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Ozokerite (Greek оzо – smell + keros wax – odoriferous or mineral wax) is a mineral from the group of oil bitumen. Ozokerite mainly consists of a mixture of solid hydrocarbons from the paraffin series with a touch of liquid hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon gases of the same series. Its chemical composition is 84-86% of carbon and 13.5-15% of hydrogen. Ozokerite samples from different deposits differ in their chemical composition. Ozokerite consists of 40-60% of ceresin, 1-7% of paraffin, up to 12% of petroleum resins, 1-3% of asphaltens, from 25 to 45% of mineral oils, and up to 5% of mechanical admixtures and up to 3% of water. It may be stated that ozokerite contains bioactive substances.

During ozokeritotherapy systemic action of ozokerite is defined by the thermal, mechanical and chemical factors.

The use of ozokerite causes an increase of peripheral blood flow, production of bioactive substances, activation of metabolic processes in heated tissues. Ozokerite stimulates nonspecific immunity factor, alters the functional status of connective tissue elements of skin, and normalizes the influence on functions of various body systems thanks to reflex mechanisms. It provides for various therapeutic effects of ozokeritotherapy.

Due to thermal, mechanical and chemical action of ozokerite ozokeritotherapy affects the autonomic nervous system, metabolism, tissual blood flow and lymph efflux, functioning of inward organs, including organs of internal secretion. It has been established that ozokeritotherapy has a resolving, anti-inflammatory, analgetic, vasorelaxant, desensitizing and antispasmogenic effect, boosts regenerative processes. It is widely accepted that ozokeritotherapy is a bit better than paraffin therapy in terms of therapeutic effectiveness.

The main indications for ozokeritotherapy are chronic inflammatory diseases of superficial tissues and internal organs, consequences of diseases and traumas of the musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous system, diseases of female and male reproductive organs, skin diseases, ear, nose and throat diseases, abdominal adhesions, peripheral vascular diseases in the initial stages, infantile cerebral paralysis, poliomyelitis and its consequences, gastric and duodenal ulcer.

Ozokeritotherapy has the following counterindications: acute and purulent inflammatory processes of various localization, pronounced general atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, effort angina of the III functional class, circulatory deficiency of stage II, hepatic cirrhosis, malignant and benign tumors, thyrotoxicosis of stage II and stage III, chronic glomerulonephritis and nephrosis, pregnancy and lactation period, hemorrhagic tendency, feverish state.