Ozone Therapy for Lyme Disease

Ozone Therapy for Lyme Disease

Ozone therapy is a very common tool used in integrative health, on account of its seemingly universal healing power, efficacy, ease of application, and lack of contraindications. The power of oxygen in the form of O2 is evident to us as a necessary component for life. When we breathe in, oxygen enters our lungs and is filtered into our bloodstream where it is used to power every system in our body. It is essential to the process of cellular respiration, which is a metabolic pathway that breaks down glucose to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and gives us energy. In addition to O2, oxygen can also exist as a single molecule called singlet oxygen and written as O, or as a 3 atom molecule known as ozone, and written as O3. We have discussed the healing power of ozone in depth in this blog post, its applications for those with mold toxicity here, and its curative power ozone and oxygen for chronic viral infections here. One chronic viral infection that can have debilitating effects on individuals is Lyme Disease. If caught early, Lyme Disease can usually be cured with integrative healing modalities or a course of antibiotics. However antibiotics can have adverse side effects, including antibiotic resistance, damaging the gut microbiome, rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, yeast infections, or even C. diff (Clostridioides difficile infection). If early intervention methods aren’t effective, that is when Chronic Lyme, also known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, may develop. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports: “at least 300,000 new yearly cases of difficult-to-diagnose-and-treat Lyme disease, antibiotic treatment failure is very high, and there is high long-term morbidity” (Rowen, 2019).

Lyme Disease has been discussed in detail here, and it is extremely common in the Northeast region of the United States. Integrative health treatments can include ozone therapy, herbal antimicrobial therapy, joint injections, IV (intravenous) infusions, functional nutrition, and acupuncture. Ozone is a powerful tool against Lyme Disease and Chronic Lyme Disease with both direct and downstream effects. As mentioned in this blog post, some of the mechanisms of action of ozone include:

  1. When ozone comes into contact with a pathogen, such as Lyme Disease bacteria, it damages the cell walls, causing them to rupture and break apart in a process known as oxidation.
  2. Once inside the cell, ozone reacts with the DNA of the Lyme bacteria, causing damage to the genetic material and preventing it from reproducing.
  3. Ozone stimulates the immune system by increasing cytokines, phagocytes, glutathione, N-R-F-2, and red blood cells that destroy the Lyme bacteria.
  4. Ozone neutralizes harmful free radicals in our body, which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, boosting our immune system.
  5. Ozone increases the supply of oxygen to our blood and organs, which supports cellular and immune health.
  6. Ozone therapy has a positive effect on platelets, cell mediated remodeling, and mitochondria structure.

In summary, ozone targets the Lyme bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and any of its co-infectious conspirators such as borreliosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan virus, and B. miyamotoi. Once it finds them, it smashes them apart so they can’t replicate and make more harmful bacteria. It then signals the immune system to clear out the destroyed particles of the Lyme bacteria, and calls for our immune helper cells to strengthen their defense and help our body heal in the long term and reduce symptoms in the short term. Since ozone is considered an unstable molecule and only exists briefly after being created before returning to a stable O2 form, ozone treatments should be administered multiple times in patients with Lyme Disease for maximum efficacy. They are different ways to get ozone into our body, but breathing it in is not one of them. Our lungs are intolerant to ozone and if we breathe it in, it will result in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Ozone for medical purposes uses medical grade oxygen that is put into an ozone generator to create O3 that can be taken orally via ozonated water or capsules, applied topically, intravenously, or administered internally through insufflation. According to Shallenberger (2017), “ozone stimulates the immune system by as much as 400% to produce cytokine molecules that it uses to fight infections.” Additionally, if you do take antibiotics, ozone therapy can be used in tandem and it will boost the efficacy of the medication. The uses for ozone are seemingly limitless, and the power of this little molecule cannot be overstated.


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About the author: Mary Genevieve Carty, MS, MHEd holds Masters degrees in Complementary and Integrative Health as well as Higher Education and is currently a doctoral student in Health Science at George Washington University’s College of Medicine and Health Science.  She is passionate about holistic health and wellness, and has additional training in teaching, Reiki, and Tapping/ Emotional Freedom Technique. Her research interests include resiliency, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroplastic pain, placebo/ nocebo effect, and bioenergy therapies.  The views she expresses are her own, and do not reflect any affiliation.

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephen Matta, DO, MBA CAQSM and Mary Anne Matta, MS, MA, LAC

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