As the pandemic continues, I can’t help but think about a Nobel Prize-winning remedy that’s more than 100 years old and was touted as a cure in the American Journal of Surgery for everything from polio and tuberculosis to asthma, arthritis, and more.

When antibiotics came into widespread use in the 1940s, several successful healing modalities became obsolete in favor of the new “magic pill.” This doesn’t mean they weren’t effective – it just means they weren’t as new, exciting, and easy. In recent years, the increase in superbugs, pandemics, and chronic illnesses has sent us looking back into history for these lost and forgotten healing methods that have indeed withstood the test of time. Today, we’re looking at the tried and true use of ultraviolet light for healing and disinfecting.

Letting the Light In – Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI)

Ultraviolet light was first studied for its healing properties in 1801, and in 1845 they discovered sunlight could be used to heal tuberculosis arthritis, a bacterial joint infection. In fact, the 1903 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Niels Finsen for the use of UV light to fight tuberculosis. The practice of using sunlight was refined into using UV light on the skin, and later was transformed into the practice of UV blood irradiation, known as UBI or UVBI – which is still in use today.

UBI was hailed as a miracle therapy in the 1940s and 1950s for its ability to treat serious infections, including sepsis, polio, typhoid, tuberculosis, osteoarthritis, chronic eye infections, skin infections, sinus infections, E. coli septicemia, viral hepatitis, anemia, and more. Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of UBI to modulate the immune system and cleanse the blood. Just one UBI treatment can reverse cytokine production, stimulate white blood cell production, modulate immune helper cells, and stabilize red blood cell membranes. Basically, UBI stimulates, stabilizes, and corrects the functioning of the immune system all at once. Amazing what a little bit of UV light can do!

Though the techniques have evolved, UBI is still used today in innovative cancer clinics and integrative health care centers worldwide. UBI today consists of inserting an IV and drawing blood into a syringe with anticoagulant, passing it through a UV light chamber, and infusing it back into the patient. Within 24 hours, most patients feel some sort of immune response, from a flu-like feeling to a low-grade fever, but it passes quickly. Patients typically report improvement after the first treatment, but most conditions require multiple treatments for optimal effectiveness.

I recommend UBI therapy for people experiencing a painful case of shingles, an autoimmune flare, or any viral or bacterial infection that hasn’t cleared using conventional means or nutritional supplementation. Find a practitioner near you through the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) website.

Shedding Some Light on Problem Surfaces – Phone Soap

Ultraviolet light is also an effective environmental disinfectant, used for more than 40 years in hospitals, laboratories, commercial settings, municipal water facilities, pharmaceutical and food production, and more recently in home air purification systems. Every virus or bacteria that has been tested to date has been found to be susceptible to UV disinfection at appropriate doses.

In 2009, two innovative young men, Wes LaPorte and Dan Barnes, read about the presence of fecal bacteria on a shocking percentage of cell phones and became concerned. Wes had access to a lab, so they swabbed their phones and were able to confirm that what they read was indeed true. Your phone’s warm battery provides the perfect conditions to be a breeding ground for all sorts of pathogens.

They put their heads together and developed a handheld UV sanitizer that could be used to clean cell phones, known as Phone Soap. They were launched by the popular show Shark Tank, and since 2016, they have sold more than one million products.

Phone Soap products have been laboratory tested against common household bacteria and viruses and proven to be effective during the 10-minute UV-C germicidal light cycle. Anything that fits inside the Phone Soap case, from phones to keys – and even the headphones glued to your teenager’s ears – can be disinfected. The UV-C light is intensely bright, but does not heat up so your phone and other belongings won’t be damaged.

Can We Get the Same Benefits From Sun Exposure?

Sun exposure gets a bad wrap these days, but thanks to the pandemic we’re being reminded of its disinfectant capabilities. Ancient cultures worshipped the sun for its healing properties, and UV therapies initially concentrated the sun’s rays onto the skin for healing of rashes and other skin issues. So what has happened that we now fear too much sun exposure and even skin cancer from its rays?

As the First Lady of Nutrition, I’ve found that the answer lies in deficiency of one crucial nutrient – Omega 3 fats. When we measure the amount of UV rays it takes to produce a sunburn on the skin, people who are deficient in Omega 3 fats can tolerate half the sun exposure of people who have healthy levels. Studies have been done that show Omega 3 fats in the form of fish oil supplementation not only increase sun tolerance, but also appear to be protective against sun-induced skin cancers.

And here’s another forgotten healing protocol you might find interesting. Johanna Budwig was a German physicist in the 1950s who found that a combination of electron dense, Omega 3 rich flax oil in proper proportions with a fermented raw dairy product could oxygenate millions of cells in cancer patients. She further went on to discover that if the patient was exposed to unfiltered sunlight within 20 minutes of ingesting this combination, the effect was multiplied to oxygenate billions of cells!

When we look at what’s going on at the biochemical level, what we see is that not only are cells being oxygenated, but fewer prostaglandins are being produced and we have less inflammatory response to UV light when we have optimal Omega 3 intake. This is important whether your exposure is from the sun or from UV light therapies. And this may very well explain why the sun lost its healing reputation in our current Omega 3 deficient culture.

I recommend UNI KEY Health’s Super EPA to maximize the healing potential of UV light exposure. This molecularly distilled fish oil is the cleanest and most effective I’ve found and the only one I trust. Even with optimal Omega 3 levels – which you can confirm via blood testing – I recommend only enough sun exposure daily to give the skin a pink hue, or 20 minutes at the peak of the day.

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

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3 Comments

  1. Mari

    I’ve heard of this UV treatment but did not know all of its benefits. So interesting to know about the Budwig treatment enhancing the effects. I do take Super EPA everyday. Now I have another reason to take it.

    Reply
  2. Arlene

    Interesting information. I’ve never heard of UV light therapy.

    Reply
  3. Eleanor

    Truly amazing! I’m going to start by getting more sun. Thank you

    Reply

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