DMSO therapy

Dimethy sulfoxide (CH3)2SO, also known as “DMSO”, is a natural substance derived from wood pulp. It is generated during the normal decomposition of plants and therefore is in low concentrations present in many foods. DMSO is an antioxidant, by taking up oxygen it is converted into “Methyl-sulfonyl-methane” (MSM).

DMSO is an odourless, clear liquid which is completely water miscible (Describes two or more liquids that can be mixed together). It has a high boiling point of 189°C and solidifies at about 18°C. It has all of the beneficial properties of MSM but often at a higher degree, and it has some additional healing properties.

There is a very long list of health benefits from using DMSO, the main ones are:

a) Anti-inflammatory: During inflammation, the superoxide anion (O-2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are produced by stimulated polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages; the toxic effects of these reactive oxygen intermediates increases when traces of iron are present, because iron catalyzes the formation of the hydroxyl radical (OH); this reaction is known as “Haber-Weiss/Fenton reaction

H2O2 + Fe+2 --> Fe+3 + OH + (Hydroxyl Free Radical)

Due to Fenton’s reaction, the intestine normally reduces absorption of iron during chronic inflammation or infections because iron increases inflammation. DMSO scavenges the H2O2 released by neutrophils, working as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

b) Anticoagulant: it has an aspirin-like effect, and 7 times more safe than aspirin. It is able to dissolve blood clots 

c) Anti-oxidant: DMSO scavenges free radicals

d) Vasodilator: DMSO dilate blood vessels

e) Antibiotic: DMSO has weak anti-bacterial properties

f) Diuretic: DMSO works as a weak diuretic

g) Deep penetration: perhaps the most important property of DMSO is its Deep penetrability. If you rub it on your skin, it can be found in your blood 5 minutes later; 20 minutes after that, it’s in all your organs; an hour later, it’s in your bones. If administered intravenously, it moves even faster. Because of its fast absorbability, it can be tasted within minutes in the mouth as a “Garlic taste”. Because of this unique chemical characteristic, and its ability to dissolve in other solvents, DMSO has been used in conjunction with many solvents to deliver them into the blood via transdermal route; this characteristic is a double edge sword. If it is used with chemical drugs, it potentiate their effect

h) Speed-up healing: DMSO is not normally used on broken or open skin, but it has been applied to fresh cuts and other wounds and greatly speeded up healing without causing pain or other discomfort. Depending on the degree of pain or inflammation DMSO may be applied several times during the day over the area of pain

i) Analgesic: DMSO is a powerful analgesic substance; it reduces the nerve conductivity, which is the principle behind its analgesic effect. When it is used with patients who have paraesthesia, they can aggravate their condition  

j) Oxygen dynamics: DMSO reduces the amount of oxygen needed by the cells; no body known how. This property is important in injury, as cellular oxygen deprivation is the main cause of disease progression


Selected references

1. Santos SC et al. Multidisciplinary utilization of dimethyl sulfoxide: pharmacological, cellular, and molecular aspects. Biochemical Pharmacology 2003; 65: 1035-1041

2. Walker M. DMSO: Nature's Healer. 1993; Avery Publishing Group Inc.; 1st edition

3. Scott AH. The DMSO Handbook for Doctors. 2013; iUniverse; 1st edition