Categories: Oxygen

Arthritis: Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy

This article is based on research and contributions by Charles Farr, M.D., Ph.D., William Campbell Douglass, M.D., Walter O. Grotz, Dr. Edward Rosenow. Hydrogen peroxide has been used for more than a hundred years. Once in your body fluids, it mimics the first lines of defense against any and all microorganisms recognized as invaders by the immune system – the macrophages and leucocytes – that use hydrogen peroxide to oxidize the invaders. Also of note is that vitamin C is effective principally by its ability to promote hydrogen peroxide use against foreign invaders, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, yeast, and fungus. Additionally, all body tissues contain catalase and hydrogen peroxide in the presence of catalase is reduced to oxygen and water. So, there is a strong reason to believe that added hydrogen peroxide, used properly, can be effective against pathogens while being safe to metabolize naturally.

Hydrogen peroxide is an essential metabolite, meaning that it is necessary to life’s process, according to William Campbell Douglass, M.D. of Georgia. As we age, our immune system weakens, allowing opportunistic invaders to spread. Eradicating these organisms will support your ability to heal. According to William Campbell Douglass, M.D.[2], not only is H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) involved in phagocytosis (killing and absorption of foreign germs), but also “it acts like insulin in that it aids the transport of glucose through the body.” It is also at least as important, or perhaps more so, than thyroid for heat generation because it creates “intracellular thermogenesis, a warming of your cells which is absolutely essential to life’s processes.”

Hydrogen Peroxide has been found to be effective against some types of cancer, leukemia, arthritis, coronary heart disease, arterial circulation disorders, colitis, gum diseases, and assorted children’s diseases. At the International Conference of Bio-oxidative Medicine (February 17-19, 1989 in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX) physicians presented papers on the efficacy and safety of hydrogen peroxide infusions. International Bio-Oxidative Medicine Foundation [1] has been promoting scholarly works based on their work with patients. While Chelation Therapy is an extremely useful treatment and preventive measure for at least 80% of peripheral circulation problems, it apparently cannot clean out hardened plaque in arteries, like the large heart arteries and the aorta [3].

According to Douglas, the Baylor University Medical Center may “have gone a long way toward proving that H2O2 dripped into the leg and carotid vessels of patients known to have severe arteriosclerosis will clear those arteries of disease. When these patients died, autopsies were done to compare arteries that had been treated with H2O2 with those not treated. They reported: The elution [separation] of lipids from the arterial wall by dilute hydrogen peroxide has been accomplished… In simple English, that means the plaque buildup was removed by injecting H2O2 into the blood vessels… That was over 20 years ago [2].”

Dr. Douglass added that, “The investigators also reported that the improvement is not temporary.” While H2O2 has been used to good advantage for hardening of the arteries, temporal arteritis, shingles, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the yeast syndrome, various viral infections, including AIDS, certain forms of cancer, dental gum diseases, colds (35% H2O2 in cold humidifier), growing better food, purifying water without chlorine complications, increasing thyroid activity, arthritis, depression, emphysema, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, a list of claims made would exceed our space limitations, and so I direct you to others for substantiation and research reports: The International Bio-Oxidative Foundation1 and ECHOS [4], as per references.

There are important forgotten facts in the past medical literature. For example, William Campbell Douglass, M.D. reports on “Dr. Edward C. Rosenow, author of 450 published medical papers and associate at the Mayo Clinic for over 60 years … proved [more than] 70 years ago (1914) that bacteria could be found consistently in the lymph nodes that drain joints (J.A.M.A., April 11, 1914). He was probably the first scientist to postulate that H2O2 would help arthritis because of its ability to supply oxygen to oxygen-hating organisms causing arthritis (Streptococcus viridans).” Charles H. Farr, M.D., Ph.D., says, “Perhaps we have become myopic about biological oxidation! The majority of investigational studies seem to concentrate on the damaging effects of biological oxidation and the production of free radicals. Hydrogen peroxide is usually treated as a[n] intermediate or by-product of metabolism and considered of minor significance in metabolic pathways except as it relates to biochemical disruption, tissue or cellular damage. We feel the physiological effects of bio-oxidation and, in particular hydrogen peroxide, should be investigated with a new prospect.

From the 2,500 or more references on hydrogen peroxide we have collected and reviewed we have come to appreciate this physiological product as a[n] extremely important molecule in metabolism. Hydrogen peroxide is produced by all cells of the body for many different physiological reasons. The granulocytes produce H2O2 as a first line of defense against bacteria, yeast, virus, parasites, macrophages, and most fungi. It is involved in any metabolic pathway which utilize oxidases, peroxidases, cyclo-oxygenase, lipoxygenase, myeloperoxidase, catalase and probably many other enzymes. Hydrogen peroxide is involved in protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, immunity, vitamin and mineral metabolism or any other system you might wish to explore. Our studies demonstrate a positive metabolic effect to intravenous infusion of H2O2 . Its ability to oxidize almost any physiological or pathological substance, in addition to producing increased tissue and cellular oxygen tensions, has proven it to have therapeutic value. “We feel the evidence presented should stimulate a new appreciation in the study of the potential therapeutic application of bio-oxidative mechanisms.”

Two Means of Administration

There are two ways to administer hydrogen peroxide for medical purposes. Both means require a pure grade of hydrogen peroxide which is something different than one can purchase at the drug store for topical treatment of sores and wounds. The 3% drugstore hydrogen peroxide also contains tin and phosphate compounds that are dangerous to consume either by means of IV (intravenous) or orally. Dr. Farr’s research demonstrates that hydrogen peroxide stimulates oxidative enzymes which increases the metabolic rate. Intravenous use rapidly relieves allergenic reactions, influenza symptoms, chronic systemic candidiasis, acute viral reactions as a result of the oxidation of antigenic substances and regulation of immune system functions.

By far the widest use for hydrogen peroxide, whether wisely or not, seems to be that of oral use, where a 35% “food grade” is diluted to a 3% concentration by use of 1 ounce of 35% H2O2 to 11 ounces of distilled water. The 3% concentration is then used by quantities of drops in distilled water, increasing the dosages and number of oral treatments daily throughout a number of weeks. Many have made the claim that a “die-off” effect is observed, similar in nature to the Herxheimer Effect [5].

Other Uses for H2O2

Use 3% solution, except where 35% is highlighted.

Vegetable soak: Add 1/4 cup to a full sink of cold water. Soak light-skinned (like lettuce) 20 minutes, thicker skinned (like cucumbers) 30 minutes. Drain, dry and refrigerate. Prolongs freshness. If time is a problem, spray vegetables (and fruits) with a solution of 3%. Let stand for a few minutes, rinse and dry.

Leftover tossed salad: Spray with a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 Tbsp. 3%. Drain, cover and refrigerate.

To freshen kitchen: Keep a spray bottle in the kitchen. Use it to wipe off counter tops and appliances. It will disinfect and give the kitchen a fresh smell. Works great in the refrigerator and kid’s school lunch boxes.

Marinade: Place meat, fish, or poultry in a casserole (avoid using aluminum pans). Cover with hydrogen peroxide. Place loosely covered in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Rinse and cook.

In the dishwasher: Add 2 oz to your regular washing formula.

Sprouting seeds: Add 1 oz to a pint of water and soak the seeds overnight. Add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse the seeds.

House and garden plants: Put 1 oz in 1 quart of water. Water or mist plants with this solution.

Insecticide spray: Mix 8 oz White Sugar , 4-8 oz hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon of water.

Humidifiers and steamers: Mix 1 pint to 1 gallon of water.

Laundry: Add 8 oz to your wash in place of bleaches.

Shower: Keep a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the shower. Spray your body after washing to replace the acid mantle of your skin that soap removes.

Facial: Use on a cotton ball as a facial freshener after washing. (Remember: do not use 35% grade!)

Rejuvenating detoxifying bath: Add 6 oz to 1/2 tub of water. May increase hydrogen peroxide up to 2 cups per bath. Soak at least 1/2 hour.

Alternate bath: Add 1/2 cup 35% H2O2 , 1/2 cup Sea Salt , and 1/2 cup baking soda or Epsom Salts to bath water and soak.

Foot soak: Add 1-1/2 oz 35% H2O2 to 1 gallon water and soak.

Athlete’s foot: Soak feet nightly until condition is improved.

Mouthwash: Add a dash of liquid chlorophyll for flavoring if desired.

Toothpaste: Use baking soda and add enough to make a paste. Or just dip your brush in it and brush.

Douche or enema: Add 6 Tbs to a quart of distilled water. 6 Tbs is the maximum amount to use.

Pets: For small animals (dogs & cats) use 1 oz to 1 qt of water.

Agriculture: Use 8 oz 35% H2O2 per 1000 gallons of water. If you do not have an injector, start out by using 1 tsp. 35% H2O2 in the drinking cup at the stanchion.

Drinking water of ailing cows: Use 1 pt., to 5 gallons of water. To drench sick calves, put 1/3 pt. bottle and fill remainder with water. Do this twice a day. For an adult cow, use the same procedure, but use a quart.

Foliage feed crops: put 5 to 16 oz of 35% H2O2 into 20 gallons of water. This is sufficient for 1 acre. Spray on plants early in the morning when the dew is still on them and the birds are singing.

Hydrogen peroxide has been a recognized medicinal source since at least the 1800’s, has gone into a sort of limbo, so far as established medicine is concerned.

Stimulation of Oxidative Enzymes

Charles H. Farr, M.D., Ph.D. has used hydrogen peroxide clinically, and has reported on research that he performed that sheds a great deal of light on how H2O2 functions. Contrary to popular belief, the use of H2O2 by either infusion or orally cannot supply as much oxygen as a good, deep breath. Instead, it is the stimulation of oxidative enzymes that does the useful trick. Dr. Farr’s conclusions are appropriate and follow: Dr. Farr says6, “There are a number of commercial products [that] claim to contain more oxygen on a volumes percent basis than Hydrogen Peroxide and consequently this has been interpreted as meaning they would somehow have more biological activity. There is a great deal of confusion about the difference between the terms `Oxygenation’ and `Oxidation’ when applied to biochemical reactions. A product which contains more oxygen per molecule may or may not have any biological activity.

“We reported [1] Intravenous Hydrogen Peroxide has an oxidative stimulatory effect when administered to man which appears to be independent of the amount of oxygen produced. “Hydrogen Peroxide is a very simple molecule produced by almost every cell in the body. This amazing molecule, essential for life in both plant and animal, has been generally overlooked for it’s role in oxidative metabolism. Every chemist knows any reaction must have an opposite reaction to balance the equation. This applies equally to reactions in the test tube and in living cells. The world seems to have been caught up in the idea all biological oxidation is harmful because free-radicals may be produced. Free-radicals can cause lipid peroxidation and membrane damage. Consequently many products, containing anti-oxidants, are being promoted to prevent peroxidation. Some researchers [7], including this author, feel peroxidation serves a useful purpose in the biochemical balance and may need stimulating at times instead of preventing.

“Hydrogen Peroxide as an oxidizer, under certain catalytic conditions, can degrade into water and oxygen. “The fact that Hydrogen Peroxide may increase oxygen tension in the tissue is of secondary importance. Any student of biochemistry knows the principal reaction of an oxidizer, such as Hydrogen Peroxide, is to accept electrons in the RedOx [reduction/oxidation] reactions of the body and has nothing to do with “Oxygen” or “Oxygenation.” It is true Hydrogen Peroxide increases the rate of oxidation in the body [8], but this is not because it produces oxygen but rather it stimulates oxidative enzymes.

“Hydrogen Peroxide is a naturally produced purposeful molecule in the body. It functions to aid membrane transport, acts as a hormonal messenger, regulates thermogenesis (heat production), stimulates and regulates immune functions, regulates energy production and many other important metabolic functions. These effects can occur without increasing the amount of oxygen. It is purposely used by the body to produce Hydroxyl Radicals to kill bacteria, virus, fungi, yeast and a number of parasites. This natural killing or protective system has nothing to do with increasing the amount of available oxygen. “The amount of oxygen produced by a therapeutic infusion of Hydrogen Peroxide is very small. A single breath of fresh air contains many times more oxygen than found in either a therapeutic infusion or in a few drops of 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide taken orally.

“Claims are being made that molecules containing Oxygen and Chlorine, Chlorine or Chlorite ions will sterilize water, milk and almost anything to which they have been added. Chlorine is added to almost all public water supplies for the same purpose. The small amount of oxygen in these molecules have very little to do with this sterilization process. There are many more aerobic (requires oxygen) than anaerobic (does not use oxygen) bacteria and increasing the oxygen supply may actually stimulate the growth of the aerobic bacteria. `Oxygen supply’ or `Oxygenation’ is not a credible basis for the promotion of these products. Oxidation is the keyword and not Oxygenation.

“Oxidation is the removal of an electron from a molecule which changes electrical energy of the molecule into an oxidized state. The oxidizing agent which accepts the electron through this reaction becomes reduced. This reaction takes place in many biochemical reactions in which OXYGEN is not involved. In oxidative reactions in which Hydrogen Peroxide is involved, oxygen is released when the Hydrogen Peroxide, acting as an oxidizer, is reduced but it is the transfer of the electrons which is important and not the production of Oxygen.
“Manufacturers of products which claim to have the same effect as Hydrogen Peroxide may not have a good understanding of the biochemical role of Hydrogen Peroxide in the body. Some of these products claim to provide more oxygen molecules than Hydrogen Peroxide and that may be true but I know of no scientific evidence to show this enhances oxidative metabolism.

Cancer and many other degenerative diseases are thought to be the results of poor cellular oxidative processes. They are not the results of a reduced supply of oxygen. Persons with anemias or severe lung disease may have an oxygen deficit but do not necessarily have a greater incidence of Cancer or chronic diseases. The problem is not the delivery of oxygen to the cells but utilization by the cells. Hydrogen Peroxide affects utilization or oxidation dramatically whereas hyper-oxygenated or chlorinated molecules have not been shown to be necessary in the body to improve oxidative metabolism [9].” Many physicians and clinics are effectively using Hydrogen Peroxide intravenously with their patients. There is a ton of literature favoring Hydrogen Peroxide treatment for various medical conditions [10].


  1. International Bio-Oxidative Medicine Foundation, PO Box 13205, Oklahoma City, OK 73113-1205.
  2. William Campbell Douglass, The Cutting Edge, PO Box 1568, Clayton, GA 30525. According to Douglass’ paper, see: Docknell, Inf./Immunity, January 1983, pp. 456; Mallams, Finney & Balla, S.M.J., March 1962; Jay et. al., Tex Rep. Biol. & Med., 22:106, 1964; Urschel, Diseases of the Chest, 51:180, 1967; Finney, et. al., Angiology, 17:223, 1966; Hydrogen Peroxide – The Forgotten Miracle.
  3. Anthony di Fabio, Chelation Therapy, The Arthritis Trust of America/The Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, 7111 Sweetgum Road, Suite A, Fairview, Tn 37062-9384.
  4. Walter O. Grotz, ECHO, 300 South 4th Street, Delano, MN 55328. ECHO for a small fee can provide you with a listing of abstracts dating back to 1920; also see their Progress Report, 2nd Edition.
  5. Dr. Paul K. Pybus, Anthony di Fabio, The Herxheimer Effect, The Arthritis Trust of America/The Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, 7111 Sweetgum Road, Suite A, Fairview, Tn 37062-9384.
  6. Charles H. Farr, M.D., Ph.D., The Therapeutic Use of Intravenous Hydrogen Peroxide (Monograph). Genesis Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73139, Jan. 1987.
  7. T.L. Dormandy, “In Praise of Peroxidation,” Lancet, II (Nov. 12):1126, 1988.
  8. Charles H. Farr, M.D., Ph.D., “Physiological and Biochemical Responses to Intravenous Hydrogen Peroxide in Man,” J ACAM, 1:113-129, 1988.
  9. “Why Hydrogen Peroxide?” International Bio-Oxidative Medical Foundation Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 1, Op.Cit., 1989.
  10. Ed McCabe, O2xygen Therapies, Energy Publications, 99-RD1, Morrisville, NY 13408, 1988.
  11. Leon Chaitow, “Bland Attacks `Fad’ for Hydrogen Peroxide,” Townsend Letter for Doctors,” May 1988, p. 204; from Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine (UK).
  12. Jonathan Collin, M.D., “The H2O2 Crusades,” Townsend Letter for Doctors, Op.Cit., June 1989, p. 322.
  13. Gary Null
Author: Life Enthusiast