New Age cure under fire

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 July, 1996, 12:00am


Medical experts have squared off against New Age health followers over a simple household disinfectant which has sparked a storm of controversy.

While some tout hydrogen peroxide as a health potion, or even a cure for AIDS and cancer, consumption of the chemical has been linked to bad health and death.

In the United States, a woman in Louisville was awarded nearly US$261,000 (HK$2 million) after she claimed a doctor poisoned her with intravenous injections of hydrogen peroxide.

The doctor failed to tell her the treatment for her bronchitis was experimental, and she suffered headaches, fatigue and a pervasive burning sensation.

An Australian AIDS patient in 1993 died of a brain tumour at a clinic in the Philippines which claimed to cure the disease through ozone therapy - pumping hydrogen peroxide into patients through rectal tubes.

Information about hydrogen peroxide, its claims and use, are available on the Internet.

Users can access the Oxygen and Ozone Therapies Area.

Files on the therapy claim AIDS patients reversed death sentences, and give a detailed description of how to self-administer the chemical. There are also claims that medical experts are dismissing hydrogen peroxide out of ignorance.

Diluting the chemical in water and drinking it forms a part of Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy - used by New Age health advocates as a process of boosting the body's natural intake of oxygen.

Health centres in the territory, such as the Optimum Health Centre in Causeway Bay, offer information on the treatment.