dmsoFor several years now we have been using DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) – both topically and orally – to treat various human conditions such as hemorrhoids, rectal strictures, and intestinal strictures. There are many treatment protocols available throughout my blog and Shoppe. Simply search “DMSO” and you will find information regarding the above conditions, as well as many others – such as the benefits of DMSO eyedrops for Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Floaters, and Vision. You can also scroll to the very bottom of the page for all linked DMSO blog posts I have written thus far.

That being said, I want to share with you some basic information about what DMSO is, how it works, some safety considerations for using this powerful, yet hugely beneficial natural substance, and some reader questions we received recently that I would like to address.

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.

Dr. Stanley Jacobs has this say about using DMSO while pregnant:

“I don’t recommend that pregnant women use DMSO in any way. But I will say that that I’ve had hundreds of patients call me who were worried about whether DMSO would impact a pregnancy because they had become unexpectedly pregnant while going through a series of DMSO treatments. I’ve always asked them to call me back after their child is born and, in all of this time, none has reported that their pregnancy was negatively affected. If you’ve accidentally taken DMSO while pregnant, it may be comforting to know that we haven’t seen any abnormalities from the DMSO.”

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. However, as I recently learned in this transcript from an interview with Dr. Stanley Jacobs, “DMSO will not carry anything with a molecular weight of over 1000. Now, the molecular weight of a virus is one million. A bacteria has a molecular weight in the millions. It won’t carry a virus or a bacterium.”

So only store DMSO 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 natural 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.

It is not recommended to use DMSO in conjunction with any drugs. DMSO drives ANYTHING deeper into the body – so that would include the drugs you are taking.

Irritation and Side Effects of DMSO

99% DMSO is often irritating to human skin – I would use a maximum of 70% DMSO for most topical applications, diluted with either distilled water or inner leaf aloe vera juice (no preservative, no flavors, etc). 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 you 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.

Reader Question regarding properties of DMSO

I recently received the below question from one of our readers, and it’s definitely one I’d like to address:

“Hi Jini. I have a few questions concerning DMSO – at what high temperature does the DMSO (that you sell in your shoppe/that I bought) begin to degrade and where there may be a problem? As explained, the 4 fl oz bottle that I have was stored for 4 months in a friends house – which got up to 120F for days on end – and before using it in one of the rectal protocols, I simply want to make 100% sure it was not potentially harmed. Please advise, thanks.”

REPLY: Regarding the DMSO – here is all the spec information I have on it.

This company selling DMSO for cell tissues and DNA applications says it is stable up to 100 degrees Celsius (212F) for all conditions, and stable up to its boiling point (372 degrees F) for use in neutral or alkaline conditions:

So looks like it should be good at 120F! I would test some on a patch of skin first (just dilute 50/50 with water for a quick test), just to be sure. Redness and itching is normal – blistering, or tissue damage is not.

Another Reader comment/question

Here’s another comment that may be pertinent to thoughts or questions you’re having…

Like probably a lot of us, I thought DMSO was safe but there are studies claiming (with proof) that DMSO is cytotoxic…..

Dental Study of DMSO with odontoblast-like cells

Tumor Study of DMSO’s effect on colon tumor cell cultures

Review of DMSO effects on human cellular processes and epigentic landscape

REPLY: I think it’s absolutely crucial that people understand what a powerful substance this is and that’s why in all my experimental protocols with DMSO I tell people to continually listen to their body and to use the lowest concentration possible. And of course, adhere to safety guidelines concerning it’s usage.

And of course, you would only use DMSO in situations where the benefits outweigh the risks. I would also add that none of the authors of these studies have tested/studied DMSO anywhere close to Dr. Stanley Jacobs (and you can’t fault his scientific credentials). Do a search on “dr stanley jacobs dmso” and it will pull up article, videos, etc.

Lastly, we cannot expect a substance that we are using to dissolve/soften scar tissue to simultaneously not have an impact on cells/tissue! A few months ago I used a 50/50 wild oregano/dmso mixture to heal an abscess inside my horse’s hoof. This was done unhaltered with her completely free to walk away – so that her body wisdom was in control.

I let her smell the mixture, and my plan was to apply it to the tough sole of her foot. However, she refused to lift her hoof and directed me apply it to her heel and the coronet band (just before the hard hoof tissue begins) – both softer tissue, but also gravity would pull the mixture down into her hoof. She told me how often and for how many days to apply it. Simultaneously, I was receiving the emotional/spiritual message of the infection (animals in our care often use their bodies to deliver messages to us).

A hoof abscess normally renders a horse completely lame for weeks, requires an extensive treatment protocol and possibly surgery. She was fine in 3 days and galloping on rocky ground in 1 week.

So yes, we look at the data, and we treat strong substances with respect, but we give the body’s wisdom supreme regard. That’s my M.O. anyway 🙂

Also, interesting to note, of the studies you referenced, the dental one showed:
“MDPC-23 cell number, cell adhesion (Figure 1) and percentage of cell death by necrosis (Figure 2) were not affected by DMSO at any concentration, with no statistical significant difference among the groups” So no issues there.

The DMSO Review article specifies that there are some beneficial applications – at LOW concentrations, but they don’t define that and the study they reference is by Dr. Stanley Jacobs:
“While generally used at relatively low concentrations, DMSO still has medically useful properties such as inducing anti-inflammation, nerve blockage (analgesia), diuretics, vasodilation and muscle relaxation”

And the cancer study was using DMSO with colon tumors and they were testing to see which concentration was optimal. However 2 things: Again, they showed that a low concentration (10%) did not have any effect. But weirdly, they show an effect at higher concentrations, but yet don’t break down the effect per concentration, but just lump them all together at 20-100%, which is kind of ridiculous: “DMSO 10% did not induce any significant increase in LDH release whereas a significant increase in LDH activity (ANOVA, p<0.05) occurred at a DMSO concentration of 20 to 50%. NR incorporation in viable cells was statistically reduced by 27 to 36% at DMSO concentration of 20% up to 100%”

Remember, research is great (and necessary), but science always lags far behind body wisdom. So always combine research with your body’s wisdom. And maybe DMSO is not a good substance for your body! Your body knows.

Have any other questions regarding DMSO? Please comment below!

DMSO related blog posts:
Natural Treatments for Anal Fissures & Fistulas: DMSO, Wild Oregano & More! – VIDEO
DMSO Eyedrops for Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Floaters, Vision
DMSO-based Protocols for Intestinal & Rectal Scar Tissue – VIDEO
Will DMSO carry germs from fecal matter into my bloodstream?
DMSO Protocol For Anal Stenosis or Rectal Strictures
Hot Castor Oil Pack for IBD or IBS – Pain, Spasming, Bloating
How To Release and Dissolve Scar Tissue
Perianal Abscess & Fistula – Natural Treatment
Natural Remedy for Anal Stenosis and Stricture
How To Heal Internal and External Hemorrhoids
Stricture Emergency!

Original post June 2013. Most recently updated March 2020.