DMSO is a powerful free radical scavenger and an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It also has pain-relieving, collagen-softening, and anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it an incredibly effective natural pain reliever.
Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) is a colorless, transparent, hygroscopic fluid over a wide range of temperatures. DMSO rose to fame due to its ability to easily pass through the skin and other biological membranes. It's a sulfur-based compound with some amazing healing properties. First discovered in late 19th century Germany as a byproduct of wood pulping, DMSO can also be found in fruits, in the sea, and in the atmosphere.
Dimethyl Sulfoxide is derived from dimethyl sulfide, a by-product of the manufacture of paper. Dimethyl Sulfide is a naturally produced biogenic gas essential for the earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Sulfur is also an element of the earth and is essential to life. It is the eighth most prevalent element in the human body, not as sulfur itself but always in combination with other elements, most often, in complex molecules and, less often, in simple molecules such as DMSO.
What Is DMSO Used For?
People have been known to use DMSO to try to help with a plethora of issues including but not limited to:
- Inflammatory diseases
- Joint pain relief
- Cancer side-effects (pain)
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Headaches and Migraines
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Diabetic Neuropathy pain
- Varicose and Spider veins
- Burns and scar tissue
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Furuncular otitis
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Muscle spasms
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- General stiffness and soreness
- To improve range of motion
Side effects of DMSO can be temporary local irritation of the skin and a potential taste and/or sometimes smell of garlic upon use. (See our FAQs page for more information.)
"I absolutely LOVE this stuff! From the very first time I applied it, I had relief. I have fibromyalgia with trigger points all over including my feet. I massaged the Frankincense DMSO gel onto the bottoms of my feet and went to bed. Relief! I can't explain it. I went from a feeling of walking on rocks 24/7 to NO rocks!! I will definitely be buying this again."
- Linda N.
DMSO was and is still used on racehorses and by veterinarians today. For humans, DMSO is most commonly used to help relieve joint and arthritis pain.
Therapeutic Properties of DMSO
16 Major Therapeutic Properties of DMSO: Referenced from "DMSO, Nature's Healer" by Dr. Morgan Walker pages 50 and 152:
- It blocks pain by interrupting the conduction in the small c-fibers, the nonmyelinated nerve fibers.
- It is anti-inflammatory.
- It is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and virostatic.
- It transports numerous pharmaceuticals across membranes.
- It reduces the incidence of platelet thrombi in blood vessels.
- It has a specific effect on cardiac contractility by inhibiting calcium to reduce the workload of the heart.
- It stimulates prostaglandin synthesis - cyclical fatty acids that possess diverse biologic activities that affect cell function in every organ system. PGs have sedative and anticonvulsive effects on the central nervous system.
- It enhances antifungal and antibacterial agents when combined with them.
- It is a vasodilator, probably related to histamine release in the cells and to prostaglandin inhibition.
- It inhibits the release of cholinesterase.
- It tends to soften collagen by its peculiar cross-linking effect.
- It scavenges the hydroxyl free radical.
- It stimulates various types of immunity.
- It is a potent diuretic, especially when administered intravenously.
- It brings about interferon formation in the organism.
- It stimulates the healing of wounds.
Why Use DMSO?
The most common use for DMSO is as a natural pain reliever. So if you’re experiencing any kind of pain whether it’s severe or moderate, DMSO is a great option for you.
Pain is the most common reason for people to seek medical help and is a major complaint in many medical conditions and disorders. It is common knowledge that acute or chronic pain can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and normal daily function.
Unlike many painkillers, DMSO is easy to apply. It’s not a pill or a shot, but rather a simple gel that you can rub into your skin. It’s easy for anyone to use!
"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
So, Why Go Natural?
Painkillers, particularly opioid drugs, are the leading cause of unintentional overdose deaths in teens and adults, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such deaths have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The number of unintentional drug poisoning deaths exceeds either motor vehicle accidents or suicides, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. One of the reasons for easily overdosing and dying from narcotics is their powerful action as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, especially when the narcotic is combined with alcohol or another pain medication.
DMSO is similar to aspirin in that it blocks the production of certain prostaglandins by controlling the on-off switch in cells that regulate pain and inflammation, among other things. That is likely the reason why aspirin stops mild inflammation and pain.
However, DMSO goes a step farther than aspirin in that it not only blocks the prostaglandins that can induce pain and inflammation but also stops or slows down conduction of pain fibers when it is administered topically.
Unlike aspirin and other popular painkillers, DMSO is not considered toxic to the stomach or gut where aspirin can cause peptic ulcers or gastrointestinal tract irritation at therapeutic doses.
Should I Use DMSO?
It’s important to meet with your doctor and discuss what remedies are appropriate for you to be using. DMSO is safe for most people, however, if you are taking other medications, it’s important to consult your doctor to ensure that it’s safe to combine the two treatments. Because DMSO allows medications to absorb into the skin much quicker, it could have some effects on medications you are already taking. So when in doubt, ask your doctor first.
Where Can I Find DMSO?
DMSO is commercially available in the United States ranging from industrial grade (found in tractor and farm stores) and highly pure grade DMSO for drug delivery and health-care applications. Industrial Grade is commonly used on horses, and dogs whereas 99.99% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade DMSO is for human use.
Now that we’ve cleared up the question ‘what is DMSO?’ try some today and see how DMSO can benefit you!
Want to learn more about DMSO? You’ll enjoy these blogs too:
DMSO Learning Resources
How DMSO Works: Exploring The Science Behind It All
Jacob, Stanley Wallace, and Jack C. de la Torre. Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) in Trauma and Disease. CRC Press, 2015.
“DMSO: Many Uses, Much Controversy.” Pharmacology of DMSO, Alternative & Complementary Therapies, www.dmso.org/articles/information/muir.htm.
Whitaker, Julian. “DMSO Treatment Relieves Joint & Muscle Pain.” Health Vitamins & Supplements Products, www.drwhitaker.com/dmso-treatment-relieves-joint-and-muscle-pain.
Oler, Dr. Chad. “The Difference between Sulfa (Drugs), Sulfites and Sulfur.” Natural Solutions, 25 May 2017, naturalsolutionsforahealthyyou.com/the-difference-between-sulfa-drugs-sulfites-and-sulfur/.
Dr. Walker, Morton. DMSO Nature's Healer. Avery, 1993.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking blood thinners.