Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation
Int. J. Biosocial Med Research, Vol. 14(2).
115-132, 1996. 1044-811 X/96/8/115/$ 1.50.
Copyright (C) 1996 Foundation For Biosocial Research. All rights.,
reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy
The Cure That Time Forgot
Robert Jay Rowen, MD
Omni Medical Center
61-S East 82nd Ave, #300
Anchorage, AK 99518
In the 1940s, a multitude of articles appeared in the American
literature detailing a novel treatment for infection. This treatment
had a cure rate of 98 to 100% in early and moderately advanced
infections, and approximately 50% in terminally moribund patients.
Healing was not limited to just bacterial infections, but also viral
(acute polio), wounds, asthma, and arthritis. Recent German
literature has demonstrated profound improvements in a number of
biochemical and hematologic markers. There has never been reported
any toxicity, side effects or injury except for occasional
Herxheiner type reactions.
As infections are failing to improve with the use of chemical
treatment, this safe and effective treatment should be revisited. (Int
J Biosocial Med Res., 1996; 14(2): (115-132)
Ultraviolet (UV) light has been known for decades to have a
sterilizing effect and has been used in many different industries
for such a purpose. Almost all bacteria may be killed or attenuated
by ultraviolet rays, but there is considerable variation in the
rapidity of their destruction. Those which live in the body are most
easily affected, while those in nature adapt to the action of
sunlight and become relatively resistant to irradiation-[I] LJV-sensitive
bacteria have not been shown to become resistant and toxins have
been found to be very unstable in the presence of UV irradiation
(Diphtheria, tetanus, and snake venom are inactivated by ultraviolet
At the turn of the century, Niels Finson was awarded the Nobel Prize
for his work on UV rays and various skin conditions which showed a
success rate of 98% in thousands of cases, mostly lupus vulgaris.[31
Walter Ude reported a series of 100 cases of Erysipelas in the
1920s, claiming a nearly 100% cure rate with UV skin irradiation.[41
Emmett Knott pioneered the irradiation of autologous blood on dogs
before treating a moribund woman with postabortion sepsis in 1933,
who was thought to be untreatable. With his treatment of blood
irradiation, she promptly recovered, resulting in more research and
further development of the "Knott" technique.[51 The technique
involved removing approximately 1.5 cc/pound, citrating it for
antoagulation, and passing it through a radiation chamber. Exposure
time per given unit amount (l cc) was approximately 10 seconds, peak
wavelength of 253.7riM (ultraviolet C) provided by a mercury quartz
burner and immediately re-perfused.[61
By the early 1940s, UV blood irradiation was being used in
several American hospitals. Into the late 1940s, numerous reports
were made about the high efficacy for infection and complete safety
of UV blood irradiation. With the emergence of antibiotic therapy,
the reports suddenly ceased.
In the ensuing years, German literature demonstrated the
effectiveness of UV irradiation in vascular conditions.
Additionally, more thorough observations of significant improvement
in many physiologic processes and parameters have been reported.
The most prolific American researcher was George Miley, a
clinical professor at Hahnemann Hospital and College of Medicine,
who practiced the Knott technique at their blood irradiation clinic.
In 1942, he reported on 103 consecutive cases of acute pyogenic
infections at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. Such conditions
included puerperal sepsis, sinusitis, pyelitis, wound infections,
peritonitis (ten cases), and numerous other sites. Results of
recovery were 100')/,) for early infections, 46 out of 47 for
moderately advanced, and 17 Out Of 36 of those who were moribund.(71
Staphylococcus had a high death rate, but those patients were also
using sulfa drugs, which may have inhibited the effectiveness of the
UV irradiation treatments. In fact, when Miley reviewed his data, he
found that all the Staph failures had been on sulfa. A second series
of nine patients (six Staph aureus, three Staph albus) had a 100%
recovery rate with one or two treatments when sulfa was not used.(81
Rebbeck and Miley documented the fever curve of septicemia in
patients who received UV therapy, demonstrating detoxification and
recovery within a few days.(See Fig. 1). In 1947, Miley
reaffirmed his initial findings reporting on 445 cases of acute
pyogenic infection, including 151 consecutive cases. Again, results
showed a 100% recovery in early cases (56), 98% recovery in
moderately advanced (323), and 45% in apparently moribund patients
(66) (see Table 2).[l0] Detoxification usually began within 24 to 48
hours, and was complete in 46 to 72 hours. Some patients required
only one or two irradiation treatments, while a few needed one or
Effectiveness in other viral conditions was further documented by
Olney. His report documented 43 patients with acute viral
hepatitis treated With the Knott technique. Thirty-one patients had
acute infectious hepatitis; 12 had acute serum hepatitis (hepatitis
B). An average of 3.28 treatments per patient were administered; the
average period of illness after the treatment, was 19.2 days; two
recurrences were observed among the 43 patients during a follow-up
period averaging 3.56 years, one in each type of hepatitis. The one
suspected recurrence in the 'serum' variety was in a heroin addict
and reinfection was suspected. No deaths occurred among the 43
patients during the follow-up period. Marked improvement and rapid
subsidence of symptoms was noted in all patients treated and within
three days or less, in 27 patients. 11 showed marked improvement in
4 to 7 days, and five patients showed improvement in 8 to 14 days.
Rebbeck reported a remarkable effect on the autonomic nervous
system, documenting how postsurgical paralytic ileus could be
relieved very quickly with LTV blood irradiation. He attributed
this effect to toning the autonomic nervous system. Autonomic
effects also can be appreciated in the reports on asthma.
The authors were so impressed with the results that they included
numerous case reports of hopeless and long-suffering infectious
conditions resolving with UV blood irradiation. Rebbeck reported on
its prophylactic preoperative use in infectious conditions,
concluding that the technique provided significant protection with a
marked decrease in morbidity and mortality.
The authors consistently reported beneficial peripheral
vasodilation. A significant rise in combined venous oxygen was also
repeatedly mentioned.[21) The remarkable lack of any toxicity was
consistently noted by all authors. In addition to polio, Miley
reported that viruses, in general, responded in similar fashion to
pyogenic infections. 
Botulism, a uniformly fatal condition, was treated by Miley.
The patient was in a coma and could not swallow or see. Within 48 to
72 hours of one irradiation treatment, the patient was able to
swallow, see, and was mentally clear. She was discharged in
excellent condition in a total of 13 days.
UV blood irradiation resulted in the prompt healing of chronic
very long-term, non-healing wounds.
Miley went on to discuss an "ultraviolet ray metabolism," based
on the profound physiologic effects he noted, along with discoveries
that hemoglobin absorbs all wavelengths of ultraviolet rays, and
Gurwitsch's demonstration of "mitogenic rays, tiny emanations
given off by body tissues in different wavelengths, all in the
ultraviolet spectrum and varying in wavelength according to the
organ emitting the rays"' "
A summary of physiologic changes documented through the 1940s
included the following.1261 An inactivation of toxins and viruses,
destruction and inhibition of growth of bacteria, increase in
oxygen-combining power of the blood, activation of steroids,
increased cell permeability, absorption of ultraviolet rays by blood
and emanation of secondary irradiations (absorbed UV photons
re-emitted over time by the re-perfused blood), activation of
sterols into vitamin D, increase in red blood cells, and
normalization of white cell count.
In 1967, Robert Olney privately printed, short, undated pamphlet,
sent to me by a friend, and entitled Blocked Oxidation, in-which he
presented 5 cases of cancer, which were cured by a combination of
techniques, including ultraviolet blood irradiation. He theorized,
based on the work of previous researchers, that cancer was a result
of blocked oxidation within the cells. Utilizing detoxification
techniques, dietary changes, nutritional supplements, the Koch
catalyst, and ultraviolet blood irradiation, he reported the
reversal of generalized malignant melanoma, a breast cancer
penetrating the chest wall and lung, highly metastatic colon cancer,
thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer.
Modern research on ultraviolet treatment for cancer is
continuing. Edelson reported on a variation of the technique called
extracorporeal photophoresis.1271 In this particular technique, a
photosensitizing agent, 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), is given to
patients two hours before blood is withdrawn and separated into
cellular components. White blood cells were irradiated with UV-A and
returned to the patient. This therapy has proven highly successful
and actually has received FDA approval for its use in cutaneous
T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Gasparro explains the observed and presumed
biochemical events underlying the response in this condition. Such
response includes the induction of cytokines and interferons.
Recent German research reports significant improvement in
vascular conditions when using ultraviolet blood irradiation,
including peripheral arterial disease and Ravnaud's disease. One
study demonstrated a 124% increase in painless walking for patients
with Stage Ilb occlusive disease (Fontaine), as compared to 48%
improvement with pentoxifylline. UV blood irradiation was found
to improve claudication distances by 90% after a series of ten
treatments. The authors also reported an 8% drop in plasma
viscosity with the treated group, compared to no change with
Significant changes and improvements in physiologic, biochemical,
and blood Theological properties have been observed. A summary of
these effects, based on the works of Frick appear in Table
5.This article expanded on indications to all circulatory
diseases, including post-apoplexy, diabetes, venous ulcers, and
Frick reported an increase in prostacyclin and a reduction in
arteriosclerotic plaque. The biochemical effects are generated by
the activation of molecular oxygen to singlet oxygen by UV energy.
This active species initiates a cascade of molecular reactions,
resulting in the observed effects. Ultimately, this controlled
oxidation process leads to a rise in the principle antioxidant
enzyme systems of the body - catalase, superoxide dismutase, and
glutathione peroxidase. Contraindications included porphyria,
photosensitivity, coagulopathy (hemophilia), hyperthyroidism, and
fever of unknown origin, but not pregnancy-
The device utilized in these reports is the Oxysan EN 400
manufactured by the Eumatron Company.
In the 1800s, arguments raged between Pasteur and his rival,
Bechamp, over the true cause of infectious disease. Pasteur claimed
the cause was the organism alone, while Bechamp claimed the disease
rose from organisms already within the body, which had pleomorphic
capability (the ability to change). It is rumored that Pasteur, on
his deathbed, admitted that Bechamp was correct. Forgotten in the
debate was Bernard who argued it was the terrain or fertility of the
body which permitted disease or allowed bacterial infection to take
root. Perhaps UV blood irradiation can be explained best in the
general effect of the treatment on the physiology and terrain of the
body. For example, it is known that the phagocytic respiratory
burst, in response to infection, consumes up to 100 times the oxygen
that white cells require in the resting state. The improvement in
oxidation, rise in red blood cells, and increase in red cell 2,3
DGP[331 may provide a significant boost to the body.
BIOPHYSICAI, AND CHEMICAL EFFECTS
· Improvement of the electrophoretic movability of the red blood
· Elevation of the electrical charge on the red blood cell
· Lowering of the surface tension of the blood
· Origin of free radicals
· Elevation of the chemical illuminescence of blood
· Increase in erythrocytes
· Increase in hemoglobin
· Increase in basophilic granulocytes
· Lowering of thrombocytes
· Increase in white blood cells
· Increase in lymphocytes
· Lowering of fibrin
· Normalization of fibrinolysis
· Trend towards normalization of fibrin-split products
· Lowering of platelet aggregation
BLOOD PARAMETER CHANGES
· Lowering of full-blood viscosity
· Lowering of plasma viscosity
· Reduction of elevated red blood cell aggregation tendencies
METABOLIC CHANGES-IMPROVEMENT IN OXYGEN UTILIZATION
· Increase in arterial pO2
· Increase in venous pO2
· Increase in arterial venous oxygen difference (increased oxygen
· Increase in peroxide count
· Fall in oxidation state of blood (increase in reduction state)
· Increase in acid-buffering capacity and rise in blood pH
· Reduction in blood pyruvate content
· Reduction in blood lactate content
· Improvement in glucose tolerance
· Reduction in cholesterol count, transaminases, and creatine levels
· Elevation of poststenotic arterial pressure
· Increase in volume of circulation
IMPROVEMENT IN IMMUNE DEFENSES
· Increase in phagocytosis capability
· Increase in bacteriocidal capacity of blood
· Modulation of the immune status (Table 5)
Infection produces inflammation, edema, and a significant
lowering of oxygen tension and diffusion in the affected tissues,
which is critical to immune cell functions. Benefits of higher
oxygen tension can be seen in the accepted use of hyperbaric oxygen
therapy for osteomyelitis, where healthy circulation is already
slow. Deductive reasoning would suggest that any rise in oxygen
tension would help the body's immune defenses. Such can be seen in
anecdotal reports of hyperbaric oxygen therapy alone resolving
German research (Table 5) documents a rise in oxygen consumption
and oxidation within the body stimulation of mitochondrial oxidation
results in greater ATP production.
In effect, UV blood irradiation therapy may be providing an
inactivation of bacteria, a more resistant terrain, improved
circulation, alkalinization, etc. While perhaps not as dramatic a
treatment as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it may provide a similar and
longer-lasting effect through the secondary emanations of the
absorbed ultraviolet rays. Such emissions, which last for many
weeks, may account for the observed cumulative effectiveness of the
therapy. UV photons, absorbed by hemoglobin, are gradually released
over time, continuing the stimulation to the body's physiology.
For eons, nature has utilized the sun’s ultraviolet energy as a
cleansing agent for the earth. The lack of resistance of bacteria to
ultraviolet treatment is not surprising since if bacteria could
develop resistance, they have had approximately 3 billion years to
Only two discrepancies in accounts of this therapy could be found
between the older American and modem German literature. Venous
oxygen tension was reported by Miley to be increased, even up to one
month after treatment. Frick, on the other hand, reported a rise in
PaO2, and a fall in PVO2, suggesting greater oxygen delivery and
absorption in the tissues. A rise in 2,3 DGP can account for the
latter. Miley recommended the treatment for fevers of unknown
original yet Seng's article suggested that as a contraindication.
Perhaps the German author feels the infections should be clearly
diagnosed first, while Miley was so impressed with his results and
the safety of the treatment, he thought it was proper to treat any
presumed infection with the technique.
For years, there have been anecdotes and reports of another
oxidative therapy (ozone) helping a variety of chronic conditions
including, but not limited to, rheumatoid diseases, arterial and
circulatory disorders, osteoporosis pain, viruses, and immune
deficiencies. Some recent findings shed light on how this particular
oxidative therapy might help such a wide variety of conditions.
Bocci has determined that exposure of blood to ozone at
concentrations used by practitioners for years induces cytokines and
interferons.[35,36] In fact, he went on to call ozone "an almost
ideal cytokine inducer." He concluded that such immune system
modulation could explain the benefits of ozone reported for decades
on a very wide variety of conditions.
Mattman has detailed hundreds of reports linking cell wall
deficient bacteria to a wide span of disease states. Autoimmune
disease may not be autoimmune at all, but rather an immune attack a
hidden infection with native tissue being damaged by a prolonged or
dysfunctional immune response to these "stealth pathogens."
The broad spectrum of biologic effects of these nonspecific
oxidative therapies may explain the broad range of benefits. It is
quite possible that all of the oxidative therapies may operate
through similar mechanisms postulated by Bocci for ozone (namely the
generation of reactive oxygen species, which in turn induce some
very exceptional biochemical events).
Ultraviolet has clearly been shown to be a superior
anti-infective. It is possible that the secondary emanations
previously described could inactivate pathogens deep in tissues.
However, of possible greater import is its effect on the other
various physiologic factors affecting the terrain. The improvement
in oxygen delivery and consumption, rise in circulation, blood
elements, stimulation of mitochondrial oxidation and shift towards
alkalinity, while all nonspecific in themselves, may help hasten the
cellular response m very many disease states.
Personal experience with UV blood irradiation therapy has been
limited strictly to an outpatient practice. However, I have observed
significant and dramatic effects on pharyngitis, cellulitis, otitis
media, wounds, viral infections, and gastroenteritis, and chronic
fatigue. In several years of use, I have had only one patient who
suffered from apparent chronic fatigue and failed to respond to a
series of UV treatments; the patient had a significant psychological
factor. Several patients with multiple chemical sensitivities have
also experienced significant improvement. Chronic and intractable
pain has been reported by an anesthesiologist pain specialist to be
Modern medicine has focused on drugs to suppress symptoms or
inhibit certain physiology (NSAID drugs as prostaglandin inhibitors,
hypertensive drugs as enzymatic blockers) to treat disease. As a
result, we have seen the frightening rise of resistant organism and
the side-effects of chemical pharmacology. Perhaps medicine should
consider the concept of nonspecific modalities that encourage the
body's healing response and immune system. What could be a safer or
more effective agent against infection than the bacteriocidal
capabilities of our own phagocytes and a properly functioning immune
system? At least 20 American physicians are currently utilizing
photo-oxidation and have advised me of dramatic cures of intractable
infections, including osteomyelitis. Communications from these
physicians are verifying my findings in the use of this modality
with chronic fatigue. A German videotape related that several
hundred physicians are currently employing the technique in Germany
with hundreds of thousands of treatments having been performed
through the years and never any reported incidents of toxicity
(other than a mild Herxheimer reaction).
"Ultraviolet irradiation of blood has been approved by the FDA
for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Thus, the method is
legal within the context of FDA's definition of legality. It is also
legal, from the standpoint of long (over 50 years) and continuous
use by physicians in the United States as a commercially viable
product before the present FDA was even in existence."
T'he technique is taught at workshops and seminars sponsored by
the International Association of Oxidative Medicine telephone:
(405)634-1310. The American Board of Oxidative Medicine (a member of
the American Board of Specialities of Alternative Medicine)
certifies doctors in the various techniques of oxidative medicine,
This simple, inexpensive, and nonspecific technique was clearly
shown years ago to be a totally safe and extremely effective method
of treating and curing infections; promoting oxygenation;
vasodilatation; improving asthma; enhancing body physiology,
circulation, and treating a variety of specific diseases. Its use in
hospitals and offices could significantly reduce mortality,
morbidity, and human suffering. Much more research needs to be done
in determining all of the potential uses of ultraviolet blood
irradiation therapy and also its correlation with other oxidative
1. Laurens, Henry, The Physiologic Effects of Ultraviolet
Irradiation, JAMA, Vol. 11, No. 26, December 24,1938,
2. lbid, p. 2391.
3. Douglas, W.C. MD, Into The Light, Second Opinion Publishing,
Inc., 1993, pp. 18-19.
4. Ibid, P. 28.
5, Knott, Emmett, Development of Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation,
American Journal of Surgery, August, 1948, pp. 165-171.
6. Miley, George, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy, Archives of
Physical Therapy, September, 1942, pp. 537-538.
7. Miley, George, The Knott Technique of Ultraviolet Blood
Irradiation in Acute Pyogenic Infections, The New York State Journal
of Medicine, January 1, 1942, pp. 38-46.
8. Miley, George, Efficacy of Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy
and Control of Staphylococcemias, American Journal of Surgery, Vol.
64, No. 3, pp. 313-322.
9. Rebbeck and Miley, Review of Gastroenterology, January-February,
43., P. 11.
10. Miley and Christensen, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy:
Further Studies in Acute Infections, American Journal of Surgery,
Vol. 73, No. 4, April, 1947, pp. 486-493.
11. Rebbeck, E.W., Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood in the Treatment
Of Escherichia coli Septicemia, Archives of Physical Therapy,
12. Barrett, Henry, The Irradiation of Autotransfused Blood by
Ultraviolet Spectral Energy: Results of Therapy in 110 Cases,
Medical Clinics of North America, May, 1940, pp. 723-732.
13. Douglas, W.C. MD, Into The Light, Second Opinion Publishing,
Inc., 1993, pp. 97-98.
14. Miley, George, The Control of Acute Thrombophlebitis With
Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy, American Journal of Surgery,
June, 1943, pp. 354-360.
15. Miley, Seidel, and Christensen, Preliminary Report of Results
Observed in Eight Cases of Intractable Bronchial Asthma, Archives of
Physical Therapy, September, 1943, pp. 533-542.
16. Miley, Seidel, and Christensen, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation
Therapy of Apparently Intractable Bronchial Asthma, Archives of
Physical Medicine, January, 1946, pp. 24-29.
17. Miley and Christensen, Archives of Physical Therapy, November,
1944, pp. 651-656.
18. Olney, R.C., American Journal of Surgery, Vol. 90, September
1955, pages 402 - 409.
19. Rebbeck, E.W., Review of Gastroenterology, January-Februarv,
20. Rebbeck, E.W., Preoperative Hemo-Irradiatiotts, American Journal
of Surgery, August, 1943, pp.259-265.
21. Miley, George, The Ultraviolet Irradiation of Autotransfused
Human Blood, Studies in Oxygen Absorption Values, Proceedings of the
Physiological Society of Philadelphia, Session of April 17, 1939.
22. Miley and Christensen, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy in
Acute Virus and Virus-Like Infections, The Review of
Gastroenterology, Vol. 25, No. 4, April, 1948, pp. 271-276.
23. Miley, George, Recovery From Botulism Coma Following Ultraviolet
Blood Irradiation, The Review of Gastroenterology, Vol. 13, No. 1,
January-February, 1946. pp. 17-18.
24. Miley, George, Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy (Knott
Technique) in Non-Healing Wounds, American Journal of Surgery, Vol.
65, No. 3, September, 1944, pp. 368-372.
25. Gurwitsch, A.: In Rahn, Otto, Invisible Radiations of Organisms,
Protoplasma - Monographien, Berlin, Vorntraeger, 1936, Vol. 9.
26. Douglas, W.C MD., Into The Light, Second Publishing, Inc., 1993,
27. Edelson, Richard, Scienlific American, August 1988, pages 1-8.
28. Gasparro, F.P., Mechanistic Events Underlying the Response oi
CTCL Patients to Photophoresis. In: Extracorporeal Photochemotherapy:
Clinical Aspects in the Molecular Basis for Efficacy, Austin, Texas,
RG Landes Company, 1994; 101-20.
29. Pohlmann, et al, Wirksamkeit Von Pentoxifyllin und der
Hamatogenen Oxydationstherapie, Natur-und GanzheitsMedizin, 1992;
30. Paulitschke, Turowski, and Lerche, Ergebnisse der Berliner HOT/UVB
- Bergleichstudie bei Patienten mit peripheren arterielien
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31. Frick, G., A Linke: Die Ultraviolet bestrahlung des Blutes, ihre
Entwicklung und derzeitiger Stand., Zschr-arztl., Forth. 80, 1986.
32. Seng, G., Hematogenic Oxydationstherapie, Therapeuticon Six,
June, 1988, pp. 370-373.
33. Krimmel, Hematogena Oxidationstherapie - Eine Mogliclikeit bei
der konbinierten Tu?ttortiterapie, Arztezeitschr. f. Maturheilverf.,
November, 1989, 30., Jarhg.
34. Miley, George, The Present Status of Ultraviolet Blood
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25., No. 6., June,1944,p.361.
35. Bocci, Vielio, Studies on the Biological Effects of Ozone, 1.
Induction of Interferon Gamma on Human Leukocytes, Haematologica,
1990,75:510-5. Viral Diseases
36. Bocci, Vielio, Ozonization of Blood for the Therapy Of and
Immunodeficiencies: A Hypothesis, Medical Hypothesis, 1992, Vol.,
39, pp. 30-34.
37. Douglas, William C. MD, Into the Light, p. 257.
38. Mattman, Lida, Cell Wall Deficient Forms - Stealth Pathogens,
CRC Press, 1993.
39. Weg, Stuart, MD Private Communication, January, 1996.