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Carbon Dioxide Inhalation Therapy

Published on October 25, 2023

Carbogen, also called Meduna’s Mixture after its inventor, Ladislas Meduna, is a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen gas. A carbogen mixture of 95% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide can be used as part of the early treatment of central retinal artery occlusion. On this same premise, it has also been proposed to manage sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which can increase the blood flow to the inner ear and possibly relieve the internal auditory artery spasm.

Carbogen breathing can be applied for several hours while administering certain anti-cancer medications or surgery. The logic is simple: increased CO2 will help dilate blood vessels (due to vasodilatory properties of CO2) and release more oxygen in tissues and tumors (due to enhanced Bohr effect), while increased O2 will improve arterial blood oxygenation. The basic premise of using bicarbonates is to increase CO2/bicarbonates in the blood, which significantly enhances tumors’ oxygenation. The advantage of oral administration of sodium bicarbonate is that it can be done inexpensively at home.

For oxygen to be delivered to your
cells you need adequate levels of CO2.

Carbogen Cancer Research

The carbogen used in oncology is a mixture of 95% O2 and 5% CO2 and is inhaled as a therapeutic adjunct; based on the premise that tumors thrive in hypoxic conditions, increasing tumor oxygenation during radiotherapy or chemotherapy should increase tumor susceptibility to the therapy. However, it is considered investigational and is not reimbursed by BlueCross and BlueShield.

A large group of British scientists from the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre revealed that when 14 cancer patients breathed various carbogen mixtures (with 2%, 3.5%, and 5% CO2 content, the rest was O2), “arterial oxygen tension increased at least three-fold from basal values.” A 10-30% intensity increase was observed during 5% CO2/95% air-breathing, consistent with increased tumor blood flow due to CO2-induced vasodilation. A small 5-10% increase was observed in response to 100% oxygen, highlighting the dominance of CO2-induced vasodilation in the carbogen response.” (Baddeley et al., 2000)

Another group of British researchers directly measured oxygen pressure in cancer cells and concluded, “This study confirms that breathing 2% CO2 and 98% O2 is well tolerated and effective in increasing tumor oxygenation.”[i] (Powell et al., 1999)

Hypoxia has been associated with poor local tumor control and relapse in many cancer sites, including prostate carcinoma. This translational study tests whether breathing carbogen gas improves the oxygenation of human prostate carcinoma xenografts in mice and human patients with prostate cancer. Considering the poor results of radiotherapy alone in advanced head and neck cancer, these results suggest that carbogen breathing may be a valid alternative for patients with severe co-morbidities unfit for concurrent chemotherapy.

At least 200 tumor measurements in each of the 17 patients with accessible tumors were taken before and subsequently continuously after the commencement of carbogen breathing for periods of 10 to 30 min. In 12 out of 17 patients studied, there was a significant increase in median tumor p02 during the first 10 min of carbogen breathing (range 9 to 1800%). For the systemic treatment of colorectal cancer, 5-fluorouracil (FU)–based chemotherapy is the standard. However, only a subset of patients respond to chemotherapy. Breathing of carbogen (95% O2 and 5% CO2) may increase the uptake of chemoagents through changes in tumor physiology.

Increased systemic concentrations of pH buffers lead to reduced intra-tumoral and peritumoral acidosis and, as a result, inhibit malignant growth. In addition, increased sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) serum concentrations can be achieved via oral intake. Reducing tumor acid concentrations reduces tumor growth and invasion without altering blood or normal tissues’ pH.

The abandonment of Carbogen is especially unfortunate considering that modern research has demonstrated that inhaling small concentrations of CO2 increases microvascular perfusion via a mechanism that involves nitric oxide.

This explains why inhaling CO2 reduces blood viscosity and enhances cardiac output, cardiac efficiency, tissue perfusion, tissue oxygenation, and respiratory drive. CO2 also offsets the respiratory depression of opioids. If all this were adequately understood, Carbogen therapy would be restored as a valid, effective, inexpensive, and convenient treatment for acute myocardial infarction, stroke, and preoperative problems.

Its use with nicotinamide is also being investigated in conjunction with radiation therapy to treat certain cancers. Because increased tumor oxygenation improves the cell-killing effects of radiation, it is thought that inhaling carbon dioxide during radiation therapy could increase its effectiveness. Nicotinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B3 or niacin. It is made in the body by eating niacin-rich foods such as fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, eggs, and cereal grains.

CO2 Medicine Comes to Home Medicine

CO2 Medicine’s time has come, and it will supplant most direct oxygen therapies because CO2 controls oxygen. No treatment on earth is as effective as saturating the body with pure CO2 gas. And now, a broad range of devices have been developed that allow us to pump carbon dioxide directly and efficiently into the body in the safety of our own homes.

We have inhalers in America and Europe, but they are just coming off the production line. So you may have to wait to get one. In the Americas, you can order here and from Sweden here. They will cost 700 dollars, and one has to purchase a food-grade CO2 cylinder of at least 6 kilo size.

The Carbohaler allows you to increase the level of CO2 breathed, which allows more oxygen to be used by your cells for aerobic respiration, producing more CO2 on a cellular level. Supplemental CO2 increases your body’s production of CO2 like exercise does. Exercise is healthy because you create a lot of CO2 and thus get and use a vast amount of oxygen.

The Carbohaler allows you to create your personalized carbogen mixture. The Carbohaler will enable you to select the desired level of carbon dioxide mixed into your breathed air. You can choose anywhere from room CO2 levels up to 7%.

For oxygen to be delivered to your cells, you need adequate levels of CO2. The Bohr Effect states that oxygen’s binding capacity to hemoglobin is inversely related to carbon dioxide levels.

This means that oxygen can not be delivered to the tissues without an adequate supply of carbon dioxide. So you could have 99 to 100% oxygen saturation of the red blood cells, but without sufficient amounts of CO2, much of that oxygen will not be delivered to the cells, and those areas will become hypoxic, meaning insufficient oxygen to support the oxidative metabolism.

What You May Experience

While breathing higher levels of CO2, it stimulates respiration. So you may breathe faster and pant, almost like you just finished a sprint. As your body adapts, you can breathe higher levels of CO2 without panting or breathing fast. Generally, it is a pleasant experience and feels like your interior is being massaged. As described below, there may often be some pleasant psychological material and the awakening of certain subconscious aspects. You should never exceed 10% as it could result in unconsciousness. The maximum setting for the CO2 inhalers is 7%.

Carbogen users are said to have discovered unconscious contents of their minds, with the experience clearing away repressed material and freeing the subject from pain. One subject reported: “After the second breath came an onrush of color, first a predominant sheet of beautiful rosy-red, following which came successive sheets of brilliant color and design, some geometric, some fanciful and graceful …. Then the colors separated; my soul drawing apart from the physical being, was drawn upward seemingly to leave the earth and to go upward where it reached a greater Spirit with Whom there was a communion, producing a remarkable, new relaxation and deep security.”

From Carbogen History

Catatonia is a complex neuropsychiatric behavioral syndrome characterized by abnormal movements, immobility, abnormal behaviors, and withdrawal. The onset of catatonia can be acute or subtle, and symptoms can wax, wane, or change during episodes. Over a century ago, Dr. A.S. Lovenhart made extraordinary observations. He found that inhalation of carbon dioxide in cases of catatonia induced a temporary restoration of intelligence and mental responsiveness. The simplest explanation of the results in these cases is a chronic contraction of blood vessels in the brain was reversed. If this view is correct, the beneficial effects of the inhalation of CO2 are due to improved brain circulation under the influence of carbon dioxide upon the finer blood vessels.

In 1920, Henderson, Haggard, and Coburn carried their observations to the clinic and found that when inhalations of carbon dioxide (8%) in the air were administered to patients after primary surgical operations under open ether anesthesia, the effects were strikingly beneficial. With the return of deep breathing, cyanosis, then common after anesthesia, disappeared. The cutaneous circulation improved. The skin changed color and temperature from blue-gray and cold to pink and warm.

The pulse volume, previously thready, rapidly became full, and arterial pressure was restored to normal. Owing to the increased breathing volume, the anesthetic (ether) was quickly ventilated out of the blood, and consciousness returned within a few minutes, even after profound anesthesia. Nausea and vomiting were either significantly reduced or absent, and after the inhalation, the patient dropped off to sleep.

In continuation of these observations, White found that when slow hemorrhage occurs after operations on the brain, the rate of breathing gradually decreases until death is imminent. In several such cases, life was saved by stimulation of respiration with inhalation of carbon dioxide.

I’m not sure who uttered these words a century ago. “The use of this inhalation has now become general in connection with anesthesia. Nearly every American anesthetic apparatus now has an attachment for a carbon dioxide cylinder or a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen. This means that any failure to breathe on the operating table can be counteracted. At the operation’s close, carbon dioxide inhalation is given to stimulate respiration and induce rapid elimination of a large part of the anesthetic. By this inhalation, vigorous heart action and the tonus of the peripheral circulation are also restored.”

Helping Reverse Atherosclerosis with Carbogen

Advanced human plaques are hypoxic. Medical scientists have tested the hypothesis that reversing hypoxia in atherosclerotic plaques by breathing hyperoxic carbogen gas will prevent and possibly help reverse atherosclerosis. In many pathophysiological conditions, reduced oxygen tension (hypoxia) is a known stimulus of inflammation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Because the same processes drive the progression of atherosclerosis, they investigated whether hypoxia was present in atherosclerosis. They found that Carbogen restored plaque oxygenation and prevented necrotic core expansion (a significant feature responsible for plaque disruption. After decades of sluggish progression, such plaques may suddenly cause life-threatening coronary thrombosis, presenting as an acute coronary syndrome. Most often, the culprit morphology is plaque rupture with exposure likely due to accelerated macrophage apoptosis and defective phagocytic clearance efferocytosis.

Carbogen enhances efferocytosis. Thus, plaque hypoxia is causally related to necrotic core expansion. In cell biology, efferocytosis is the process by which phagocytic cells remove apoptotic cells. It can be regarded as the ‘burying of dead cells’. During efferocytosis, the cell membrane of phagocytic cells engulfs the apoptotic cell, forming a sizeable fluid-filled vesicle containing the dead cell. This ingested cyst is called an efferosome. Coronary atherosclerosis is the most frequent cause of ischemic heart disease, and plaque disruption with superimposed thrombosis is the leading cause of acute coronary syndromes of unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden death.

Intravenous Laser Blood Irradiation (ILBI) at 630–640 nm also prevents vascular diseases and increases life expectancy.


CO2 technology will probably be marketed for beauty, sports, anti-aging, and health for practical legal reasons. However, doctors need to know what they can do for their patients with CO2 delivery systems. Surgeons use CO2 gas for laparoscopic surgery. They use it in the abdominal cavity to make up space (called pneumoperitoneum) and, in some cases, to insufflate the colon for colonoscopy.

Another new way to administer CO2 is with a dry body suit. For more on what to expect using carbon dioxide as a medicine, see some testimonies from people who have used the CO2 body suit. Cancer patients should pay particular attention and utilize bicarbonates and slow breathing training, which is all part of CO2 medicine.

[i] Gas exchange parameters in radiotherapy patients during breathing of 2%, 3.5%, and 5% carbogen gas mixtures. November 2000 British Journal of Radiology 73(874):1100-4

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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