DMSO and Safety Cautions
We have been using DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) to treat various human conditions (hemorrhoids, rectal stricture, intestinal stricture) both topically and orally for several years now. You can search either my blog here or my Shoppe for the treatment protocols for each of these conditions.
So I want to share with you some basic information about what DMSO is and how it works and then the safety considerations for using this powerful, yet hugely beneficial natural substance.
What Is DMSO?
DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) – is a natural substance that comes from tree bark and was first discovered by Russian scientist, Dr. Alexander Saytzeff in 1866. Due to its amazing ability to bind with other substances, it was first utilized as a solvent. Then in 1959 it was demonstrated that DMSO could protect red blood cells and other tissues against freezing conditions, so experimentation began with using it to freeze and store organs for transplants.
Then Dr. Stanley Jacob, at the University of Oregon Medical School, discovered that DMSO relieved burn pains and prevented scar tissue formation. He published his results in 1963 – from then on DMSO usage and experimentation spread like wildfire. It follows logically, that a substance that can prevent scar tissue formation, should also be able to soften or dissolve existing scar tissue and in this capacity DMSO also does not disappoint.
Since then, DMSO has been widely used with professional athletes (from football players to Olympic gymnasts) where it has proven effective with injuries to soft tissue or joint defusions; sprains, strains, dislocations, tendonitis, bursitis, gout, soft tissue tears, myositis (muscle inflammation), broken bones, tennis elbow. Pain is relieved, swelling subsides, and function is recovered more quickly.
Today, we have plenty of evidence (from medical doctors and/or PhD scientists) showing that DMSO can also (1):
- Increase or potentiate cell-mediated immunity in auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lymphoid thryroiditis, etc.
- Make the immune system more effective by allowing macrophages to move around and through the tissues faster. It can also diminish allergic reactions.
- Increase the permeability of cell membranes, allowing toxins to be flushed from the cell.
- Substitute for water in the living cell, then bind to free radicals and form a substance (dimethyl sulfone plus water with the hydroxyl ion) which can then be excreted out of the body via urine.
- Prevent the formation of scar tissue or adhesions, or dissolve them once present.
- Kill or slow the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Greatly reduce or eliminate inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Quickly heal skin ulcerations, infected wounds, second and third degree burns and other skin lesions. In a study of 1,371 patients with these varying afflictions who were treated with DMSO, 95.04% were discharged as completely cured. Some of these patients had diabetic leg ulcers, which had been present for over 15 years – they were completely healed after daily topical DMSO spray applications for 20 days. (2)
- Clear cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma of the eyes – you can purchase glutathione/DMSO/vitamin C eye drops from specialist compounding pharmacies.
How is it that one substance can effect or facilitate such a wide range of healing mechanisms? As Dr. Stanley Jacob says:
“We’ve barely scratched the surface, for this is a new principle in medicine. We’ve had only three new principles in our century – the antibiotic principle, the cortisone principle, and now the DMSO principle – and the DMSO principle is the only new one of our generation.
DMSO is literally water’s alter ego. It moves through membranes and substitutes for water so that it pulls substances through cells that ordinarily would not move through them. This is its basic mechanism of action. The DMSO-water bond is 1.3 times stronger than the water-water bond.” (3)
I myself used my HemorrHeal formula (which contains DMSO) to heal internal hemorrhoids I’d had since the birth of my daughter six years prior – they healed in 6 days. Unfortunately, the FDA (as with many powerful natural substances) has banned DMSO for everything but interstitial cystitis (patent held by pharmaceutical company) – so you cannot sell DMSO as part of a formula or remedy and when you sell it straight, it has to say: For Use As A Solvent Only on the bottle.
So the way around this is to provide people with the formula, instructions, ingredients and let you make up your own remedy! And this is what I have been doing here on my blog and in eBooks.
As Dr. Richard D. Brobyn from the Bainbridge Medical Center in Washington, writes:
“DMSO is one of the most researched but still least understood pharmaceutical Products of our time. Worldwide there have been approximately 11,000 scientific Articles about medical Applications and more than 40,000 Articles about the chemical Properties published. In 125 Countries like the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and others, indications for Application are being described by Physicians against, for example, Pains, Inflammations, Scleroderma and Arthritis as well as further diseases”
DMSO Safety Rules
DMSO will transport instantly into the cells anything it comes in contact with.
So only store in glass, wash hands with natural soap before handling, only use unvarnished wood, stainless steel or glass to apply – avoid plastics or anything that contains synthetic chemicals that could be transported into your body.
Solution dropped from a glass dropper and then spread around using clean fingers works well.
Or a natural fiber paintbrush, dipped into a glass bottle of DMSO and painted on. Wash the paintbrush each time after use with natural dish soap and hot water, air dry.
Some people advocate the use of rubber or latex gloves when applying DMSO. This can work, but you need to do a test first to see if the glove is resistant to DMSO. So a common laboratory trick is to fill the finger of the glove with DMSO, and hang it upside down overnight, so the DMSO stays in the finger cavity. In the morning, if the DMSO has NOT eaten through the glove, then that glove material is safe to use with DMSO.
Only use a high quality, pure grade of DMSO that comes in a glass bottle. We use DMSO Inc. brand.
Irritation and Side Effects of DMSO
99% DMSO is often irritating to human skin – we use a maximum of 70% DMSO for most topical applications, diluted with either distilled water or George’s Aloe Vera Juice. For applications above the waist (in humans), 40 – 50% DMSO is usually the maximum. For mucous membranes, we start at 20% DMSO and then increase to a maximum of 40% if needed.
If irritation occurs, it can be soothed with aloe vera, or cold-pressed castor oil, or comfrey salve. All of these substances are safe (and usually beneficial) to be applied on top of the DMSO, once the DMSO layer has dried. It can be VERY itchy as it’s drying though, so be prepared and know that it’s normal.
Because DMSO is a sulfer-containing compound, a garlic body odor is a natural consequence of usage, but disappears rapidly after usage is stopped. Some people find this smell very strong and are bothered by it, others cannot smell it at all. Usually the person using DMSO smells nothing. If you are allergic to sulfa drugs may still be able use DMSO, see this article for clarification and then consult your physician.
Reference: (1,2,3) “DMSO Nature’s Healer: How to Use DMSO to Relieve Pain, Increase Circulation, Repair Tissue Damage, and Fight Degenerative Diseases” by Dr. Morton Walker. This book contains specific instructions on exactly how to use DMSO for a wide range of disorders along with many clinical trials.