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We know that carbon dioxide is a gas that is important for life.
Mostly, we think of carbon dioxide as something that is necessary for plants.
In fact, it’s very beneficial for them.
In greenhouses that have more carbon dioxide than the normal environment, plants grow bigger, quicker, and are much healthier.
For humans and animals, however, we mostly think of carbon dioxide as a waste product.
We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
As usual, the truth is more complicated.
So, what is carbon dioxide used for?
Carbon dioxide has several important roles in the body.
One of the effects of carbon dioxide is vasodilation, which is a process that keeps veins and arteries open big and wide.
This dilation allows for improved blood flow through the body.
Obviously, good blood flow is good for the body!
Carbon dioxide isn’t the only gas that can do this.
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Nitric oxide has a similar function, and traditionally it’s promoted more widely.
Many people know that doctors prescribe nitroglycerin pills to patients with heart problems.
The nitroglycerin allows the body to make more nitric oxide, which then improves blood flow.
Because of this improved blood flow, plenty of people try to capitalize on it for other uses.
There are lots of workout supplements in recent years that also aim to increase nitric oxide.
They use the amino acid arginine, which the body uses to make nitric oxide.
The same principle is also how erectile dysfunction drugs function.
Drugs like Viagra increase the amount of nitric oxide in the body, causing its famous effect.
But nitric oxide also has a dark side.
It is a very toxic gas.
If you are in an enclosed area that has lots of nitric oxide, you’ll suffer serious consequences.
Your lungs become irritated, and your skin might even start burning.
So while it can have some benefits within the body, you do not want to have high levels of nitric oxide in your body.
Luckily, carbon dioxide can increase blood flow like nitric oxide — and without the harmful effects.
In fact, new procedures are even being developed to deliver carbon dioxide to parts of the body.
One is called “transcutaneous carbon dioxide.”
Basically, they inject tiny amounts of the gas just under the skin.
It does seem to have some benefits, but it is painful and leaves a bunch of tiny wounds in the treated area.
But the healing uses of carbon dioxide are important, so they keep trying.
However, there is a much simpler and easier method, and it patients can do it at home.
This study used this simpler procedure.
In this study, researchers took patients with chronic wounds and treated them with carbon dioxide.
The researchers looked at 86 patients with long-term, chronic wounds.
Since carbon dioxide increases blood flow, it should help wounds heal.
The idea of the study was to find out if it’s possible to deliver carbon dioxide through the skin.
They wanted to know if the skin can absorb it.
And they found out exactly that in this study.
The best part was that delivering the carbon dioxide didn’t require any needles.
It was a completely non-invasive treatment!
In other words, for a wound on a patient’s foot, doctors put carbon dioxide (mixed in water) on the affected foot.
And the carbon dioxide it absorbed through the skin!
Within one week, there was a dramatic improvement in all subjects and without side effects.
The best part was that the treatment improved both chronic and acute wounds within one week.
So they received all the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide without painful needles or side effects.
Only nine patients needed any additional antibiotics, and they all had diabetes.
All patients tolerated the treatment well, with no adverse effects noted.
So, how could you apply these results at home?
Surprisingly, it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to try.
You can use a CO2 canister and fill up a zippered plastic bag with the gas.
Then place it over your hand or foot.
Or try putting some dry ice into water.
Then you place your hand or foot near the vapor (not IN the water).
You could even try mixing some baking soda and vinegar together and soaking your wound in it.
This combination also gives off carbon dioxide.
Now, please be extra careful when working with any pressurized gas.
And also be cautious handling dry ice.
Both pressurized gas and dry ice can be very dangerous if you’re not careful.
And, if you have a serious wound or injury, always consult with your doctor.