DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide, is derived from Pine trees as a byproduct of the paper manufacturing industry and was first isolated in the mid-1800s by a Russian chemist. It is also naturally found in garlic as one of the root’s 70+ sulfur compounds. Despite decades of research and a long controversial history, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) remains virtually unknown to the medical professional and the public.
What is DMSO used for?
DMSO is an exceptionally versatile therapy. For starters, it’s one of the few compounds that can be administered orally, topically, and through injection of both the vein and the muscle. The results of thousands of studies attesting to its health-promoting properties strongly support the view that DMSO is a truly significant therapeutic anti-inflammatory and that holds promise in managing a wide range of debilitating conditions:
Arthritis - With its ability to penetrate tissues, DMSO shows value in reducing pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly even gout.
Atherosclerosis - In laboratory tests, DMSO has demonstrated its ability to delay the development of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) induced by dietary cholesterol, as well as suppress the accumulation of cholesterol in tissues, despite severely elevated levels.
Drug extravasation injury - Extravasation refers to the escape of a drug into the extravascular space (soft tissue), either by leakage from a vessel or by direct infiltration. When chemotherapy drugs leak into surrounding tissues (extravasate), the effects can be severely damaging. Many studies have shown that DMSO application has significantly improved extravasation tissue injury in affected patients.
Herpes - DMSO has been used to enhance penetration of alpha-interferon ointment in the treatment of herpes.
Interstitial cystitis - Instilling DMSO in the urinary bladder is an FDA-approved pain-relieving treatment for this chronic inflammatory condition.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy - DMSO helps relieve the pain of this condition, an autonomic nervous system disorder characterized primarily by overwhelming pain in the extremities.
Scleroderma (hardening of the skin) - In basic work done at the Cleveland Clinic, topical DMSO was found to have an anti-inflammatory effect while increasing blood supply to the skin.
Strains and sprains - DMSO provides rapid elimination of pain and increased mobility when used topically. It passes through the skin’s oily membranes and reduces swelling and inflammation almost immediately.
Keloids, Scars, Burns, Bruises - A concentration of 50 to 80% put on two or three times a day will flatten a raised scar after several months. It is of considerable value in superficial burns and when applied quickly to an injury, it can eliminate any bruising.
Why is DMSO so effective?
Sulfur compounds are found in all body cells and are indispensable. They are needed for a number of chemical reactions involved in the detoxification of the body. As a source of sulfur, DMSO aids in heavy metal detoxification. Sulfur binds with toxic heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, nickel) and eliminates them via urination, defecation and sweating. DMSO protects the cells from mechanical damage and considerably less amounts of it is needed to achieve results compared to many other pharmaceutical drugs. This is a crucial mechanism since some molecules in our bodies produce an unequal number of electrons and the instability of the number causes them to destroy other cells. DMSO hooks on to those molecules and they are then expelled from the body. DMSO is an effective pain killer, blocking nerve conduction ﬁbers that produce pain and reduces inﬂammation and swelling by eliminating inﬂammatory chemicals.
It also has a calming effect on the central nervous system and it reaches all areas of the body, when absorbed through the skin, including the brain. That is, DMSO applied to one area often leads to pain relief in some other location due to its systemic effect. DMSO effortlessly penetrates the skin and the blood-brain barrier, penetrating tissues, and entering the bloodstream. It further improves blood supply to an area of injury by dilating blood vessels and increasing delivery of oxygen and by reducing blood platelet stickiness. DMSO boosts the immune system, increasing the production of white cells and macrophages that destroy foreign material and pathogens in the body. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Among the sulfur compounds, DMSO is probably the one that has the widest range and greatest number of therapeutic applications ever shown for any other single chemical. It stimulates healing, which is a key to its usefulness in any condition. It is among the most potent free radical scavengers known to man, if not the most potent one.
How to use DMSO:
DMSO is generally applied to the skin in a gel, cream, or a liquid. It can be taken orally but this should only be for more severe internal detoxification. We recommend DMSO by Life Choice, available in both liquid and gel form.
Important Points about DMSO (courtesy of Life Choice):
DMSO is a very temperature sensitive product. Liquid DMSO can and will crystallize in a cold environment. If this occurs, place or keep the DMSO bottle in a warm location (15°C – 20°C), and within a few hours it should go back to liquid form. For faster results, place the bottle in a clean zip lock bag, seal it, and place it in warm water. Under any circumstances, do not microwave it! When using DMSO, always make sure to have clean hands and skin. DMSO is a powerful pain reliever and transporter. If you have dirt or anything else on your hands and /or skin, DMSO will take it down to your deep tissue, as far as to the seventh layer into the dermis, and it can cause irritation or discomfort. If using DMSO after a shower, it is recommended to wait 30 minutes to an hour, as the pores in the body are wide open and too much DMSO can be absorbed by the body, causing irritation or discomfort. Also, do not cover areas where DMSO is applied; it should be allowed to air dry. When starting a DMSO regimen, we recommend starting with a small amount and gradually increasing the dosage, as the product is very strong. If the DMSO is still too strong, we recommend mixing it with other topical products such as Recovery H Cream or Sweet Relief Cream at a 50:50 ratio to reduce the product strength. DMSO has a strong sulfur and garlic odor. When applied, you may experience a garlic taste in your mouth. This is a normal occurrence.