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DMSO: Called the "Miracle Solution" Relieves Pain, Inflammation; Rapidly Accelerates Healing

Every household should have DMSO on hand. DMSO, which is available as a liquid or in a rub-on gel, is a miracle treatment for all kinds injuries. Trainers of most athletic teams are aware of DMSO's ability to rapidly heal sports injuries and I've been using it personally for over 30 years. I introduced DMSO to the owner/coach of my CrossFit gym a couple of years ago and he immediately began using it on athletes with minor aches and pains. My blog gives me the opportunity to publicize the many benefits of DMSO to a much wider audience. So, here is the DMSO story.

DMSO stands for dimethylsulfoxide. It is a cheap byproduct of the wood-pulp/paper industry that has been used for decades as an industrial solvent, paint thinner and as additive in various other chemical products. In the 1960s Stanley Jacob, MD was using DMSO to supercool animal organs for transplant experiments at Oregon Health Sciences University (when mixed 50/50 with water, it resists freezing at very low temperatures). Jacob knew that DMSO could preserve organs without damaging the cells and tissues. After a laboratory accident, Dr. Jacob applied DMSO to the burned skin of his lab assistant are witnessed a remarkably fast healing. This was the beginning of Dr. Jacob's career as the "father" of DMSO. To date, over 11,000 articles have been written on the medical, clinical and therapeutic properties of DMSO. Dr. Jacob passed away on Jan. 17, 2015 at the age of 91. He remained at the forefront of DMSO research right up until the time of his death.

Fast Relief From Pain And Inflammation
When DMSO is applied to the skin, it gets quickly absorbed into the tissues. During inflammation, the inflamed tissues fill with water. This creates pain from the additional pressure which leads to more inflammation and additional injury. DMSO draws water out of inflamed tissues and reduces swelling very quickly. DMSO also acts as an antioxidant which helps it prevent free radical damage in injured tissues. Many people with arthritis also get great relief from DMSO. When DMSO is used on sensitive skin or on open wounds, it is best to apply a weaker solution by diluting it with distilled water.

Sports Injuries
It is amazing how quickly DMSO speeds up the healing process for soft tissue sports injuries ranging from sprains, strains, tendinitis, etc. It also dissolves and removes blood from damaged tissues which results in rapid healing from bruises. I estimate that the purple discoloration from a bruise clears up about 4 to 5 times faster when DMSO is applied to the wound 3 or 4 times daily.

Prevents Scarring
DMSO dramatically increases circulation to any area that it is applied to. Thus, application of DMSO results in a substantial increase in the delivery of blood, oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues. When applied to a surgical incision or other types of wounds such as the road rash from a bike or motorcycle accident, DMSO will accelerate the healing and prevent or substantially reduce scarring. Generally a 50% or 70% DMSO/water mixture is applied once the wound has closed. In addition to the types of wounds I've mentioned, DMSO is also a miracle treatment for burns.

Helping Wounded Soldiers
I spoke personally with Dr. Jacob about 4 years ago. In his late 80s, Jacob was still highly energetic and excited about his work. During our conversation, he told me about the multi-center trial he organized to administer intravenous DMSO to soldiers who had closed head trauma injuries. These are very severe head injuries that frequently result from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices otherwise knows as roadside bombs). The swelling/pressure from these injuries cause brain damage. Jacob told me that when DMSO is administered intravenously after a head injury, the swelling is reduced within five minutes. DMSO's ability to reduce swelling dramatically reduces brain damage if administered shortly after the time of injury. No other therapy comes close to acting this quickly.

Things To Know About DMSO
1) It is a universal solvent. A large part of the uniqueness of DMSO is due to the fact that structurally it is a bipolar molecule; one end of the molecule is water-loving and the other end of the molecule is fat-loving. This makes DMSO a universal solvent. Consequently, DMSO can only be stored in glass or polyethylene plastic containers; it will dissolve everything else. Although this may sound a little scary, don't be alarmed because DMSO does not harm human or animal tissues.

2) You must be clean when you use it. If you have grease on your hands, of if a woman has nail polish on her nails, DMSO will dissolve these things and carry them into your body. Not good. Avoid using it if cosmetic creams are on the skin. Just wash your hands before using it and clean a wound before applying DMSO.

3) Don't let it touch your clothing. DMSO will dissolve the dyes from your clothes and damage the fibers in fabrics. Just put it on bare skin and don't allow clothing to touch it.

4) Skin itching and/or burning: Several minutes after applying DMSO, the skin often starts to itch like crazy. This effect can be minimized by adding water to make a more dilute solution. When the itching starts, just take a damp wash cloth and towel yourself off. By that time the DMSO has already been absorbed into the tissues. The itching is normal and it stops almost immediately when you towel yourself off.

5) Garlic Breath: DMSO is famous for causing a garlic-like breath odor. This is because the DMSO gets quickly metabolized to a compound called dimethyl sulfone which is a gas that gets expelled from the lungs. This odor is more pronounced when DMSO is applied frequently or if it is applied over a relatively large area. If you are using DMSO and you kiss someone, they will definitely comment on the odor.

6) Use more dilute DMSO solutions on sensitive or tender skin. I usually use DMSO full-strength if I have a pulled muscle in my arm or leg. However, using full-strength DMSO on tender skin such at the underarm or groin could cause a slight burning or blistering. I recommend a 50% DMSO/water dilution for tender skin.

7) Diluting DMSO with water: When you mix DMSO with water, an exothermic reaction occurs. This means heat is given off. I mean a LOT of heat, enough to burn you. When you mix water with DMSO, allow 10 to 15 for the mixture to return to room temperature before using it.

8) Applying DMSO: You can soak a cotton ball with DMSO to apply it to a sore muscle or wound. However, I generally just wash my hands, and then pour some DMSO into my cupped hand and apply it to the target area.

9) DMSO Products: DMSO is available as a liquid and in creams, gels and roll-on applicators. I tend to favor the straight 99% pure liquid, but any form will work.

10) Where to Buy DMSO: There are many online sites where DMSO can be purchased. DMSO is also carried by many veterinary supple stores. In my area we can purchase a pint of DMSO from our local Grange Co-op for about $6.00.

11) Current Status: Because DMSO is a natural agent, it cannot be patented which means drug companies have no interest or incentive to put money into researching it uses. Because drug companies don't study it, it does not get FDA approval. In 1970, the FDA approved DMSO for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in dogs and horses. Many veterinarians consider DMSO to be one of the most valuable therapeutic agents they have to work with. Also, in 1978, it was approved by the FDA in humans for the treatment of a relatively rare condition called Interstitial Cystitis which is a painful inflammation of the bladder. However, most of the clinical applications for DMSO remain unapproved by the FDA and consequently, most mainstream medical doctors are not aware of its remarkable benefits.

Don't Be Alarmed
Now that I've discussed all these warnings about DMSO, please don't be afraid to use it. I think every household should have DMSO on hand for healing emergencies. I also urge athletes to keep DMSO on hand to speed up the healing process from occasional sports injuries.

A book titled DMSO: Nature’s Healer was written by Morton Walker. Used copies are available on for $8.24.

The Life Extension Magazine had a cover story about Dr. Stanley Jacob titled The Untapped Healing Potential of DMSO in their July 2007 issue.

Also, a nice interview with Dr. Jacob is available at:


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