DMSO for Arthritis

“If joint and/or muscle pain is interfering with your quality of life, I suggest you give dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) a try.” - Dr. Julian Whitaker

DMSO can be helpful for a number of different ailments, but it's especially beneficial to those that suffer from arthritis. It can also be infused with a number of different oils to provide several benefits depending on your needs. These are just a few of the many ways DMSO can be used in everyday life:

How DMSO Works

When applied topically, DMSO is quickly absorbed into the deeper tissues. When mixed with other substances, DMSO can also enhance the absorption of that substance. In addition to being a spectacular carrier, it also has anti-inflammatory characteristics that can help relieve joint and muscle pain.

Studies have indicated that DMSO’s capacity of a free-radical scavenger plays an important role in its effects on arthritis. The Committee of Clinical Drug Trials of the Japanese Rheumatism Association conducted a trial with 318 patients and concluded that DMSO both relieved joint pain and increased range of motion and grip strength.

DMSO is still used widely around the world for various types of arthritis.

The Start of DMSO

Since aspirin, DMSO was the first anti-inflammatory substance that is not a steroid to be discovered. Terry Bristol, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of London and president of the Institute for Science, Engineering, Public Policy in Portland, Oregon, who assisted Dr. Jacob with his research in the 1960s and 1970s believes that it was this discovery that caused pharmaceutical companies to try to develop other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

“Pharmaceutical companies were saying that if DMSO can do this, so can other compounds. The shame is that DMSO is less toxic and has less in the way of side effects than any of them.” - Terry Bristol

Dr. Stanley Jacob, also known as “The Father of DMSO” was head of the organ transplant program at the Oregon Health Sciences University when he began investigating the potential of using DMSO as a preservative for organs. He discovered that DMSO penetrated the skin quickly and deeply without damaging it.

Stephen Edelson, MD, F.A.A.F.P., F.A.A.E.M., who practices medicine at the Environmental and Preventive Health Center of Atlanta, has used DMSO extensively for 4 years. "We use it intravenously as well as locally. We use it for all sorts of inflammatory conditions, from people with rheumatoid arthritis to people with chronic low back inflammatory-type symptoms, silicone immune toxicity syndromes, any kind of autoimmune process.

"DMSO is not a cure," he continues. "It is a symptomatic approach used while you try to figure out why the individual has the process going on. When patients come in with rheumatoid arthritis, we put them on IV DMSO, maybe three times a week, while we are evaluating the causes of the disease, and it is amazing how they get. It really is a dramatic treatment."


The length of time one needs to use DMSO to relieve pain varies. How often and how long you will need to use DMSO depends on if your problem is acute (sudden onset like a broken bone, an asthma attack, or a sprained ankle) or chronic (long developing like osteoporosis or asthma).
*More on this on our blog post here*

Although DMSO can relieve both acute and chronic arthritis pain, DMSO is known to work best in acute forms. DMSO is used to try to help treat arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties because it reduces autoimmune antibodies, and it prevents radicals from destroying lubricating fluid in the joints.

DMSO is also rich in sulfur, which plays a role in the formation of muscle, skin, hair, and nails as well as cartilage which is made up of collagen. Studies have shown that degenerative arthritis can cause less than normal levels of sulfur in cartilage.

How Long Does It Take for DMSO to Work?

People have been known to use DMSO for acute conditions by applying it every two hours for 6-8 hours immediately after an injury, and then applying DMSO every 4-6 hours for the next five days or more. Most report that most benefit from DMSO occurs in the first three weeks.

As for chronic conditions, DMSO has been known to take longer to take effect. Some notice some pain relief right away, although it may take 6-8 weeks or, some have reported, even six months to a year for the maximum benefit to be achieved, depending on the person and what they are using DMSO for.

Royal Warrior Cream Review
Try Frankincense essential oil-infused DMSO cream for Arthritis Pain


Why Is DMSO Not More Popular?

So why, if DMSO possesses so many capabilities, is it still on the sidelines of medicine today in the United States?

Some say it is partially due to the difficulty of testing DMSO in double-blind experiments. In order for a blind study to work, both doctors and patients must not know which patients are taking the placebo, and which patients are taking the drug. Because DMSO has a particular garlic-like taste and smell, it gives it away and no satisfactory placebo could be created that would mimic this effect.

"It's a square peg being pushed into a round hole," says Dr. Jacob. "It doesn't follow the rifle approach of one agent against one disease entity. It's the aspirin of our era. If aspirin were to come along today, it would have the same problem. If someone gave you a little white pill and said take this and your headache will go away, your body temperature will go down, it will help prevent strokes and major heart problems--what would you think?"

Others, such as Terry Bristol, believe that drug companies may have been put off by the smell of DMSO and may have also feared it would make it hard to market.

Worse, however, for the pharmaceutical companies was the fact that no company could acquire an exclusive patent for DMSO, which is a major consideration when the clinical testing required to win FDA approval for a drug routinely runs into millions of dollars. In addition, says Mr. Bristol, DMSO, with its wide range of attributes, would compete with many drugs these companies already have on the market or in development.

Dr. Jacob remained convinced that DMSO can play a significant role in arthritis pain relief. “You talk to veterinarians associated with any race track, and you’ll find there’s hardly an animal there that hasn’t been treated with DMSO. No veterinarian is going to give his patient something that does not work. There is no placebo effect on a horse.”

Frankincense for Arthritis

Frankincense has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years for a wide variety of ailments, including chronic pain and inflammation.

Frankincense is known for its antiseptic, regenerative, and anti-inflammatory properties and according to the Arthritis Foundation, it may also help to reduce autoimmune responses and prevent cartilage damage.

A study conducted in 2010 confirmed frankincense as a potential therapy for reducing inflammatory symptoms, specifically from osteoarthritis.

Made with 99.995% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade DMSO, Organic Aloe Vera, and pure, Sustainably Sourced, Indigineously Grown Essential Oils, give our Frankincense DMSO a try for your joint, nerve, and muscle pain.

Claim your bottle of Frankincense DMSO from Herbal Mana and experience DMSO for yourself.


Want to learn more? Check out our other blogs about DMSO:

DMSO Learning Resources

How to Apply DMSO Topically

Peppermint Essential Oil + DMSO Uses and Benefits

See what some of our customers are saying!





Segura, Gabriela. “DMSO - The Real Miracle Solution.”, 12 May 2011, 8:12,

“DMSO: Many Uses, Much Controversy.” Pharmacology of DMSO, Alternative & Complementary Therapies,

“DMSO Represses Inflammatory Cytokine Production from Human Blood Cells and Reduces Autoimmune Arthritis.” PubMed, 31 Mar. 2016,

Eberhardt, R, et al. “DMSO in Patients with Active Gonarthrosis. A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Phase III Study.” Fortschritte Der Medizin, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Nov. 1995,

Fuchs, Joanna. “DMSO Uses, BenefitsWhat Does Dimethyl Sulfoxide Do?” DMSO Uses. Benefits of Dimethyl Sulfoxide,

Whitaker, Julian. “DMSO Treatment Relieves Joint & Muscle Pain.” Health Vitamins & Supplements Products,

“Indian Frankincense.”,

Blain, Emma J, et al. “Boswellia Frereana (Frankincense) Suppresses Cytokine-Induced Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression and Production of pro-Inflammatory Molecules in Articular Cartilage.” Phytotherapy Research : PTR, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010,


**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.

Shop now