial disease (peripheral vascular disease)
Ocular retinitis pigmentosa
Optic nerve dysfunction
Oral surgery disinfectant
Osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone marrow)
Ovarian cancer
Parasite infection
Parkinson's disease
Periodontal disease
Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)
Poor circulation
Proctitis (inflammation of the rectum)
Prostate cancer
Radiation injuries
Raynaud's disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rhinoplasty ("nose job")
Sciatic neuralgia
Senile dementia
Severe injury in children
Sickle cell anemia
Sinus infection
Skin ulcers
Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth lining)
Supportive care
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Trichomoniasis (a parasitic infection)
Venous ulcers, chronic
Vertebral inflammation
Wasting syndromes
Weight loss
Whooping cough
Wound healing


Potential Dangers

Ozone therapy has not been proven safe by scientific studies. Shortness of breath, blood vessel swelling, poor circulation, heart problems or stroke may occur. Autohemotherapy, a type of ozone therapy, has been associated with transmission of viral hepatitis and with a case of dangerously lowered blood cell counts. Make sure that sterile needles are used for any medical procedure.

Blowing ozone into the ear (insufflation) may damage the eardrum, and blowing ozone into the colon may increase the risk of bowel rupture. There is one case of a patient with HIV having psychotic hallucinations while receiving ozone therapy, although the cause was not clear. Ozone therapy should not be used alone to treat potentially dangerous medical conditions.



Ozone therapy has been recommended to treat many conditions. There are numerous anecdotes about successful treatment with ozone therapy, although effectiveness and safety have not been proven scientifically.

The information in this monograph was prepared by the professional staff at Natural Standard, based on thorough systematic review of scientific evidence. The material was reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School with final editing approved by Natural Standard.


  1. Natural Standard: An organization that produces scientifically based reviews of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) topics
  2. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): A division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services dedicated to research

Selected Scientific Studies: Ozone Therapy

Natural Standard reviewed more than 135 articles to prepare the professional monograph from which this version was created.

Some of the more recent studies are listed below:

    1. Andreula CF, Simonetti L, De Santis F, et al. Minimally invasive oxygen-ozone therapy for lumbar disk herniation. American Journal of Neuroraiology 2003;24(5):996-1000.
    2. Basabe E. Ozone therapy a favoring element in the rehabilitation of children with hearing loss. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:275.
    3. Bocci VA. A reasonable approach for the treatment of HIV infection in the early phase with ozonotherapy (autohaemotherapy): how inflammatory cytokines may have a therapeutic rule. Mediat Inflammation 1994;3:315-321.
    4. 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.
    5. Bocci V. Autohaemotherapy after treatment of blood with ozone: a reappraisal. J Int Med Res 1994;22(3):131-144.


  1. Bonetti M, Albertini F, Valdenassi L, et al. [Oxygen-ozone therapy in the treatment of lumbar disk-root compression]. Rivista Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 3):297-304.
  2. Bonetti M, Cotticelli B, Albertini F, et al. Percutaneous paravertebral ozone therapy. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2002;15(4):415-419.
  3. Carpendale MT, Griffiss J. Is there a role for medical ozone in the treatment of HIV and associated infections? [abstract]. Proceedings, Eleventh Ozone World Congress, San Francisco, CA, 1993.
  4. Carpendale MT, Freeberg JK. Ozone inactivates HIV at noncytotoxic concentrations. Antiviral Res 1991;16(3):281-292.
  5. Carpendale MT, Freeberg J, Griffiss JM. Does ozone alleviate AIDS diarrhea? J Clin Gastroenterol 1993;17(2):142-145.
  6. Clavo B, Perez JL, Lopez L, et al. Effect of ozone therapy on muscle oxygenation. J Altern Compl 2003;9(2):251-256.
  7. Colombo R, D'Angelo F, Vaghi M, et al. [Local treatment of chronic venous ulcers with ozone therapy]. Impegno Ospedaliero, Sezione Scientifica 2002;1-2(31):33.
  8. Coppola L, Verrazzo G, Giunta R, et al. Oxygen/ozone therapy and haemorheological parameters in peripheral chronic arterial occlusive disease. Thromb Arterioscler 1992;8:83-90.
  9. Dalla Volta G, Troianiello B, Griffini S, et al. [Telethermographic assessment of the efficacy of oxygen-ozone therapy in disc-root compression]. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 1):103-107.
  10. Di Mauro G, Matera D, Di Mauro A, et al. Oxygen-ozone therapy and amitriptyline in disc diseases and herniated intervertebral discs. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 1):93-95.
  11. Fabris G, Tommasini G, Petralia B, et al. [Intraforaminal oxygen-ozone therapy]. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(1):61-66.
  12. Fillippi A. Ozone in oral surgery: current status and prospects. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:169.
  13. Frankum B, Katelaris CH. Ozone therapy in AIDS: truly innocuous? Med J Aust 1993;159(7):493.
  14. Franzini M, Bignamini A, Micheletti P, et al. Subcutaneous oxygen-ozone therapy in indurative hypodermatitis and in localised lipodystrophies: a clinical study of efficacy and tolerability. Acta Toxicologica et Therapeutica 1993;14(4):273-288.
  15. Gabriel C, Blauhut B, Greul R, et al. Transmission of hepatitis C by ozone enrichment of autologous blood. Lancet 1996;347(9000):541.
  16. Garber GE, Cameron DW, Hawley-Foss N, et al. 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.
  17. Gjonovich A, Sattin GF, Girotto L, et al. [Resistant lumbar pain: oxygen-ozone therapy compared with other methods]. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 1):35-38.
  18. Gomez M. Ozone therapy in the functional recovery from diseases involving damage to central nervous system cells. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:111.
  19. Hernandez F, Menendez S, Wong R. Decrease of blood cholesterol and stimulation of antioxidative response in cardiopathy patients treated with endovenous ozone therapy. Free Radic Biol Med 1995;19(1):115-119.
  20. Hooker MH, Gazzard BG. Ozone-treated blood in the treatment of HIV infection. AIDS 1992;6(1):131.
  21. Hsu OK. Ozone may inactivate HIV by reducing p120-CD4 binding affinity, lysing the HIV lipid envelope, and oxidizing the HIV core. International Bio-oxidative Medicine Foundation's 5th Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, 1994.
  22. Kawalski H, Sondej J, Cierpiol-Tracz E. The use of ozonotherapy in the nose correction operations. Acta Chir Plast 1992;34(3):182-184.
  23. Kudriavtsev EP, Miroshin SI, Semenov SV, et al. [Ozone therapy of diffuse peritonitis in the early postoperative period]. Khirurgiia (Mosk) 1997;(3):36-41.
  24. Kulikov AG, Turova EA, Shcherbina Tm, Kisileva OM. [Efficacy of different methods of ozone therapy in vascular complications of diabetes mellitus]. Voprosy Kurortologii, Fizioterapii I Lecheboi Fizicheskoi Kultury 2002;(5):17-20.
  25. Marchetti D, La Monaca G. An unexpected death during oxygen-ozone therapy. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2000;21(2):144-147.
  26. Mayer C, Soyka M, Naber D. [Paranoid hallucinatory psychoses in an HIV infected patient on ozone therapy]. Nervenarzt 1991;62(3):194-197.
  27. McCabe E. Point of view: a case for ozone therapy. AIDS Patient Care Magazine 1992;6:6.
  28. Menendez O. Application of ozone therapy in children with humoral immunity deficiency. Proceedings, Ozone in Medicine:Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995: 271.
  29. Menendez S. Application of ozonized oil in the treatment of infantile giardiasis. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:297.
  30. Menendez S. Application of ozonized oil in the treatment of vulvovaginitis preliminary study. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:283.
  31. Menendez S, Ferrer L, Perez Z. Ozone therapy and magneto therapy: new methods for the rehabilitation of patients with simple chronic glaucoma. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:99.
  32. Muminov AI, Khushvakova N Zh. Ozone therapy in patients with chronic purulent frontal sinusitis. Vestnik Otorinolaringologii 2002;46.
  33. Neroev VV, Zueva MV, Tsapenko IV, et al. [Effects of ozone therapy on the functional activity of the retinal in patients with involutional central chorioretinal dystrophy]. Vestn Oftalmol 2003;119(6):18-21.
  34. 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.
  35. Parkhisenko IuA, Bil'chenko SV. [The ozone therapy in patients with mechanical jaundice of tumorous genesis]. Vestn Khir Im I I Grek 2003;162(5):85-87. P
  36. aulesu L, Luzzi E, Bocci V. Studies on the biological effects of ozone: 2. Induction of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) on human leucocytes. Lymphokine Cytokine Res 1991;10(5):409-412.
  37. Pawlak-Osinska K, Kazmierczak H, Kazmierczak W, et al. Ozone therapy and pressure-pulse therapy in Ménière's disease. Int Tinnitus J 2004;10(1):54-57.
  38. Petralia B, Tommasini G, Lavaroni A, et al. [Back ache treated by ozone therapy]. Rivista di Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 1):71-73.
  39. Rickard GD, Richardson R, Johnson T, et al. Ozone therapy for the treatment of dental caries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004;(3):CD004153.
  40. Riva Sanseverino E. Knee-joint disorders treated by oxygen-ozone therapy. Europa Medicophysica 1989;25(3):163-170.
  41. Rodriguez Acosta M, Cespedes Valcarcel A, Tula Suarez L, et al. [Ozone therapy in the management of the optic neuritis epidemic: benefits or risks]. Revista Cubana de Oftalmologia 1994;7(1/2):39-51.
  42. Romeo A, Cirillo F. [Kinesiatrics and oxygen-ozone therapy for lumbosacral disc-root compression]. Rivista Neuroradiologia 2001;14(Suppl 1):47-49.
  43. Romero VA, Blanco GR, Menendez CS, et al. [Arteriosclerosis obliterans and ozone therapy. Its administration by different routes]. Angiologia 1993;45(5):177-179.
  44. Romero VA, Menendez CS, Gomez MM, et al. [Ozone therapy in the advanced stages of arteriosclerosis obliterans]. Angiologia 1993;45(4):146-148.
  45. Sanseverino ER. Intensive medical and physical treatment of osteoporosis with the aid of oxygen-ozone therapy. Europa Medicophysica 1988;24(4):199-196.
  46. Scarchilli A. [Three-year follow-up in the treatment of lumbar pain and sciatica with intradiscal ozone therapy]. Rivista Neuroradiologia 2001;14(1):39-41.
  47. Sroczynski J, Antoszewski Z, Matyszczyk B, et al. [Clinical assessment of treatment results for atherosclerotic ischemia of the lower extremities with intraarterial ozone injections]. Pol Tyg Lek 1992;47(42-43):964-966.
  48. Tabaracci G. [Ozone therapy by "classic" paraspinal intramuscular injection]. Rivista Neuroradiologia 2001;141(Suppl 1):67-70.
  49. Tafil-Klawe M, Wozniak A, Drewa T, et al. Ozone therapy and the activity of selected lysosomal enzymes in blood serum of patients with lower limb ischemia associated with obliterative atheromtosis. Medical Science Monitor 2002;8(7):CR520-CR525.
  50. 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.
  51. Wasser G. Additional therapy of cerebrovascular disorder (acute brain stroke) by ozone therapy. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:91.
  52. Wells KH, Latino J, Gavalchin J, Poiesz BJ. Inactivation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 by ozone in vitro. Blood 1991;78(7):1882-1890.
  53. Wolfstadter HD, Sacher J, Hopfenmuller W, et al. Retrospective benefit following individualized naturopathic therapy in HIV-patients at different stages [abstract]. Int Conf AIDS 1992;8(3):147.
  54. Wong R. Ozone therapy in ischemic cardiopathy. Proceedings, Twelfth World Congress of the International Ozone Association, Lille, France, 1995:73.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 30). Ozone Therapy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Last Updated: July 12, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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