History of UVBI with Polychromatic Light Therapy
History of UVBI
UV light was first discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter in 1801. Late in the 1800s, physicians began to explore the connection between sunlight and health. Just over one hundred years after the Ritter’s discovery, in 1903, Niels Ryberg Finsen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Physiology of Medicine for his work with UV light and disease. He treated some 300 people suffering from a disfiguring skin disease called lupus vulgaris. His work was based upon previous research showing that light could kill bacteria.
The first use of Photoluminescence Therapy (also called Biophotonic Therapy), which we now call Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UVBI), was in 1922 by Kurt Naswitis. Naswitis irradiated the blood directly through a shunt. Attempting to irradiate the blood outside the body using a system that would circulate the patient’s blood through an irradiation chamber and then back to the patient, Emmet Knott developed the prototype machinery in use today. He received his patent on September 11, 1928. In that same year, Knott irradiated blood from the first human subject; a case of bacterial sepsis. The patient recovered within 24 hours of the treatment. By the summer of 1942, over 6,500 patients had been treated with Photoluminescence Therapy with a greater than 95% success rate, and no harmful side effects. In the forties, Knott made changes in his machinery and the FDA grandfathered in his device.
A complete disappearance of viral pneumonia symptoms in 24 to 76 hours following a single treatment was reported in 1943; a disappearance of coughing in 3 – 7 days; and clear lung X-Rays in 24 to 96 hours. In a paper presented by Dr. Virgil Hancock, et al., about this time, the following reactions were reported to occur after Photoluminescence Therapy is administered:
- Inactivation of toxins
- Destruction and inhibition of growth of bacteria
- Increase in the oxygen combining power of the blood and oxygen transportation to organs
- Immuno-stimulation of cellular and humoral (relating to bodily fluids) immunity (humoral immunity was a catchall phrase in a time before the complexities of the human immune system were understood)
- Activation of steroid hormones
- Vasodilatation and improved microcirculation
- Activation of white blood cells
- Decreased platelet aggregation
- Stimulation of fibrinolysis (the breakdown of blood clots)
- Decreased viscosity of blood
- Stimulation of corticosteroid production
In over 50 years of testing, physicians performed over 300,000 clinical tests proving the validity of photoluminescence therapy and its curative potential. Most important: not one patient was lost in all these studies.
Medical historians tell us that the advent of antibiotics put an end to interest in UVBI, which was still in use and being studied. Even though UVBI was successful against viruses that antibiotics can’t touch, UVBI was no longer taught in medical schools; hospitals no longer used it; and only a few holdouts still practiced it. Research out of Russia and Europe was ignored.
Only a few individuals practiced UVBI through the fifties, sixties, and onward. In the 1970’s, Yale University developed a low wattage UV light to trigger chemotherapeutic agents (photoluminescence) which led to the FDA approving an Extracorporeal Photopheresis Blood Irradiator used at Yale. The FDA approval allowed clinical trials on people with HIV and Graft-Versus-Host disease. The trials were extremely successful for HIV/AIDS related Complex, as over half the patients remained HIV negative for 14 to 16 months after the termination of the study. The drawback? Each treatment was expensive and lasted four to five hours.
Other Modalities that utilize UVB
include devices that do not require an intravenous route. The basis for these devices is to access blood vessels very close to the surface of the body. Unlike your skin, the mucus membranes of the mouth do not absorb UV rays, which explains why the blood vessels under your tongue are a preferred site for exposing your blood to UV energy. In addition to the big advantage of this route being non-invasive (no needles or venipuncture), there are no special quartz cuvettes, no special training required, it is portable and could be used at home, and the treatment costs less.
“Into the Light”
by William Campbell Douglass, M.D. It contains an extensive review of the scientific literature. The Europeans have concentrated primarily on its use in cardio-vascular disease, while the American literature concentrates more on infectious diseases. Douglass recommends Photoluminescence Therapy for: